THE Limerick minor hurlers are back in the Munster championship final after a 0-23 to 2-15 semi-final win over Cork this Thursday evening.
Champions Limerick will now face a provincial decider rematch with Waterford on July 13.
The final will be played at 2.00 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh as the curtain-raiser to the Munster SHC final between Limerick and Cork.
This two point semi-final win ensures that Limerick will again be doubly represented on Munster hurling final day - just like last Summer.
While Limerick looked destined to return to the Munster final midway through the second half they had to face a few nervy moments in the final minutes after Cork scored a late goal.
In front of 4,284 in the Gaelic Grounds, the sides were level at half time - Limerick 0-11, Cork 1-8 after a first half that had two lengthy stoppages for injuries.
Indeed there was nine minutes of injury time and it saw Limerick finish strongly with four successive points.
The Cork goal came in 33rd minute when Shane Kingston found the net. That had Cork 1-7 to 0-7 ahead.
The early minutes were dominated by frees with Limerick 0-3 to 0-2 ahead after eight minutes with Tom Morrissey and Peter Casey on the mark.
Morrissey was to end with five points from play, while Casey notched three.
But Cork powered into the game in the middle of the first half and went 0-5 to 0-3 ahead at the 18th minute mark.
Frees from Colin Ryan and Ronan Lynch steadied the Limerick ship before Seamus Flanagan hit successive scores to regain the lead, 0-7 to 0-6.
But Cork found a goal in the closing minutes of the half when Shane Kingston goaled.
Dayne Lee added a point and Cork were 1-8 to 0-7 clear with five minutes to the interval whistle.
But Limerick showed great experience and composure to find four vital points before the half time break.
Ryan hit three from frees while Morrissey had the other to leave it level 0-11 to 1-8 at the interval.
On the change of ends Limerick were at their fast, fluid best with five points on the trot - Morrissey leadign the way with three.
Cian Lynch and Conor Fitzgerald also found the range as Limerick went 0-16 to 1-8 ahead.
But Cork weren’t going to lie down and were awarded a 40th minute penalty but Eoghan McNamara stood firm to save from Alan O’Callaghan.
Points from play from Colin Ryan helped Limerick edge closer to the winning line at 0-19 to 1-12 with 10-minutes to play.
Although Robbie Hanley and Casey added further scores a 60th minute Dayne Lee goal left just two points between the sides with two minutes of injury time to play.
Cork won a free on the 21-metre line and up came goalkeeper Patrick Collins but his shot was saved by a packed Limerick defence on the goal-line.
The ball was cleared out for a ‘65 but again Limerick stood firm before there were joyous scenes at the final whistle.
SCORERS: Limerick: Colin Ryan 0-7 (5frees), Tom Morrissey 0-5, Peter Casey, Ronan Lynch (3frees) 0-3 each, Seamus Flanagan 0-2, Cian Lynch, Conor Fitzgerald, Robbie Hanley 0-1 each. Cork: Dayne Lee, Shane Kingston 1-3 each, Sean Hayes 0-4 (3frees), Alan O’Callaghan 0-3 (2frees, ‘65), Luke Meade, Tomas O’Connor 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Eoghan McNamara (Doon); Sean Finn (Bruff), Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock), Jamie Porter (Monaleen); Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen), Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen); Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell); Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen), Barry Nash (South Liberties), Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon); Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Tom Morrissey (Ahane), Conor Fitzgerald (Claughaun). Subs: Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock) for Jamie Porter (30mins), Ed Doyle (Monaleen) for Thomas Grimes (36mins), Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell) for Seamus Flanagan (57mins).
CORK: Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig); Cian Walsh (St Finbarr’s), Sean Bourke (Grenagh), Shane O’Brien (St Catherines); Darren Browne (Cuchulainns), Alan O’Callaghan (Blackrock), Ollie Dempsey (Youghal); Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra), Daniel Meaney (Blackrock); Luke Meade (Newcestown), Dayne Lee (Na Piarsaigh), Shane Kingston (Douglas); Darren Casey (Charleville), Sean Hayes (Mallow), Eoghan Keniry (Killeagh Ita’s). Subs: David Dooling (Glen Rovers) for Shane O’Brien, inj (15mins), John Good (Tracton) for Darren Casey, inj (21mins), John Looney (Aghada) for Ollie Demosey (38mins), Tomas O’Connor (inniscarra) for John Good (46mins), Mar Dolan (Doughlas) for Eoghan Keniry (53mins).
REFEREE: Paul Foley (Waterford).
See the print editions of the Limerick Leader newspaper for a full match report.