Cork 2-18 Wexford 2-12
By Daragh O Conchuir
A terrible start proved no impediment to Cork as they proved much too strong for Wexford and moved to the top of the All-Ireland intermediate hurling championship roll of honour with their eighth title.
Jim Berry’s shot from distance appeared to get the slightest touch from fellow former senior, Red Barry for a Wexford goal after 10 seconds but Liam Doyle’s men never built on that initial boost.
Cork settled well despite playing into a strong wind, with their runners causing problems for the Wexford defence.
Peter O’Brien scored 13 points as Cork came from behind to beat Galway in the semi-final and he slotted five points from frees to keep them in touch on this occasion.
They were soon level and though Barry Jordan, Tommy Dwyer and Emmet Kent quickly put three between the sides, Anthony Spillane and Colm Casey ensured that there was just one in at the break 1-7 to 0-9.
That never looked a sufficient advantage given the strength of the elements and Cork had four points in as many minutes to move ahead.
O’Brien fired his first from play and quickly made it two, while the excellent Casey and Michael O’Sullivan also raised white flags.
O’Sullivan struck for a goal in the 38th minute, after his initial attempt was blocked, to put six between the sides and though Wexford responded with an excellent score by Peter Murphy and another by Dwyer, David Drake blasted Cork’s second goal after good work by Spillane to put the issue beyond doubt.
Cork did ease off the throttle at this juncture and became a little self-indulgent. Substitute Nicky Kirwan batted a goal seven minutes time after Dwyer’s shot from a free was blocked but Cork confirmed their superiority with points from Casey, Drake and impressive sub, Barry Lawton to calm the nerves.
SCORERS FOR CORK: Peter O’Brien 0-8(5fs), Colm Casey 0-4, Michael O’Sullivan & David Drake 1-1 each, Barry Lawton 0-2, John Cronin & Anthony Spillane 0-1 each
SCORERS FOR WEXFORD: Nicky Kirwan 1-2, Tommy Dwyer(2fs) & Emmet Kent(3fs) 0-3 each, Red Barry 1-0, Peter Murphy 0-2, Benny Jordan, Jim Berry 0-1 each
CORK: R Cunningham; J Callaghan, A Dennehy, B O’Sullivan, C Barry, T Healy, M Walsh, N Kelly, J Cronin, C Spillane, P O’Brien, M O’Sullivan, C Casey, D Drake, A Spillane. Subs: B Lawton for Walsh (41), M Sugrue for A Spillane (60), R Crowley for Drake
WEXFORD: N Breen, B Mulligan, J Breen, B Kehoe, P Naughter, M Jacob, M Maloney, B Jacob, T O’Dwyer, B Jordan, J Berry, P Murphy, E Kent, R Barry, J Reck. Subs: G Dolan for Murphy temp (21-22), A Rochford for Naughter (38), Dolan for B Jacob (38), T O’Leary for Kent (43), N Kirwan for Reck (43)
REFEREE: A Kelly (Galway)