Cork 0-18 Westmeath 0-10

Updated: Sunday, 02 Feb 2014 19:22 | Comments

Cork's Mark Collins and Jamie Gonoud of Westmeath do battle for the ball
Cork's Mark Collins and Jamie Gonoud of Westmeath do battle for the ball


Daniel Goulding scored seven points as Cork got their Allianz Football League campaign off to a winning start with a 0-18 to 0-10 home defeat of Westmeath.

It was 0-05 apiece at half-time and Kieran Martin put Westmeath ahead upon the resumption, but from there Cork were unstoppable thanks to nine unanswered points.

Aidan Walsh, Mark Collins and Tom Clancy all impressed in Brian Cuthbert’s first league game in charge, while John Heslin top-scored for Westmeath with five points.

While pleased with how commanding his side had ultimately been, Cork manager Cuthbert acknowledged that they had needed some refreshing with regards to the game-plan.

"At half-time, I said that we weren't working hard enough and we weren't doing what we said we'd do and what we were supposed to do. We put it up to them (the players) at half-time and certainly the second half was much better," he said.

It must be said that early on there were few signs that the Rebels would experience any obstruction in the first half.

They raced into a 0-04 to 0-01 lead inside the opening quarter of an hour, Walsh and Goulding each with two fine points.

In addition, debutant Donal Óg Hodnett did well when he came in along the end-line and hand passed across goal but Collins was unlucky to palm the ball against the post.

Westmeath were buoyed by that let-off and a Heslin free coupled with a good Martin point from a Heslin pass had them back to within a point.

Ger Egan then levelled after good work by impressive captain Paul Sharry and Cork continued to play sloppily, with Fintan Goold lucky to escape a black card after a foul on John Egan.

Another Heslin free, after Sharry had been fouled, put the Lake County in front, though Goold ensured that Cork went in level at half-time at 0-05 each.

Martin's lead point for Westmeath appeared to signal a continuation of the war of attrition after the restart, but instead Cork got going again and showed good application to ensure that it would be them getting the win.

Goulding, along with Paul Kerrigan the only member of the starting six forwards to have begun the 2010 All-Ireland final, was the shining light in attack while Walsh had taken ownership of midfield, ably assisted by Andrew O'Sullivan.

Tomás Clancy at left half-back and his near-namesake Tom at centre back were also prominent and though Westmeath withdrew Heslin from full-forward to get him on the ball more, they could not get any joy at the other end.

Hodnett, James Loughrey, Brian Hurley and substitute Brian O'Driscoll and John O’Rourke all got on the scoresheet for Cork, who finished with nine scorers, and the game lost its flow as both teams began to empty their benches.

Heslin, who went off late on with an injury, continued to battle for Westmeath and two points from him ended a barren period.

That briefly brought them back to within six points but a tight Cork defence never looked like coughing up a goal and they moved 10 clear again, rendering late Westmeath points from Ray Connellan and John Egan mere consolations.

Cork now look forward to welcoming Kildare next Sunday, knowing that a win would more or less extinguish any relegation fears. Westmeath must take on Dublin, hoping to avoid a second consecutive defeat.

Cork: K O'Halloran; J McLoughlin, E Cadogan, M Shields; J Loughrey (0-01), Tom Clancy (Clonakilty), Tomás Clancy (Fermoy); A Walsh (0-03), A O'Sullivan; M Collins (0-02), P Kerrigan, F Goold (0-01); D Goulding (0-07, 0-03f), B Hurley (0-01), D Óg Hodnett (0-01).

Substitues used: D O'Connor for Kerrigan (45 mins), C Dorman for Shields (49, inj), B O'Driscoll (0-01) for Tomás Clancy (54), R Deane for Tom Clancy, J O'Rourke (0-01) for Collins (both 60), J Hayes for Hurley (64).

Westmeath: D Quinn; S Gilmore, K Maguire, Damien Dolan; J Dolan, J Gilligan, J Gonoud; D Duffy, D Corroon; G Egan (0-02), J Egan (0-01), P Sharry; K Martin (0-02, 0-01f), J Heslin (0-04, 0-03f), A Giles.

Substitues used: D Glennon for Giles (33 mins), K Gavin for Damien Dolan (42), Dessie Dolan for Martin (45), R Connellan (0-01) for Corroon (55), D McNicholas for Heslin (68, inj).

Referee: Padraig O'Sullivan (Kerry)

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