A cakewalk for Cork in Mullingar as they eased themselves into an All-Ireland quarter-final against Kilkenny in Croke Park in seven days’ time.
Up 15 points at the break, John Meyler had the luxury of taking off Alan Cadogan, Bill Cooper and Mark Coleman. Captain Seamus Harnedy was also benched early and half-time substitute Robbie O’Flynn scored 1-4.
O’Flynn was set up for his 41st minute by Patrick Horgan who sent over eight points himself. Westmeath made things more respectable in the second half but were hampered by their poor shooting, registered 19 wides in total.
Cork hit the 30-point aggregate mark in the 42nd minute via Conor Lehane, 40 points with a Horgan free in the 69th minute and it was Horgan again from a placed ball with the last score of the game that hit the visitors’ 40th point.
Ahead 0-24 to 0-9 at half-time, it really was a breeze for Cork and Alan Cadogan showed the way in the opening stages, sending over three points inside the opening 10 minutes. After Eoin Price made it a one-point game in the sixth minute, the next six scores were Cork’s, Patrick Horgan sending over two in succession.
Westmeath were crippled on their puck-out and while Shane Kingston and Lehane were slow to get going their work-rate was faultless along with Darragh Fitzgibbon, who was enjoying his new centre-forward role. Two Killian Doyle frees in the middle of the half provided some respite for Westmeath but it was short-lived as Cork fired over another six points on the trot.
Cork hit the 20-point mark in the 29th minute and Lehane became the last of the six forwards to score in the 32nd minute. The closest to a goal came a minute later when Eoin Price cleared from Cadogan after a driving Fitzgibbon run.
Scorers for Westmeath: K. Doyle (0-9, 6 frees); E. Price (0-4); A. Clarke (0-2); R. Greville, P. Greville, S. Clavin, Ciarán Doyle, J. Galvin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan (0-10, 5 frees); R. O’Flynn (1-4); A. Cadogan, S. Kingston, S. Harnedy (0-5 each); C. Lehane (0-4); D. Fitzgibbon (0-3); B. Cooper, T. O’Mahony, J. Coughlan, D. Dalton (0-1 each).
WESTMEATH: C. Lynch; G. Greville, T. Doyle, D. Egerton; A. Clarke (c); L. Varley, P. Greville, S. Clavin; E. Price; C. Boyle, J. Gilligan; K. Doyle, J. Boyle; J. Galvin, R. Greville.
Subs for Westmeath: D. O’Reilly for S. Clavin (40); D. McNicholas for J. Boyle (46); Ciarán Boyle for Cormac Boyle (48); C. Shaw for A. Clarke (inj 52); A. Craig for L. Varley (70).
Sent off: G. Greville (second yellow, 69).
CORK: A. Nash; S. McDonnell, E. Cadogan, N. O’Leary; C. Joyce, M. Ellis, M. Coleman; B. Cooper, T. O’Mahony; C. Lehane, D. Fitzgibbon, S. Kingston; A. Cadogan, P. Horgan, S. Harnedy (c).
Subs for Cork: D. Cahalane for M. Coleman, J. Coughlan for A. Cadogan, R. O’Flynn for B. Cooper (all h-t); D. Dalton for S. Harnedy (45); D. Browne for M. Ellis (51).
Referee: P. Murphy (Carlow).