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Diarmaid Byrnes of Limerick in action against Conor Lehane, left, and Séamus Harnedy of Cork during the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League Final match between Limerick and Cork at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Diarmaid Byrnes of Limerick in action against Conor Lehane, left, and Séamus Harnedy of Cork during the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League Final match between Limerick and Cork at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

Limerick win Co-Op Superstores Munster League in style


Co-Op Superstores Munster League Final

LIMERICK 1-32 CORK 0-20

By Declan at the Gaelic Grounds

Limerick turned on the style in the second-half as David Reidy’s 11 points saw them crowned Co-Op Superstores Munster league champions in front of 5,295 at the Gaelic Grounds.

Cork were well in this game as they recovered from a sluggish second quarter to only trail by three point at half time, but with Graeme Mulcahy and David Dempsey on song after the restart Limerick clinched a second Munster league win in three years.

Against Clare last weekend Limerick scorched out of the blocks into an early eight-point lead, but it was Cork that dominated the early stages in this clash.

Dempsey did score the first point of the game for Limerick after 45 seconds, but the next five all went Cork’s way, with Conor Lehane and Sean Twomey starting their run. Lehane added his second from the right sideline after three minutes, while Jack O’Connor and Chris O’Leary also split the posts.

Aaron Gillane was a late inclusion in the Limerick team and he joined Cian Lynch in making his first start of the season, and after Dempsey pointed, Lynch landed a good point following a Graeme Mulcahy block.

Limerick’s shoot-on-sight policy produced nine wides in the opening half, but in that time they also claimed one of the game’s key scores. With Lynch cleaning up at the back, Diarmuid Byrne’s delivered a long ball into Gillane and after a good high catch he hit the net from close range for a 1-3 to 0-5 lead in the 11th minute.

After David Reidy’s point put Limerick two clear, Cork hit back well with three in a row to take the lead: Aidan Walsh and Brian Turnbull registered their first points in that flurry.

Two Reidy frees and points from wing backs Barry Nash and Byrnes put Limerick in control by the 25th minute, and although Lehane and Seamus Harnedy scored for Cork, Tom Morrissey and Gillane points meant they led by 1-14 to 0-14 at the interval.

Patrick Horgan was introduced at half time as Cork sought to lift their challenge but they could only go point for point as Reidy kept Limerick’s tally mounting.

Reidy scored three in a row for his side, including a well constructed score by Dempsey, which put Limerick five clear.

Byrnes added to that advantage in the 45th minute, while two more Reidy frees and a Darragh O’Donovan effort put Limerick nine clear before a Horgan free finally stopped the run of green scores.

But there was no catching Limerick from there and Kiely’s side warmed up nicely for their NFL opener against Tipperary in a fortnight’s time.

Scorers for Limerick: David Reidy 0-11 (8f), Graeme Mulcahy 0-5, David Dempsey 0-5, Aaron Gillane 1-1, Tom Morrissey 0-2, Barry Nash 0-2, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-2 (1f), Cian Lynch 0-1, Darragh O’Donovan 0-1, Robbie Hanley 0-1, Gearoid Hegarty 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: Conor Lehane 0-5 (3f), Sean Twomey 0-3, Seamus Harnedy 0-3, Chris O’Leary 0-3 (3f), Jack O’Connor 0-2, Aidan Walsh 0-2, Patrick Horgan 0-1 (1f), Brian Turnbull 0-1,

LIMERICK: Barry Hennessy; Tom Condon, Richie English, Aaron Costello; Diarmuid Byrnes, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Robbie Hanley, Cian Lynch (c); Darragh O’Donovan, Tom Morrissey, David Dempsey; Graeme Mulcahy, David Reidy, Aaron Gillane. Subs: Sean Finn for Costello (45), Gearoid Hegarty for T Morrissey (45), Mark Quinlan for Gillane (55), Brian O’Grady for Condon (60), Jerome Boylan for English (65).

CORK: Patrick Collins; Colm Spillane, Eoin Cadogan, Sean O’Donoghue; Chris O’Leary, Bill Cooper, Damian Cahalane; Ryan Walsh, Aidan Walsh; Conor Lehane, Luke Meade, Sean Twomey; Jack O’Connor, Seamus Harnedy, Brian Turnbull. Subs: Shane O’Regan for O’Connor (half-time), Patrick Horgan for R Walsh (half-time), Robert Downey for Meade (54), Daithi O’Connell for Twomey (69), James Keating for Spillane (70+2).

Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).

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