Late burst does trick for Rebels
Munster MHC: Cork 0-26 Clare 3-13
Six points in a row for Cork swept them past 14-man Clare to open with a win in the Munster MHC at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.
While the home side had the game's first score through Evan Murphy, three first-half goals from Mark Rodgers (two) and Gearóid O'Grady meant that Cork didn't lead again until a free from sub Alan Connolly made it 0-23 to 3-13 in the 60th minute.
That came after Connolly and Paddy O'Flynn had drawn them level and further points from Cathal Hickey, O'Flynn and Daniel Hogan made sure of the win.
Rodgers' first goal had put Clare 1-0 to 0-1 ahead in the third minute and though Cork levelled, the corner-forward then struck again. O'Grady's goal made it 3-4 to 0-10 on 21 minutes and they were 3-7 to 0-14 ahead at half-time.
Cork did manage to draw level early in the second half, albeit wasting other chances, but Clare suffered a blow when Tony Butler was sent off for a second booking. However, they managed to keep ahead through Rodgers and Aidan Moriarty (two) until Cork found the extra gears in the closing stages.
Scorers - Cork: E Murphy 0-8 (6f, 1 65), S Barrett 0-5, A Connolly 0-4 (2f), P O'Flynn 0-2, C O'Brien (65), C O'Donovan, O Broderick, P Cooney, D Hogan, P Power, C Hickey 0-1 each. Clare: M Rodgers 2-2; G O'Grady 1-1; K Guyler 0-3 (2f), A Moriarty, W Halpin 0-2 each; D Healy, F Slattery, S Meehan 0-1 each.
CORK - C Long; C Murphy, P Cullinane, C O'Donovan; C O'Brien, L Horgan, C O'Donovan; O Broderick, P Cooney; K Moynihan, S Barrett, D Hogan; P Power, P O'Flynn, E Murphy. Subs: A Connolly for Moynihan (24), C Hickey for Murphy (47), D Flynn for Broderick (53).
CLARE - C O'Brien; J Enright, A Mungovan, M Gough; T Butler, D McMahon, D Healy; J Griffin, F Slattery; A Moriarty, G O'Grady, W Halpin; M Rodgers (Scariff), K Guyler, S Meehan. Subs: C Hegarty for Griffin (38), C Carrig for Slattery (44), J Brack for Halpin (53), J Minogue for O'Grady (59), T Dean for Enright (59).
Ref - K Jordan (Tipperary)
O'Neill leads Limerick to fine victory
Limerick 1-17 Tipperary 2-12
Limerick made a fine start to their campaign with a thrilling victory over Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday.
Half-forward Cathal O'Neill lead the way for the Treaty County with a superb performance that yielded 11 points.
Things had looked up for Tommy Dunne's Tipperary outfit with two second-half quick-fire goals from Sean Hayes, but Cormac Ryan's goal brought Limerick back into the contest with eight minutes left to play and O'Neill's class saw them home.
Tipperary settled the quicker to lead 0-3 to 0-1 on 11 minutes after both sides made a nervy start. Limerick responded with two O'Neill points, but Tipperary should have been further ahead than two points at half-time as Ryan Renehan's penalty was pushed over by Limerick keeper Bryan Heavey.
It was a much more even second-half, but O'Neill's quality and Ryan's goal saw Limerick to a two-point win.
Scorers - Limerick: Cathal O'Neill 0-11 (3f, 1'65), C Ryan 1-1, B Purcell, C Coughlin 0-2 each, B Nix 0-1;
Tipperary: S Hayes 2-1, R Renehan 0-3 (0-1pen, 0-1 s/l) J Devanney, K O'Kelly 0-2 each, J Ryan, J Campion, M Hackett, M O'Shea 0-1.
Limerick - B Heavey 7; P Harnett 6, B Herlihy 7, M Keane 7; E O'Mahony 6, E McEvoy 7, J Nicholas 6; D Kennedy 5, B O'Connor 5, C O'Neil 9l, C Ryan 7, D Hegarty 5; C Coughlan 7, B Purcell 7, B Nix 6. Subs: S Hurley 5 for Kennedy (h-t), P Kirby 6 for Hegarty (43), C Casey 5 for O'Connor (55), D Riordan for Hurley 5 (63), M Martin 5 for Coughlan (65).
Tipperary - A Browne 6; C O'Dwyer 5, C Whelan 6, K Hayes 6; J Ryan 7, F Purcell 6, F Hanafin 6; M Hackett 7, J Campion 6; S Hayes 8, D Ryan 5, K O'Kelly 6; J Lanigan 5, R Renehan 6, J Devanney 6. Subs: M O'Shea 6 for Lanigan (39), K Maher 5 for Renehan (48), C O'Farrell 5 for Ryan (55), E Purcell 5 for O'Kelly (55).
Ref - N Wall (Cork)