Cork 3-26 Wexford 0-13
Cork have roared into the U21 All Ireland final with a comprehensive victory over Wexford. A number of the players who tasted heartbreak in the senior semi-final against Limerick last Sunday were key to their impressive win this evening in Nolan Park.
This was never a match that the Rebels were going to lose two first half goals laid the platform for an entirely dominant performance.
The brilliant Tim O’Mahoney bore down on goal and while Jack Cushe managed to save his initial shot, there was nothing he could do to prevent the rebound goal. O’Mahoney was celebrating just minutes later when he followed through after a Darragh Fitzgibbon effort was saved.
Tim O'Mahony with the opening goal for the Cork u21s! pic.twitter.com/VJb68lnLCw
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 4, 2018
Wexford, to their credit, also hit a number of impressive points through wing-back Aaron Maddock and the influential Seamus Casey but Cork entered cruise control mode and stretched their lead further through Declan Dalton and Jack O’Connor.
Fitzgibbon was superb in midfield, winning and distributing a huge amount of possession as he did in the senior semi-final. Further scores from Shane Kingston and O’Mahoney helped to eliminate Wexford’s hopes of a fight back and the Rebels led by 11 points at half-time.
The ease at which Cork opened up the Wexford defence was frightening but they were also guilty of a number of silly wides. Nevertheless, their dominance continued. Kingston and Dalton continued to add points before Jack Cushe’s net was rattled again, this time O’Mahoney turning provider for Liam Healy.
Things didn’t go all Cork’s way as they lost Dalton to a serious injury midway through the second half after lengthy treatment on the pitch. Their management will be sweating on his fitness ahead of the All Ireland Final later this month. Wexford had a goal chance of their own through Stephen O’Gorman but Cork’s defence stood strong during their first test.
As the game ticked into the seven additional minutes, the brilliant Damien Reck made a break forward but again Wexford were denied by tight defence, Billy Hennessy getting his body in the way. The ball was moved back down the the field and substitute Aaron Myers finished his third point of the game.
Just as in the game against Tipperary, they showed no signs of slowing late in the game as Josh Cashman powered through for his first score of the game. Myers pointed his second free to round off the win for the Rebels.
Cork: Ger Collins; David Lowney, Ger Millerick, Niall O’Leary; Eoghan Murphy, Mark Coleman, Billy Hennessy; Josh Cashman (0-1), Darragh Fitzgibbon; Robbie O’Flynn, Declan Dalton (0-8, 5f), Shane Kingston (0-4); Liam Healy (1-1), Tim O’Mahoney (2-2), Jack O’Connor (0-4).
Substitutions: Cahalane (0-2) for Millerick (38) Aaron Myers (0-4, 2f) for Dalton (46) Daire Connery for Fitzgibbon (54) Chris O’Leary for Kingston (59) Conor O’Callaghan for Coleman (60)
Wexford: Jack Cushe; Shane Reck, Darren Byrne, Conor Firman; Aaron Maddock (0-2), Damien Reck (0-2), Ian Carthy; Garry Molloy, Rowan White (0-3); Oisin Foley, Eoin Molloy, Liam Stafford; Mikie Dwyer, Rory Higgins, Seamus Casey (0-6, 3f, 1 sl).
Substitutions: Stephen O’Gorman for S Reck (24) Eoin Kelly for Higgins (40) Jody Donohue for Byrne (45)