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Limerick footballers suffer 21-point defeat to Cork in Munster SFC semi final


Sean O'Dea attempts to win possession ahead of Brian Hurley in Pairc Ui Rinn

CORK eased past Limerick in the semi final of the Munster SFC this Saturday evening with 21-points to spare.

In Pairc Ui Rinn it finished Limerick 0-6 Cork 3-18.

Cork found two goals in the opening five minutes and never looked back in a most disappointed provincial championship clash - the first between the teams in Pairc Ui Rinn since 1999.

Defeat sends Limerick into round two of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers on the weekend of June 22/23 with a tie against one of the round one winners; Louth v Antrim, Down v Tipperary, Leitrim v Wicklow, Wexford v Derry, Offaly v London, Monaghan v Fermanagh, Carlow v Kildare or Longford or Westmeath v Waterford.

The Qualifier draw takes place on Monday morning June 10.

Watched by 3128, At half time it was 3-8 to 0-2 to Cork.

Limerick had to wait 26-minutes for their opening score with all six Cork forward on the scoresheet within 20-minutes!

How all could have been different with Billy Lee's men going oh so close to a goal after 15-seconds - Tommie Childs carrying forward and passing to Sean McSweeney but his shot crashed off the upright and then onto the back of the goalkeeper and somehow hitting the crossbar and coming back out into play.

At the other end, Cork had no problem finding the range and were to have 3-6 scores before they kicked their first wide.

Two goals from Brian Hurley inside the opening five minutes had Cork in the driving seat and Limerick rattled.

The scores continued to flow and Ruairi Deane had their third goal in the 12th minute to lead 3-4 to no score.

Limerick had one wide at this point from a difficult Jamie Lee free and finally in the game's 26th minute Seamus O'Carroll had the first Limerick point.

With Cork going 12-minutes without a score O'Carroll added his and Limerick's second.

Before the half time whistle, Cork almost had another goal - Sean O'Dea harshly adjudged to have fouled Paul Kerrigan and a 31st minute penalty was awarded. But Brian Hurley's low drive came back off the upright.

So at half time it was Cork 3-8, Limerick 0-2 - a half when Cork had five wides and Limerick two.

Not surprisingly, the scores dried up in the second half.

Mark Collins eased Cork out to 18-points clear with three successive points.

Goalkeeper Donal O'Sullivan then had two of the next three points - both converted '45s.

Eoghan McSweeney and Ian Maguire hit back and Cork were 3-14 to 0-4 ahead with 15-minutes to play.

Donal O'Sullivan was soon the top-scorer for Limerick when he added a long range free to his '45s.

In the final 10-minutes Jamie Lee became the third Limerick scorer when he kicked a 21-metre free.

For their part, Cork had nine different scorers.

SCORERS: Limerick: Donal O'Sullivan 0-3 (1free, 2 '45), Seamus O'Carroll 0-2, Jamie Lee 0-1 (free). Cork: Mark Collins 0-9 (5frees), Brian Hurley 2-0, Ruairi Deane 1-0 Eoghan McSweeney 0-3, Mattie Taylor 0-2 each, John O'Rourke, Paul Kerrigan, Ian Maguire and Stephen Sherlock 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Donal O'Sullivan; Brian Fanning, Sean O'Dea, Paul Maher; Colm McSweeney, Iain Corbett, Gordan Brown; Darragh Treacy, Tommie Childs; Adrian Enright, Cillian Fahy, Michael Fitzgibbon; Sean McSweeney, Seamus O'Carroll, Jamie Lee. Subs: Peter Nash for Adrian Enright (h-t), James Naughton for Sean McSweeney (h-t), Tony McCarthy for Gordan Brown (h-t), Padraig de Brun for Cillian Fahy (43mins), Garrett Noonan for Colm McSweeney (55mins), Ronan Lynch for Michael Fitzgibbon (55mins).

CORK: Mark White; Nathan Walsh, James Loughrey, Kevin Flahive; Liam O'Donovan, Thomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Killian O'Hanlon; Eoghan McSweeney, Ruairi Deane, John O'Rourke; Paul Kerrigan, Brian Hurley, Mark Collins. Subs: Aidan Browne for James Loughrey (38mins), Stephen Sherlock for Brian Hurley (43mins), Luke Connolly for John O'Rourke (45mins), Kevin O'Driscoll for Ruairi Deane (50mins), Kevin O'Donovan for Thomas Clancy (56mins), Ronan O'Toole for Ian Maguire (60mins).

REFEREE: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).

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