Limerick junior football manager Diarmuid Sheehy found it difficult to conceal his disappointment after his side were overcome in the final minutes of Sunday’s Munster semi-final against Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn.
Limerick were beaten by 0-16 to 0-13 after pushing the favourites close all the way through.
“Another of those hard luck stories. We were very close, competitive throughout the game, just got punished by a few turnovers.”
Limerick’s all action performance put it up to the overwhelming favourites but he said it came at a price. “It was a very warm day. We were playing direct football, causing them problems. But it sapped the energy levels. Cork seemed to have that extra gear in the last few minutes.”
Level at the break, Limerick supporters might have been pleased but the Cappamore man felt the scoreboard could have been better. “Maybe we should have had a point or two extra in the first half and we seemed to wilt in the last few minutes of it when they came back into the game. Otherwise than that, we played well before half-time.
Even though Cork shot 13 wides to Limerick’s four, he felt that Limerick had missed a few opportunities. “We’d a few frees that drifted a bit and you have to take all those opportunities.”
And the big break never came. “Just couldn’t get a goal. We had one or two opportunities in the first half and another in the second half. If we had taken one of them, it would have made the difference. But it was one of those games where there was never more than a point in it.”
However, despite its disappointing end, Sheehy felt that Limerick’s season bodes well for the future.
“In general, the overall performance was encouraging. As was the performance against Clare. They came from that well. This is a young squad.”
SCORERS - Cork: Séamus Hickey, Alan Barry 0-4 each, Mark Sugrue 0-3 (one free), Seán Kiely, John Corkery 0-2 each, Anthony O’Connor, Brian Coughlan 0-1 each; Limerick: Jimmy Barry Murphy 0-5 (two frees), Jason Mullins (all frees), Mikey Lyons 0-3 each, Séamus O’Carroll, Killian Ryan 0-1 each.
CORK: Anthony Seymour; AJ O’Connor, Colm Hyde, John McLoughlin; Seán Kiely, Jason Collins, Bart Daly; Michael O’Leary, Cillian Brosnan; John Corkery, Brian Coughlan, Mark Sugrue; Anthony O’Leary, Paul Condon, Alan Barry. Subs: Séamus Hickey for Brian Coughlan (6 mins), Brian Coughlan for Paul Condon (38 mins), Darren Murphy for Colm Hyde (48 mins).
LIMERICK: Gearóid Greaney; Kevin Brosnan, Pakie Moran, Bryan Hannigan; Tony McCarthy, Mike Sheehan, Seán Barrett; Tony McMahon, David Ward; Jimmy Barry Murphy, Séamus O’Carroll, Killian Ryan; Mikey Lyons, Jason Mullins, James Naughton. Subs: Tossie Butler for David Ward (15 mins), Brian Fanning for Tony McMahon (33 mins), Kevin Barry for James Naughton (42 mins), Michael O’Donovan for Killian Ryan (48 mins), Thomas Quilligan for Mikey Lyons (52 mins).
REFEREE: Alan Kissane (Waterford).