Allianz HL D1: Limerick shoot down Cork

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A


Limerick picked up their first win of this year’s Allianz HL Division 1 Group A with a dominant performance against Cork at the LIT Gaelic Grounds tonight.

Having drawn with Tipperary and then lost to Galway and Waterford, there were small question-marks about the Munster, league and All-Ireland champions while Cork were unbeaten in their three games. However, a far more experienced Treaty side never trailed at any stage and enjoyed a ten-point half-time lead before a changed Cork side fared slightly better in the second half.

It wasn’t a vintage performance from John Kiely’s side, who had 20 wides in total – two of them in the opening minutes before they got on the scoresheet – but it was an encouraging sign, especially as the counties meet in the championship in Thurles in four weeks’ time.

After eight minutes at the Ennis Road, Limerick led by 0-6 to 0-1, with Cian Lynch laying the groundwork for a superb display with a pair of points while Aaron Gillane had the first of his ten points. Amazingly, though, Cork – limited to a long-range point from full-back Damien Cahalane before that – were level by the 12th minute.

Sean Twomey of Cork with Diarmaid Byrnes, 5, and Barry Nash of Limerick after the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 4 match between Limerick and Cork at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. 
Sean Twomey of Cork with Diarmaid Byrnes, 5, and Barry Nash of Limerick after the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 4 match between Limerick and Cork at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. 

They clawed back some of the deficit as Shane Kingston, returning from injury, and Conor Cahalane pointed, and then Cahalane was put through following a good move. Cork have shown more of an eye for goal this year – 14 in three games before this match – and he went for the net. While the ball came back off the crossbar, Jack O’Connor was in the right place to slot home the rebound for 0-6 to 1-3.

Parity was a fleeting and unique experience, however. Two fine Peter Casey points had Limerick back in front, with three more on the trot – including two from wing-back Colin Coughlan – leaving them in command at the water-break.

By half-time, they were 0-20 to 1-7 in front, with nine different scorers, while Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins had to save a kicked Conor Boylan goal attempt.

Cork called for the cavalry at the break, with Niall Cashman, Luke Meade and captain Patrick Horgan brought on, and Horgan, Robbie O’Flynn and O’Connor all had points in the opening five minutes of the second half though O’Connor’s should really have been a goal.

Limerick settled again, with Gillane and the outstanding Tom Morrissey pointing as well as man of the match Diarmaid Byrnes. It was 0-26 to 1-11 by the 52nd minute when Cork’s Shane Kingston had a goal effort which beat Barry Hennessy only for Richie English to clear off the line. While Cork did get a second goal through O’Connor soon after that and three Horgan frees brough them to within seven points, Limerick were never unduly troubled. Subs Cathal O’Neill and Adrian Breen had late points for them as they won by eight.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-10 (0-9 frees), Tom Morrissey, Cian Lynch 0-4 each, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-3 (0-1 free, 0-1 65), Cathal O’Neill, Colin Coughlan, Pat Ryan, Peter Casey 0-2 each, Barry Nash, William O’Donoghue, Darragh O’Donovan, Adrian Breen 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-9 (0-6 frees, 0-2 65), Jack O’Connor 2-1, Mark Coleman (frees), Declan Dalton (frees), Shane Kingston 0-2 each, Robbie O’Flynn, Damien Cahalane, Conor Cahalane 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Barry Hennessy; Richie English, Seán Finn, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Colin Coughlan; William O’Donoghue, Darragh O’Donovan; Tom Morrissey, Cian Lynch, Conor Boylan; Pat Ryan, Aaron Gillane, Peter Casey.

Subs: Jerome Boylan for Finn (49), Cathal O’Neill for Conor Boylan (55), Darren O’Connell for Ryan, Adrian Breen for Casey (both 59), Robbie Hanley for O’Donovan (65), Graeme Mulcahy for Gillane, Ronan Connolly for Hannon (both 67),

CORK: Patrick Collins; Niall O’Leary, Damien Cahalane, Seán O’Leary Hayes; Ger Millerick, Mark Coleman, Robert Downey; Billy Hennessy, Daire Connery; Conor Cahalane, Shane Kingston, Robbie O’Flynn; Tadgh Deasy, Declan Dalton, Jack O’Connor.

Subs: Niall Cashman for Downey, Luke Meade for Downey, Patrick Horgan for Dalton (all half-time), Shane Barrett for O’Flynn (49), Seán Twomey for Deasy (58), Alan Connolly for Kingston (67), Cormac O’Brien for D Cahalane (70).

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway).