Cork footballers get the job done with solid win over Limerick

John O'Rourke hits 1-3 as Cork march to another Munster final against either Kerry or Tipperary
Cork footballers get the job done with solid win over Limerick

Cork’s John O'Rourke scores his side's goal in Limerick. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Cork 1-16 Limerick 0-11 

CORK got the job done in surviving the expected tough Limerick challenge to reach another Munster football final at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.

They always managed to keep their opponents at arm's length during a disappointing contest in which Cork lost their usual quota through injuries.

Sean Powter and Daniel O'Mahony, who both impressed, limped out early in the second half, but Cork coped to run out convincing winners in the end.

Limerick’s Iain Corbett and Sean Meehan of Cork after the game. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Limerick’s Iain Corbett and Sean Meehan of Cork after the game. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Cork's five-point interval advantage heaped the pressure back on Limerick, who needed to be more adventurous and show better finishing.

But, they couldn't improve their position as the sides recorded an equal share of 10 points during a more exciting third quarter, leaving Cork 1-11 to 0-9 ahead at the second water break.

Cork took over though to put the game to bed by adding five points on the spin with substitute Cian Kiely joining the attack to score his second point.

Brian Hurley showed his class from play while Sean Meehan closed the deal as Cork surged nine points clear with time almost up.

In the first-half Limerick made an encouraging start with wing-back Gordon Brown opening the scoring after 30 seconds, but Cork replied with a fortunate goal.

It stemmed from a determined Ruairi Deane run through the heart of the defence before setting up John O'Rourke, who somehow bundled the ball over the line under pressure from keeper Donal O'Sullivan and a defender.

In the collision, the Limerick custodian suffered an injury, which forced him off, to be replaced by rookie Aaron O'Sullivan.

It was a tedious first 35 plus minutes, Limerick setting out their stall early by withdrawing all their outfield players behind the ball on occasions and frustrating Cork in the process.

Mattie Taylor on the ball for Cork. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Mattie Taylor on the ball for Cork. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Limerick, though, struggled to make an impression on the visiting defence, unable to add to their tally from play and relying on Hugh Bourke's free-taking for their scores.

Cork weren't exactly prolific at the other end either, Hurley landing a 12th minute free before captain Ian Maguire bagged their first from play to make it 1-2 to 0-3 at the water break.

Fare on the resumption was just as unpalatable with a Bourke free after 33 minutes the only score until Cork finished with a flourish in the five minutes of added-on time.

After Hurley pointed a second free for 1-3 to 0-4, Powter decided to take matters into his own hands by sweeping forward and showing great composure and skill to kick back-to-back points.

And just for good measure, wing-back Mattie Taylor followed suit to kick Cork's fourth score without response and a 1-6 to 0-4 interval advantage.

Cork concerns included the yellow cards picked by Maguire and Hurley in the period, leaving them vulnerable in the second half, but they managed to ride out the storm.

Ian Maguire of Cork in action against Darragh Treacy of Limerick. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Ian Maguire of Cork in action against Darragh Treacy of Limerick. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Scorers for Cork: J O'Rourke 1-3, B Hurley 0-6 (0-4 f), S Powter, C Kiely 0-2 each, I Maguire, M Taylor, S Meehan 0-1 each.

Limerick: H Bourke 0-5 f, D Neville, I Corbett 0-2 each, G Brown 0-1, A O'Sullivan 0-1 45.

CORK: MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); S Powter (Douglas), D O'Mahony (Knocknagree), K Flahive (Douglas); K O'Donovan (Nemo Rangers), S Meehan (Kiskeam), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr's, c), P Walsh (Kanturk); B Hartnett (Douglas), R Deane (Bantry Blues), J O'Rourke (Carbery Rangers); L Connolly (Nemo Rangers), B Hurley (Castlehaven), D Ó Duinnín (Cill na Martra). 

Subs: C Kiely (Ballincollig) for Powter injured 41, K O'Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs) for Walsh 46, B Murphy (Nemo Rangers) for O'Mahony injured 50, M Collins (Castlehaven) for Connolly 60, M Hurley (Castlehaven) for O'Rourke 65.

LIMERICK: D O'Sullivan; S O'Dea, B Fanning, M Donovan; R Childs, I Corbett (c), G Brown; D Treacy, T Childs; C Sheehan, C Fahy, A Enright; D Neville, R Bourke, H Bourke. 

Subs: A O'Sullivan for D O'Sullivan injured 5, B Donovan for R Burke half-time, K Ryan for Sheehan and J Naughton for Enright 44, P Maher for T Childs 55, J Ryan for Fahy 60.

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare)

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