THE Limerick senior hurlers scored a two point challenge game win over Cork this Sunday evening, 2-25 to 4-17.
The pre-championship encounter, a Mary Hegarty Memorial, took place in Old Christians GAA grounds in Rathbane with a strong second half from John Kiely’s home side ensuring victory.
Both sides were without some regulars, with anyone carrying a slight knock not risked, but served up an entertaining 70-minutes for a fine crowd in splendid Bank Holiday sunshine.
Kieran Kingston’s Cork were 2-9 to 1-7 ahead at half time.
Michael Cahalane had the first of the game’s six goals in the seventh minute to put Cork 1-2 to 0-3 ahead.
But a 15th minute Colin Ryan goal had Limerick 1-5 to 1-4 ahead.
Within a minute of that goal came the best of the six – Shane Kingston with a great finish to return Cork into the lead, 2-4 to 1-5.
Cian Lynch and Daniel Kearney had two points each for their sides in an opening half, in which Limerick had seven wides and Cork nine.
One minute into the second half a Seamus Harnedy goal moved Cork 3-9 to 1-12 clear
Cork were to stay ahead until 15-minutes from time when Darragh O’Donovan levelled, 1-20 to 3-14.
A great Kyle Hayes goal then edged Limerick ahead. Paul Browne and Alan Dempsey both helped themselves to two points in the half and Limerick were 2-24 to 3-16 ahead with seven minutes left.
Cork found a fourth goal in injury time – Harnedy finding the net from a 21-metre free. Limerick finished with 14 wides, Cork 16.
The 31-man Limerick panel now return to their clubs for successive weeks of club hurling championship before returning for the final countdown to the June 4 Munster SHC semi final with Clare.
SCORERS: Limerick: Ronan Lynch 0-8 (6frees), Kyle Hayes 1-2, Colin Ryan 1-1, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Alan Dempsey, Darragh O’Donovan (1lineball) and Paul Browne 0-2 each, Pat Ryan, James Ryan, Dan Morrissey and Shane Dowling (free) 0-1 each. Cork: Seamus Harnedy 2-6 (1-4frees), Michael Cahalane 1-2, Shane Kingston 1-1, Daniel Kearney 0-3, Luke Meade, Bill Cooper, Paul Haughney, Killian Burke and Robbie O’Flynn 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Cahill, Tom Condon, Sean Finn; Dan Morrissey, Gavin O’Mahony, Seamus Hickey; James Ryan, Pat Ryan; Darragh O’Donovan, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Colin Ryan, Barry Nash, Ronan Lynch. Subs: Kyle Hayes for Barry Nash (26mins), Alan Dempsey for Pat Ryan (34mins), Mike Casey for Tom Condon (39mins), Paul Browne for James Ryan (42mins), Shane Dowling for Ronan Lynch (53mins), Richie McCarthy for Sean Finn (61mins), Pat Ryan for Cian Lynch (65mins).
CORK: Pa Collins; Stephen McDonnell, Damien Cahalane, Conor O’Sullivan; Christopher Joyce, Mark Ellis, Killian Burke; Daniel Kearney, Brian Lawton; Seamus Harnedy, Luke Meade, Bill Cooper; Alan Cadogan, Michael Cahalane, Shane Kingston. Subs: Paul Haughney for Brian Lawton (34mins), Robbie O’Flynn for Mark Ellis (35mins), Jack Sheehan for Damien Cahalane (h-t), Michael O’Halloran for Bill Cooper (h-t), Luke O’Farrell for Alan Cadogan (39mins), Eoin Murphy for Michael Cahalane (42mins).
REFEREE: Brian Gavin (Offaly).