Wexford League 1 Cork League 3
An eventful Under-18 inter-league encounter between two good footballing sides saw Cork leave Ballycullane a relieved but happy team as they overcame an unlucky Wexford side by a flattering 3-1 margin.
The opening 25 minutes proved to be very evenly matched with both sets of defences in control and little between the sides, with the current holders of this competition, Cork, finding the probing runs of Jasmine Martin and the dead-ball specialist Fiona Ryan difficult to handle.
However, on 22 minutes, disaster struck for Wexford when a shot from outside the box struck the hand of team captain Alannah Anglim, resulting in the awarding of a penalty and the dismissal of the unfortunate Wexford player.
Cork scored the spot-kick and while they had been doing well to keep Wexford at bay, they now found themselves a goal up.
The home side showed great character and, despite being a player down, they brought the game to the visitors.
Sandra Murphy and Jasmine Martin brought good saves from the 'keeper before Kalesha Tobin eventually broke down the Cork defence to bring the sides level.
The Rebel county had upped their game and were now playing much better but still finding the enthusiasm of the Wexford side difficult to handle.
Once again fortune went their way as, just before half-time, they broke away and gave Gráinne McCabe in the Wexford goal no chance to reclaim their one-goal advantage
Second-half changes saw Shannon McGovern and Britney Conroy come on as substitutes, and both created problems for a well-organised Cork defence. Despite having an extra player, the visitors were finding it difficult to cope with the energy of the home side.
However, they did hold firm and were even rewarded with a late insurance goal when they scored in the final minute for a flattering 3-1 victory.
Despite going down in this game, the Wexford management were very happy with the performances of their players who competed with and, even for periods of time, outclassed the Cork side.
Wexford will now take on Limerick in the first week of February and will be home to the MGL from Dublin in the final week.
Two wins would still give them a realistic chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, so there's everything to play for.
Wexford: Gráinne McCabe, Fiona Ryan, Ornagh O'Brien, Eimer Mernagh, Alannah Anglim, Kalesha Tobin, Niamh Browne (Shannon McGovern), Niamh Taylor-Hughes, Jasmine Martin (Erica Kiely), Jessica Devereux (Gemma Corrigan), Sandra Murphy (Britney Conroy). Subs. not used - Kate Hendrick, Chloe Moynihan, Linda Bradley.
Manager: Alan Browne. Coaches: Lizzy Kent, Eamon Kent, Greg Gabbett.
Referee: Noel O'Connor. Assistants: Aaron O'Neill and Nicky Harte.