Ross O'Sullivan bags 3-9 as win over Limerick sends Cork to Munster minor semi-finals

Two wins from two mean Paudie Murray's side are guaranteed top spot in Group 2
Ross O'Sullivan bags 3-9 as win over Limerick sends Cork to Munster minor semi-finals

Cork's Ross O’Sullivan celebrates with team-mate James Murray. Picture: Inpho/Ken Sutton

Cork 4-21

Limerick 2-14

Ross O’Sullivan scored 3-9 as Cork cruised into the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland Munster MHC thanks to a comprehensive victory over Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday night.

After beating Kerry in their opener last week, this result ensures that top spot in Group 2 cannot be taken from Paudie Murray’s side, who now enjoy two free weeks as Limerick face Kerry next week before the sides compete in the quarter-finals against the teams second and third in Group 1. Cork will have a home semi-final on May 3.

The young Rebels led throughout, having held a half-time advantage of 2-12 to 1-7, with Seán O’Donoghue and Ross O’Sullivan netting, while two goals in the third quarter from O’Sullivan put the outcome beyond doubt.

Cork steamed into the game with an unanswered four points in the opening six minutes, two each from Ross O’Sullivan and James Murray. While Pierce Connery eventually got Limerick off the mark, it looked like only being a brief interruption to the Rebel flow as O’Sullivan went close to a goal, denied by a Fionn O’Brien save, before landed the resultant 65.

Cork didn’t have long to wait for a green flag though as delivery from deep by centre-back Daniel Murnane found Seán O’Donoghue in the left corner and he cut in before rifling a shot past O’Brien.

O’Sullivan’s fourth made it 1-6 to 0-1 but Limerick did begin to claw their way back, with Pierce Connery best for them. After a Darren Collopy free brought them within three points, the same player capitalised on loose Cork defensive play to snaffle a goal and then a huge Bradley Moran free made it 1-7 to 1-4.

Cork boss Paudie Murray leaves the team huddle before Tuesday's Electric Ireland Munster MHC game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Inpho/Ken Sutton
Cork boss Paudie Murray leaves the team huddle before Tuesday's Electric Ireland Munster MHC game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Inpho/Ken Sutton

That was as close as Cork came to a wobble, however. They had moved five clear by the 25th minute, when Peter O’Shea found Murray, whose high ball in was well won by O’Sullivan, allowing him to find the net.

With the last four points of the half evenly shared, Cork held an eight-point interval advantage and their start to the second period matched their first-half opening as Ben Walsh, Adam O’Sullivan and Murray pointed before Ross O’Sullivan got his second goal, reacting well after Walsh’s dropping ball in broke for him.

Though Limerick replied with a point from Connery and a goal from Mark Field, Cork soon had a fourth goal, Ross O’Sullivan profiting from a fine pass from his namesake, and the number 13 added two more points before departing to an ovation in the 50th minute, with 3-6 of his tally scored from play.

Limerick’s Darren Collopy continued to take the fight to Cork in the closing stages, but the home side were good value for their 13-point winning margin.

Scorers for Cork: R O’Sullivan 3-9 (0-2f, 0-2 65), J Murray 0-4, S O’Donoghue 1-0, A O’Sullivan 0-3, T Wilk 0-2, D Murnane, B Walsh, J Casey 0-1 each.

Limerick: D Collopy 1-5 (0-2f), B Moran 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 65), P Connery 0-3, M Field 1-0, D Langan, C McMahon 0-1 each.

CORK: D O’Connell (Dromina); E Guinane (Valley Rovers), J O’Brien (Fermoy), T O’Leary Hayes (Midleton); S Ahern (Bandon), D Murnane (Carrigtwohill), M Woods (Valley Rovers); P O’Shea (Erin’s Own), B Walsh (Killeagh); A O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig), T Wilk (Cobh), J Casey (Youghal); R O’Sullivan (Na Piarsaigh), J Murray (Youghal), S O’Donoghue (St Catherine’s).

Subs: C Buckley (St Finbarr’s), for Ahern (44), E O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum) for Walsh (47), S Lynam (Glen Rovers) for O’Donoghue, D McCarthy (Killeagh) for R O’Sullivan (both 50), O Fitzgerald (St Catherine’s) for Murnane (53).

LIMERICK: F O’Brien; B Earls, S Fitzgibbon, J Daly; D Lyons, C Frawley, D Langan; F Fitzgerald, O Meany; P Connery, B Moran, M Field; T Hourigan, J Sheehan, D Collopy.

Subs: C McMahon for Moran (37), M O’Riordan for Sheehan, B Murnane for Lyons (both 42), P Mooney for Daly (46), S Hartigan for Hourigan (49).

Referee: J Donnellan (Clare).

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