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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019
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Good afternoon everybody, you’re very welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of today’s highly-awaited Leinster Senior Hurling Championship final between Kilkenny and Wexford live from Croke Park.

It’s a cracking day out there, the sky is clear and the sun is peaking through (even though it’s a little breezy, mind), with conditions ripe for what promises to be a brilliant Leinster decider.

A crazy 0-21 to 1-18 draw between these sides at Wexford Park a fortnight ago had everyone breaking out the calculators trying to work out who had actually made it through. But after some quick sums and totting up of the tables, it transpired that Kilkenny and Wexford would meet at HQ and have to do it all over again. 

This will be the 37th time these sides meet for the Bob O’Keeffe Cup and you have to cast your mind all the way back to 1997 since Wexford last beat the Cats in a Leinster final. 

Stick with us, it promises to be a brilliant afternoon of hurling, with throw-in at Croke Park just under an hour away.

Let’s have a quick reminder of today’s teams:

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy

2. Paul Murphy
3. Huw Lawlor
4. Joey Holden 

5. Paddy Deegan
6. Padraig Walsh
7. Enda Morrissey

8. Cillian Buckley
9. Conor Fogarty

10. Richie Leahy
11. Walter Walsh
12. TJ Reid

13. Billy Ryan
14. Colin Fennelly
15. Adrian Mullen

Wexford

1. Mark Fanning

2. Damien Reck
3. Liam Ryan
4. Simon Donohoe

5. Paudie Foley
6. Matthew O’Hanlon
7. Shaun Murphy

8. Kevin Foley
9. Diarmuid O’Keeffe

10. Liam Óg McGovern
11. Lee Chin
12. Conor McDonald

13. Cathal Dunbar
14. Rory O’Connor
15. Paul Morris

Davy Fitzgerald has named an unchanged Wexford side to face Kilkenny. The Clare native has opted for the same side that lined out in that thrilling draw with the Cats a fortnight ago.

They are without the suspended Aidan Nolan, who was sent-off after the final whistle in Nowlan Park and has been slapped with a two-game ban.

The team packs a punch on the half-forward line which includes Liam Óg McGovern, Lee Chin and Conor McDonald, although the latter may operate closer to goal.

Wexford are chasing their 11th Bob O’Keeffe Cup and their first title since 2004. Meanwhile Brian Cody has also named an unchanged Kilkenny team, with all 15 players who lined out against the same opposition a fortnight ago retaining their places.

Wexford supporters will already have a pep in their step ahead of throw-in as their minor side secured the Leinster MHC crown against Kilkenny a little while ago.

AJ Redmond was the star man scoring 1-11 as his side clinched a four-point win.

It’s full-time over at the Gaelic Grounds and Limerick are Munster hurling champions once again.

John Kiely’s men have comprehensively dispatched Tipperary, securing a highly impressive 12-point victory to blow the Premier County away in fine style.

You can read The42′s Fintan O’Toole’s on-the-whistle report right here.

Kyle Hayes celebrates scoring a goal Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The parade is underway in Croke Park and we’re just a few minutes away now. A big crowd has descended upon the capital this afternoon — 50,000 was expected and that prediction looks about right.

2 mins: Kilkenny 0-0 Wexford 0-0

First chance falls Kilkenny’s way right from the throw-in, but Richie Leahy’s shot from range but it lags just wide of the target.

3 mins: Kilkenny 0-1 Wexford 0-1

Conor McDonald with a sublime strike from just alongside the sideline. It flies straight between the posts and we’re up and running. TJ Reid responds immediately and we’re all square straight away.

5Mins

Kilkenny 0-1 Wexford 0-2

Lee Chin knocks over a comfortable free from close range to restore his side’s lead. A one-point advantage as it stands with five minutes on the clock. An exciting start at Croke Park at both ends.

James Maher has a shot saved by Mark Fanning Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

6 mins: Kilkenny 0-2 Wexford 0-3

Rory O’Connor adds another and Wexford are two points to the good. Another great score, Davy Fitzgerald’s men very accurate in front of goal from the get-go. Colin Fennelly flies down the other end and knocks Kilkenny’s second over to cut the deficit.

7 mins: Kilkenny 0-3 Wexford 0-4

Conor McDonald with his second score in as many minutes. He catches the sliotar high in the air, turns to face the goal and fires over. Walter Walsh responds and there’s seven points on the board already.

9 mins: Kilkenny 0-3 Wexford 0-5

Paul Morris scoops up the ball close to goal, staggers inside to find an appropriate angle and points from comfortable range. A really excellent start by Wexford here, two points ahead as we approach the ten minute mark.

11Mins

Kilkenny 0-3 Wexford 0-5

TJ Reid knocks over his second score of the afternoon. It’s a free from close to goal which cuts the deficit back to just one point here. You’d expect nothing less from him.

