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Hurling: Codd proves catch of day as battling Wexford net Cork; Wexford 2-14 Cork 1-9.

CORK may have been trying to protect a three match unbeaten run but they were unable to match the passion and power of a rejeuvenated Wexford who romped to a shock victory at Enniscorthy yesterday.

In truth Wexford's win was much more emphatic that even the eight point margin suggests. Except for a brief four minute spell early in the first-half they suffocated the Cork challenge with determination and passion, hunting in numbers, while also playing with a high degree of skill.

Having led by six points at the interval, Wexford put clear daylight between the sides, within six minutes of the restart through three Paul Codd pointed frees.

While Cork did manage to reduce the deficit to five points, they were unable to cope with the physical presence of the home defence who put up the shutters in the second half despite playing into the breeze.

Such was the commitment and passion shown in what was a terrific seventy minutes of hurling from the homeside, Cork were left to rely on the accuracy of Joe Deane from frees for the majority of their scores.

Wexford were playing the more enterprising hurling. They hunted in packs, tackled as if their lives depended on the outcome, while the attack gave the up to then highly rated Cork defence a torrid seventy minutes.

Really their victory margin could have been greater but Wexford will not be complaining.

It was to prove a costly afternoon for Cork Manager Tom Cashman, for he lost centre-back, Brian Corcoran with a shoulder injury, and centre- forward Mike Morrissey, stretchered off eight minutes before the break with what appeared a bad leg injury.

While Cork had their troubles they will not complain at the result for they were unable to contain the potency of the home side's centre-forward Paul Codd, who showed a real return to form, and with newcomer Colm Byrne, Darren Stamp and Barry Goff also particularly promiment, they tore the visitors defence to ribbons.

The first half was hard to believe as Wexford controlled matters except for an early four minute spell.

Just six minutes into the game, Paul Codd dispossessed centre-back Brian Corcoran, and found himself clear on goal, giving goalie Donal Og Cusack no chance from fourteen metres.

Having added points through Barry Goff and Rory McCarthy the home side found themselves 1-2 to 0-0 clear after just nine minutes.

However, for all their possession, Wexford were brought back to earth, as Cork struck with some lightning raids.

First Pat Ryan had a tenth minute point, before one minute later, Seanie McGrath goaled after a Ben O'Connor effort had been blocked out by Seanie Flood. Amazingly Cork were back on level terms, 1-2 each, after just 13 minutes through a Joe Deane pointed free.

Outstanding midfield pair Adrian Fenlon and Mitch Jordan steered Wexford back in control and it was a blazing 31st minute goal from corner-forward Paul Finn which left the homeside leading 2-7 to 1-4 at the interval.

Playing with the aid of the brezze one expected a second half Cork recovery but this failed to materialise. Paul Codd with three unanswered pointed frees had stretch Wexford into a nine point lead with six minutes of the restart.

Realising that the game was slipping away from them, Cork managed to stall the Wexford challenge, with Joe Deane pointing four points on the trot, to leave five separating the sides, 2-10 to 1-8, with seventeen minutes remaining.

After Colm Kehoe had pulled off a fantastic goal-line clearance as Damian Fitzhenry was caught out of goal, it was newcomer Darren Stamp who picked up the resulting clearance to flight over a superb sixty metere point off the wing, a score which lifted the Cork siege.

Having added three further points through Paul Codd (2) and Colm Byrne, Cork's misery was completed when Kevin Murray had a penalty twenty-one yards free saved and cleared by goalie Damian Fitzhenry eight minutes from the end.

In the concluding eight minutes Cork could only manage a single Neil Ronan point, and Wexford despite the loss of full-back Daragh Ryan held out for an impressive victory.

"It was hard to believe after that dismal display against Waterford. We did a lot of tough talking following that game and the players were determined to put it behind them. ", said a delighted Wexford Manager, Tony Dempsey.

WEXFORD: D. Fitzhenry, C. Kehoe, D. Ryan, S. Flood, L. O'Gorman, L. Dunne, D. Ruth, A. Fenlon (0-1), M. Jordan, D. Stamp (0-2), P. Codd (1-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1, 65), R. McCarthy (0-1), B. Goff (0-2), C. Byrne (0-2), P. Finn (1-0). Subs: C. O'Loughlin for Ruth; M. Jacob for Finn; D. Guiney for Ryan (inj), G. Laffan for Goff.

CORK: D. OgCusack, F. Ryan, J. Browne, P. Mulcahy, W. Sherlock, B. Corcoran, S. Og O Halpin, D. Barrett, P. Ryan (0-1 free), T. McCarthy, M. Morrissey, B. O'Connor, S. McGrath (1-0), K. Murray (0-1), J. Deane (0-6 frees). Subs: M. Landers for Corcoran (inj); F. McCormack for Morrissey (inj); A. Browne for O'Connor; M. O'Connell for Ryan; N. Ronan (0-1) for McCormack.

CAPTION(S):

POINTING THE WAY TO VICTORY: Wexford Paul Codd who notched a nine point haul in yesterday's surprise victory over Cork; TARGET MAN: Cork's Joe Deane knocked over six fine points but it wasn't enough as his side's winning run came to an end
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 2, 2001
Words:895
Previous Article:Hurling: Galway point out warning; Galway 1-11 Roscommon 1-10.
Next Article:Hurling: MURPHY'S LAW AS CLARE RULE ROOST; Dublin 2-13 Clare 4-20.


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