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Cork edge out Limerick to reach All Ireland SFC quarter-finals



Cork have booked their spot in tomorrow morning’s All-Ireland quarter-final draw after holding off Limerick at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

A Brian Hurley penalty with four minutes of normal time proved decisive as Cork steadied in the closing minutes having seen a six-point lead whittled to two and substitute Paul Walsh sent off.

John Cleary’s side will face one of Derry, Dublin or Galway in the last eight given that they cannot face Kerry having already lost to them in the Munster semi-final.

Both sides suffered heavy defeats to the Kingdom in Munster, particularly Limerick, but there was no obvious gulf at play here and Billy Lee’s charges were the better for much of the first half, in which they played against the breeze.

Cork opened with the first two points from Stephen Sherlock but it would be late in the half before they led the game again as Limerick, having made four changes from the Munster final, took the game to them and hit three points in quick succession to go in front by the 10th minute.

Indeed, their third point, was a goal opening though Adrian Enright opted to fist over as the cover closed in. The same player would add two more points in the first half as Limerick twice led by two as they broke out of defence at pace and shaded the 50-50 exchanges.

Cork found something approaching half-time as they hit three points on the spin as Eoghan McSweeney restored their lead after two Sherlock scores.

Cian Sheehan and Sherlock, with his fourth successful dead ball of the half, swapped points as Cork held a nervy 0-8 to 0-7 lead at the break.

It remained cagey on the restart but a black card for Gordon Brown proved very costly for Limerick. He was dismissed for 10 minutes as Hugh Bourke stood over a free to make it 0-10 each but by the time he resumed Cork tagged on 1-3, Cathal O’Mahony slotting the goal in the 50th minute after getting inside Jim Liston.

Limerick hauled themselves back into the game coming down the stretch as Brian Donovan’s shot proved too hot for Micheal Martin to handle, reducing the deficit to two points.

They appeared to have all the momentum when Walsh was sent off within two minutes of his introduction for two yellow cards in quick succession, both from incidents involving Limerick’s Paul Maher.

But it quickly turned on its head when Maher brought Kevin O’Donovan down for a penalty which Hurley dispatched in the 66th minute, with Cork closing it out comfortably from there to book a quarter-final spot.

CORK: Micheal Aodh Martin; Sean Powter, Maurice Shanley, Kevin O’Donovan (0-1); John Cooper, Rory Maguire, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire, Colm O’Callaghan (0-1); Eoghan McSweeney (0-2), John O’Rourke (0-3), Daniel Dineen; Steven Sherlock (0-8, 0-5f, 0-1 ‘45’), Brian Hurley (1-2, 1-0 pen), Cathail O’Mahony (1-0).

Subs: Jack Cahalane for Dineen (53), Paul Walsh for McSweeney (60), Cian Kiely for Sherlock (68), Damien Gore (0-1) for O’Mahony (70+1), Tommy Walsh for O’Donovan (70+ 4).

LIMERICK
: Donal O’Sullivan; Jim Liston, Brian Fanning, Sean O’Dea; Cian Sheehan (0-1), Iain Corbett, Gordon Brown (0-2); Darragh Treacy, Cillian Fahy; Adrian Enright (0-4), Peter Nash, Padraig de Brun; Brian Donovan (1-0), Robbie Burke (0-1), Hugh Bourke (0-5, 0-3f).

Subs: James Naughton (0-1) for De Brun (HT), Josh Ryan (0-2) for Nash (57), Paul Maher for Brown (57), Michael Donovan for Liston (57).





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