Cork has been hit by a number of injuries over the past few weeks. Panellists Mariah Reidy, RoisÝn de Faoite and Christine O’Neill will not figure at any stage on Saturday.
Jennifer O’Leary and Pamela Mackey continue to nurse their shoulders while Breige Corkery’s energy levels will be tested having been ill recently.
Jennifer, Pamela and Breige will start for Cork and it is hoped all three last the hour.
Cork’s management has named the same side to that which lined out against Galway on June 26th last. Cork’s performance that day was their best throughout their championship campaign and it is hoped that this fifteen will find the same form again.
Emer O’Sullivan is unlucky to lose out and is a strong substitute.
Cork has always been a county that forgot all too easily what it’s like to lose. A couple of All Irelands under their belt and the desire to win waned. All it takes is one defeat to make them crave again and the players are craving another All Ireland title.
Ursula Jacob is clearly on form this season and caused problems for Cork last time out. Una Leacy and Evelyn Quigley are another two who seem to be finding the net with relative ease, particularly as the championship wore on.
Cork’s half back line can’t allow themselves to be sucked out leaving their inside line exposed. Wexford will possibly endeavour to play a third midfielder and leave two inside forwards, with Jacob the danger woman at full forward. If Cork aren’t managing the extra player they need to drop players back from corner forward out and likewise play two inside.
Cork’s forward division needs to work their socks off and prevent Wexford any free clearance. Should Wexford’s half back line get on top Cork will be putting themselves under immense pressure.
Orla Cotter and Gemma O’Connor can’t play too deep, too defensive. One of them at least needs to drive forward and attack. Cork can’t become consumed with Wexford’s forward play. They need to play it wide and fast. They are a fast outfit, possess some lightening fast forwards and need to utilise them.
If this game were played in the standard fifteen on fifteen formats I think we could have a blistering game on our hands. I don’t believe that line out will hold however.
The middle of the park could get crowded out therefore it is important that Cork don’t get caught up in a physical battle but hold their game plan, which should be to open the play up and keep it wide.
Cork needs goals on Saturday. Considering the possession they enjoyed during their championship campaign the return in this regard should have been greater.
They seemed content to stack up the points without glancing at first to see if there was an opening for goal. Great forwards only have one thing on their mind every time they’re in possession; goal first and I’ll take my point, second.
Whoever has that mentality will be the team heading for Croke Park on September 11th.