Kilkenny defeat Wexford in Leinster Minor Hurling Final
Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Hurling Final
KILKENNY 1-15 WEXFORD 2-10
By Ronan Fagan at Netwatch Cullen Park
Defending champions Kilkenny survived a couple of serious injury-time frights before emerging with their Electric Ireland Leinster minor hurling championship title intact at the expense of Wexford at Carlow’s Netwatch Cullen Park on Wednesday.
After 2019 champions Wexford goaled either side of half-time to lead 2-5 to 1-5, Kilkenny hit back with ten of the remaining fifteen points.
But the Cats were almost caught in added-time as ‘keeper Alan Murphy thwarted Wexford sub Cian Doyle at the expense of a ‘65, before full-back Bill Hughes intervened to parry a shot from Luke Murphy over the crossbar in the dying seconds.
Richie Mulrooney’s charges now face Galway in the August 14th All-Ireland semi-final, with Cork or Waterford – they play the Munster final on August 9th – awaiting the winners.
Captain Harry Shine (free) helped Kilkenny settle into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead before Killian Carey – a son of Martin’s – had a goal ruled out for thrown pass by Shine.
Wexford were challenging strongly but missing a certain punch upfront, and free-taker Luke Roche kept them in touch after 28 minutes (0-5 to 0-4).
Kilkenny then stole a march when Ted Dunne doubled on a free from Shine to rattle the net in the 30th minute (1-5 to 0-4).
But Wexford produced a stirring response as Luke Roche pegged back another pointed free, before a placed-ball delivery from his own half by Seán Cooney was latched upon and kicked to the net by Adam O’Grady to suddenly tie matters at half-time (1-5 apiece).
The purple-and-gold surge was added to when a free found Simon Roche who, with his back to goal, flicked to the net to give Wexford their first taste of the lead after 34 minutes (2-5 to 1-5).
Kilkenny refused to bend any further as they shot back in front by the 48th minute with the aid of a trio of scores from Harry Shine (1-12 to 2-8).
Wexford kept probing, but Luke Roche saw his stinging drive cleared off the goal-line by Joe Fitzpatrick, and substitute Cian Doyle found the side-netting with another gilt-edged opportunity.
A seventh free from Luke Roche balanced the books once again after 51 minutes.
But Kilkenny then reeled off a match-winning sequence of points courtesy of Danny Glennon, Shine (free) and Ted Dunne (1-15 to 2-9).
The drama was far from over though as Wexford twice went agonisingly close to stealing the show only to meet with tremendous defiance.
Scorers for Kilkenny: Harry Shine 0-6 (0-4 frees), Ted Dunne 1-1, Danny Glennon 0-3, Killian Doyle, Gearóid Dunne, Jeff Neary, Killian Carey and Darragh Queally 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wexford: Luke Roche 0-7 frees, Adam O’Grady and Simon Roche 1-1 each, Luke Murphy 0-1.
KILKENNY: Alan Dunphy; Evan Rudkins, Bill Hughes, Seán Moore; Joe Fitzpatrick, Gearóid Dunne, Eoghan Lyng; Jeff Neary, Killian Doyle; Ted Dunne, Harry Shine (capt.), Killian Carey; Darragh Queally, Danny Glennon, Cillian Hackett. Subs: Ben Whitty for Neary (47), James Walsh for Queally (51), Michael Brennan for Glennon (60+2).
WEXFORD: Tiernan Doyle; Robbie Chapman, Eoin Whelan, Cian Ó Tuama; Seán Cooney, Dylan Purcell, Páidí Doyle; Seán Rowley, Cillian Byrne; Darby Purcell, Adam O’Grady, Fionn Walsh; Simon Roche, Luke Roche, Luke Murphy (capt.). Sub: Cian Doyle for Walsh (18).
Referee: Thomas Gleeson (Dublin).