Goulding took up where he left off in last Sunday’s Munster SFC final to finish with 1-6 (1-4 from play) while his county team-mate could only manage five points, three from frees.
Apart from Goulding, the winners had another excellent player in Ciarán Sheehan, also a member of the county senior team, but he is heading off down under next week for at least four weeks to try his hand at Aussie Rules football.
Ballydesmond were disappointing. They never got going and with O’Connor well policed by Cian Lowney, the sting was taken out of their attack and only Niall Fleming and Liam J Murphy posed any threat.
Éire Óg played with the stiff breeze from the start and enjoyed the lion’s share of the play, using the long ball to good effect. It took a excellent save by Fergal O’Sullivan in the Ballydesmond net to deny Aidan O’Connor a goal, but the incessant pressure eventually told and three points in a row had the mid Cork side comfortably in front after 10 minutes, a measure of their outfield superiority.
Goulding was the perfect target man at full-forward for Éire Óg and showed his class with a splendid goal in the 12th minute when he held off a couple of defenders after gaining possession from Aidan O’Connor’s long delivery to fire the ball home.
The Cork senior was proving more than a handful for his marker and he landed an excellent points soon after to put his side 1-4 to 0-0 in front at the end of the first quarter. Despite being without a score for that same period, Ballydesmond did create changes but faulty finishing cost them.
In an effort to try and curtail the influence Goulding was having on the game, Ballydesmond switched midfielder Jerry Healy back to full back, but it had little effect as the county man tacked on another point as the Duhallow side remained scoreless after 25 minutes’ play.
Ballydesmond eventually got on the scoresheet when Liam J Murphy opened their account with a point in the 26th minute but they were grateful to keeper Fergal O’Sullivan who denied Goulding a goal coming up to the break and a 1-6 to 0-2 half time lead looked beyond the Duhallow side.
There was no respite for Ballydesmond on the changeover, as Goulding continued to add to his first half tally with a point in the 33rd minute and the tie was well and truly done and dusted in Éire Óg’s favour in the 35th minute with a second goal.
It came after Aidan O’Mahony passed to Ciarán Sheehan in full flight and the All-Ireland U21 medal winner was never going to miss from five metres out, for a goal which put his side 2-9 to 0-3 in front and well on their way to a quarter-final meeting with Cill na Martra.
Éire Óg took their foot off the pedal and allowed Ballydesmond get a grip but they needed at least one goal if they were to have any chance and that never looked likely against a rock solid defence.
Ballydesmond had to be content with picking off a point here and there and as Éire Óg failed to score for the last 15 minutes, the Duhallow side finished with four points in a row but they only served to put a more respectable look on the scoreboard.
Scorers for Éire Óg: D Goulding 1-6 (0-1 free, 0-1 45); C Sheehan 1-1; D O’Herlihy 0-2; J Dineen 0-1.
Ballydesmond: D O’Connor 0-5 (0-3 frees); N Fleming 0-3; LJ Murphy 0-1.
ÉIRE ÓG: C Hallissey; T Dineen, S McCarthy, R Coveney; C O’Mahoney, B Corkery, C Lowney; A O’Mahony, D Keane; J Crowley, C Sheehan, D O’Herlihy; A O’Connor, D Goulding, J Dineen.
Sub: K Hallissey for J Dineen (45).
BALLYDESMOND: F O’Sullivan; T Howard, S, Murphy, DJ Kelly; J Kelly, C O’Keeffe, J Leary; O’Callaghan, J Healy; DJ Kelleher, D O’Connor, S O’Connor; LJ Murphy, N Fleming, D Kelly.
Subs: P Breen for DJ Kelleher (20); D Sullivan for D Kelly (half time); J Shaughnessy for J Leahy (37); W O’Connor for S O’Connor (37).
Referee: D Farrell (Mitchelstown).