Alan Murphy with Shane Reck Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

12 mins: Kilkenny 0-4 Wexford 0-6

Rory O’Connor latches onto a long puck-out into the half forward line, turns smartly onto his left and fires over the bar. Brilliant, snappy footwork and a fine score to match.

13 mins: Kilkenny 0-4 Wexford 0-6

TJ Reid with a lovely strike to puck his third score of the afternoon over the bar. It was a tricky enough distance, but his free-taking skills know no bounds or limitations. Two points in it.

15 mins: Kilkenny 0-6 Wexford 0-7

TJ Reid with back-to-back frees to level proceedings. But Lee Chin fires Wexford back ahead. There was a hint of a goal chance there, but Chin was content to take his point from right in front of goal.

15Mins

Kilkenny 0-7 Wexford 0-7

James Maher with his first score and we’re all square again. Simple enough strike with time and space and the St Lachtain’s man makes no mistake.

Huw Lawlor and Enda Morrissey with Conor McDonald Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

17 mins: Kilkenny 0-8 Wexford 0-7

Kilkenny take the lead! A dominant period of play pays dividends for Brian Cody’s men as Alan Murphy fires over. It’s the first time the Cats have led so far.

18 mins: Kilkenny 0-8 Wexford 0-8

Lee Chin stems the tide with a cool and calm free to level us yet again. Composure from the half forward there just when it was needed.

21 mins: Kilkenny 0-8 Wexford 0-9

Simon Dohohue with a cracking finish over the bar. Lee Chin covered a serious amount of ground breaking out from defence into attack. He offloads to Donohue in support and he makes no mistake with a pinpoint strike to restore Wexford’s lead.

24Mins

Kilkenny 0-9 Wexford 0-9

Another free for TJ Reid. It really is tit-for-tat out there and we’re level for a fifth time this afternoon. Very little in it.

Huw Lawlor and Enda Morrissey with Conor McDonald Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

25 mins: Kilkenny 0-11 Wexford 0-9

TJ Reid with a great score from play and Kilkenny are ahead. Colin Fennelly finds time and space from the resulting puck-out and makes no mistake. Three scores on the hop and Brian Cody’s side are two points ahead.

31Mins

Kilkenny 0-13 Wexford 0-11

TJ Reid smacks another free comfortably over the bar. Reid has been enjoying a lot of roaming space in the forward line so far — Paudie Foley, Matthew O’Hanlon and Shaun Murphy struggling a little bit to keep tabs on him so far.

32Mins

Kilkenny 0-13 Wexford 0-12

Lee Chin with a free of his own. Not a huge amount of flow to this game so far, a very stop-start affair which is being dominated by sloppy fouls and precise free-taking at both ends.

34Mins

Kilkenny 0-14 Wexford 0-12

Just before half-time TJ Reid smacks another precise free over the bar to extend Kilkenny’s lead to two points. It’s his eighth point of the half, two from play and six fine frees.

Adrian Mullen with Liam Ryan Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

35Mins

Kilkenny 0-14 Wexford 0-13

Rory O’Connor with a brilliant score. He exchanges a brilliant one-two to sprint clear on goal. There was a goal chance on for O’Connor to potentially fire Wexford back ahead, but he is content to take his point. A one-point game now.

35Mins

Kilkenny 0-15 Wexford 0-14

Adrian Mullen floats away down the left flank. No-one is near him and he is happy to shorten his grip and fire between the posts. Diarmuid O’Keeffe with an immediate response with a fantastic score despite being fouled in the build-up.

Flag 35Mins

HALF-TIME: KILKENNY 0-15 WEXFORD 0-14

We’re halfway there and Kilkenny are one point to the good following an absorbing opening 35 minutes at Croke Park.

There hasn’t been a huge amount of flow or tempo to this one, with the precise free-taking skills of TJ Reid and Lee Chin at both ends the key feature so far.

More action to come shortly!

36Mins

We’re back underway! Will Kilkenny maintain their lead and be crowned Leinster champions for the first time since 2016 or will Wexford turn this around? It’s still all to play for.

37Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-14

Walter Walsh with the first score of the second half within 20 seconds. He muscles Paudie Foley out of his way racing through on goal and fires over the bar from a tricky angle.

38Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-15

An important score for Wexford as Lee Chin slams a precise free over the bar from the halfway line. A point between the sides again, pinpoint accuracy from the captain.

39Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-15

There’s a pause in play as Adrian Mullen goes down looking to be in some pain. Sean Murphy pulled on the ball along the ground and seemed to catch Mullen on his helmet. The medics have come over to assess the damage.

40Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-16

Ger Aylward is on as a temporary replacement for Mullen, who has gone off to receive further attention from the doctors. Meanwhile Diarmuid O’Keeffe levels proceedings with a clever strike. Sixteen points apiece.

42Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-16

Ger Aylward takes his leave as Adrian Mullen returns to play again. Mark Fanning is called into action with a tremendous save to deny Colin Fennelly close to goal. An outstanding stop from the Glynn Barntown man between the sticks to keep it level.

43Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-16

Ger Aylward is back on again, this time permanently to replace Alan Murphy. TJ Reid has the chance to take the lead again, but uncharacteristically he misses the target and it’s still 0-16 to 0-16. The atmosphere is beginning to rise here.

45Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-17

Wexford are ahead! Lee Chin handpasses swiftly to an unmarked Conor McDonald and he makes no mistake with a crucial score. Three unanswered points by Davy Fitzgerald’s men at Croke Park now.

46Mins

Kilkenny 0-16 Wexford 0-18

Lee Chin with an absolutely sublime sideline cut to put his side two points ahead. Incredible skill from Chin and there’s a huge roar from the crowd in response. He punches the air in delight. What a turnaround!

48Mins

Kilkenny 0-17 Wexford 0-18

Ger Aylward finds his first score of the afternoon off the bench. He peels away from his marker down the left channel, pulls away into space and makes no mistake with the short grip to make it a one-point game.

49Mins

Kilkenny 0-18 Wexford 0-18

All level! TJ Reid with brilliant handling to snatch the ball away from Paudie Foley, spin away into space and slice a precise shot over and between the sticks. It’s Reid’s ninth score of this Leinster final.

50Mins

Kilkenny 0-19 Wexford 0-18

Kilkenny edge in front. Eoin Murphy comes from his goal to fire a powerful free over the bar. He needed to generate some power behind his strike to cover the distance — but it’s good and brings his side ahead again.

52Mins

Kilkenny 0-19 Wexford 0-19

What Eoin Murphy can do, Lee Chin can match. Wexford earn another free, this time inside their own half, and Chin shows no lack of confidence or skill to puck a long effort between Murphy’s posts. What a score!

54Mins

Kilkenny 0-19 Wexford 0-20

Jack O’Connor with a fabulous strike inside his own half. He hit it well — the strike looked like it may just drop short — but there’s not a doubt about it. It dips over the head of Eoin Murphy and Wexford are back ahead.

56Mins

Kilkenny 0-20 Wexford 0-20

Adrian Mullen levels proceedings again. Wexford players surround the referee claiming a foul in the build-up, but John Keenan says no and says the point is good.

58Mins

Kilkenny 0-20 Wexford 0-21

There’s another big roar from the Wexford supporters as Conor McDonald fires over another point and what a final he has had. One-point game again with less than 15 minutes to go.

59Mins

Kilkenny 0-21 Wexford 0-21

TJ Reid with another point from play and we’re level for the 10th time this afternoon. He turns to the crowd and raises his arms looking for a response. Eleven minutes plus stoppage time left in Croke Park.

61Mins

Kilkenny 0-22 Wexford 0-21

Lee Chin with an ambitious free struck from well inside his own half… but it falls short to Paddy Deegan and he races away from goal to end the danger. He finds TJ Reid close to goal — Reid finds the target with his fourth score from open play.

63Mins

Kilkenny 0-22 Wexford 0-21

Penalty to Wexford! Rory O’Connor is brought down by Enda Morrissey and Wexford suddenly have the chance to take the lead late on. The drama!

64Mins

Kilkenny 0-22 Wexford 1-22

GOAL! Mark Fanning finds the back of the net! The goalkeeper with a precise low strike which beat Eoin Murphy diving to his left. Liam Óg McGovern follows that up with another point and out of no-where Wexford are three points ahead.

66Mins

Kilkenny 0-23 Wexford 1-22

TJ Reid calms things down a little bit with an important free from distance. Two points in it now, a crucial score from Reid with no sign of panic whatsoever. That said, the crowd inside Croke Park are in a frenzy!

69Mins

Kilkenny 0-23 Wexford 1-23

Lee Chin delivers an almighty 65 which flies between the posts to maintain his 100% strike-rate from dead ball situations today. Wexford back three points ahead with just stoppage time remaining. Wow!

70Mins

Kilkenny 0-23 Wexford 1-23

Simon Donohue provides a crucial block on Ger Aylward, who had his eye on a goal there. Eoin Murphy lobs the resulting 65 into the penalty area and panic ensues before Colin Fennelly fires wide. A massive cheer from the Wexford supporters. Three minutes of stoppage time to go.

71Mins

Kilkenny 0-23 Wexford 1-23

Another goal chance for Kilkenny as the sliotar is floated right into the danger zone, but Lee Chin arises from a cluster of bodies with ball in hand. He bursts away and clears the danger in heroic fashion.

70Mins

FULL-TIME: KILKENNY 0-23 WEXFORD 1-23

It’s all over! The referee blows his whistle and Wexford are Leinster champions for the first time in 15 years. Not since 2004 have they lifted the Bob O’Keeffe Cup but today a brilliant display from Davy Fitzgerald’s men sees off Kilkenny. What a second-half performance, particularly from Lee Chin and Rory O’Connor. Davy’s over the moon racing around! 

70Mins

About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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