LIMERICK take on Cork in the Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final in the LIT Gaelic Grounds this Saturday.
Billy Lee’s men haven’t reached a provincial decider since 2010 while their opponents lost out in the final to Tipperary last winter.
The Shannonsiders have a miserable recent record against the Rebels, failing to defeat Cork since the Munster quarter-final in 2003.
Ahead of tomorrow’s clash, we look back on the five most recent meetings between the teams.
Cork 3-18 : 0-6 Limerick (Munster Senior Football Championship Semi-Final)
4 June 2019 in Pairc Ui Rinn
Limerick missed out on a first Munster final place in nine years as an electric Cork put them to the sword early on in Pairc Ui Rinn as Ronan McCarthy’s side dominated throughout their provincial semi-final.
With three goals in the first 14 minutes, two from Brian Hurley and one from Ruairí Deane, they sealed a commanding position as they enjoyed a 3-8 to 0-2 half-time lead.
The Treatymen rued a goal chance inside the first minute which went begging when midfielder Tommie Childs drove forward from the throw-in, finding Seán McSweeney. The corner-forward’s low shot struck the post and then rebounded off the back of Cork goalkeeper Mark White but ball looped up off the crossbar.
The visitors wouldn’t get any more chances to seize the upper hand and Cork took the lead with a free from Mark Collins, the first of his nine points, before Hurley found the net with a good low finish following Deane’s pass. The same partnership combined a minute later for a second goal to put Cork in firm control.
The lead stood at 2-4 to 0-0 before Deane added another goal, well set-up by debutant Eoghan McSweeney, who finished with three points. Cork had endured 12 minutes without a score, including a missed penalty as Hurley’s effort struck the post, and Limerick got off the mark with a pair of Séamus O’Carroll points.
However, the 15-point interval advantage remained healthy.
Three more Collins points on the resumption extended the advantage and Cork continued to add to their tally, with Ian Maguire, Matthew Taylor and sub Stephen Sherlock all scoring.
Limerick goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan kicked three second-half points from long-range dead balls, but Cork finished well to enjoy a 21-point margin at the end.
Limerick 0-10 : 2-12 Cork (All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 2B)
9 July 2016 in Semple Stadium
Cork outclassed Limerick in Semple Stadium to end their season and John Brudair’s reign as manager.
Cork cruised to victory over Limerick thanks to goals from Peter Kelleher and captain Paul Kerrigan. Kerrigan was Cork’s top scorer with a haul of 1-3, while Michael Collins added five points from play as Peadar Healy’s charges secureed an eight-point win.
Alan O’Connor dovetailed well with Ian Maguire and the pair provided the platform for victory, with Kerrigan and Collins buzzing up front. Cork were 1-6 to 0-4 clear at half-time, with Kelleher netting at the second attempt in the 14th minute.
Cork could have had more first half goals but Colm O’Neill’s penalty was well saved by Limerick keeper Donal O’Sullivan while Kelleher palmed an effort off the crossbar and Kerrigan pushed his shot wide after cutting through.
Cork were 0-3 to 0-0 clear before Darragh Treacy put Limerick on the scoreboard, John Brudair’s charges wouldn’t score again for 17 minutes and Cork took over to lead by 1-5 to 0-1. Despite having the breeze for the second half, Limerick remained on the back-foot as Kerrigan racked up a brace of points.
Kelleher forced another great save from O’Sullivan but Cork still led by eight points on a couple of occasions, with Limerick only getting as close as six in the second half as their stop start season came to an abrupt end.
Cork 3-17 : 0-8 Limerick (Munster Senior Football Championship quarter-final)
25 May 2013 in the Gaelic Grounds
Three first half goals proved key as Cork eased past Limerick into the Munster semi-final.
Cork’s Brian Hurley, John O’Rourke and Pearse O’Neill hit three goals in seven minutes before the break, which resulted in 35 minutes of cruise control after the restart.
Yet the Rebels failed to punish some slack defending from Limerick, as three good goal opportunities were left unconverted early on.
Two splendidly struck dead balls from Damien Cahalane settled Cork and despite early scores from Ger Collins and Seanie Buckley indicating promise from the Treaty men, Cork soon took hold of the tie with their trio of goals.
Three half-time changes from Horan failed to change his side’s fortunes as Cork began to focus on improving their tally in the points column. Daniel Goulding hit three points from play, and Paul Kerrigan also got in on the act with two fine scores as Limerick tired.
Cork 0-16 : 0-11 Limerick AET (All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 4)
24 July 2010 in the Gaelic Grounds
Cork toppled Limerick in extra-time of the All-Ireland Qualifiers at Páirc na nGael to make it three wins over the Shannonsiders in as many years.
Against the eventual All-Ireland champions, Limerick showed great character in the first half as the sides went into the break level at 0-5 apiece.
Cork came out of the gates in the second half with two points as their momentum became increasingly visible as they held a four point lead approaching the final whistle.
In injury time though, under a dropping ball Alan O’Connor fouled John Galvin and Collins nailed the penalty before sub Conor Fitzgerald tied the game to force the additional 20 minutes.
Extra time began with both sides misfiring, Donncha O’Connor’s two points were the only scores before the turnaround.
A booming free from the 45 by goalkeeper Brian Scanlon got Limerick feeling positive, but Cork had the upper hand, and a beautiful Patrick Kelly point settled them before Ian Ryan’s late point made things tight
However, it was Goulding’s free that clinched it in the end for Cork who would go on to end their All-Ireland famine.
2009 Munster Senior Football Championship Final – Cork 2-6 Limerick 0-11
9 July 2009 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Despite giving Cork the fright of their lives in the 2009 Munster football final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Limerick fell just short of the Rebels.
In the end, Mickey Ned O’Sullivan’s side rued missed chances as 113-year championship continued.
Cork made a confident start through a James Masters point taken with ease after a mere 45 seconds. But remarkably that was to be one of only two scores from play they got over the course of the entire half.
Ian Ryan’s accuracy from a variety of positions yielded him four points and boosted the Limerick effort considerably, as did the contribution from team captain Seanie Buckley on his left.
They suffered a set back when Cork grabbed the first goal of the game. The goal came from a penalty awarded to Daniel Goulding when he appeared to fall at the precise moment he tried to get in a shot, when tackled from behind. Donnacha O’Connor converted the penalty to level proceedings.
However, Limerick quickly regained their lead and at the break they led 0-8 to 1-2.
The third quarter was tentative until Goulding hit 1-1 in a blistering period of play to put Cork back in the lead.
To Limerick’s great credit, they were quickly on level terms through Stephen Lavin, before O’Neill and O’Connor (from a free) gave Cork a two-point advantage ten minutes from the end of normal time.
It set the scene for a dramatic conclusion to the game, with Limerick getting one back in the 68th minute through the crafty Stephen Kelly, but being frustrated in their endeavours to save the game through powerful Cork defending.
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