The Model County, minus the services of Catherine O’Loughlin, Claire O’Connor and Una Leacy, struggled in the first half, but made a valiant attempt to rescue the game on the restart.
But there was to be no denying Cork, with player of the match Orla Cotter dominating midfield and Rena Buckley in typically unwavering form at centre-back.
Wexford opened with points from Ursula Jacob and Fiona Kavanagh, but two frees from Cotter had Cork level.
Síle Burns and Jacob exchanged scores, but the latter proved to be Wexford’s last score of the half. Points from Julia White, Briege Crokery, O’Sullivan and Burns gave Cork a 0-7 to 0-3 advantage at the break.
The scoring rate dropped considerably in the third quarter, with Jacob’s 39th-minute free the only return.
It took Cork 18 minutes to get going again in the second half, but White and Katrina Mackey got Paudie Murray’s side moving.
Frances Doran struck back with a lovely point before sub Kate Kelly popped over the first of her two points. When Mackey and Cotter (45) raised white flags with six minutes remaining, it looked like curtains for Wexford, but a penalty awarded for a foul on Kelly was blasted to the Cork net by Jacob.
Instead, Cork substitute Finola Neville found the target with almost the last puck of the ball to secure a two-point victory.
Meanwhile, Limerick secured a return to the top flight when winning the Division 2 final against Kildare 3-14 to 0-10.
Elsewhere, diminutive goalkeeper Laura Dunne was the toast of Laois last night after her two point-blank saves helped the Midlanders eke out a 0-9 to 0-7 win over Dublin in the Division 3 final, while full-back Marian Doyle struck the decisive goal as Carlow claimed the Division 4 crown by beating Tyrone 2-6 to 2-4.
Scorers for Cork: O Cotter 0-3 (2f, 1 45); S Burns, J White, K Mackey 0-2 each; B Corkery, E O’Sullivan, F Neville 0-1 each
Scorers for Wexford: U Jacob 1-3 (0-2f); K Kelly 0-2; F Kavanagh, F Doran 0-1 each
CORK: A Murray; P Mackey, M Walsh, L O’Connell; D Cronin, R Buckley, A Geary; O Cotter, A Thompson; B Corkery,
E O’Sullivan, K Mackey; S Burns, A Deasy, J White.
Subs: J O’Leary for Deasy; F Neville for K Mackey.
WEXFORD: M D’Arcy; C Donohue, N Lambert, K Atkinson; F Doran, M Leacy, S Kehoe; J Dwyer, L Hammell; F Kavanagh, A Leacy, B Gordon; K Parrock, U Jacob, F Rochford.
Subs: L O’Leary for Donohue; K Kelly for A Leacy, S Sinnott for Hammell, S McGovern for Rochford.
Referee: F McNamara (Clare).