Limerick Show Mettle To Finish 8 Points Clear Of Cork

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Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

JOHN Kiely will have learned plenty about his side following their 2-22 to 1-17 win over Cork in tonight’s Munster SHC semi final. At times, Limerick looked sluggish in the opening half but a blistering two goal blitz in the dying embers of the opening half laid the foundations for a hard fought win and a place in the Munster final.

Limerick went into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead inside the opening five minutes through two Aaron Gillane frees and a Peter Casey point. Cork’s first registered by Darragh Fitzgibbon.

Patrick Horgan and Gillane swapped frees to as the scoreboard moved to Limerick 0-4, Cork 0-2. The first green flag of the game came through a searing Cork attack with some slick interplay opening the door for Shane Kingston to finish past Quaid and give Cork a 1-3 to 0-4 lead.

Cian Lynch missed a goal chance on the quarter as his snap shot drifted left and wide. Seamus Flanagan responded with a point to make it 0-5 to 1-3. Cork scored two of the next three points (Harnedy, Horgan free) as Gillane kept Kiely’s men in touch at 1-5 to 0-6.

3 July 2021; Ger Millerick of Cork is tackled by William O’Donoghue of Limerick during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Cork and Limerick at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The key moment of the first half came on 26 minutes when Peter Casey was sent to the bin and Cork awarded a penalty. Patrick Horgan’s shot was excellently saved by Nickie Quaid and the danger cleared.

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A brace of points from Cian Lynch levelled proceedings at 1-5 to 0-8. Horgan and Gillane swapped frees as Limerick were finally starting to settle. Tim O’Mahony landed a fine post for Kieran Kingston’s side but again Limerick responded through Flanagan.

Goal change games and Limerick have shipped some criticism for not raising green flags but two goals in as many minutes right before the half time whistle swung the momentum back Shannonside.

The firs goal came when some direct running from Cian Lynch found Darragh O’Donovan in space. The Doon man’s shot was deflected to the net. The second goal came when a lung bursting run from Kyle Hayes went untracked. Hayes rattled a low drive to the corner of the next to make it Limerick 2-10 Cork 1-7 at the break.

Will O’Donoghue opened the second half scoring with a point from play. The score cancelled out by a Horgan free. Byrnes and Peter Casey responded with a long range point as Limerick looked to keep their opponents at arms length.

Cork rallied with three on the bounce from Kingston, O’Flynn and Horgan. Hegarty restored Limerick’s 6 point cushion with another score to make it 2-14 to 1-11.

3 July 2021; Conor Cahalane of Cork is tackled by Peter Casey of Limerick during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Cork and Limerick at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Jack O’Connor might have sensed a goal chance for Cork but his rasping shot went North of Quaid’s crossbar. Gillane kept Limerick’s lead at 6 with a free ton make it 2-15 to 1-12 but his score was quickly cancelled out by another Jack O’Connor point.

3 July 2021; Gearoid Hegarty of Limerick in action against Mark Coleman of Cork during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Cork and Limerick at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gearoid Hegarty make it 2-16 to 1-12 but Cork managed to reduce the lead to 4 points with a brace of scores from Darragh Fitzgibbon and Shane Barrett.

Byrnes and Shane Barrett swap points 2-17 to 1-16 but Graeme Mulcahy extends the lead to 5 points. Darragh Fitzgibbon reduced it to 4 once again but the rebels would need a goal which didn’t look like coming. In fact Limerick kicked on with four points on the trot from Lynch, Byrnes, Casey and Reidy ensured Limerick recorded 2-22 to 1-17 win and progress to the Munster Final against either Tipperary or Clare.

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