Privately, Cunningham perhaps had one eye on the Leinster quarter-final as he detailed captain Liam Rushe for a man marking role on Liam Óg McGovern, requiring Rushe to play in the full-back position. But, on the record, the Cork man insisted what happens in January will have very little bearing on the Championship.
There’ll certainly be personnel changes between now and then with Dublin fielding just eight of the team that started last year’s All- Ireland quarter-final defeat to Waterford. Paul Ryan’s 10 points — and his 4-30 haul across their five-games — perhaps convinced Cunningham he deserves a regular starting place while Eamon Dillon, who sniped 1-1, blasted 5-12 throughout January.
Both will hope to face Wexford again as will fringe talents like Conor Dooley, who excelled in goals, Fionn Ó Riain Broin, Rian McBride and Sean Treacy.
“I heard the Championship dress rehearsal thing but I don’t think so,” said Cunningham. “That was the comment from a few of the Wexford guys afterwards, that they’ll see us in May. But you can only live for today really. May is a long time away. A lot can happen between now and then. So we were just focusing on this week’s performance. What happens in May has no relevance to today.”
Dublin led from the first score, a David O’Callaghan point, and were 0-11 to 0-4 up at half-time. But they lived dangerously and Cunningham will be concerned his defence was cut open four times for goal chances in the first-half, none taken. McGovern rose well to catch, turn and finally fire to the net for a 54th minute Wexford goal but Dillon responded with a cracking Dublin goal. By then, Dublin’s seventh Walsh Cup title, a third since 2011, was secure.
P Ryan (0-10, 8 frees, 1 65), E Dillon (1-1), D O’Callaghan and D Treacy (0-3 each), F O Riain Broin, S Treacy, D Plunkett, J McCaffrey and N McMorrow (0-1 each).
H Kehoe (0-6, 6 frees), L Og McGovern (1-0), C Dunbar (0-2, 1 s/l), S Tomkins, D Dunne, L Chin and A shore (0-1 each).
C Dooley; J Boland, L Rushe, O Gough; F O Riain Broin, C Crummey, J McCaffrey; R McBride, N McMorrow; D Plunkett, P Ryan, D Treacy; S Treacy, D O’Callaghan, E Dillon.
R Hardy for Boland (32), M Schutte for Hardy (36), S Reilly for Ryan (66).
M Fanning; J Breen, M O’Hanlon, A Kenny; A Shore, L Ryan, D O’Keeffe; L Chin, H Kehoe; A Nolan, S Tomkins, P Morris; C Dunbar, L Og McGovern, D Dunne.
J O’Connor for Morris (10), A Maddock for Nolan (48), B Carton for Dunne (66).
J Keenan (Wicklow).