Gary O'Neill scored a brace of goals to embellish a thoroughly efficient performance by St Patrick's Athletic at Turner's Cross to go top of Group Two of the Setanta Sports Cup.
St. Pat's were as secure as a bank vault in defence under sustained pressure and broke out so quickly and finished so impressively as to make Cork's attempts at goal seem clumsy by comparison.
Cork played some attractive football but with little end product. They were repeatedly frustrated by a St. Pat's defence which had Stephen Brennan sweeping while Darragh Maguire concentrated on effecting a man-marking job on Cork's strikers, Denis Behan and Roy O'Donovan.
The result of their tactical line-up meant that Pats had Anthony Murphy often working a solitary shift wide on the right but Cork never exploited that and the supply from the flanks to the strikers was fragmented and too often inaccurate.
Yet St. Pat's opening goal in the 32nd minute came as a surprise for they had been almost exclusively employed in countering Cork in the preceding minutes. They did so effectively that Cork could not exploit the pace of Roy O'Donovan and goalkeeper Barry Ryan was never extended.
So the signs were already ominous for Cork once St. Pat's jumped in front. The goal came when Sean Kelly did well to out-jump Joseph Ndo but as the ball fell and Ndo challenged Joe Gamble, Gary O'Neill stepped in to beat goalkeeper Michael Devine which a half-volley from 25 yards.
The goalkeeper was more obviously at fault for the second after 50 minutes. Kelly mis-timed an attempted clearance and O'Neill ran clear before cutting the ball across the edge of the penalty area where Alan Kirby was unmarked as he chipped the ball over Devine's head again from 25 yards range.
Cork were briefly back in the game when an attempted header from Maguire to his goalkeeper allowed substitute John O'Flynn in to turn the ball into the net in the 85th minute, but as Cork gambled so they were caught again on the rebound.
Ndo dribbled through the heart of the defence and penetrated into the penalty area before he was tripped by Joe Gamble. A red card was shown to Gamble and O'Neill stepped up to dispatch the penalty with 90 minutes showing on the clock.