Brian Hurley, Cork, and Brian Fanning, Limerick, in All Ireland SFC Round Two action at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Brian Hurley, Cork, and Brian Fanning, Limerick, in All Ireland SFC Round Two action at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

All Ireland SFC R2: Cork defeat Limerick

All Ireland SFC Round Two

Cork 2-18 Limerick 1-16

Ultimately Cork did what was required to eke out a win earning an All Ireland SFC quarter-final berth.

John Cleary's outfit enjoyed some encouraging moments at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and were sufficiently durable to deal with a Limerick second half burst.

The fact that Cork substitute Paul Walsh was sent off in the closing stages offered another test, but Cork were able to find the answers.

Initially Steven Sherlock's accuracy was a critical factor as six opening period points from the St Finbarr's clubman ensured the locals led 0-8 to 0-7 at the interval.

After the restart it remained hard fought as Hugh Bourke levelled from a free for Limerick.

Cork edged 0-10 to 0-9 ahead and then Limerick's Gordon Brown was black carded before Bourke restored parity again.

Eoghan McSweeney and Brian Hurley landed vital points and then Cathail O'Mahony planted a 50th minute major for Cork. It was a critical moment.

John O'Rourke and Sherlock added further points for Cork, but Limerick summoned a response.

Brian Donovan netted a goal for Limerick, who narrowed the gap to two with Walsh subsequently sent off.

Cork, though, remained cool with Hurley converting a penalty with ice cool precision following a foul on Kevin O'Donovan. Limerick, who had such a productive 2022 campaign, just couldn't recover on this occasion.

Scorers for Cork: Steven Sherlock 0-8 (5fs, 145), Brian Hurley 1-2 (1-0 pen), Cathail O’Mahony 1-0, John O’Rourke 0-3, Eoghan McSweeney 0-2, Kevin O’Donovan, Colm O’Callaghan, and Damien Gore 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: Hugh Bourke 0-5 (4fs), Adrian Enright 0-4, Brian Donovan 1-0, Josh Ryan and Gordon Brown 0-2 each, Cian Sheehan, Robbie Burke, and James Naughton 0-1 each.

Cork: Micheal Martin; Seán Powter, Maurice Shanley, Kevin O'Donovan; John Cooper, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Colm O'Callaghan; Eoghan McSweeney, John O'Rourke, Daniel Dineen; Steven Sherlock, Brian Hurley, Cathail O'Mahony.

Subs: Jack Cahalane for Dineen (53), Paul Walsh for McSweeney (60), Cian Kiely for Sherlock (68).

Limerick: Donal O'Sullivan; Seán O'Dea, Brian Fanning, Jim Liston; Cian Sheehan, Iain Corbett, Gordon Brown; Darragh Treacy, Cillian Fahy; Adrian Enright, Brian Donovan, Pádraig De Brún; Peter Nash, Robbie Burke, Hugh Bourke.

Subs: James Naughton for De Brún (HT), Josh Ryan for Nash (56), Paul Maher for Brown (56), Michael Donovan for Liston (56), Killian Ryan for Burke (66).

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).