Sharper Wexford expose weaknesses in Cork defence

Wexford 4-16 Cork 2-18

In a match of four 20 minute periods, Cork rarely looked like recovering from a blistering start by Wexford.

Wexford, who are preparing for the clash with All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in the semi-final of the Leinster championship on June 13, looked far sharper, although they failed to score in the third quarter when aided by a strong wind.

With the two Jacobs, Michael and Rory, firing on all cylinders Wexford ran a very suspect Cork full-back line ragged early on. Cracking goals from Rory Jacob and Jeff Furlong gave Wexford a dream start and, confidence soaring, they went on to lead by 2-9 to 0-2 after the first period.

A rout looked in prospect when Michael Jacob hit a third goal for Wexford but, after their disastrous start, Cork, with half-backs Sean Óg Ó h-Ailpín and Ronan Curran excelling, gradually succeeded in getting back into the game.

Opportunist goals from Jonathon O’Callaghan and John Anderson steadied the ship. With Joe Deane sparkling up front, Cork trailed 3-13 to 2-8 at half time.

Wexford failed to score in the third quarter and Cork clawed their way back to within two points entering the last quarter. However, Wexford upped the tempo again and sparked by a second goal from outstanding full-forward Michael Jacob put the game beyond Cork.

Scorers: Wexford: M. Jacob 2-3; R. Jacob 1-2; J. Furlong 1-1; P. Carley 0-4 (0-2 from frees); T. Maher 0-2; P. Donoghue 0-2; D. Lyng and C. Kehoe 0-1 each. Cork: J. O’Callaghan 1-3 (0-2 from frees); J. Anderson 1-0; J. Deane 0-8 (0-4 from frees); T. McCarthy 0-3; K. Murphy 0-2; P. Tierney and M. O’Connell 0-1 each.

WEXFORD: D. Fitzhenry; C. Kehoe, D. Ryan, D. O’Connor; K. Rossiter, D. Ruth, J. O’Connor; A. Fenlon, T. Maher; P. Carley, B. Murphy, J. Furlong; D. Lyng, M. Jacob, R. Jacob. Subs. P. Donoghue for Kehoe; R. McCarthy for D. O’Connor; E. Quigley for Ryan.

CORK: D. óg Cusack; J. Browne, D. O’Sullivan, B. Murphy; J. Gardiner, R. Curran, S. Ó h-Ailpin, P. Tierney, M. Connell; J. O'Callaghan, T. McCarthy, J. Anderson; M. Byrne, J. Deane, K. Murphy (Sarsfields).

Subs: G. Callinan for Curran; M. Coleman for Cusack; B. Lombard for O’Callaghan; P. Morrissey for Coleman; V. Hurley for O’Connell; G. O’Mahony for O’Sullivan.

Referee: P. Moore (Waterford).

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