Allianz HL D1: Wexford overcome Cork
Allianz Hurling League Division 1
WEXFORD 1-18 CORK 0-17
By Denis Hurley at Páirc Uí ChaoimhWexford are up and running for this year’s Allianz HL Division 1A after they inflicted a second defeat on Cork in Sunday’s clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
David Dunne’s 27th-minute goal proved to be the crucial score, putting Davy Fitzgerald’s side ahead by 1-7 to 0-9 and they never trailed thereafter.
Wexford almost had a goal within 30 seconds of the start of the game as Aidan Nolan’s delivery was won well by Conor McDonald, who turned and shot only to see Anthony Nash pull off a great reflex save.
Shaun Murphy did point to put the visitors ahead, but Cork responded with three consecutive points from Bill Cooper, Tim O’Mahony and Patrick Horgan (free).
That set the tone for a back-and-forth as Jack O’Connor and Horgan exchanged frees, O’Mahony doubled his tally with a massive effort and Cathal Dunbar and McDonald got on the scoresheet for the Model County.
When Cormac Murphy linked well with his midfield partner Cooper to send over a good score on 22 minutes it was 0-7 to 0-5 but Wexford responded strongly. Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Jack O’Connor set up Dunbar for his second before Paudie Foley landed an effort from distance to tie matters.
Cork once again forged two ahead and this time it was Aidan Walsh who got both, the first after a fine Christopher Joyce pass and then an excellent effort from the right sideline in the 26th minute.
However, a minute later, Wexford were in front. Kevin Foley’s long-distance point attempt was short but it dropped awkwardly and couldn’t be claimed by goalkeeper Anthony Nash, meaning that David Dunne, who was following up, was able to prod the ball to the net from close range.
Walsh’s third left the sides level at half-time, 0-10 to 1-7, but Wexford half-time sub Rory O’Connor made an immediate impact to put his side in front in the opening minute of the second half and O’Keeffe doubled the lead with his second.
On 39, Cork might have had a goal but Patrick Horgan’s shot rattled the crossbar and though Walsh was following up to get his fourth, another Jack O’Connor free gave Wexford breathing space again.
Cork would plunder three of the next four as Bill Cooper, Horgan and Daniel Kearney all pointed to tie the match at 0-14 to 0-11, but the O’Connor brothers, Jack and Rory, put Wexford two ahead again.
Conor Lehane replied for Cork but after Paudie Foley’s free made it 1-14 to 0-15 – Jack O’Connor unable to take as he shook off the effects of wining it – Cork wasted a chance to cut the gap as Horgan fired a dead ball wide.
Then, when Tim O’Mahony was penalised coming out of the Cork defence, dissent saw the free moved closer and Jack O’Connor resumed his duties to send over his fifth, adding another point from play to leave it 1-16 to 0-15.
Cork sub Shane Kingston made it a goal game again, but Simon Donohoe and then Cathal Dunbar – his third – left Wexford comfortable as injury time dawned.
Patrick Horgan had a late free blocked by Wexford goalkeeper Mark Fanning and then sent another over the bar, but the visitors had done enough.
Scorers for Wexford: Jack O’Connor 0-6 (0-5 frees), Cathal Dunbar 0-3, David Dunne 1-0, Paudie Foley (0-1 free), Rory O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Keeffe 0-2 each, Conor McDonald (free), Shaun Murphy, Simon Donohoe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 0-5 (frees), Aidan Walsh 0-4 each, Bill Cooper, Tim O’Mahony 0-2 each, Cormac Murphy, Daniel Kearney, Shane Kingston, Conor Lehane 0-1 each.
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Damien Reck, Darren Byrne, Simon Donohoe; Jack O’Connor, Matthew O’Hanlon, Paudie Foley; Shaun Murphy, Diarmuid O’Keeffe; David Dunne, Paul Morris, Kevin Foley; Liam Óg McGovern, Conor McDonald, Cathal Dunbar. Subs: Rory O’Connor for Dunne (half-time), Lee Chin for McGovern (46), Ian Byrne for Morris (64), Harry Kehoe for McDonale (70).
CORK: Anthony Nash; Seán O’Donoghue, Damien Cahalane, Conor O’Sullivan; Christopher Joyce, Tim O’Mahony, Mark Coleman; Bill Cooper, Cormac Murphy; Conor Cahalane, Michael O’Halloran, Daniel Kearney; Aidan Walsh, Patrick Horgan, Conor Lehane. Subs: Luke Meade for Conor Cahalane (25, injured), Shane Kingston for O’Halloran (45), Declan Dalton for Lehane (64), Ger Millerick for O’Sullivan (68).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).