Allianz Football League Division 2
Cork 6-18 Limerick 0-12
Had you been told a Cork team would rack up 6-18 in this Páirc Uí Chaoimh double-header, the smart money may well have been on the hurlers.
Instead, for the second time this season, Cork ripped one of their Munster rivals asunder with a goal-scoring blast.
This 24-point triple-scores demolition will mean more than the five goals they drilled into an understrength Kerry team just back from their holidays in a McGrath Cup opener.
Not only does this first home League win lay down a marker for a potential Munster semi-final rematch down the line, it means Cork can look up the table as winless Limerick are left needing a Houdini act to avoid relegation to Division 3.
Cork midfielders Ian Maguire and Colm O’Callaghan had goals inside the first 15 minutes while Seán Powter and Brian Hurley soon joined them as all four registered 1-1.
Chris Óg Jones (0-6) and Steven Sherlock (0-5) added 11 points but it was substitute Conor Corbett who stole the show in the second half, never missing an opportunity to impress as he scorched 2-1 onto the scoreboard.
A whopping 6-16 of Cork’s total came from open play.
The first major came in the ninth minute. Hurley played an enticing ball to Jones who skinned his marker and laid it across for Maguire to finish. 1-1 to no score.
Powter blazed just over the bar when in on goal four minutes later but Cork fans among the 7,347 double-header crowd only had to wait two more minutes for the next goal.
Ruairí Deane, an early substitute for Brian O’Driscoll, fed O’Callaghan to complete a devastating counter-attack.
Limerick replied to both early goals with back-to-back points to leave it 2-3 to 0-4. But Cork’s midfield dominance saw them land the next three, with Jones and O’Callaghan claiming high catches as Maguire, Sherlock, and Jones hit the target.
Daniel O’Mahony had a rare own point when palming the ball over to avert any danger of a goal.
At the other end, Eoghan McSweeney was fingertips away from gathering Hurley’s sumptuous pass for a third goal but it came in the 33rd minute, Mattie Taylor and Tommy Walsh bursting forward and providing for Powter to tidy home.
Cork finished with another 1-2 in stoppage time, McSweeney returning the favour with a pass for Hurley to blast home. Hurley and Taylor points stretched it out to 4-9 to 0-6 at half-time.
Ray Dempsey made three changes and although Killian Ryan teed up Brian Donovan to crack the crossbar within a minute, it couldn’t change the course of the game.
Two minutes later, Corbett latched onto a long ball and buried his first senior inter-county goal past Donal O’Sullivan.
When Sherlock added a free, it made it 5-11 to 0-6, the first 5-10 having all come from open play.
Cillian Fahy came forward to kick Limerick’s next three points but Jones had four in response, taking his tally to 0-6, while he forced a save from O’Sullivan. Deane tapped in the rebound only for it to be chalked off for a square ball.
Cork never let up as Sherlock hit the crossbar in the closing stages and O’Sullivan tipped over a dipping Corbett effort.
Corbett provided the final flourish, turning his man inside-out before drilling under O’Sullivan to complete a trouncing that will leave scars in the Limerick camp for some time to come.
Scorers for Cork: Conor Corbett 2-1; Chris Óg Jones 0-6; Steven Sherlock 0-5 (2f); Colm O’Callaghan, Ian Maguire, Seán Powter, Brian Hurley 1-1 each; Mattie Taylor, Eoghan McSweeney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: Cillian Fahy 0-3; Tony McCarthy, Iain Corbett, Colm McSweeney, James Naughton (f), Cian Sheehan, Brian Donovan, Hugh Bourke, Michael Donovan, Daniel O’Mahony (own point) 0-1 each.
CORK: Mícheál Aodh Martin; Maurice Shanley, Daniel O’Mahony, Tommy Walsh; Luke Fahy, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Colm O’Callaghan, Ian Maguire; Eoghan McSweeney, Seán Powter, Brian O’Driscoll; Brian Hurley, Chris Óg Jones, Steven Sherlock.
Subs: Ruairí Deane for O’Driscoll (5 inj), Conor Corbett for Hurley (h-t), Killian O’Hanlon for I Maguire (42), Cian Kiely for Fahy (48), Seán Meehan for Walsh (52), Kevin O’Donovan for Shanley (60), Mark Cronin for Powter (62).
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; David Connolly, Seán O’Dea, Brian Fanning; Tony McCarthy, Iain Corbett, Cillian Fahy; Colm McSweeney, Cathal Downes; Paul Maher, James Naughton, Cian Sheehan; Brian Donovan, Hugh Bourke, Gordon Brown. Subs: Jim Liston for McCarthy (26-28, blood), Michael Donovan for Connolly (h-t), Peter Nash for Maher (h-t), Killian Ryan for Brown (h-t), Adrian Enright for Donovan (50), Liston for Bourke (60).
Referee: Brendan Griffin (Kerry).