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Rebels must ready themselves for clash with Treatymen after seeing off wayward Wexford

CORK'S focus immediately switched to an All-Ireland SFC fourth round qualifier with Munster rivals Limerick next weekend after their comfortable 0-12 to 0-5 win away to Wexford.

And Rebels manager Conor Counihan (pictured left) summed up his team's visit to the not-so-sunny South East saying: "Any team that could go up to Galway and win up there, when they have you on their own patch, it's very difficult.

"Wexford gave it their all. They threw everything into it, very physical, very fair, real honest-to-goodness stuff, but the main thing is we're still on tour."

Wexford boss Jason Ryan (pictured right) was brutally honest in his post-match analysis, saying: "I'm gutted. We felt good at half-time. I suppose we would have liked to have been a bit closer.

"They scored a few early frees after half-time that allowed them to pull away and because of that they didn't leave the gaps and space that we needed to exploit to get back in the match.

"Every point against you in that situation hits the confidence. We weren't as clinical when chances arose. Too many balls dropped short, into their goalkeeper's arms.



Spirit

"The fact that the boys fought to the finish shows the spirit of the side. The wind was so much stronger in the first half than the second. Their handling was superior to ours in the difficult conditions. We gave it everything but did not perform to our capabilities."

Considering that Cork led by only four points -- 0-7 to 0-3 at half time -- Wexford were entitled to hope they could rally in the second half.

Those Cork scores were hard won. Paddy Kelly and Daniel Goulding got two each from frees, and Graham Canty, Aidan Walsh and Ciaran Sheehan nicked points from play.

Wexford's first point came after 19 minutes by wing-back Adrian Flynn, their second was scored in the 32nd minute by midfielder Eric Bradley and in the last minute of five added on, Colm Morris scored a point.

The signs, though, were ominous. The wind and greasy surface posed a challenge for both sets of players but Cork adapted much better.

Wexford struggled all over the pitch with their handling of the ball. When they carved out hard won possession, they were either too slow in moving it and lost the ball, or they played passes to team-mates closely marked by the red jersies.

It looked too often as if Wexford were the flies, and the Cork defenders and midfielders the fly paper, as time and again the home side ran into the glue of the Rebels' defensive screen.

Counihan had a simple message for his troops during the interval. "We said 'let's not panic. Let's try and get hold of the ball and try and get on top early in the second half.' Thankfully that's what happened," he said.

The key issue was which side would take the initiative after half time, and it proved to be Cork. Nicholas Murphy won a free and gave Paddy Kelly a chance to slot it over two minutes into the half. Two minutes later Canty drove forward into the heart of the Wexford defence and Daniel Goulding obliged with another point from the resultant free.

Paddy Kelly, again from a free, tacked one over in the 41st minute and in the 45th minute, John Miskella, this time from play, extended the lead to eight points on a 0-11 to 0-3 scoreline.

Just after that, Wexford talisman Mattie Forde finally got on the scoresheet with a well taken shot from 30 metres. The rest? Let's draw a curtain over it. Each side scored just once more -- Wexford sub Ben Brosnan got one in the fourth minute of time added on , and Ciarán Sheehan replied for Cork to end the misery.


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