So hello from Thurles, it’s time for hurling and where better to operate than Semple Stadium. First thing’s first, the pitch looks impeccable and the teams have no excuses for not entertaining us here at the home of hurling. Or as they call it themselves, the Field of Legends.
It’s been a season of change for both Cork and Wexford but the leaves will fall off the tree for one of these sides today; the other will find their way into an All-Ireland quarter-final with plenty of colour in their cheeks. A quick look at our match guide will get you up to speed on today’s clash.
16.53 – 16:47 — Cork are easily the favourites here but there are reasons to bellow caveat emptor at anyone thinking of rushing to the bookies. Firstly and most notably, Jimmy Barry-Murphy hasn’t yet discovered what his first 15 is and while that does not prevent a team from winning an All-Ireland (Liam Sheedy found his as 2010 progressed), it leaves them open to ambush.
Not that Liam Dunne can claim to possess the finish article with his Wexford side either. His side are certainly underdogs but he can console himself with the fact that his is not the only team with plenty of youth on board.
Indeed some might see the positioning of Cork debutant Damian Cahalane as something of an opportunity for Wexford, and the powerful Stephen Banville; that is, if emerging star Jack Guiney is not at 14. But Cork’s forward line looks more potent so it’s hard to look past the Rebels. Despite the Model County’s decent record against Cork in championship action.
16.56 – 16:50 — Late change for Cork sees William Egan start in place of the injured Christopher Joyce who was named at 6.
17.02 – Eoin Quigley and Eoin Moore also start for Wexford as the team let fly in Thurles
17.03 – Rory Jacob gets the first score of the game after a lovely ball out by Paul Morris to make it Wexford 0-1 Cork 0-0 after 3 minutes
17.06 – Paudie O’Sullivan wins a free which Patrick Horgan converts to make it Cork 0-1 Wexford 0-1 but the Models have started well
17.10 – Cork are missing chances here (Pa Cronin and Cian McCarthy) but Wexford aren’t letting them settle either. As I say that the Models blast a wide from near the sideline through Eoin Quigley. Rebel youngster . Conor Lehane keeps the run of poor shooting going after a lovely turn initially. 10 mins gone
17.12 – Wexford’s Diarmuid Lyng has a free from 50 metres out and, you’ve guessed it, he misses. Lehane finally puts us out of our misery with a left-sided effort. Cork 0-2 Wexford 0-1 after 12
17.15 – Davide Redmond levels it with a lovely one on the run but not for long as Luke O’Farrell collects a lovely ball into space by WIlliam Egan, turns Matthew O’Hanlon and puts it into the net. But boom! Wexford level it up with a goal of their own as Gizzy Lyng winds up and unloads past Anthony Nash. He had too much space there. Cork 1-2 Wexford 1-2 after 15 mins
17.17 – How do you like me now? Niall McCarthy is not always the most accurate as he proved with a shot after Wexford’s goal but then he collects from Cronin and lashes it over from midfield to put Cork ahead. Again, not for long as Lyng puts a tat to Cork’s tit. Wexford 1-3 Cork 1-3
17.20 – We were just about to groan about a poor Horgan shot stopping short of the posts but Luke O’Farrell nips in ahead of keeper Eanna Martin to flick into the net for his second. Harry Kehoe pulls a point back immediately for the stubborn Models. Cork 2-3 Wexford 1-4 after 20 mins
17.23 – Penalty! O’Farrell has been tormenting Wexford and referee Johnny Ryan feels there was enough in that to give a pen, but we’re not so sure. Anthony Nash doesn’t care as he absolutely crushes past Martin in the Wexford net. But did we say Wexford won’t go away? Well Rory Jacob snaps the next ball up the field and raises a white flag, before Lyng hits a free wide from midfield. Cork 3-3 Wexford 1-5
17.29 – Paul Morris sets up Harry Kehoe for another score for Wexford but Lorcán McLoughlin sees his point with one of his own after good work from Pebbles. Lyng, the maestro, puts over a sideline from distance to draw the sides closer again. Cork 3-4 Wexford 1-7
17.32 – Jack Guiney gets himself isolated with Damien Cahalane but drops the ball with the goal at his mercy and out it runs out wide. Luke O’Farrell, who is having a joke of a game (in a good way), finds the posts and so too does Horgan to extend Cork’s advantage. In between, Eoin Quigley had a shot saved by Nash when he could and should have shovelled it off to Guiney. Big mistake. Guiney then puts over a free from out the country, which Niall Mc quickly responds to Cork 3-07 Wexford 1-08
17.37 – Ah Guiney is a joke too (again, praise of the highest order)! What a turn by Harry Kehoe, as he turns and rises the ball in one go and accelerates away from Niall McCarthy into the Cork penalty area. The big Rebel makes an intervention allowing Guiney to point a ’65, though it could so easily have been a goal before that. Off his left, Rathnure man Guiney again splits the sticks before Garrett Sinnott says “I’ll have me one of them too”. Cork 3-7 Wexford 1-11 at half-time
17.43 – Three goals in the space of eight minutes from O’Farrell (2) and Anthony Nash from a penalty would have buried most teams but Wexford are determined to dig in here. It’s highly entertaining stuff in what is fast becoming a great hurling championship
17.51 – The crowd is building (or else they’re all coming back from the jacks) as they teams line up again. Off we go!
