Allianz Hurling League Division One Group A
LIMERICK 0-29 CORK 2-21
By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Chaoimh via gaa.ie
Limerick secured their spot in the knockout stages of Division 1 of the Allianz Hurling League as they finished strongly to see off Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.
Leading by 0-17 to 0-11 at half-time, the Shannonsiders were met by a strong Cork comeback in the second half and Patrick Horgan’s 66th-minute point – his 17th of the game – made it 2-21 to 0-26 for the Rebels.
However, they wouldn’t score again and points from Kyle Hayes, Diarmaid Byrnes and a 13th from Aaron Gillane gave them the victory, their third in three outings this year.
John Kiely’s side probably deserved the win on balance, but Cork can at least take comfort from their second-period response, as goals from Shane Kingston and Aidan Walsh brought them back into it. While they have two wins from four, they have the consolation of having outgoaled their opponents in each outing so far.
A point from Cian Lynch inside 25 seconds had Limerick off to a fine start and Aaron Gillane’s free doubled that lead. While Cork levelled through a pair of Patrick Horgan frees, they never led at any stage in the opening half.
After William O’Donoghue set up Séamus Flanagan for a fine Limerick point and Gillane made it 0-4 to 0-2, Cork did respond again thanks to Shane Kingston and a close-range Horgan free, but Limerick were to have eight of the next ten scores.
Lynch, Flanagan, Gillane and O’Donoghue were all on target for the Shannonsiders to make it 0-8 to 0-4, with Diarmaid Byrnes and Gearóid Hegarty impressing. Horgan sent over another, followed by his fifth point in the 15th minute, but they struggled to find scores from alternative sources.
Limerick continued to display excellent accuracy with Darragh O’Donovan, Paddy O’Loughlin and David Dempsey bringing their tally of scorers to seven, and the scoreline 0-11 to 0-6, before they registered a wide.
Even after that first errant effort, O’Donovan put five between the teams and, while Cork’s Declan Dalton put over a sideline cut, Kyle Hayes almost set up Flanagan for an easy goal chance, with Tim O’Mahony making a vital interception in the Cork goalmouth.
Horgan and Dalton kept Cork in touch, but between the 28th and 34th minutes four Gillane frees opened up an eight-point advantage for the visitors.
That was reduced slightly by half-time, two more Horgan frees for Cork, and he had another on the resumption to leave five in it, 0-17 to 0-12.
While Darragh O’Donovan replied with his third, Cork harnessed some momentum and were back to within four when Bill Cooper’s pass allowed Shane Kingston to cut through the Limerick cover and fire home in the 45th minute.
Gearóid Hegarty gave Limerick breathing space again but Cork were level thanks to two Horgan points. They went ahead for the first time on 53, sub Walsh reacting well to send a shot to the net after a Horgan free broke.
Gillane’s 10th and 11th points brought Limerick to a point, Horgan’s 15th pushed Cork ahead again, but Hayes and sub Tom Morrissey levelled it, 2-19 to 0-25, with nine minutes left. Horgan put Cork ahead again and did the same when Gillane got his 12th, but the Treatymen drove on from there.
Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-13 (11fs), Darragh O’Donovan 0-3, Kyle Hayes, Paddy O’Loughlin, Séamus Flanagan, Cian Lynch 0-2 each, Gearóid Hegarty, William O’Donoghue, David Dempsey, Tom Morrissey, Diarmaid Byrnes (65) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-17 (15fs, 1 65), Shane Kingston 1-1, Aidan Walsh 1-0, Declan Dalton (1 sideline) 0-2, Bill Cooper 0-1.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Seán Finn, Mike Casey, Aaron Costello; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Paddy O’Loughlin; Cian Lynch, William O’Donoghue; Kyle Hayes, Gearóid Hegarty, Darragh O’Donovan; David Dempsey, Aaron Gillane, Séamus Flanagan.
Subs: Tom Morrissey for Hegarty, Graeme Mulcahy for Dempsey (both 56), David Reidy for Lynch (60), Barry Nash for O’Loughlin (64), Darren O’Connell for Flanagan (67).
CORK: Patrick Collins; Eoin Cadogan, Colm Spillane, Seán O’Leary Hayes; Mark Coleman, Robert Downey, Tim O’Mahony; Bill Cooper, Darragh Fitzgibbon; Robbie O’Flynn, Séamus Harnedy, Luke Meade; Declan Dalton, Patrick Horgan, Shane Kingston.
Subs: Aidan Walsh for Meade (half-time), Conor Lehane for Dalton (57), Christopher Joyce for O’Mahony (66), Conor Cahalane for O’Flynn (70).
REFEREE: Seán Cleere (Kilkenny).