Munster SFC: Cork advance to decider
Munster Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
CORK 3-18 LIMERICK 0-6
By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Rinn
Cork will play Kerry in the Munster SFC final after Ronan McCarthy’s side dominated throughout their provincial semi-final against Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Three goals in the first 14 minutes, two by Brian Hurley with Ruairí Deane also netting, ensured that the Rebels were put in a commanding position and they enjoyed a 3-8 to 0-2 half-time lead. While the second half lacked the same high tempo that Cork had shown in the opening period, they nevertheless kept the scoreboard ticking over to ensure their place in the decider in three weeks’ time.
With Limerick having beaten Tipperary by seven points in the quarter-final, Cork would have guarded against complacency and targeted a fast start. So it proved, but the Treatymen will rue a goal chance inside the first minute which went begging.
When midfielder Tommie Childs drove forward from the throw-in, he found Seán McSweeney. The corner-forward’s low shot struck the post and then rebounded off the back of Cork goalkeeper Mark White but ball looped up off the crossbar.
The visitors wouldn’t get any more chances to seize the upper hand and Cork took the lead with a free from Mark Collins – the first of nine points for him – before Brian Hurley found the net with a good low finish following Ruairí Deane’s pass.
That was in the fourth minute and the same partnership combined a minute later for a second goal to put Cork in firm control.
The lead stood at 2-4 to 0-0 before Deane added another goal, well set-up by debutant Eoghan McSweeney, who finished with three points. While Cork did endured 12 minutes without a score – including a missed penalty as Hurley’s effort struck the post – and Limerick got off the mark with a pair of Séamus O’Carroll points, the 15-point interval advantage remained healthy.
Three more Collins points on the resumption extended the advantage and Cork continued to add to their tally, with Ian Maguire, Matthew Taylor and sub Stephen Sherlock all scoring. Limerick goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan kicked three second-half points from long-range dead balls, but Cork finished well to enjoy a 21-point advantage at the end.
Scorers for Cork: Mark Collins 0-9 (5fs), Brian Hurley 2-0, Ruairí Deane 1-0, Eoghan McSweeney 0-3, Matthew Taylor 0-2, Paul Kerrigan, Ian Maguire, Stephen Sherlock, John O’Rourke 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan 0-3 (2 45s, 1f), Séamus O’Carroll 0-2, Jamie Lee 0-1 (f).
CORK: Mark White; Nathan Walsh, James Loughrey, Kevin Flahive; Liam O’Donovan, Thomas Clancy, Matthew Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O’Hanlon; Eoghan McSweeney, Ruairí Deane, Paul Kerrigan; John O’Rourke, Brian Hurley, Mark Collins.
Subs: Aidan Browne for Loughrey (39), Stephen Sherlock for Hurley (45), Luke Connolly for O’Rourke (46), Kevin O’Driscoll for Deane (52), Kevin O’Donovan for Clancy (57), Ronan O’Toole for Maguire (61).
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; Brian Fleming, Seán O’Dea, Colm McSweeney; Paul Maher, Iain Corbett, Gordon Brown; Darragh Treacy, Tommie Childs; Michael Fitzgibbon, Cillian Fahy, Adrian Enright; Seán McSweeney, Séamus O’Carroll, Jamie Lee.
Subs: Peter Nash for Enright, James Naughton for McSweeney, Tony McCarthy for Brown (all HT), Pádraig de Brún for Fahy (45), Gareth Noonan for McSweeney, Ronan Lynch for Fitzgibbon (both 56).
REFEREE: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).