Reidy scores 11 as Limerick run riot in demolition derby
Limerick 1-32 Cork 0-20
Limerick picked up the first trophy of the new season last night when they won the Munster senior league for the second time in three years with full forward David Reidy hitting 11 points in a crushing 15-point win.
After a winter of discontent off the field, last year's Division 1 league and Munster champions demolished Cork to launch the New Year on a positive note.
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Cork, who last won the competition in 2017, will be more disappointed with their second-half fade-out, in which they were out-gunned 0-18 to 0-6, than the actual result though the outcome will quickly be forgotten once the Allianz League begins on Saturday week.
Conscious that the league was so close, team bosses John Kiely and Kieran Kingston started relatively strong sides. Limerick fielded nine first-team regulars including Cian Lynch, who captained the side, and current All Star Aaron Gillane. Though Cork started without their All Star Patrick Horgan - he was introduced at half time - they fielded seven first-team regulars.
Limerick hit the first point but Cork were rampant in the early exchanges, hitting five in the first five minutes. But Limerick replied with a brace from David Dempsey and Cian Lynch.
Gillane, who had the measure of Cork full-back Eoin Cadogan, found the net in the 10th minute after a long delivery from Darragh O'Donovan. The policy of leaving him isolated on the edge of the square was exposing the Cork defence but they responded well, outscoring the home side 3-1 in the next seven minutes.
By the midpoint in the first half, five Cork forwards had scored from play - against two for Limerick - but Reidy had converted three frees. Limerick continued to create more opportunities, but by half-time they had hit 11 wides compared to four for Cork. Their scoring rate from play dropped alarmingly midway through the half while the influence of Cork's Conor Lehane and Sean Twomey grew more pronounced - between them they chalked up six points from play in the half.
Limerick's frees kept the scoreboard ticking over and they finally found their scoring range, hitting four unanswered points from play between the 33rd and 35th minutes to lead by five. The visitors responded with the last two scores of the half in injury time to leave them trailing by three at the break (1-14 to 0-14).
The Rebels introduced Patrick Hogan at the start of the second half but it was Limerick who threatened but a low shot from Tom Morrissey spun past the far post. Reidy hit three points - two from play - in a three-minute spell as Limerick stretched their lead to five points after 43 minutes. Limerick were winning the majority of the rucks and with 20 minutes to go had seven points to spare after Cork failed to score for 11 minutes. Although a Horgan free ended the Cork drought in the 53rd minute it did little to change the course of the contest as Limerick dominated and knocked over points for fun.
Scorers: Limerick: D Reidy 0-11, (8f), D Dempsey, G Mulcahy 0-5 each, A Gillane 1-1, T Morrissey, D Byrne (1f), B Nash 0-2 each, C Lynch, D O'Donovan, R Hanley, G Hegarty 0-1 each.
Cork: C Lehane 0-6 (f), S Twomey S Harnedy, C O'Leary (3fs) 0-3 each, A Walsh 0-2, J O'Connor B Turnbull, P Horgan (1f) 0-1 each.
Limerick: B Hennessy; T Condon, R English, A Costello; D Byrnes, D Morrissey, B Nash; R Hanley, C Lynch; D O'Donovan, T Morrissey, D Dempsey; G Mulcahy, D Reidy, A Gillane. Subs: S Finn for Costello (45), G Hegarty for T Morrissey (45), M Quinlan for Gillane (55), B O'Grady for Condon (60), J Boylan for English (65)
Cork: P Collins; C Spillane, E Cadogan, S O'Donoghue; C O'Leary, B Cooper, D Cahalane; R Walsh, L Meade; A Walsh, C Lehane, S Twomey; J O'Connor, S Harnedy, B Turnbull. Subs: P Horgan for R Walsh ht; S O'Regan for O'Connor ht; R Downey for Meade (53), T O'Connell for Twomey (68), J Keating for Spillane (70 +2)
Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).
Sunday Indo Sport