LIMERICK’S unbeaten run in the Munster minor hurling championship came to an end this Wednesday night when losing to Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn.
The final score was Limerick 1-13 Cork 2-20.
But Leo O’Connor’s teenagers can still retain their provincial crown as they now play Waterford in the backdoor series on May 6 with the ambition to reach a July 1 semi final against Cork once again.
Limerick dominated the opening half but faded in the second half.
Limerick set the pace from the opening whistle with great pace and intensity.
After eight minutes Limerick were 0-4 to 0-1 clear with two man full forward line of Seamus Flanagan and Barry Murphy causing all sorts of trouble for Cork.
Flanagan had the first two points from frees before Murphy and Peter Casey got on the scoresheet.
Then in the 11th minute Flanagan scored the first goal for Limerick. He collected from a Darragh Carroll lineball and showed great strength to hold off the challenges before crashing to the net.
Thet had the Shannonsiders 1-4 to 0-1 ahead.
But Cork soon found their feet, led by Shane Kingston.
On 20-minutes it was 1-7 to 0-4 with Murphy and Kyle Hayes scoring for Limerick.
When Murphy and Flanagan (free) increased the Limerick lead it was 1-9 to 0-5 with 27-minutes gone in Pairc Ui Rinn.
But Cork hit a goal before the interval.
Eoghan McNamara had done brilliantly to save twice in succession but the third time round he was powerless to stop Tim O’Mahony from getting a tonic goal for Cork.
So at half time it was Limerick 1-9 Cork 1-6 after a half that saw Cork hit seven wides and Limerick just two.
The goal before half time was to inspire Cork to greater heights.
In the opening exchanges of the second half they matched the Limerick intensity and found some forward momentum.
Five successive points had Cork in front, 1-11 to 1-9.
Finally in the 10th minute of the half, Barry Murphy had Limerick back on the scoresheet.
But then Kingston hit the second Cork goal in the 43rd minute to open a 2-12 to 1-10 lead.
Peter Casey and sub Willie O’Meara had fine Limerick points but accuracy was letting them down with six second half wides.
But Limerick were to score just four second half points as Cork dominated throughout.
SCORERS: Limerick: Seamus Flanagan 1-4 (0-4frees), Barry Murphy 0-5, Peter Casey 0-2, Kyle Hayes and Willie O’Meara 0-1 each. Cork: Shane Kingston 1-9 (0-5frees), Tim O’Mahony 1-3, John Looney, Declan Dalton (1free, 1 ‘65), Michael O’Halloran 0-2 each, Billy Dunn and Ciaran Cormack 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Eoghan McNamama (Doon); Micheal Bourke (Garryspillane), Conor McSweeney (South Liberties), Jack O’Grady (Knockainey); Colum Carroll (Ahane), Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock), Conor Byrnes (Murroe-Boher); Thomas Hayes (Doon), Ciaran O’Connor (Kilmallock); Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh); Barry Murphy (Doon). Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), Darragh Carroll (Kilteely-Dromkeen). Subs: Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Colum Carroll (43mins), William O’Meara (Askeaton) for Thomas Hayes (42mins), David Hannon (Pallasgreen) for Darragh Carroll (52mins), Paudie Ahern (Killeedy) for Kyle Hayes (56mins), Cian Magner Flynn (Killeedy) for Ciaran O’Connor (58mins).
CORK: Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neills); Seadnaidh Smyth (Midleton), David Griffin (Carrigaline), Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons); Mark Coleman (Blarney), Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields), David Lowney (Clonakilty); Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville); Tim O’Mahony (Shandrum), Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own), Shane Kingston (Douglas); Billy Dunne (Fr O’Neills), Ciaran Cormack (Blackrock), Michael O’Halloran (Blackrock). Subs: Danny Gunning (Na Piarsaigh) for Robbie O’Flynn (h-t), John Looney (Aghada) for Billy Dunne (43mins).
REFEREE: Rory McGann (Clare).