Cork made it three wins from three in Division 3 of the Allianz FL as Down were seen off at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.
With the considerable wind behind them in the first half, the Rebels retired at half-time with an 0-08 to 0-02 lead and the closest Down came in the second half was five points, despite the hosts finishing with 13 players.
Ronan McCarthy's side, who had already beaten Offaly and Leitrim, only trailed after Donal O’Hare kicked the game’s opening point for Down and they finished with 11 different scorers to ensure they remained on their own at the top of the table.
After falling behind to O'Hare’s opener, Cork took control as John O’Rourke, Cathail O’Mahony and John O’Rourke put them in front, though good defending was required from Tadhg Corkery and Kevin Crowley at the other end.
On 15 minutes, Ciarán Sheehan might have had a Cork goal after Seán Powter did well to set him up but his attempt from a tight angle was wide. However, Brian Hartnett, Thomas Clancy, Gore and Sheehan all tacked on points to leave Cork six ahead.
It wasn’t until just before the break that Owen McCabe ended 31 scoreless minutes for Down but Cork’s Ruairí Deane had the final point of the half and then captain Ian Maguire made it 0-09 to 0-02 on the resumption.
While Down replied through their best performer Darren O’Hagan and Paul Devlin, it wasn’t the signal for a revival as Cork had four of the next five points, working the ball well against the wind as Liam O’Donovan, Gore, O’Mahony and Corkery all had points.
That made it 0-13 to 0-05 and Cork sub Colm O’Callaghan could have removed any doubts about the outcome when he went for goal after O’Rourke and Seán White set him up but Rory Burns saved well.
Soon after that, Cork lost White to a second yellow card, though Maguire had a point to open up a nine-point lead and, after Cory Quinn pointed for Down, O’Mahony replied.
Down did harness some momentum in the closing stages as points from O’Hare and Darren O’Hagan were followed by a goal from Quinn, who reacted when the ball broke from Barry O’Hagan’s delivery.
Cork did not panic though and sub Luke Connolly stroked over a free from a tight angle to ensured they retained a cushion. While Crowley departed injured after all Cork’s subs had been used, they saw the game out to remain on maximum points.
Cork: Micheál Martin; Liam O’Donovan (0-01), Thomas Clancy (0-01), Kevin Crowley; Tadhg Corkery (0-01), Seán Powter, Mattie Taylor; Ian Maguire (0-02), Brian Hartnett (0-01); Ruairí Deane (0-01), Seán White, John O’Rourke (0-01); Damien Gore (0-03, 0-02 frees), Ciarán Sheehan (0-01 free), Cathail O’Mahony (0-03, 0-02 frees).
Subs: Colm O’Callaghan for Sheehan (50), Luke Connolly (0-01 free) for Deane (52), Paul Kerrigan for Gore (55), Killian O’Hanlon for O’Rourke (58), Cian Kiely for Powter (62).
Down: Rory Burns; Gerard Collins, Patrick Murdock, Ryan McAleenan; Shane Annett, Darren O’Hagan (0-02), Johnny Flynn; Conor Poland, Owen McCabe (0-02); Barry O'Hagan, Paul Devlin (0-01), Daniel Guinness; Kevin McKernan, Donal O’Hare (0-02, 0-01 free), Jerome Johnston (1-01).
Subs: Liam Kerr for Annett h-t, Cory Quinn for McKernan h-t, Seán Dornan for Devlin 49, James Guinness for Collins 50, Liam Middleton for Poland 66.
Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin).