Cork see off gutsy Wexford to clinch promotion

Jimmy Barry Murphy’s men also book a quarter-final date against Tipperary

Cock’s Conor Lehane fires  home his side’s second goal against Wexford at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cock’s Conor Lehane fires home his side’s second goal against Wexford at Páirc Uí Rinn. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Cork 2-24 Wexford 1-20

Cork ensured an immediate return to the top tier with a hard-fought win over Wexford before a crowd of 5,078 at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday. The home side seemed to be coasting to victory, when leading by 2-14 to 1-10 after 42 minutes, but Wexford rallied to come within a point during their best spell.

Inspired by centre-back Lee Chin and the industrious Diarmuid O’Keeffe at midfield, Wexford hit six unanswered points in a dominant 10-minute burst during which top scorer Paul Morris (3), Jack Guiney, O’Keeffe and Chin all found the range.

Home nerves
Cork’s response, though, was equally emphatic with impressive substitute Alan Cadogan injecting much-needed life into the attack as he helped himself to an eye-catching 0-3.

A couple of points from placed balls by Patrick Horgan settled home nerves before Cadogan’s second score after 63 minutes opened up a commanding 2-19 to 1-16 lead.

Try as they might Wexford couldn’t get any closer and they finished the game with 14 players after corner-back Bobby Kenny was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Cadogan in the third and final minute of injury-time.

Wexford had begun promisingly, when aided by the breeze. They stung Cork with a smashing goal after only seven minutes. Shane Tomkins picked out full-forward Jack Guiney, who easily rounded Stephen McDonnell before slamming the ball past Anthony Nash.

Cork roared back into contention with a couple of quick-fire goals of their own which Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fanning will want to forget quickly.

He fumbled the ball twice before getting it into his possession only to be whistled up by referee Barry Kelly for taking too many steps. Horgan duly blasted the resulting 20m free to the net, Cork 1-5 to 1-4 in front after 15 minutes.

Seconds later Cork pounced for their second goal. A foul in the home half-back line following the puck-out drew Nash away from his own zone to drop the free into the opposition square. Fanning fumbled the ball and in the ensuing scramble Conor Lehane bundled the ball over the line.

A Horgan free moments later extended Cork’s advantage to five points and it remained that way until the interval, 2-10 to 1-8, with midfielder Daniel Kearney playing an amount of ball into a forward sector, where Séamus Harnedy and Horgan looked dangerous.

Harnedy’s added two points in 30 seconds during the closing stages of the half.

Wexford weren’t helped by seven of their dozen wides as they turned around to face the wind with Cork on top.

Cork stretched their lead with a couple of Lehane points and when Stephen Moylan made it 2-14 to 1-10 Cork seemed to be heading for a comfortable win.
CORK: A Nash; S O’Neill, S McDonnell, K Murphy; S White, C Joyce, L McLoughlin; D Kearney, P Cronin (capt); B Lawton, P Horgan (1-10, 1-5 frees, 0-2 65s), C Lehane (1-3); B Hartnett (0-1), S Harnedy (0-5), S Moylan (0-1). Subs: P Haughney (0-1) for Lawton (49 mins), A Cadogan (0-3) for Hartnett, D Cahalane for White (54 mins), R O’Shea for Kearney (68 mins).
WEXFORD: M Fanning; K Rossiter, M O’Hanlon, B Kenny; L Ryan, L Chin (0-1), W Devereux; D O’Keeffe (0-3), H Kehoe (0-1); S Tomkins, C McDonald, P Morris (0-10, seven frees); R Jacob, J Guiney (1-1), L og McGovern (0-2). Subs: E Moore for Ryan, PJ Nolan for McGovern, P Doran (0-2) for Tomkins, half-time, E Martin for Devereux and C Devitt for Kehoe 65 mins.
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

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