HomeFootballAll-Ireland SHC: Cork end Limerick's five-in-a-row bid with semi-final victory

All-Ireland SHC: Cork end Limerick’s five-in-a-row bid with semi-final victory

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At the other end, Gillane slipped when through but even though five behind, there was no panic from Limerick as they began to take over, their half-back line stepping up and epitomised by Diarmaid Byrnes, who soared to catch from defence and thumped over.

They had another goal chance when Patrick Collins made a point-blank save from Gillane, but the Shannonsiders were into a groove and held a two-point advantage at half-time.

Cork came out with renewed vigour after the break as Darragh Fitzgibbon scored early before spiritual leader Patrick Horgan got on the board as they scored nine of the 12 points in a 10-minute spell after the break.

But they would have Collins to thank again as he saved brilliantly from Gearoid Hegarty with Gillane – top-scorer on the day with 0-10 – unable to finish the rebound as play transferred and Declan Dalton hammered over to raise the roof from those in red.

It seemed like a big moment and it was, but even when trailing by seven heading into the final quarter, Limerick didn’t panic and set about chipping at the lead.

Substitutes Shane O’Brien and Adam English hit two points apiece, Gillane kept ticking and on 69 minutes Hegarty finally got on the board to leave two between them.

But chances to narrow further came and went in a frantic final few minutes as Horgan was denied a goal that would have sealed it by Nickie Quaid when pouncing on a rebound, while Limerick had one final raid for a wining goal.

It wasn’t to be as Cork held out, sending their supporters into dream land who will be back in two weeks for a decider against Clare.

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