Dowling ensures 14-man Limerick earn a deserved reward

Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy left frustrated at inability to maximise use of extra man

Cork’s Mark Ellis feels the effects of a collision against a Limerick player during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B clash at  Páirc Uí Rinn in Cork. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho   ,

Cork’s Mark Ellis feels the effects of a collision against a Limerick player during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B clash at Páirc Uí Rinn in Cork. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho ,


Cork 0-17 Limerick 0-17

Limerick showed why they’re proud Munster champions after a courageous fight-back helped them to a deserved draw in a pulsating game at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.

They recovered from Cork’s whirlwind start, falling six points down early on, and the straight red card of corner-forward Graeme Mulcahy 10 minutes from the interval to claim an important point in the chase for the lone promotion spot from division one B.

The closing stages were both hectic and eventful. Limerick restored parity for the first time with the second of Paudie O’Brien’s points from wing-back to make it 0-13 apiece with seven minutes remaining.

Cork edged two clear with points from substitute Alan Cadogan and Stephen Moylan, whose effort had to be ratified by a linesman after the umpires hesitated before waving wide.

Back came Limerick to draw level on the third occasion through Shane Dowling’s nerveless sharp-shooting from placed balls, 0-16 each one minute into injury time.

Cork substitute Michael O’Sullivan thought he had bagged a brilliant winner from way out on the left touchline in the next attack, but there was still time for Dowling to tie it up once more from a contentious free.

Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy queried that call and didn’t hide his disappointment at the result. “We had an extra man for so long, but didn’t use him. In fairness to Limerick they seemed to want it more than we did in the second half and on the balance of play they deserved a draw.”

In front of a 7,000 crowd the home side roared out of the blocks as Patrick Horgan, Conor Lehane and Cian McCarthy fired early points.

They raced 0-8 to 0-2 clear after just 12 minutes, but Cork couldn’t sustain it, adding only one point in the rest of the half as Limerick steadied thanks to influential centre-back Wayne McNamara and midfielder Paul Browne.

In a game of very few goal-scoring opportunities Moylan missed the most clear-cut chance in the 23rd minute, his rasping shot clearing the crossbar when he was one-on-one with keeper Nicky Quaid to shove Cork five in front, when it should have been seven.

Then came Mulcahy’s dismissal following an off-the-ball clash with corner-back Killian Murphy, who required treatment before resuming, as Cork led by 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.

Injuries in attack upset Cork on the resumption as Lehane and Aidan Walsh limped off and substitute Luke O’Farrell lasted a mere four minutes before hobbling off too.

Limerick, though, were battening down the hatches. McNamara’s towering presence inspired O’Brien and Gavin O’Mahony in a half-back line that asserted its authority, helped, too by Browne’s energy at midfield.

Despite the extra man Cork simply couldn’t pull away.
CORK: A Nash; S White, S O’Neill, K Murphy; M Ellis, C Joyce, W Egan; D Kearney, L McLoughlin; R O’Shea, C McCarthy (0-2), A Walsh; S Moylan (0-2), C Lehane (0-2), P Horgan (0-8, three frees). Subs: A Cadogan (0-2) for Lehane (inj, 39 mins), M Cahalane for Walsh (inj 46 mins), L O’Farrell for McCarthy (53 mins), M O’Sullivan (0-1) for O’Farrell (inj 57 mins), P Haughney for Kearney (63 mins).
LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon; P O’Brien (0-2), W McNamara, G O’Mahony; P Browne (0-3), D O’Grady, captain; T Ryan, J Ryan, C Allis (0-1); G Mulcahy, S Dowling (0-11, eight frees, two ‘65s), S Tobin. Sub: K Downes for T Ryan (47 mins).
Referee: J Owens (Wexford)