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Limerick win Aer Lingus Fenway Hurling Classic to crown glorious year

Limerick defeated Cork 38-30 to on the way to lifing the Player’s Champions Cup

Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch said it was great to get back playing with the county as they added the Aer Lingus Fenway Hurling Classic to their Liam MacCarthy Cup success.

John Kiely’s men overcame Wexford in the semi-final and then followed it up with another fine display to capture silverware in their first time participating in the Super 11s.

Lynch said it was great to take part and also to get back in a Limerick jersey for the first time since August.

“It’s been unreal over the last few weeks and months. A lot of the lads have been busy with their clubs and to get out here and back with the lads has been great.

“The stadium is unreal but the hurling was tough. It’s very fast and lads could feel it,” he said.

Manager John Kiely said it took some time to get used to the new system but he was pleased with the way they handled it.

“The pitch is very small and lads are going to take each on in the tackles, so there will always be that extra bit of physicality of it.

“It was very hard with the substitutes going in and out and the cards then as well, it was very confusing at times. But we’re happy with the way we handled it.

Cork manager John Meyler praised Nash for his superb goalkeeping but lamented the space they gave Limerick.

“We gave up too much possession in the middle third and didn’t track back but Anthony Nash produced some incredible saves.

“But the concept is great and we are delighted to have taken part. We’re not due back training until December 1 so it was good to come together like this,” he said.

Limerick, who beat Wexford 53-45 in the semi-finals, never trailed in the final as they built on a blistering start to finish as they added the Players’ Champions Cup to their trophy cabinet.

Limerick led by 24-13 at half-time, having raced into a 21-0 lead after just eight minutes as John Kiely’s men blitzed the Munster champions.

Barry Murphy blasted home two five-pointers from short corners and after Tom Morrissey chipped in with two other goals, they pulled further clear with an excellent effort from distance from Hurler of the year Cian Lynch.

Cork, who edged out holders Clare 42-37 in the opening semi-final, eventually got moving and Patrick Horgan fired home a five-pointer and then added another three-point effort.

But Kyle Hayes extended Limerick’s lead before Cork cut the gap before the break when Shane Kingston found the net from a short corner to leave them eleven adrift at the interval.

They would have been further behind had Anthony Nash not produced a string of stunning saves which had the crowd of 12,674 on their feet.

Tom Morrissey and Bill Cooper exchanged three-pointers after the restart and Patrick Horgan cut the gap to 27-19 but Limerick goalkeeper Nickie Quaid was also in top form.

Another effort from distance from Lynch extended Limerick’s lead, with an effort from Andrew La Touche Cosgrave making 35-19 going into the final quarter.

Conor Lehane and Cooper reduced the margin before Barry Murphy hit back for Limerick to seal the win.

 

Scorers: B Murphy 13, C Lynch 10, T Morrissey 9, K Hayes 3, A la Touche Cosgrave 3.

Cork: P Horgan 16, B Cooper 6, S Kingston 5, C Lehane 3

Limerick: N Quaid, S Hickey, R English, S Finn, D Byrnes, D Hannon, D Morrissey, C Lynch, S Flanagan, G Mulcahy, T Morrissey, P Ryan, B Nash, G Hegarty, K Hayes, B Hennessy, A La Touche Cosgrave, O O’Reilly, A Gillane, B Murphy, P O’Loughlin, L Lyons, W O’Meara, D Reidy, C Ryan.

 

Cork: A Nash, S O’Donoghue, D Cahalane, C Spillane, C Joyce, E Cadogan, M Coleman, B Cooper, D Kearney, C Lehane, S Kingston, L Meade, T O’Mahony, P Horgan, J O’Connor, E Murphy, R O’Flynn, W Kearney, D Griffin, D Browne, J Coughlan, M Collins, C Twomey, S Murphy.

 

Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)

By JOHN FALLON in Fenway Park

Aer-Lingus

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