Limerick joint captains Iain Corbett, left, and Donal O'Sullivan lift the cup after the McGrath Cup final win over Cork at the LIT Gaelic Grounds on Saturday night
LIMERICK secured their first McGrath Cup since 2005 thanks to a richly deserved 0-20 to 0-16 final victory over Cork at the LIT Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening.
It means Limerick start 2020 with a trio of victories ahead of their Allianz Football League Division 4 opener in two weeks' time against Waterford.
When Limerick got their noses ahead after eight minutes, they led until the final whistle, with Danny Neville top scoring with seven points, including two well taken marks in the second half.
Limerick were extremely accurate in the opening half, with just two wides at the change of ends. Danny Neville top scored with three white flags, including two off his left foot in quick succession. This helped them to a 0-12 to 0-8 half time lead.
Limerick lost Paul Maher to a sin bin in the closing seconds of the half, forcing them to play the opening 10 minutes of the second half. While Cork narrowed the margin slightly during this period, Danny Neville turned the screw to push the lead to 0-16 to 0-10 by the 46th minute.
Cork called upon marksman Brian Hurley from the bench but they were unable to breach the Limerick defence for a crucial goal. Two Neville points, in stoppage time removed any thoughts Cork snatching victory.
SCORERS: Limerick: Danny Neville 0-7 (0-2 mark); Jamie Lee (all frees), Seamus O’Carroll 0-3 each, Iain Corbett 0-2 each; Robert Childs, Tommy Griffin, Michael Donovan, Adrian Enright 0-1 each Cork: Damien Gore, Cathail O’Mahony (0-1 free, 0-1 mark) 0-3 each, Brian Hurley (0-1 free), Ciaran Sheehan, Thomas Clancy 0-2; Tadhg Corkery, Cian Kiely, Killian O’Hanlon, Sean White 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; Paul Maher, Brian Fanning, Michael Donovan; Tony McCarthy, Iain Corbett (capt), Robert Childs; Tommy Griffin, Adrian Enright; Pádraig De Brún, Cillian Fahy, Seamus O’Carroll; Jamie Lee, Patrick Begley, Danny Neville. Subs: Gerard Stack for Patrick Begley (50 mins), Tommie Childs for Tommy Griffin (53 mins), James Naughton for Pádraig De Brún (56 mins), Padraig Scanlon for Jamie Lee (66 mins), Davy Lyons for Adrian Enright (68 mins).
CORK: Anthony Casey; Sam Ryan, Aidan Browne, Paul Ring; Kevin Crowley, Sean Meehan, Cian Kiely; Ian Maguire, Thomas Clancy; Tadhg Corkery, Ciaran Sheehan, Mattie Taylor; Damien Gore, Cathail O’Mahony, Michael Hurley. Subs: Sean White for Michael Hurley (half-time), Brian Hurley for Ciaran Sheehan (48 mins), Killian O’Hanlon for Thomas Clancy (51 mins), Shane Forde for Tadgh Corkery (55 mins), John O’Rourke for Damien Gore (55 mins).
REFEREE: Brendan Griffin (Kerry)