Agony for Cork as Wexford withstand late comeback

Wexford 0-23 Cork 1-17

A masterclass of shooting from Conor McDonald helped Wexford to a surprise win over Cork in this second round hurling qualifier, writes Eoghan Cormican.

The Wexford full-forward finished with 0-13 to his name, 0-10 arriving from the placed ball.

Liam Dunne’s men led from the 20th to the 61st minute and had the composure to respond to a Daniel Kearney goal on 61 minutes.

The Cork green flag moved the Rebels 1-15 to 0-17 in front, but Wexford responded with four of the next five scores to re-establish a two-point cushion – McDonald and the excellent Lee Chin contributing 0-2 apiece.

Lehane narrowed it to a point, but two from the stick of Liam Óg McGovern saw them home.

Wexford returned back down the tunnel at half-time 0-12 to 0-9 in front.

The gap could have been greater but for a mini Cork burst during first-half stoppages which yielded three without reply.

Conor Lehane’s point after 36 minutes was their first in 21 minutes of action, the Midleton forward and Patrick Horgan (free) raising further white flags in the subsequent passages to eat into Wexford’s advantage.

Cork enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half but 11 wides counted against them.

Wexford, on the other hand, were far more economical in front of goal and registered just two wides.

They also benefited from Cork indiscipline with several soft fouls allowing Conor McDonald throw over six first-half frees.

Six different Cork players – Horgan, Cadogan, Bill Cooper, Harnedy, Luke O’Farrell and William Egan – were on the mark inside the opening quarter to leave Cork 0-6 to 0-5 in front.

Their display from there to the break, however, left a lot to be desired with a number of unforced errors committed.

Cork: A Nash; S McDonnell, D Cahalane, C O’Sullivan; A Walsh, C Joyce, M Ellis; B Cooper, W Egan; L O’Farrell, S Harnedy, J Cronin; A Cadogan, P Horgan, L O’Farrell.

Subs: D Kearney for Cronin (31 mins); B Lawton for Cooper (54); S Kingston for Harnedy (60); C Murphy for Joyce (62); M Coleman for McDonnell (67).

Wexford: M Fanning; D O’Keeffe, M O’Hanlon, J Breen; E Moore, P Foley, E Martin; J O’Connor, E Conroy; L Óg McGovern, L Chin, P Doran; P Morris, C McDonald, D Dunne

Subs: H Kehoe for Doran (34 mins, inj); A Kenny for Martin (43); S Donohue for O’Connor (62); C Dunbar for Moore (66); A Nolan for Morris (72)

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

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