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Goulding finds range for Corkin decisive second-half surge

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Daniel Goulding, Cork

Daniel Goulding, Cork

Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

John Gilligan, Westmeath, in action against Brian O'Driscoll, left, and Ruairi Deane, Cork

John Gilligan, Westmeath, in action against Brian O'Driscoll, left, and Ruairi Deane, Cork

Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

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Daniel Goulding, Cork

Cork produced a marked improvement in the second half to see off Westmeath at Pairc Ui Rinn.

The Rebels, under the management of Brian Cuthbert in the league for the first time, scored nine unanswered points in the second half after Kieran Martin had given the visitors a 0-6 to 0-5 lead.

The Lake County's resurgence had come after they allowed Cork a headstart and home manager Cuthbert revealed that a refocusing was needed after the sides had gone in at 0-5 each at half-time.

"I thought we started quite well," he said, "but after 10 or 12 minutes, fellas moved away from the script a little bit and allowed Westmeath to play. I had said to the players that if they did that, it would give Westmeath confidence and they'd come at us. That's what they did and they played good football in that period before the break.

"At half-time, I said that we weren't working hard enough and we weren't doing what we said we'd do and what we were supposed to do. We put it up to them at half-time and certainly the second half was much better."

Daniel Goulding finished with seven points and was generally very effective, while Aidan Walsh took over at midfield in the second half, allowing Cork a strong platform upon which to build. Walsh also kicked three points, while Mark Collins and half-backs Tom Clancy and Tomás Clancy were others to put in good shifts.

It will be worrying, though, that despite a fine start – they led by 0-4 to 0-1 after 15 minutes – Cork allowed Westmeath back into contention. John Heslin, Kieran Martin, Ger Egan and excellent captain Paul Sharry were all to the fore as they hit four unanswered points.

Fintan Goold – who had been lucky to avoid a black card moments earlier – tied matters at the interval and though Martin pushed Westmeath ahead again upon the resumption, they had no answer when Cork upped the ante.

The hosts finished with nine scorers in total and showed a good work rate to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Westmeath dropped more and more players back, but that had the result of allowing Cork to enjoy the lion's share of possession and Walsh, Goulding, Brian Hurley and James Loughrey kicked fine points.

They can now look forward to another home tie next week, against fellow winners Kildare.

Westmeath must preparefor a joust with All-Ireland champions Dublin and manager Paul Bealin – a former Dubs player – was taking positives from this game.

"We needed to know where we were in terms of a level after coming up,'' he said. ''Cork are a good league team and they have good strength in depth, but we know now where the benchmark is."

Scorers – Cork: D Goulding 0-7 (3fs), A Walsh 0-3, M Collins 0-2, F Goold, J Loughrey, B Hurley, D Óg Hodnett, J O'Rourke, B O'Driscoll 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Heslin 0-4 (3fs), K Martin (1f), G Egan 0-2 each, R Connellan, J Egan 0-1 each.

CORK – K O'Halloran 6; J McLoughlin 7, E Cadogan 6, M Shields 6; J Loughrey 6, Tom Clancy (Clonakilty) 7, Tomás Clancy (Fermoy) 7; A Walsh 8, A O'Sullivan 7; M Collins 7, P Kerrigan 6, F Goold 6; D Goulding 8, B Hurley 6, D Óg Hodnett 6. Subs: D O'Connor 6 for Kerrigan (45), C Dorman 6 for Shields (49, inj), B O'Driscoll 7 for Tomás Clancy (54), R Deane 6 for Tom Clancy, J O'Rourke 7 for Collins (both 60), J Hayes 6 for Hurley (64).

WESTMEATH – D Quinn 7; S Gilmore 6, K Maguire 6, Damien Dolan 5; J Dolan 6, J Gilligan 6, J Gonoud 5; D Duffy 6, D Corroon 6; G Egan 7, J Egan 6, P Sharry 7; K Martin 6, J Heslin 8, A Giles 5. Subs: D Glennon 6 for Giles (33), K Gavin 6 for Damien Dolan (42), Dessie Dolan 6 for Martin (45), R Connellan 6 for Corroon (55), D McNicholas 6 for Heslin (68, inj).

Ref – P O'Sullivan (Kerry)

Irish Independent