Horgan and Coughlan shine for Rebels

Cork 3-18 Laois 0-13

The game, held to celebrate the opening of the club’s new facilities, was somewhat spoiled by a strong breeze but Laois adapted to it quicker and jumped into an early four-point lead thanks to the accuracy of wing-forward Willie Hyland.

However, once Cork found their feet they were in command. Brian Murphy was dominant at wing-back, Niall McCarthy won a lot of ball around the middle and Patrick Horgan was unerring up front.

Horgan had three of Cork’s early points, Cathal Naughton the other, before the men in red struck for their first goal.

Newtownshandrum youngster Jamie Coughlan doubled on a loose ball and though Conor Dunne and Hyland had points for Laois to leave it 1-4 to 0-7, Horgan stretched Cork’s lead again with two points before setting up Coughlan for Cork’s second goal.

That score came on the stroke of half-time, giving Cork a 2-7 to 0-7 lead at the break.

Despite making a number of changes Cork were able to maintain the pressure on the visitors with Horgan, Coughlan and Ryan Clifford making up a very dangerous full-forward line.

Coughlan hit a terrific point from the wing to help Cork ease out to a double-figure lead, 2-13 to 0-8, midway through the half.

From there until the end it was a procession of Cork scores, with Patrick Horgan’s point from distance, following a run from his own half, the pick of the bunch. With five minutes left the ball broke inside to Clifford, who finished tidily for his side’s third goal.

Cork were seriously understrength given the weekend’s football duty but local aficionados will have noted that Cathal Naughton and Lorcan McLoughlin played midfield for the entire game. Most observers feel there is at least one vacancy in that sector on Cork’s championship team, with Pa Cronin a likely starter.

Jamie Coughlan, who finished with 2-3, was the star of the attack and may be an outside option for Cork boss Denis Walsh come the championship. There has been much talk about Conor Lehane but the Midleton youngster has been ruled out by Walsh as he will be doing his Leaving Certificate when Cork face Tipperary. On last night’s evidence Coughlan may offer a similar threat.

Scorers for Cork: P Horgan 0-12 (8f), J Coughlan 2-3, R Clifford 1-1, C Naughton, B Corry 0-1 each.

Scorers for Laois: W Hyland 0-8 (4f), C Dunne 0-2, B Dunne, J Walsh, W Dunphy 0-1 each.

CORK: D Óg Cusack; S McDonnell, E Dillon, C O’Sullivan; J Jordan, J Nagle, B Murphy; L McLoughlin, C Naughton; B Corry, C McCarthy, N McCarthy; J Coughlan, P Horgan, B. O’Connor.

Subs: G O’Loughlin for O’Connor, T Murray for Murphy, R Clifford for McCarthy (ht), B Cooper for C McCarthy (43).

LAOIS: P Mullaney; J Delaney, B Campion, B Stapleton; J Fitzpatrick, M Whelan, B Galvin; J Walsh, S Burke; B Dunne, C Dunne, W Hyland; O Holohan N. Costello, J. Brophy.

Subs: S Dollard, W Dunphy for Burke and Holohan (ht), D Peacock for Costello (46), M Bermingham for J. Brophy (58).

Referee: J O’Mahony (Limerick).

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