Limerick stun Cork in McGrath Cup Final
McGrath Cup Final
LIMERICK 0-20 CORK 0-16
By Declan Rooney at the LIT Gaelic Grounds
Danny Neville led from the front as Limerick stunned Cork to claim their first McGrath Cup Final victory since 2005.
Neville was unstoppable for the home side at the Gaelic Grounds and kicked seven points for his side, while Cork were never able to close the gap to less than two points despite a strong showing in the second period.
After winning the toss and electing to play with a light wind behind them Limerick got off to a bright start at the LIT Gaelic Grounds when Seamus O’Carroll pointed after 17 seconds.
Cork started with four of last year’s successful U-20 All-Ireland team, and one of those graduates Damien Gore found the target on the turn to level matters inside the first minute. He added his second four minutes later, a sweet score from the right corner to give Cork the lead, while another of last year’s underage heroes Cathail O’Mahony also found his range a few minutes later.
Gore and O’Mahony operated inside on their own for the most part with Michael Hurley handed more of a roaming job, but it was at the other end that the game’s brightest forward was on patrol. Danny Neville gave Aidan Browne plenty of problems in that first half before Sam Ryan was switched on to him, and the three points he managed by the interval did a lot to give the home side the advantage.
Neville’s first score levelled the game in the eighth minute, while a Jamie Lee free and Tommy Griffin point following Brian Fanning’s excellent turnover, saw Limerick open out a two-point lead.
Cork trimmed that lead back to a point when O’Mahony set up Thomas Clancy with a lovely crossfield pass, but another three unanswered points underlined Limerick’s dominance and they led 0-9 to 0-5 with half-time approaching.
A fisted score by Cillian Fahy briefly put Limerick five points clear in added-time, but just before the interval a pull down by Paul Maher on Mattie Taylor earned the Limerick man a black card and a sin binning, and O’Mahony pointed the free to leave it 0-12 to 0-8 at half-time.
Hurley was replaced by Cork at half time, a move that saw Ciaran Sheehan switched into full forward and inside a minute he trimmed the deficit with a good score. Corbett’s second point was quickly cancelled out by Gore to put a goal between the sides.
A foul on Neville ensured Limerick led by four by the time they were back to 15 players, and the Limerick forward restored their five-point lead following his offensive mark after 46 minutes.
That lead was out to six moments later when Neville added a second point from a mark, but Cork responded well with a couple of quick scores from substitute Brian Hurley a good effort from Clancy.
Cork kicked their four point in a row as another sub Killian O’Halloran drilled over a score to make it 0-16 to 0-14, but a foul on Neville at the other end saw Lee put three between the sides with 11 minutes remaining.
O’Mahony and Sean White kept Cork in touch in the closing stages, but Lee’s fourth point five minutes from the end sealed victory for Limerick.
*Scorers for Limerick: *Danny Neville 0-7 (0-2 marks), Jamie Lee 0-4 (3f), Seamus O’Carroll 0-2, Iain Corbett 0-2, Cillian Fahy 0-1, Tommy Griffin 0-1, Adrian Enright 0-1, Robert Childs 0-1, Michael Donovan 0-1
Scorers for Cork: Damien Gore 0-3, Cathail O’Mahony 0-3 (2f), Brian Hurley 0-2 (1f), Ciaran Sheehan 0-2, Thomas Clancy 0-2, Tadhg Corkery 0-1, Cian Kiely 0-1, Killian O’Halloran 0-1, Sean White 0-1
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; Paul Maher, Brian Fanning, Michael Donovan; Tony McCarthy, Iain Corbett (c), Robert Childs; Tommy Griffin, Adrian Enright; Pádraig De Brún, Cillian Fahy, Seamus O’Carroll; Jamie Lee, Danny Neville, Patrick Begley. *Subs: *Gerard Stack for Begley (49), Ryan Glynn for Griffin (53), James Naughton for De Brún (56), Padraig Scanlon for Lee (65), Davy Lyons for Enright (67).
CORK: Anthony Casey; Sam Ryan Aidan Browne, Paul Ring; Kevin Crowley, Sean Meehan, Cian Kiely; Ian Maguire, Thomas Clancy; Mattie Taylor, Ciaran Sheehan, Tadhg Corkery; Damien Gore, Cathail O’Mahony, Michael Hurley. *Subs: *Sean White for Hurley (half-time), Brian Hurley for Sheehan (48), Killian O’Halloran for Clancy (50), John O’Rourke for Gore (54), Shane Forde for Corkery (54),
Referee: Brendan Griffin (Kerry).