Cork ended Limerick’s season for the second successive season with a 2-18 to 1-16 win in the second round of the All-Ireland football qualifiers in Pairc Ui Chaoimh today.
The difference came in the third quarter as Cork scored 1-3 without reply with Limerick having a man in the sinbin.
Cork held a one point lead at the break with a strong breeze but Limerick couldn’t take advantage of the elements.
Steven Sherlock kicked off the scoring for the hosts grabbing one from play and another from a free inside the opening five minutes.
Gordon Brown got Limerick off the mark with a well taken score before Robbie Bourke levelled after eight minutes.
A minute later, Adrian Enright gave Limerick their first lead. John Rourke brought the sides level for the second team but Hugh Bourke made no mistake from a free.
Enright added to his tally with a lovely curing effort of his left as Limerick went 0-5 to 0-3 in front. However, it could have been a lot better for Billy Lee’s men as they were wasteful in front of goal, passing up number of goal chances.
And Sherlock, who finished with six in the first half, made it a stalemate on the half hour mark, 0-6 apiece.
Eoin McSweeney pushed Cork in front but Cian Sheehan responded for the visitors as the clock ticked into injury time.
Sherlock, had the final score of the half for a marginal 0-8 to 0-7 lead.
Hugh Bourke levelled from a free shortly into the second half but Sherlock was equal to it.
Bourke retorted four minutes into the second half but this time it was Kevin O’Donovan who restored Cork’s advantage.
The Adare native levelled for the third time in the half with another free but Limerick lost Gordon Brown to a contentious black card prior to the score.
That had a huge impact on proceedings as Cork kicked 1-3 on the trot with their numerical advantage to take the ascendancy.
McSweeney, Brian Hurley and O’Rourke grabbed the points in that time while Cathail O’Mahony raised the green flag.
Brown stopped the rot with a long range effort on his reintroduction to make it 1-13 to 0-11 with 53 on the clock.
Sherlock and Josh Ryan exchanged scores on the introduction of the Oola man.
But Cork moved six clear and looked like putting the game past Limerick with just over ten to play.
However, Lee’s men had other ideas and a flowing move ended with Brian Donovan firing to the net to reduce the margin to three.
Adrian Enright fired over immediately after as Limerick moved within 1-13 to 1-15 with 61 minutes gone.
Cork were then reduced to 14-men as Paul Walsh saw red with a pair of yellows in a minute.
But with momentum firmly behind them, Limerick gave away a penalty as Brian Hurley made no mistake to make it 2-15 to 1-13 with five to play.
Josh Ryan fisted over after a dangerous Paul Maher delivery as five minutes were added on. Hurley had the perfect response for the hosts, brilliantly manufacturing a score.
Hugh Bourke had his fifth late on and James Naughton added the last for Limerick but it was too little too late for Billy Lee’s men.
Next up is Division Two football for the first time in 16 years next Spring.
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