Cork made a remarkable comeback to lead Limerick in an entertaining match
By The Headlines, February 6, 2023 | 08:43 PM
At half-time, Cork was behind in the All-Ireland Championships but put on an extraordinary performance to snatch victory away in the second half.
Cork emerged victorious in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A after defeating Limerick with a score of 2-17 to 0-22.
Who knows? At the break, it seemed like Cork had no chance of winning; however, they put on a clinic in the second half and put Dublin under immense pressure. A type of physicality & aggression seldom seen from Cork turned their eight-point deficit into victory in the final minutes of injury time.
The stoppage time went on for a while since Robbie O’Flynn suffered a leg injury, requiring medical attention that took about 6-7 minutes. He was later taken off the field on a stretcher. O'Flynn had been a star for Cork, and his fantastic goal shortly after halftime kickstarted their rally; however, as soon as he hit the ground the referee Fergal Horgan immediately saw how severe the injury was and stopped play.
Despite the massive turnout of 19,501 excited spectators and ideal weather conditions, the match had a regular. But until then, it was a fantastic game. As time went by, the intensity increased and eventually it became one of those entertaining League games that kept everyone captivated.
At half-time, Limerick had a 0-16 to 0-8 lead over Cork due to their incredible five-minute streak that yielded six points. Throughout the first half, Limerick seemed to completely control the game and had their opponents under their thumb. They passed the ball smartly and accurately, easily finding open shooters in space.
In the opening period, Cork experienced difficulty when it came to launching their own puck-outs. This resulted in three points for Limerick's interceptions within their final third. as is generally the case, Limerick limited Cork's options by controlling the type of play they could use. When Patrick Collins opted for the safer route and passed to a first receiver in the full-back, the pressure mounted on his subsequent move. Taking a chance, Cork went long and Limerick was often able to pounce on it.
Cork's midfield lacked experience and was easily overwhelmed by Limerick's ability to move the ball quickly and exploit gaps in their defence. Ger Hegarty, in particular, caused them a lot of problems as he drifted into open spaces without any challenge from the opposition. He was both a messenger and a shooter, appearing to have complete autonomy in his actions.
Cork could only blame themselves for their early issues, with 4 wides in the opening 10 minutes and another 8 by halftime. In addition, three shots were sent shortly into David McCarthy's gloves in the Limerick goal - a stark contrast to Limerick's accuracy at the other end of the pitch.
O'Flynn almost found the back of the net in the first half with a pacey run from wide & a powerful strike that brushed past the post. Nonetheless, he wasn't to be denied and four minutes into the second period, sealed off a superb move with an emphatic goal. A spectacular diagonal pass from Ciaran Joyce to Declan Dalton proved beneficial for Erin's Own when O'Flynn finished with a shot that flew past McCarthy and struck the post before going into the goal.
Dalton is credited with Cork's second goal, which occurred seven minutes later. His driven cross to the Limerick square caused confusion, allowing Patrick Horgan to attempt a finish but eventually, Dalton saw the chance and flicked the ball first-time into the corner.
With the score becoming 2-11 to 0-17, Cork had a newfound energy that drove them to excel. Groups of them worked together and created numerous turnovers in the middle third, thus levelling out the sides. Even though their shots were unpredictable, they had established such a strong foundation in the field that Limerick was unable to compete effectively.
Despite their huge point difference in the first half, they managed to only garner six points in the second. Cian Lynch's return from injury made little difference as he was too late to have any real impact.
In the dying minutes of the game, Limerick had an edge over Cork, two points up. However, with Horgan leading from the front and bringing in three points, Cork had a comeback in those little stoppage times to take home the win.
Cork: P Collins, C O’Callaghan, E Downey 0-1, S O’Donoghue (N O’Leary 30 mins), T O’Connell, C Joyce 0-1, D Cahalane, B O’Sullivan (S Barrett 44 mins), L Meade 0-1, B Roche 0-1, C Lehane 0-1, C Beausang (S Kingston 40 mins; 0-1), D Dalton 1-0 (B Hayes 55 mins), P Horgan 0-10, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65, R O’Flynn 1-1 (C Cahalane 68 mins)
Limerick: D McCarthy, S Finn, R English, A Costelloe, D Morrissey, D Hannon 0-1 (C Barry 48 mins; 0-1), C Coughlan 0-2, D O’Donovan 0-1, B Murphy 0-1, G Hegarty 0-3 (C Lynch 58 mins), D Reidy 0-8, 0-7 frees, 0-1 65 T Morrissey 0-1, A English 0-2 (G Mulcahy 55 mins), S Flanagan 0-1 (D O’Dalaigh 69 mins; 0-1), O O’Reilly (S O’Brien 50 mins).
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)