Cork crushed Wexford’s Championship aspirations with a dominant second half display as they ran out 3-24 to 2-17 winners at Semple Stadium.
The Rebels scored three goals in eight first half minutes, including a Luke O’Farrell brace, and rattled off 17 points after the break.
A Jack Guiney-inspired Wexford hung in there and were only 3-07 to 1-11 down at half-time.
But Cork’s greater strength in depth helped them canter clear, although Garrett Sinnott did muster a late goal for a tiring but resolute Wexford team.
As anticipated, a wrist injury prevented Christopher Joyce from starting for Cork and William Egan returned to the defence in his place, with Eoin Cadogan shifting to centre-back.
Rory Jacob, who started at full-forward in a reshuffled Wexford attack, fired over the opening point for a side that contained late inclusions Eoin Moore, Harry Kehoe and Eoin Quigley.
The free-scoring Pat Horgan sent over a fifth-minute free to draw Cork level, yet the early exchanges were blighted by loose passing and slack shooting.
It took another seven minutes for Cork to nip ahead on the scoreboard, a lovely catch from Pa Cronin setting up the unmarked Conor Lehane for a point.
Wexford midfielder David Redmond launched over the leveller in the very next attack, and this third-phase qualifier was soon lit up by two smashing goals.
A pinpoint delivery in from Egan showed what the Cork attack can do with first-time ball, with Luke O’Farrell breaking free to ripple the net in the 13th minute.
Wexford responded in kind as substitute Shaun Murphy sent the ball down the left and Diarmuid Lyng thundered away from Tom Kenny to crash the ball to the net and make it 1-02 apiece.
Niall McCarthy and Lyng swapped points before Horgan played a hopeful ball in and O’Farrell rose to flick it past a hesitant Eanna Martin for his second goal.
Martin’s opposite number, Anthony Nash, soon got in on the goal-scoring act after O’Farrell was fouled by Matthew O’Hanlon for a 21st-minute penalty. Nash rasped home a powerful shot but Wexford showed their resilience.
Harry Kehoe pumped over two points and Jacob added his second to close the gap to 3-03 to 1-06, while Lyng drew applause from both sets of fans for a terrific long range sideline cut.
Cork slumped for a short while, only for points from Lorcan McLoughlin and O’Farrell to snap them out of their scoreless spell and Nash was back earning his corn on his goal-line, denying Quigley at close range.
Horgan and the increasingly influential Niall McCarthy kept the scoreboard ticking over for Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s men, but Wexford dominated in the minutes before half-time.
Under-21 ace Guiney floated over a hat-trick of points and Sinnott also raised a white flag to whittle Cork’s lead down to two points at the turnaround.
It was very much ‘game on’ at that stage, but Cork knuckled down on the restart and responded with opening points from Nash, who showed his placed-ball accuracy from distance, and McCarthy again.
Try as they might, the Model men just could not get back on level terms. They hit back with efforts from Sinnott and Guiney, only for Horgan to land two frees at the other end.
The gap was now out to four points and Cork were in no mood to be overhauled. Peppering their forwards with inviting balls, Lehane and Paudie O’Sullivan cancelled out a Liam Og McGovern score to make it a five-point game.
Into the last 20 minutes, Wexford lacked the physicality and firepower up front to knock Cork off their stride.
The usual suspects were always willing - Lyng, Guiney and Jacob, the Models’ only survivor from the counties’ 2004 All-Ireland semi-final meeting, all added to their tallies.
Nevertheless, Liam Dunne’s charges were fighting a losing battle against the wind and struggled to make use of Martin’s puck-outs.
Turning possession into points, McCarthy, Cronin, O’Farrell, O’Sullivan and substitutes Cathal Naughton and Jamie Coughlan all swung over late scores for the clinical victors.
Sinnott’s 66th-minute goal, which saw him catch a long ball and blast to the roof of the net, brought the deficit back to 3-19 to 2-17. But Cork were not about to be toppled and a second yellow card for midfielder David Redmond saw Wexford finish with 14 players.
Scorers: Cork: L O’Farrell 2-02, P Horgan 0-07 (0-05f), A Nash 1-01 (1-00 pen, 0-01f), N McCarthy 0-04, C Lehane, P O’Sullivan, P Cronin, J Coughlan (0-01f), 0-02 each, L McLoughlin, C Naughton 0-01 each
Wexford: D Lyng 1-03 (0-02sl, 0-01f), G Sinnott 1-02, J Guiney 0-05 (0-02f, 0-01 ‘65’), R Jacob 0-03, H Kehoe 0-02, D Redmond, L Og McGovern 0-01 each
CORK: Anthony Nash; Shane O'Neill, Damien Cahalane, Brian Murphy; Tom Kenny, Eoin Cadogan, William Egan; Lorcán McLoughlin, Pa Cronin; Conor Lehane, Cian McCarthy, Niall McCarthy; Paudie O'Sullivan, Luke O'Farrell, Pat Horgan (capt).
Subs used: Darren Sweetnam for McLoughlin (48 mins), Cathal Naughton for Lehane (59), Sean Og O hAilpin for Egan (63), Jamie Coughlan for N McCarthy (66), Stephen Moylan for C McCarthy (70).
WEXFORD: Eanna Martin; Eoin Moore, Matthew O’Hanlon, Keith Rossiter (capt); Richie Kehoe, Ciaran Kenny, Darren Stamp; David Redmond, Diarmuid Lyng; Jack Guiney, Garrett Sinnott, Harry Kehoe; Paul Morris, Eoin Quigley, Rory Jacob.
Subs used: Shaun Murphy for Quigley (13-19 mins, blood sub), Liam Og McGovern for H Kehoe (44), Murphy for Guiney (51-52, blood sub), Murphy for Morris (61), Stephen Banville for Quigley (67).
Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)