By John Fallon in Fenway Park
All-Ireland champions Limerick rounded off a glorious year by capturing the Aer Lingus Fenway Hurling Classic.
Limerick 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 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)