Collins' superb lob knocks spirited Down challenge as Cork earn first points
Cork 1-13 Down 0-10
A strong second half from Cork saw them pick up their first Division Two points of the campaign at Pairc Esler.
They outscored Down after the break by 1-6 to 0-4, Mark Collins with the all-important goal after 55 minutes with a superb lob over the head of Down goalkeeper Shane Harrison, whose poor kick-out had gifted the Rebels' possession.
Both sides finished with 14 players with Cork's Jamie O'Sullivan and Down's Connaire Harrison sent-off after a scuffle right on the stroke of full-time. Harrison was given a straight red for a suspected headbutt.
Having lost by six points to Tipperary last weekend, this was a lot more in keeping with what Cork manager Ronan McCarthy was hoping to see.
"In the Tipp game last week and in the McGrath Cup (final) against Clare and in recent years, when teams were getting on top we were conceding big scores," he said.
"The big difference today was that didn't happen and we got a foothold in the game again and tacked on a couple of scores and won it comfortably."
Cork led by 0-5 to 0-1 after 13 minutes with Colm O'Neill, Mark Collins and Sean White all on target. However Caolan Mooney was instrumental in getting the Mournemen back into it with a sparkling display as the home side hit three points in a row.
Anthony Doherty's long-range free-taking off the ground was also huge for Down, he nailed three fine efforts in the opening half, and they battled well to reduce the deficit to 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.
Down had put themselves in a decent position in the second quarter but there was no spark about them after the break as Cork took control. Two quick-fire points from Collins, one a free, edged them ahead midway through the second half.
While a long-distance effort from Mooney closed the gap to a point on 53 minutes, Collins' goal killed Down off. It all came from an awful kick-out by Shane Harrison that went straight to Ruairi Deane. He played in Collins who spotted the Down keeper off his line and cleverly looped the ball over his head and into the net.
Scorers - Cork: M Collins 1-5 (2f), C O'Neill 0-5 (4f), S White 0-2, P Kelleher 0-1. Down: A Doherty 0-3 (3f), D O'Hanlon 0-2 (2f), C Mooney, S Millar, C Harrison, K McKernan, R Johnston 0-1 each;
Down: S Harrison 5; C Flanagan 6, D O'Hagan 6, B McArdle 5; D O'Hanlon 6, N McParland 5, A Doherty 7; C Poland 5, N Donnelly 5; C Mooney 8, C Maginn 5, S Millar 6; D O'Hare 5, C Harrison 6, A Morgan 6. Subs: B O'Hagan 5 for O'Hare (51), K McKernan 6 for Maginn (51), R Johnston 6 for Millar (56), D McKibbin 5 for Doherty (56).
Cork: M White 6; S Ryan 7, J O'Sullivan 8, M McSweeney 7; K Flahive 7, B O'Driscoll 6, T Clancy 7; I Maguire 8, C O'Hanlon 7; S White 7, K Crowley 6, R Deane 6; J O'Rourke 6, C O'Neill 7, M Collins 8. Subs: M Hurley 6 for O'Rourke (44), C Dorman 6 for O'Driscoll (51), P Kelleher 7 for O'Hanlon (60), M Taylor 7 for White (63), C Dorgan NR for Flahive (68), S Sherlock NR for O'Neill (69).
Ref - Fergal Kelly (Longford).