Cork 4-20 Wexford 0-17

November 8, 2018

Wexford provided decent opposition for 45 minutes of a contest that was lacklustre for lengthy periods, but the home team, courtesy of some sublime goal-taking from Aisake and Michael Cussen, proved the superior force in the latter stages and cantered into the winners enclosure with ease.
A lot of attention has been focused on the two big men during the course of the league campaign and the poser for the management has been how best to utilise them.
It remains to be seen if they will start next Sunday night’s league decider, but both of them helped their cause considerably here, sharing 4-5 between them, 2-4 to Cussen and 2-1 to the Na Piarsaigh man.
All four goals were delightfully executed and the confidence levels of both players will have risen after this outing.
Tom Kenny was very industrious in the middle of the park throughout, Patrick Horgan looked sharp as well and notched some fine points before he was replaced in the second-half as both management teams rung the changes.
Aidan Ryan, from Midleton, had a good outing at centre-back, particularly in the first-half, while Jerry O’Connor, at centre-forward, got in some good work over the 70 minutes.
Wexford had a number of significant contributors too with Keith Rossiter, at full-back, very influential before he had to depart with a leg injury after 20 minutes.
Diarmuid Lyng delivered some very good first-half points from his wing-forward berth while Rory Jacob illustrated again what a fine forward he is with six points attached to his name.
Cork lined out without Ronan Curran, Kieran Murphy and Paudie O’Sullivan from their original selection, while Wexford made a number of changes as well.
Aidan Ryan replaced Curran at centre-back, Lorcán McLoughlin came into midfield with Cathal Naughton transferring to wing-forward and Jerry O’Connor replacing the Sarsfields man on the 40.
Things were even enough in the opening sequence until the 18th minute when Cussen clung the first of his two goals after being put through by Aisake.
Jerry O’Connor could have had another goal almost immediately afterwards, but his kicked effort was just outside the post.
Horgan rifled over a brace of sublime points in the 23rd and 24th minutes and Lorcán McLoughlin made the final statement of the half with a point to leave Cork in control at the break, 1-11 to 0-8.
The subs started to roll when they resumed, but Cork managed to retain their firm grip on the proceedings.
Mick Jacob, Steven Banville and Lyng did make it a goal game with three Wexford points, but Horgan, Kenny and Naughton responded positively for Cork with well taken points.
The changes were now coming thick and fast on both sides, but Cork’s twin towers up front remained in place to put forward their case for inclusion next weekend.
Substitute Mark O’Sullivan set up the Na Piarsaigh player for a wonderful goal in the 55th minute and very shortly afterwards another sub, Tadhg Óg Murphy was the provider as the big number 14 struck again.
It was all Cork now with Jerry O’Connor and Cussen pointing and the icing was put on the cake for the Sarsfields player when he drilled home another goal with the final whistle approaching.
It might only have been a challenge game, but it showed that this Cork squad of players all want to put their hands up to impress the management.
In total nine Cork players got on the scoresheet and the fact that no goal was conceded was significant too.
As for next Sunday night’s team, it’s odds on now that Cussen will be in the half-forward line with Aisake on the edge of the square.
Scorers for Cork: M Cussen 2-4, A Ó hAilpín 2-1, P Horgan 0-4 (0-1 f), J O’Connor 0-3, B O’Connor (f), T Kenny, C Naughton 0-2 each, L McLoughlin, C McCarthy 0-1 each.
Wexford: R Jacob 0-6 (0-1f), D Lyng 0-4, S Banville 0-2, H Kehoe, P Atkinson, M Molloy, E Quigley, M Jacob 0-1 each.
CORK: D Óg Cusack; M Walsh, E Dillon, S Murphy; J Gardiner, A Ryan, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Kenny, L McLoughlin; M Cussen, J O’Connor, C Naughton; P Horgan, A Ó hAilpín, B O’Connor.
Subs: E Keane for Dillon, C McCarthy for B O’Connor, M O’Sullivan for McLoughlin, S White for Seán Óg, T Óg Murphy for P Horgan, C O’Sullivan for S Murphy, L O’Farrell for Naughton, M Coleman for Cusack.
WEXFORD: D O’Flynn, L Prendergast, K Rossiter, E Doyle, R Kehoe, D Stamp, M Travers, M Molloy, H Kehoe, E Kent, E Quigley, D Lyng, R Jacob, S Banville, P Atkinson.
Subs: T Mahon for Atkinson, C Kenny for Stamp, P Morris for Lyng, P Kenny for Kent, E Quigley for Kehoe, G Jacob for Travers.
Referee: D Richardson (Limerick).

THE calm before the storm, but Cork boss Denis Walsh was pleased to get another victory under the belt while at the same time realising that the intensity in Thurles next Sunday night will be a lot greater than it was on this occasion.
“It was a good work-out, but I suppose it was lacklustre a lot of the time there. In the first-half you’d be scratching your head a bit, you were dominant for 10 minutes and then you switched off a bit and allowed Wexford back into the game.
“They came down yesterday and they are well organised under Colm Bonnar, but you can’t be stepping off the gas at this level, even if it was only a challenge game.”
Four goals delivered and some fine points executed, a positive return in front of the sticks.
“Yes, but Wexford lost the full-back there Keith Rossiter and he was playing very well and that had a bearing on the game.
“But we have a lot of firepower there and it’s a case of getting the best out of them. The two boys, Aisake and Cussen got some good goals and when they get into their stride they are hard to stop.
“From our viewpoint it’s difficult with all the good players there in the forward line.
It’s difficult to know the combinations obviously and I suppose there are nine or 10 players pushing for six places in the forwards, but we must make the decisions between now and Tuesday night.”
Walsh expects to have a full hand to choose from for the league final despite the absence of a few players here.
“Ya, we had a few out, Ronan Curran and Fraggie, he was sick, missed out while Paudie Sull was playing junior football with Cloyne.
“But I would expect everybody to be ready for Sunday.”