Limerick reduce losing margin by 20 but still fall short against Cork
Alan Cadogan gets first and last score of the game in Munster senior hurling league final
Cork manager Kieran Kingston and selector Diarmuid O’Sullivan on the sideline during Sunday’s encounter. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Limerick 1-20 Cork 1-21
Alan Cadogan inspired his Cork team to victory in an entertaining Munster senior hurling league final at the Gaelic Grounds.
He had the opening point of the game inside a minute, but far more significant was his winning goal - the last score of the game - four minutes into added time.
In an encounter watched by 2, 372, both managers will come away reasonably happy. When the sides met at the same venue two weeks ago Cork had a whopping 21 points winning margin, but on this occasion Limerick almost came away the victors.
Cork settled quickest and had the opening three points through Alan Cadogan, Shane Kingston and Conor Lehane. Six minutes had elapsed before Peter Casey had Limerick’s first point.
The Limerick half forwards then combined well to create a goalscoring opportunity for David Dempsey, who obliged.
From the 10 minute mark to halftime it was nip and tuck - the sides were level on six occasions in that exciting first period. Six Limerick players got on the scoresheet, with Peter Casey proving the main score-getter. His Limerick team went in at the break in front by 1-11 to 0-12.
The deficit would have been greater but for a superb save by Cork’s Anthony Nash from a Kyle Hayes shot after 29 minutes.
Cork made three substitutions for the second half but it was Limerick’s Diarmuid Byrnes who had the first point of the half. Horgan and Byrnes exchanged frees as Limerick built up a 1-16 to 0-15 lead.
Cork though entered a purple patch on the 50 minute mark - scoring five points in six minutes without reply. That had them level again inside the last 10 minutes.
But Limerick responded well and were two ahead before Cadogan struck late on. The diminutive corner forward turned two defenders, after superbly collecting a crossfield ball from Seamus Harnedy, before dispatching to the back of the net.
While Cadogan was the match winner, Cork also had Pat Horgan keeping the scoreboard ticking and he finished with nine points, six from frees.
Peter Casey top scored for Limerick with seven points, six frees.
For his team, this much improved performance will help to erase memories of that previous drubbing and restore some confidence ahead of their league campaign. Early season bragging rights in Munster however go to Cork.
Limerick: N Quaid; S Cahill, R McCarthy, M Casey; D Byrnes 0-4 (3f), D Hannon, G OMahony; P Browne, J Ryan; G Hegarty 0-1, D Dempsey 1-3, K Hayes 0-1; P Casey 0-7 (6f), B Nash 0-1, G Mulcahy 0-3. Subs C Lynch for Ryan (59), K O’Brien for Hayes (67), S Tobin for Mulcahy (74).
Cork: A Nash; S McDonnell, C Spillane, D Cahalane; M Ellis, C Joyce, M Coleman 0-1 ;L McLoughlin, D Kearney 0-1; C Lehane 0-3, L Meade, S Kingston 0-3; A Cadogan 1-2, P Horgan 0-9 (6f), D Fitzgibbon. Subs D Griffin for D Cahilane h-t, K Burke for Spillane h-t, D Brosnan 0-1 for McLoughlin (ht), S Harnedy 0-1 for Fitzgibbon (58),C O’Sullivan for McDonnell (70).
Referee: P Kelly, Tipperary.