Cotter class helps Cork scupper Model dreams
Cork marked their return to the big time with a deserved victory to scupper Wexford's four-in-a-row title bid at Semple Stadium.
It was a 14th title for the Rebelettes, and their first since beating the same opposition by a point in the 2007 final.
They had to do it the hard way too, overcoming a nervous first half when they were a clear second best, going in at the break 0-6 to 0-3 in arrears.
Manager Paudie Murray made a key change just before half-time that saw Orla Cotter moving to midfield and going on to give a Player of the Match performance.
Cork were transformed after the resumption. Katrina Mackey's 39th-minute goal helped them establish a four-point buffer, which was enough to withstand the late Wexford rally.
Cotter and Gemma O'Connor were dominant around the middle in the second half, while the Cork defence was outstanding.
It was on this foundation that Cork eked out the win, reducing the goal-hungry Wexford to only two green-flag chances that only yielded a point from Ursula Jacob's first-half penalty.
Jacob provided five of her side's six first-half points and another late in the second half, while all bar three of Cork's points came from play.
Wexford threw everything forward in the final 10 minutes, with Una Leacy and Jacob halving the deficit. However, they never threatened to get the goal they needed and the glory was Cork's.
Scores -- Cork: K Mackey 1-1, J O'Leary 0-3 (3f), O Cotter 0-2, A Geary, J White 0-1 each. Wexford: U Jacob 0-6 (5fs, 1 pen), K Kelly, K Parrock, U Leacy 0-1 each.
Cork -- A Murray; J Duffy, R Buckley, J O'Callaghan; B Corkery, E O'Sullivan, P Mackey; L Dorgan, G O'Connor; O Cotter, A Geary, K Mackey; J White, R Curtin, J O'Leary. Subs: J Casey for Dorgan (30+1); K Buckley for Curtin (51).
Wexford -- M D'Arcy; N Lambert, C O'Loughlin, K Atkinson; S Redmond, M Leacy, D Codd; J Dwyer, L Bolger; K Kelly, B Gordon, F Rochford; K Parrock, U Jacob, E Quigley. Subs: M O'Leary for Rochford (40); U Leacy for Quigley (40); Claire O'Connor for Redmond (42); L Holohan for Gordon (50); F Kavanagh for Dwyer (57).
REF -- A Lagrue (Kildare).