Cork remain unbeaten in Hurling League


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Cork displayed their firepower to full effect at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday as they recorded a 33-point victory over Westmeath to make it three Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A games undefeated.

Despite being without Séamus Harnedy, Shane Kingston and Robbie O’Flynn, the Rebels’ reserves of attacking talent are deepening and, despite a slow start, there was never any doubts about the outcome here.

A ninth-minute goal from Alan Connolly – the first of two from him – helped Cork into a lead that wouldn’t be lost and they were 1-5 to 0-4 in front by the first-half water-break. While Killian Doyle replied for Westmeath, who were unlucky to lose Niall O’Brien and Davy Glennon to first-half injuries, Cork pushed on with points from Patrick Horgan, Alan Cadogan, Shane Kingston and Luke Meade and it was 2-9 to 0-5 on the half-hour as Meade finished off a lovely team move.

A third goal arrived as Daire Connery and Alan Connolly combined for Horgan to find the net and four points on the trot coming up to half-time gave Kieran Kingston’s side a 3-14 to 0-9 advantage.

By the time Westmeath would get their tenth point, from star forward Josh Coll in the 50th minute, Cork had an unanswered 4-5. Shane Barrett grabbed the fourth goal soon after the start of the second half and Horgan got his second in the wake of that after poor Westmeath defending.

On 41, Alan Cadogan profited from a Fitzgibbon pass to make it 6-17 to 0-9 and the seventh goal was Connolly’s second, touching home a lovely pass from sub Simon Kennefick, who was making his debut.

The period after the second-half water-break was little more than a procession for Cork, who finished with 13 different scorers – they have now gone three games unbeaten for the first time since the 2018 season. They are sure to find things more difficult next time out against All-Ireland champions Limerick, but they can take encouragement from the manner of the victory here.

Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 2-4 (0-2 frees), Alan Cadogan 1-4, Alan Connolly 2-1, Shane Barrett 1-3, Luke Meade 1-2, Daire Connery 0-3 (0-2 frees), Tim O’Mahony, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Brian Turnbull (0-2 frees) 0-2 each, Conor Cahalane, Robert Downey, Seán Twomey, Seán O’Leary Hayes 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: Killian Doyle (0-4f), Josh Coll 0-5 each, Ciarán Doyle 0-2, Aaron Craig, Aonghus Clarke, Davy Glennon 0-1 each.

CORK: Ger Collins; Seán O’Leary Hayes, Eoin Cadogan, Seán O’Donoghue; Tim O’Mahony, Niall Cashman, Robert Downey; Darragh Fitzgibbon, Daire Connery; Conor Cahalane, Luke Meade, Shane Barrett; Alan Connolly, Patrick Horgan, Alan Cadogan. Subs: Tadgh Deasy for Meade, Simon Kennefick for Horgan (both 41), James O’Flynn for O’Mahony (48), Bill Cooper for Fitzgibbon (52), Brian Turnbull for Alan Cadogan (53), Seán Twomey for Connolly (54), Daniel Meaney for Connery (56).

WESTMEATH: Eoin Skelly; Darragh Egerton, Tommy Doyle, Brendan Doyle; Aaron Craig, Aonghus Clarke, Shane Clavin; Joey Boyle, Alan Cox; Niall O’Brien, Killian Doyle, Robbie Greville; Davy Glennon, Niall Mitchell, Josh Coll. Subs: Eoghan Ahearn for O’Brien (9, injured), Ciarán Doyle for Glennon (21, injured), Shane Williams for Ahearn (48), Conor Shaw for Doyle (58), Kevin Regan for Brendan Doyle, Peadar Scally for Craig (both 63).

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).

Picture courtesy of John O’ Brien