Cork welcomed Wexford to Pairc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday in their first home game of the Allianz hurling league. Both sides had lost their opener to Kilkenny and Limerick, so a win was of vital importance to both teams.
Cork welcomed back Bill Cooper, Conor Lehane and Mark Coleman and also in from the start was Michael O’Halloran who came on in Nolan Park along with Conor Calahane as Cork shuffled the team for this must win contest.
Wexford almost had a goal from their opening attack, but Anthony Nash saved well. Wexford did take the lead through Sean Murphy, but Cork replied with three in a row as Bill Cooper, Tim O’Mahony and Patrick Horgan were on target. Paul Morris made it a one-point game again from a free but Patrick Horgan with his second point restored the twopoint advantage after ten minutes played. Wexford continued to compete and midfielder Diarmuid O’Keefe had a point from play before Horgan was again on target for the rebels. At the end of the opening quarter just a point separated the sides as Cathal Dunbar pointed for Wexford who trailed by 0-4 to 0-5 after 17 minutes played.
Wexford continued to battle hard and while Tim O’Mahony had another Cork point, Wexford through Cathal Dunbar hit back. Each time the Cork response was good with Cormac Murphy finding the target. Wexford hung in and drew level with two fine points from Cathal Dunbar and Paudie Foley before Aidan Walsh had Cork back in front again with two fine points. The visitors then went in front when David Dunne finished the ball to the net to put Wexford back in front in the 27th minute. At half -time the sides were still level as Aidan Walsh fired over his third point from play to leave it 0-10 to 1-7 at the interval.
Wexford began the second half with two quick points and while Aidan Walsh got one back for Cork after Patrick Horgan had hit the crossbar. It was Wexford that started to pull clear with Jack O’Connor firing over two free’s. Cork did respond with Bill Cooper, Patrick Horgan and Daniel Kearney levelling matters. The introduction of Rory O’Connor and Lee Chin gave Wexford added impetus as Jack O’Connor and Rory O’Connor had points either side
of one from Conor Lehane for Cork while another O’Connor free extended the Wexford lead to two again with just over ten minutes remaining. Patrick Horgan missed a free before Wexford were given a controversial one converted by Jack O’Connor to make it a two-point game. O’Connor then landed one from play before Shane Kingston hit a fine score for Cork.
Wexford then hit a wonder point from Paudie Foley to make it a four-point contest again as Cork pushed hard but hit a few bad wides. Time was now the enemy for the rebels as Cathal Dunbar pointed for Wexford who were edging ever closer to victory. Patrick Horgan
had a late point for Cork, but it proved too little too late as the rebels succumbed to a second league defeat. Wexford for their part were full value for their win as Cork remain rooted to the bottom with no points from their opening two games.
It is too early for Cork to press the panic button just yet but with games against Clare, Limerick and Tipperary still to come it is not going to get any easier for John Myler’s side. Certainly improvement in the scoring stakes is needed but with Seamus Harnedy, Alan Cadogan and Darragh Fitzgibbon still to come back there is ample time to be ready for the championship. One word of caution, is that winning becomes a habit, but so too does losing so Cork need to get one win under their belt as soon as possible. With Clare defeating Kilkenny and Limerick beating Tipperary, Cork are the only side without points, yet they remain just two points adrift of four teams with Limerick the only unbeaten side to date.
Cork: P Horgan 0-5, A Walsh 0-4, T O’Mahony 0-2, B Cooper 0-2, C Murphy, D Kearney, C Lehane and S Kingston 0-1 each.
Wexford: J O’Connor 0-7, D Dunne 1-0, C Dunbar 0-3, P Foley 0-2, D O’Keeffe 0-2, C MacDonald, S Murphy and R O’Connor 0-1 each.
and P Horgan.
L Meade for C Calahane 24m,
S Kingston for M O’Halloran 44m,
D Dalton for C Lehane 56m,
G Millerick for C O’Sullivan 66m
and L OG McGovern.
R o’Connor for D Dunne Ht,
L chin for L Og McGovern 45m,
I Byrne for P Morris 60m,
H Kehoe for C Mac Donald 69m.
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)