McGrath Cup holders Cork easily made it through to next week’s final against Clare as they saw off Limerick at Rathkeale on Sunday.
Ronan McCarthy’s side led by 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time, with Brian Hurley having netted in the 11th minute, and the game was made safe immediately after the resumption with two more goals. First, wing-back Paul Walsh marked his debut by palming home after he linked well with Tomás Clancy and Ruairí Deane and then captain Ian Maguire was set away by Brian Hurley’s fine pass and, though goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan got a hand on the shot, he couldn’t keep it out.
Seán McSweeney’s frees had kept Limerick in it in the first half, helping the bring deficit back to three after Hurley’s early goal was followed by a point from the same player to open up a five-point lead.
After the two early goals in the second half, Cork made sure of victory with eight unanswered points – subs Eoghan McSweeney, James Fitzpatrick and Tadhg Corkery all on target – before McSweeney got Limerick’s only second-half score in injury time.
B Hurley 1-3 (0-1f), I Maguire 1-2, P Walsh 1-1, R Deane, D Gore 0-2 each, T Corkery, K Crowley, J Fitzpatrick, E McSweeney, J Loughrey 0-1 each.
S McSweeney 0-5f, T Griffin, K Daly 0-1 each.
M White (Clonakilty); C Dennehy (St Finbarr’s), J Loughrey (Mallow), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers); K Crowley (Milstreet), K Flahive (Douglas), P Walsh (Kanturk); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); T Clancy (Fermoy), S White (Clonakilty), M Taylor (Mallow); D Gore (Kilmacabea), R Deane (Bantry Blues), B Hurley (Castlehaven).
T Corkery (Cill na Martra) for Crowley (20, injured), E McSweeney (Knocknagree) for S White (half-time, injured), A Browne (Newmarket) for Loughrey (45), J Fitzpatrick (Carbery Rangers) for O’Hanlon (53), P Murphy (Bandon) for Flahive (54).
D O’Sullivan (Monaleen); M Donovan (Galbally), S O’Dea (Kilteely/Dromkeen), P Maher (Adare); B Fanning (Pallasgreen), T McCarthy (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), G Brown (Na Piarsaigh); D Treacy (St Kieran’s), T Griffin (Gerald Griffins); J Liston (Gerald Griffins), S McSweeney (St Kieran’s), M Fitzgibbon (Feohanagh/Castlemahon); P Nash (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), A Kearns (St Senan’s), K Daly (Na Piarsaigh).
D Lyons (Adare) for Daly (44), C McSweeney (Gerald Griffins) for Pallasgreen (44), S Keeley (Adare) for Fitzgibbon (50), J Lee (Newcastle West) for Liston (61), L Murphy (Monaleen) for Maher (61).
D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).