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Farcical Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch mars Wexford's win over Cork

Wexford 1-18 Cork 0-17

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Wexford's Mark Fanning feels the full force of a tackle from Cork's Bill Cooper. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Wexford's Mark Fanning feels the full force of a tackle from Cork's Bill Cooper. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Wexford's Mark Fanning feels the full force of a tackle from Cork's Bill Cooper. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Having hosted a football game before this clash that saw Wexford pick up their first points, the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch wasn't the most conducive to good hurling.

However, Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald certainly wasn't going to let it be an excuse and the Model County ensured it didn't have to be, as they dominated the final quarter of this game.

A point from Cork's Conor Lehane in the 51st minute brought them back to within just one of the visitors, 1-13 to 0-15, but Paudie Foley's long-range free settled Wexford again and, after Patrick Horgan uncharacteristically missed for the hosts, Jack O'Connor landed two in quick succession for Wexford.

Rounding

That left them 1-16 to 0-15 in front with five minutes left and they ensured that the goal Cork needed wasn't allowed to materialise, Adrian Dunbar rounding things off with his third point.

Having lost their opening game to Limerick, Wexford are up and running, though with room for improvement.

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Cork's Declan Dalton brushes past Diarmuid O'Keeffe and his Wexford teammates. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cork's Declan Dalton brushes past Diarmuid O'Keeffe and his Wexford teammates. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cork's Declan Dalton brushes past Diarmuid O'Keeffe and his Wexford teammates. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Not pitch-perfect and not a perfect pitch, but Fitzgerald was keen to emphasise the importance of attitude in dealing with underfoot conditions.

"That depends on your mindset," he said.

"We knew before the game that the surface was pretty bad, and you can see that we knock the ball around pretty okay, whether it's ball to hand or on the ground.

"We made up our minds that no matter what the surface was like, you're coming down thinking things will be pretty good, the stadium is incredible and I love it, so it's a pity about the top of the surface.

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Tim O'Mahony tries to block off Wexford's Cathal Dunbar. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Tim O'Mahony tries to block off Wexford's Cathal Dunbar. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Tim O'Mahony tries to block off Wexford's Cathal Dunbar. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

"It's actually quite solid, I don't know why it's tearing on top as much as it is.

"Even when I was a player, one place I loved coming was down here.

"They need to have a look at it, I'm sure they'll get it right."

Wexford might have had a goal in the first 30 seconds but Anthony Nash saved well from Conor McDonald and Cork pushed on from that, with Aidan Walsh impressing as he scored two points in quick succession to leave them 0-9 to 0-7 in front by the 26th minute.

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Referee Johnny Murphy shows a yellow card to Wexford's Conor McDonald. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Referee Johnny Murphy shows a yellow card to Wexford's Conor McDonald. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Referee Johnny Murphy shows a yellow card to Wexford's Conor McDonald. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

However, Wexford struck for a goal just after that, David Dunne prodding home when Kevin Foley's point attempt dropped short and wasn't dealt with by the Cork defence.

The hosts would never lead after that, though they were unlucky early in the second-half as Patrick Horgan fired a shot against the crossbar and they did draw level at 0-14 to 1-11 in the 48th minute after Bill Cooper, Horgan and Daniel Kearney all pointed.

Nevertheless, Wexford weren't rattled and Jack O'Connor and his brother, sub Rory, had them in front again, leading from there to the end.

It means a second loss for Cork, but selector Donal O'Mahony doesn't believe that the absence of relegation has brought about a slackness in his players.

"I don't think so," he said. "We'd definitely hope not.

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The playing surface during yesterday’s double-header at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The playing surface during yesterday’s double-header at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The playing surface during yesterday’s double-header at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

"We've never discussed it so it isn't a factor in our thinking. Our objective in the league is to introduce new fellas, there's a few fellas back to us as well - Cormac Murphy, Steven McDonnell, those fellas - integrate them back into the set-up and the way we're playing and things like that.

"So there's a bit of learning to be done. But as I say we need to learn fast, the way we're going at the moment."

Scorers - Wexford: J O'Connor 0-6 (5f), C Dunbar 0-3, D Dunne 1-0, P Foley (1f), R O'Connor, D O'Keeffe 0-2 each, C McDonald (f), S Murphy, S Donohoe 0-1 each. Cork: P Horgan 0-5f, A Walsh 0-4, B Cooper, T O'Mahony 0-2 each, C Murphy, D Kearney, S Kingston, C Lehane 0-1 each.

WEXFORD - M Fanning 7; D Reck 7, D Byrne 6, S Donohoe 7; J O'Connor 8, M O'Hanlon 7, P Foley 7; S Murphy 7, D O'Keeffe 7; D Dunne 7, P Morris 6, K Foley 6; L Óg McGovern6, C McDonald6, C Dunbar 8. Subs: R O'Connor 8 for Dunne (half-time), L Chin 7 for McGovern (46), I Byrne for Morris (64), H Kehoe for McDonale (70).

CORK - A Nash 6; S O'Donoghue 6, D Cahalane7, C O'Sullivan6; C Joyce 6, T O'Mahony 8, M Coleman 6; B Cooper 7, C Murphy 6; C Cahalane6, M O'Halloran 6, D Kearney 6; A Walsh 7, P Horgan 6, C Lehane 6. Subs: L Meade 6 for C Cahalane (25, injured), S Kingston 6 for O'Halloran (45), D Dalton for Lehane (64), G Millerick for O'Sullivan (68).

Ref - J Murphy (Limerick).


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