Cork had their expected facile win against Westmeath in this afternoon's All-Ireland senior hurling preliminary hurling quarter-final in sun-drenched Mullingar in front of over 3,000 spectators, most of them having made the long journey from the Rebel County.
The visitors opted to go for points in the first half and all six forwards, together with midfielders Bill Cooper and Tim O’Mahony, made the score-sheet in the first half.
Alan Cadogan was top scorer from play with five points, followed by Séamus Harnedy on four, with Shane Kingston and Darragh Fitzgibbon both scoring hat-tricks. Westmeath had Eoin Price, listed at full forward, sweeping to good effect and he also scored three great long-range points for Joe Quaid’s troops.
Cork’s only goal chance of the first half came in the 34th minute, following one of many unforced errors from the Lake County rear-guard, but Cadogan was unable to get a crucial flick from close range.
Killian Doyle, who averaged a whopping 14 points per game during Westmeath’s five-match campaign in the Joe McDonagh Cup, scored his third free – and fourth point overall – with the second last puck of the half, but Cork still led by 0-24 to 0-9 at the interval.
Despite resting three key players for the second half, Cork were never troubled despite an outclassed home team refusing to throw in the towel. Robbie O’Flynn made a big impression and he scored 1-4 during the second half, his well-taken goal coming in the 31st minute.
Doyle and Price continued to lead the way for Westmeath but John Meyler’s men were seldom in top gear as they got in some shooting practice ahead of next weekend’s quarter-final clash against Kilkenny.
Gary Greville picked up a brace of late yellow cards for Westmeath who can still be happy with a year which yielded success in the Kehoe Cup and Division 2A of the National League.
Cork: A Nash; S McDonnell, E Cadogan, N O’Leary; C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman; B Cooper (0-01), T O’Mahony (0-01); C Lehane (0-04), D Fitzgibbon (0-03), S Kingston (0-05); A Cadogan (0-05), P Horgan (0-10, 0-05 frees), S Harnedy (0-05). Subs: J Coughlan (0-01) for A Cadogan (half-time), R O’Flynn (1-04) for Cooper (half-time), D Cahalane for Coleman (half-time), D Dalton (0-01) for Harnedy (45), D Browne for Ellis (51).
Westmeath: C Lynch; D Egerton, T Doyle, G Greville; L Varley, A Clarke (0-02), P Greville (0-01); S Clavin (0-01), J Gilligan; J Boyle, K Doyle (0-09, 0-05 frees) , C Boyle; J Galvin (0-01), E Price (0-04), R Greville (0-01). Subs: D O’Reilly for Clavin (39), D McNicholas for J Boyle (45), C Doyle (0-01) for C Boyle (47), C Shaw for Clarke (inj., 53), A Craig for Varley (69).
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)