An early goal from Aisling Frawley earned Wexford Youths a hard-fought victory over a spirited Cork City outfit in their Continental Tyres Women's National League clash in Ferrycarrig Park.

The contest was only three minutes old when Orla Casey sent a cross from the left across the face of goal and Frawley arrived at the back post to calmly slot the ball to the net.

The hosts had fired a warning shot with just sixty seconds on the clock as Claire O'Riordan forced a save out of goalkeeper Amanda Budden.

Cork almost fashioned a quick response when in the seventh minute Sophie Lenehen had to be alert to tip Saoirse Noonan's inswinging free-kick over the bar and Natalie O'Brien shot straight at the goalkeeper from the resulting corner.

Wexford had the ball in the back of the net again on 17 minutes when captain Kylie Murphy headed home an Amy Walsh free-kick, but the midfielder's effort was ruled out for offside.

It was the Leesiders turn to threaten in the 27th minute when Christina Dring burst forward with menace, but when her progress was halted Cork's calls for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

Budden was called into action with 33 minutes on the clock, getting a strong hand to Kylie Murphy's powerful 25-yard effort to divert it over the crossbar.

Wexford again came close to doubling their tally on the stroke of half-time, when Claire O'Riordan linked up with Frawley, but the Irish international striker's shot was deflected out for a corner.

After the interval substitute Rianna Jarrett had an opportunity to make an instant impact, but she failed to get a telling connection on Frawley's cross in the 57th minute and Cork came close to making them pay seconds later, when Lenehan had to be at her best to save a rasping drive from Saoirse Noonan.

Frawley then saw her chipped effort drift wide midway through the half, but the visitors continued to look dangerous, with Dring causing a few hearts to skip a beat in the Wexford rearguard on 76 minutes, but despite their best efforts they couldn't breach the champions' defence.

Wexford Youths: Sophie Lenehen, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon, Lauren Dwyer, Amy Walsh, Aisling Frawley (Becky Conroy 82), Kylie Murphy (capt.), Edel Kennedy, Orla Casey (Becky Cassin 73), Aoibhin Webb (Rianna Jarrett 55), Claire O'Riordan.

Cork City: Amanda Budden, Natalie O'Brien, Ciara McNamara (capt.), Maggie Duncliffe (Courtney O'Keeffe), Danielle Burke, Eadaoin Lyons (Hannah O'Donoghue 85), Savannah McCarthy, Danielle Sheehy, Christina Dring, Saoirse Noonan, Michelle O'Driscoll (Kate O'Donovan 81).

Referee: Michelle O'Neill.