Cork 0-16 Down 1-8
CORK finished with 13 players, but still had enough to cope with Storm Ciara and Down’s stern challenge to preserve their 100 per cent record in Division 3 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Some 1,658 hardy souls braved Baltic conditions to witness Cork make it three wins from as many outings and remain on course for a swift return to the second tier.
Ciara blew at her fiercest the minute Dublin referee Barry Tiernan threw in the ball with Cork enjoying gale advantage from the start.
The wind and drenching rain whipped down the field to the Blackrock end and it was so gloomy that the floodlights had to be switched on for a 2pm game.
Cork, who led by 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval, were always in command and only came under pressure late on after Sean White was sent off for a mystery second yellow card in the 56th minute.
Just before the end of regulation time and before the start of six minutes’ injury-time, Cork lost defender Kevin Crowley to a shoulder injury having used all five substitutes.
The only concern, regarding the score line anyway, was when Barry O’Hagan and Owen McCabe link to set-up substitute Corey Quinn for a goal after 65 minutes.
It reduced Cork’s lead to 0-15 to 1-8, but the Ulster side couldn’t score again and were left to regret 13 wides before substitute Luke Connolly converted an outrageous free from a difficult angle on the right to complete the scoring.
Despite playing into the gale, Down scored first through O’Hare after only two minutes, but it took them half-an-hour to claim their second.
In between Cork registered seven as they stuck to the game-plan and were patient and methodical in their build-up as Down parked the bus and more.
Tom Clancy ventured out from full-back to land a beauty for 0-5 to 0-1 entering the second quarter and it was left to Ruairí Deane to wrap-up the first-half scoring, making space to fire with his left.
Would Cork’s six-point advantage be enough to cater for the demands of the second-half, when Down would expect to be more attack-minded?
Captain Ian Maguire answered in the positive by scoring off his left within two minutes of the resumption and the rest of the side took their cue.
And while Down replied with a couple of points, Cork hit back with quick-fire scores from Liam O’Donovan and a peach from Damien Gore, who shimmied neatly to his left.
Cork’s growing confidence was further reflected in another youngster Cathail O’Mahony making it 0-12 to 0-5 with a super score in the 47th minute.
And when outstanding wing-back Tadhg Corkery kicked another impressive point almost immediately, Cork were well on their way to victory.
Scorers for Cork: C O’Mahony 0-3 (0-2 f), D Gore 0-3 (0-2 f), I Maguire 0-2, T Corkery, L O’Donovan, B Hartnett, T Clancy, J O’Rourke, R Deane 0-1 each, C Sheehan and L Connolly 0-1 f each
Down: C Quinn 1-1, D O’Hagan and O McCabe 0-2 each, D O’Hare 0-2 (0-1 f), P Devlin 0-1.
CORK: MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); S Powter (Douglas), T Clancy (Clonakilty), K Crowley (Millstreet); T Corkery (Cill na Martra), L O’Donovan (Clonakilty), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s, c), B Hartnett (Douglas); J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), S White (Clonakilty), R Deane (Bantry Blues); D Gore (Kilmacabea), C Sheehan (Éire Óg), C O’Mahony (Mitchelstown).
Subs: C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg) for Sheehan 50, L Connolly (Nemo Rangers) for Deane 52, P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers) for Gore 54, K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) for O’Rourke 58, C Kiely (Ballincollig) for Powter 62.
DOWN: R Burns; G Collins, P Murdock, R McAleenan; S Annett, D O’Hagan, captain, J Flynn; C Poland, O McCabe; K McKernan, P Devlin, D Guinness; B O’Hagan, D O’Hare, J Johnston.
Subs: L Kerr for Annett and C Quinn for McKernan half-time, S Dornan for Devlin 48, J Guinness for Collins 51, L Middleton for Poland 65.
Referee: B Tiernan (Dublin).