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Kilkenny come from 9 points down to win thriller against Wexford and reach Leinster final

17,516 in Nowlan Park for tonight’s clash.

Kilkenny 0-22
Wexford 1-18

Fintan O’Toole reports from Nowlan Park

ANOTHER SATURDAY EVENING to warm the hearts of the Kilkenny hurling faithful as they watched their team come back from the brink at a sun-soaked Nowlan Park and march into a Leinster final on 1 July.

Wexford bossed the first-half of this round-robin encounter – a game which would determine who would earn the right for a tilt at provincial glory against Galway – and were nine to the good early in the second half.

Enda Morrissey and Cillian Buckley with Lee Chin and Rory O Connor Kilkenny's Enda Morrissey and Cillian Buckley with Wexford's Lee Chin and Rory O'Connor. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Yet Brian Cody’s men conjured up another superb revival and when they hit the front in the 59th minute at 0-18 to 1-14 through Enda Morrissey, they would never relinquish that winning position thereafter.

Wexford, driven on by the immense Paudie Foley, would cut the deficit to a single point on a few occasions in a pulsating finale but there no doubt which team charged for the finish line in a more powerful fashion. After four weeks on the go, Wexford just ran out of gas.

Padraig Walsh had a storming second-half, TJ Reid potted dead balls relentlessly while Kilkenny’s substitutes also made a great impact as Richie Leahy, John Donnelly and Joey Holden struck a combined total of 0-5.

After a string of points, Wexford capped off their good work in the first half by bagging the only goal of the game in the 28th minute. It was a product of the creative approach work of Lee Chin and David Dunne with Paul Morris on hand to finish to the net with aplomb.

Wexford were in front 1-11 to 0-7 at the break and were full value for that with Rory O’Connor providing some moments of magic in attack in that opening period. They pushed on to lead 1-13 to 0-7 after half-time as they started the second half in a brisk fashion.

However there was a forceful kick in Kilkenny who grew in strength as the second half unfolded.

Kevin Foley and Paul Murphy Wexford's Kevin Foley and Kilkenny's Paul Murphy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-11 (0-9f, 0-1 ’65), Conor Fogarty, Richie Leahy, John Donnelly 0-2 each, Joey Holden, Eoin Murphy (0-1f), Enda Morrissey, Pádraig Walsh, James Maher 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: Rory O’Connor (0-2f), Paudie Foley (0-4f) 0-5 each, Paul Morris 1-1, Lee Chin 0-3, Conor McDonald 0-2, Kevin Foley, Diarmuid O’Keeffe 0-1 each.

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

7. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
4. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)

18. Conor O’Shea (Clara)
6. Cillian Buckley (captain) (Dicksboro)
2. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)

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8. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
9. James Maher (St Lachtains)

14. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
22. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
11. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)

26. Bill Sheehan (Dicksboro)
25. Richie Hogan (Danesfort)
15. Luke Scanlon (James Stephens)

Subs

10. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan) for Fennelly (half-time)
24. Richie Leahy (Rower-Inistioge) for Hogan (half-time)
17. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks) for O’Shea (half-time)
12. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge) for Sheehan (46)
13. John Donnelly (Thomastown) for Scanlon (65)

Wexford

1. Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)

2. Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)
3. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
17. Conor Firman (St Martin’s)

5. Paudie Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
6. Matthew O’Hanlon (St James)
7. Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)

8. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
9. Shaun Murphy (Oulart-the-Ballagh)

10. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers – captain)
11. Aidan Nolan (HWH Bunclody)
24. David Dunne (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy)

13. Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidan’s)
14. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s)
15. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna)

Subs

23. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for Kevin Foley (54)
12. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s) for Dunne (54)
4. Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers) for O’Keeffe (62)
26. Shane Tomkins (Askamore) for Morris (70)

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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