Cork cruise after early huff and puff

 

IT was all a little inevitable, really. Cork may have huffed and puffed their way through the opening exchanges but when the real business needed to be done the defending champions showed no sympathy to Limerick in the Munster senior football championship first round game at Kilmallock last night.

Easy? certainly in the end as Cork turned the whole affair into a simple target practice session.

However, there were plenty of scares for them to endure in the first half as Limerick belied their underdogs tag and made gallant attempts to inflict a giant killing act on the 4 to 1 All Ireland favourites.

But Limerick's heart and spirit were not enough to cope with Cork's undoubted class and the home side's limitations were truly exposed in the second half when, after trailing by just one point at the interval - 1-6 to 1-5 - they managed just a solitary point thereafter and were swept aside in a tidal wave of red shirts.

Such was Cork's arrogance in the finish that their supporters in the 3,000 crowd started to, head for the exits with 10 minutes remaining and centre half back Brian Corcoran could roam forward to land two points, one with either foot.

In fairness, Limerick gave as good as they got in the opening half buoyed up by a fifth minute goal from full forward Christy McGill who fisted home Timmy Cummin's free.

Indeed, Cork's solitary first half goal came from Colm Corkery in the 29th minute after Mark O'Sullivan had been fouled. Corkery, who had been out of sorts, subsequently left the field with a suspected groin strain.

In the first half, Limerick wing back John Stokes and John Donovan had acted as extra attackers to set up the Limerick forwards. But it all fell assunder for Limerick after the break.

Some stern half time words from Cork manager Billy Morgan gave Cork the inspiration they needed, and within two minutes of the restart Mark O'Sullivan slotted home Cork's second goal after receiving a pass from John O'Driscoll.

And it was all one way traffic after that. An indication of Limerick's ineptitude was that their only score of the second half did not come until nine minutes from the end.

By that stage Cork, with points from Corcoran, Joe Kavanagh (who scored five points from play) O'Driscoll and Mark O'Sullivan had romped clear and set up a semi final engagement with Clare on June 23rd.

. Laois hurling manager Babs Keating must be a worried man following his side's comprehensive 1-13 to 9-6 defeat to Wexford in a disappointing Walsh Cup final at Wexford Park on Saturday.