THE Limerick footballers made their exit from the All Ireland SFC this Saturday afternoon with a 2-12 to 0-10 defeat to Cork in Thurles.
This was a round two qualifier that 14/1 outsiders Limerick never looked like winning.
They only trailed by five points at half time and had the breeze in the second half but never threatened for the goal they needed.
Cork had the strong breeze in the opening half and led 1-6 to 0-4 at half time.
Limerick’s strong defensive set-up ensured the game was tight in this half, in which Limerick had five wides and Cork six.
The lead was kept to five points by a fine fifth minute penalty save by Donal O’Sullivan from Colm O’Neill.
An O’Neill free and a fisted effort from Mark Collins had Cork off the mark before Darragh Treacy opened the Limerick account in the ninth minute.
Then came the Cork goal when Peter Kelleher rolled to the net after Sean O’Dea had blocked his first effort. That had Cork 1-3 to 0-1 ahead.
Luke Connolly (free) and another fisted Collins point moved their advantage out to seven points by the 23rd minute.
Then came one of the better periods for Limerick with Sean McSweeney (free) and Treacy again cutting the lead.
Ian Ryan (free) had the final say of the half to leave just five between the teams at the break – 1-6 to 0-4.
Limerick had to wait 17-minutes to open their second half account when captain Iain Corbett pointed. That left it 1-9 to 0-5 but O’Sullivan had denied Cork another goal with a save from Kelleher.
Another from Corbett and a Ryan free left it 1-10 to 0-7 with 10-minutes to play.
Ryan had another free in the 67th minute to leave six between the sides but the goal that Limerick needed came to Cork’s Paul Kerrigan in the first minute of injury time.
SCORERS: Limerick: Ian Ryan (3frees) 0-4, Darragh Treacy, Iain Corbett 0-2 each, Sean McSweeney (free) and Seanie Buckley 0-1 each. Cork: Paul Kerrigan 1-3, Mark Collins 0-5, Peter Kelleher 1-0, Colm O’Neill (free), Luke Connolly (free), Michael Hurley and John O’Rourke 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; Johnny McCarthy, Paudie Browne, Stephen Cahill; Brian Fanning, Sean O’Dea, Pa Ranahan; Darragh Tracey, Tommie Childs; Garrett Noonan, Peter Nash, Seanie Buckley, Sean McSweeney, Ian Ryan, Hugh Bourke. Subs: Iain Corbett for Tommie Childs (26mins), Eoin Hogan for Sean McSweeney (46mins), Paul White for Pa Ranahan (51mins), Padraig Scanlon for Hugh Bourke (54mins), James Naughton for Peter Nash (62mins), Killian Ryan for Sean O’Dea (68mins).
CORK: Ryan Price; Colm O’Driscoll, Eoin Cadogan; Noel Galvin; Tomas Clancy, James Loughrey; Brian O’Driscoll; Alan O’Connor, Ian Maguire; Paul Kerrigan, Mark Collins, Kevin O’Driscoll; Colm O’Neill, Peter Kelleher, Luke Connolly. Subs: Sean Powter for Brian O’Driscoll (h-t), Daniel Goulding for Colm O’Neill (45mins), John O’Rourke for Luke Connolly (48mins), Ruairi Deane for Alan O’Connor (60mins), Michael Hurley for Kevin O’Driscoll (64mins), Paddy Kelly for Peter Kelleher (67mins).
REFEREE: Noel Mooney (Cavan).