Paul Kerrigan leads way as Cork see off Limerick challenge

Skipper scores 1-3 while Peter Kelleher marks first championship start with goal

Cork 2-12 Limerick 0-10

Captain Paul Kerrigan led by example as Cork scored an eight-point victory over Limerick in this afternoon's All-Ireland SFC round 2B qualifier in Thurles.

The Rebels cruised to a comfortable win at Semple Stadium as Kerrigan collected 1-3, including a stoppage-time goal.

Mark Collins was another to impress with five points from play while young full forward Peter Kelleher marked his first senior championship start with a first-half goal.


In truth, Limerick were poor and while better opposition would have troubled Cork, manager Peadar Healy will be happy to have cleared this hurdle.

Cork suffered a shock Munster SFC semi-final defeat against Tipperary but are in the hat for the next round of qualifiers.

They’ll have to improve but there were encouraging aspects to emerge as experienced midfielder Alan O’Connor produced a solid shift on his return to the team.

O'Connor missed the last year through injury but he formed a useful pairing with young Ian Maguire in the centre of the park.

The pair provided a platform for Cork’s inside men to profit and at half-time, Healy’s charges were 1-6 to 0-4 clear.

Kelleher scored the 14th minute goal but Cork could have had at least one more.

Colm O’Neill saw a fifth-minute penalty saved by Donal O’Sullivan, Kelleher palmed an effort off the bar and Kerrigan blazed wide.

Limerick went 17 minutes without a score following their opening point and that allowed Cork to build up a match-winning lead, as they moved 1-5 to 0-1 clear.

The second half was forgettable stuff as Cork comfortably kept Limerick at arm’s length, with Kerrigan putting the seal on it late on.

Like in the first half, Cork could have had more goals after the break but Collins struck a deceptive effort off the bar when it looked like he was shooting for a point, while Kelleher was denied by O’Sullivan’s smart point-blank save.

CORK: R Price; C O'Driscoll, E Cadogan, N Galvin; T Clancy, J Loughrey, B O'Driscoll; A O'Connor, I Maguire; P Kerrigan (1-3), M Collins (0-5), K O'Driscoll; C O'Neill (0-1f), P Kelleher (1-0), L Connolly (0-1f).

Subs: S Powter for B O'Driscoll (h/t), D Goulding for O'Neill (46 mins), J O'Rourke (0-1) for Connolly (49 mins), R Deane for O'Connor (60 mins), M Hurley (0-1) for K O'Driscoll (65 mins), P Kelly for Kelleher (68 mins).

LIMERICK: D O'Sullivan; P Browne, S Cahill, J McCarthy; P Ranahan, S O'Dea, B Fanning; S Buckley (0-1), D Treacy (0-2); G Noonan, P Nash, T Childs; H Bourke, I Ryan (0-4, three frees), S McSweeney (0-1, free).

Subs: I Corbett (0-2) for Childs (27 mins), E Hogan for McSweeney (47 mins), P White for Ranahan (52 mins), P Scanlan for Bourke (55 mins), J Naughton for Nash (63 mins), K Ryan for O'Dea (69 mins).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).