Aaron Gillane scored 1-9 as Limerick began their new campaign in style with a five-point win over Cork in the Munster senior hurling league this evening.
Played before 1,364 spectators in Mallow, where a power outage saw a 15-minute delay to throw-in, this season opener took its first swing in the Shannonsiders' direction on 10 minutes when Gillane lashed home a goal to put his side 1-3 to 0-4 in front.
The visitors pushed on for a four-point lead at half-time (1-13 to 0-12) against a Cork side which was largely experimental and had Robert O'Shea as its top scorer with 0-5 after the 70 minutes was up.
The game marked John Meyler's debut as Rebels boss while his counterpart John Kiely went with somewhat of a stronger selection which showed six members of this year's victorious All-Ireland U21 squad.
Pat Ryan and Gillane upped the Treaty lead to six early in the restart and debutant Seamus Flanagan (pictured) was their ninth scorer when he made it 1-18 to 0-17 with 15 minutes to play.
The hosts narrowed the deficit again and had matters level when Jack O'Connor hit the Limerick net but that was about as good as it got for the men from Leeside.
Gillane and Flanagan flew over three unanswered points before the latter goaled with seven minutes left on the clock and while Cork hit back the last scores would be lofted over by Diarmaid Byrnes and that man Gillane to ensure Limerick a seventh successive win in their opening game of the season.
Limerick - N Quaid; S Finn, S Hickey, R English; D Byrnes (0-2), D Hannon, D Morrissey; P Browne (0-1), P Ryan (0-1); C Lynch (0-1), D O'Donovan, T Morrissey (0-4); A Gillane (1-9, 0-5f), S Flanagan (1-3), B Nash (0-2). Subs: T Condon for S Hickey, C Ryan for P Ryan, D Reidy for D O'Donovan, B Murphy for B Nash, O O'Reilly for T Morrissey.
Cork - P Collins (0-1f); E Murphy, S O'Donoghue, D Griffin; D Browne, T O'Mahony, C O'Leary; B Lawton (0-1), S Murphy; D Kearney (0-1), R O'Flynn (0-1), D Brosnan (0-3); R O'Shea (0-5, 1f), E Finn (0-4), J O'Connor (1-2). Subs: B Murray (0-1) for R O'Flynn, R Cahalane for D Kearney, W Kearney for E Murphy, C Joyce (0-2) for S Murphy.
Referee - P Kelly.