CORK have the chance to exact revenge over Limerick – and add to the Treaty County’s poor start in the league – when the two heavyweights square off in Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday (3.45pm, live on TG4)
Limerick had plenty in hand when beating Cork in last year’s All-Ireland final, winning by 16 points, but there’s a different mood in both counties in the early stages of the 2022 campaign. Limerick have lost their opening two Allianz League games, whereas Cork have won their two quite easily. Cork go into this game off the back of wins against Clare (2-30 to 2-21) and then Offaly (4-12 to 1-15), but Kieran Kingston’s men will know they face a far tougher test in the backyard of the All-Ireland champions who need a win. This is just the gut check that the Rebels need after two comfortable wins.
With three teams (Cork, Galway and Wexford) on four points and three (Clare, Offaly and Limerick) on zero points, it’s a serious situation for the bottom trio as a further defeat would all but leave them out of contention for a place in the semi-finals. But a win for Cork would represent a huge boost to their league hopes and also fire a warning shot to Limerick ahead of the championship.
Shane Kingston has been in scoring form so far in the league, racking up 2-17 in the two games to date, with 0-12 from placed balls, while Mark Coleman (0-9, 7f), Darragh Fitzgibbon (1-6), Conor Lehane (1-3), Luke Meade (1-1) and Tim O’Mahony (1-1) have all been chipping in too for the free-scoring Rebels. So far, Cork have hit six goals in two games, whereas Limerick scored only one goal across both matches but, interestingly, only conceded one. They beat Cork by 0-33 to 2-19 in last year’s league before being even more dominant in the All-Ireland final (3-32 to 1-22).