17.54 – Anthony Nash has some wallop of a ball. He’s just put a free over from well inside his own ’65 and then, at the Wexford ’65, Niall Mc asdds another. Cork 3-09 Wexford 1-11 on 37 mins
17.58 – Cian McCarthy slings a third wide amid a succession of them before Harry Kehoe pulls one back for Wexford. Guiney will been disgusted at missing a sitter of a point before Paul Morris is fouled in prime real estate. Guiney taps it over Cork 3-09 Wexford 1-13 on 42 mins
18.00 – If I have to hear this one particular woman screech “Hon Wexfordddddd” once more, I’ll cry. So now that she has me crying, I can tell you that Patrick Horgan has tapped over a free of his own making. He does likewise after Pebbles O’Sullivan is upended. Cork 3-11 Wexford 1-13 on 44 mins
18.03 – Liam Óg McGovern sends over a sweet one off his left with his first touch since coming on for Kehoe but little Lukey is mad for road; he turns O’Hanlon and sets up Lehane for a score. Cork 3-12 Wexford 1-14 on 47 mins
18.08 – Pebbles turned on a sixpence and cashes it in for a point after Pa Cronin feeds him. Jack Guiney then pins back his ears (which were of course safely tucked inside his helmet anyway) and wins a free but Lyng will take it because the Rathnure man is being taken off temporarily. Lyng converts in any case. Wexford then gift Niall McCarthy an easy point — they’re hanging in but need a goal to rattle the Rebels. Cork 3-14 Wexford 1-15
18.11 – This punnet o’ strawberries lady has been screaming for a goal amid bellowing “Hon Wexford” and she nearly got it too when McGovern teed up Gizzy Lyng, but the netting his found was of the side variety. Cronin then extends Cork’s advantage by a point. Cork 3-13 Wexford 1-15 on 55 mins
18.15 – Guiney again finds the posts but Wexford aren’t helping themselves now as they gift possession to O’Farrell to score from the ’21. Rory Jacob snaps and drives to leave six in them with 14 remaining after Horgan adds another free. Cork 3-17 Wexford 1-17. The Models just seem to be kept at arm’s reach — goal badly needed.
18.20 – Goalmouth incidents ago-go. David Redmond and Cian McCarthy put tame shots at the opposition keepers at either end and then Pebbles puts it over when he might have goaled. Seán Óg Ó hAilpín comes on to a rapturous Cork recpetion with Egan making way. And then Cathal Naughton puts seven between them. The jig looks to be up and the “Hon Wexford” lady looks forlorn. Cork 3-19 Wexford 1-17 on 64 mins
18.24 – GOAL! Therefore, “Hon Wexfordddddd”! Garrett Sinnott snaps one in the Cork area and roofs it with authority. But Naughton is quickly fouled, allowing Horgan to dull the green flag’s effect Cork 3-21 Wexford 2-17 with a couple of minutes to go
18.27 – Tis allover bar this auld wan’s shouting. Pa Cronin puts over another and it’s Cork 3-23 Wexford 2-17. We’re in added time
18.30 – Full-time. Cork coasted through the final few minutes and eventually won by 10 points. Fine display by Wexford but they just couldn’t stay with the Rebels for a finish. Sad to see the likes of Jack Guiney leaving the championship on what has been a disappointing day for Model fans, with both of their sides now finished for the year after the footballers also lost to Tipp. Cork 3-24 Wexford 2-17