Blistering first half from Cork leaves Wexford with too much to do

Michael Moynihan, Wexford Park

Cork 2-22 Wexford 0-20

Cork got their hurling season back on track last night in Wexford Park, with a powerful dismissal of the home side in the All-Ireland Round One qualifier.

Wexford faced the wind in the first half and pulled Diarmuid O’Keeffe deep, but the move backfired as Cork dominated completely with the breeze, Mark Ellis sitting on the D and mopping up Wexford clearances.

Cork were devastating in the opening quarter, hitting 2-10 to Wexford’s 0-3. Conor Lehane had Cork’s first goal, gathering a monster Anthony Nash puck-out on six minutes.

He was also involved in their second 10 minutes later, a succession of touches by the Midleton man leading to a chance eventually converted by Seamus Harnedy.

Wexford were overrun - manager Liam Dunne made three substitutions before the break - and almost completely reliant on Ian Byrne’s free-taking, Cork picked off their points throughout that first half.

Byrne forced a smart save from Nash on 31 minutes, in Wexford’s only goal chance, and the teams went in at the break 2-17 to 0-9 ahead, Lehane’s terrific point on the whistle a fitting end to a superb half by the men in red.

Wexford were better in the second half, however.

Driven on by David Redmond at midfield they hit eight unanswered points to cut Cork’s lead to six, but never got the goal chance that might have set up a rip-roaring finish.

As it was Cork were still glad to have Lehane’s two late points snuff out the home team’s fightback.

Scorers for Cork: P. Horgan 0-9 (0-6 fs), C. Lehane 1-6; S. Harnedy 1-1; B. Lawton, B. Cooper 0-2 each; D. Cahalane, P. Cronin 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: I. Byrne 0-12 (0-10 fs); D. Redmond, 0-3; H. Kehoe, 0-2; K. Foley, P. Morris, C. McDonald 0-1 each.

WEXFORD: M. Fanning, L. Ryan, M. O’Hanlon, E. Moore, A. Shore, L. Chin, P. Foley, D. Redmond, A. Nolan, D. O’Keeffe, K. Foley, I. Byrne, P. Morris, C. McDonald, L. Og McGovern.

Subs: A. Kenny for E. Moore, 17; D. Waters for A. Nolan, 29; H. Kehoe for P. Foley, 30; R. Jacob for McGovern, 46.

CORK: A. Nash, D. Cahalane, S. McDonnell, B. Murphy, A. Walsh, M. Ellis, C. Murphy, D. Kearney, B. Cooper, C. Lehane, P. Cronin, B. Lawton, A. Cadogan, S. Harnedy, P. Horgan.

Subs: S. Moylan for S. Harnedy, 52; D. McCarthy for A. Cadogan, 55; R. O’Shea for P. Cronin, 56; P. O’Sullivan for D. Kearney, 63; G. Sinnott for K. Foley 65.

Referee: A. Kelly (Galway).

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