Cork 3-26 Wexford 0-13

Cork had an overwhelming win over Wexford on Saturday in the Bord Gais All-Ireland U21 HC semi-final played before about 5,000 patrons in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny. The game never lived up to expectations. Wexford short the services of Rory and Jack O’Connor struggled all through.

Cork dominated from the start with their overall strength and class just too much for Wexford.

Seamus Casey with an early pointed free gave the Wexford side the lead.  A foul on impressive Tim O’Mahony led to an equaliser from a Declan Dalton pointed free. Seamus Casey was the only Wexford player to show any form up front but he lacked support. In fact Casey was the Slaneysiders only scorer from the starting six forwards.

Good play by Ian Carthy led to a fine point by Aaron Maddock. Cork struck for their first goal. It came when Tim O’Mahony cut through from the wing had his effort well saved by Jack Cushe but was on hand to belt the rebound to the net.

At the other end Mikie O’Dwyer was put through on goal but a timely interception by Mark Coleman denied a certain score. Cork continued to do well – a foul on Shane Kingston led to another pointed free by Dalton. In the 9th minute Cork had their 2nd goal. It came when Shane Kingston and Declan Dalton worked well for Shane Fitzgibbon who had his effort at goal again well saved by Jack Cushe with the rebound falling to Tim O’Mahony who struck his second goal.

Wexford followed with a good point by Aaron Maddock after good play by Rory Higgins.

Cork took control from here on. Dalton landed two pointed frees with Shane Casey replying for Wexford. Dalton placed Shane Kingston for a point with Mark Coleman with a long sideline cut picking out Jack O’Connor who struck an excellent point as Cork moved 2-6 to 0-4 clear. Seamus Casey pointed a sideline cut.

Good play for the Rebels by Billy Hennessy led to another Kingston point. Good work out of defence by Ger Millerick led to a Jack O’Connor point.

Declan Dalton (free) and Damian Reck swopped a point. Liam Healy and Tim O’Mahony tagged on Cork points with Rowan White keeping Wexford in touch in the 27th minute as they trailed 2-12 to 0-8. Seamus Casey added a pointed free.

These scores were of little benefit to Wexford as Jack O’Connor and Declan Dalton with minors had Cork comfortably ahead 2-14 to 0-9 at the break.

On the resumption Cork moved further ahead Liam Healy put Shane Kingston in for an early point with Declan Dalton with a massive point from long range opening up a 13 point lead, 2-16 to 0-9. Both sides made a number of substitutions. In the 37th minute Damian Reck pointed.

Three minutes later Cork had their 3rd goal when Tim O’Mahony did the hard work for Liam Healy who netted from close range, 3-17 to 0-10. Entering the final quarter Seamus Casey and Jack O’Connor swopped points. Cork substitute Conor Cahalane soloed through and pointed. The same player added three more excellent points.

Aaron Myers pointed a free and Mark Coleman put Tim O’Mahony in for a fine point as they led 3-21 to 0-12. Seven minutes of  injury time were played. The Rebels added a further five points while Wexford had just one in this period.  Cork are now through to the final against either Galway or Tipperary. The final is listed for the weekend August 26.

Cork team and scorers: Ger Collins (Ballinhassig), David Lowney (Clonakilty),  Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills),  Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields), Mark Coleman (Blarney), Billy Hennessy (St. Finbarrs), John Cashman (Blackrock),  Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville),  Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own),  Declan Dalton (Fr. O’Neills, 0-8/6f), Shane Kingston (capt, Douglas, 0-4), Liam Healy (Sarsfields, 1-1), Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum, 2-2), Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields, 0-4).

Subs: Conor Cahalane (St. Finbarrs, 0-4) for Ger Millerick, Aaron Myers (Sarsfields, 0-2/f) for Declan Dalton (inj),  Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh) for Darragh Fitzgibbon, Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers, 0-1) for Shane Kingston, Conor O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe) for Mark Coleman.