GAA Results: Wexford and Kilkenny to meet in Leinster Final after pulsating 0-21 to 1-18 draw

Wexford 0-21 Kilkenny 1-18

Wexford and Kilkenny will meet in the Leinster Hurling Final in two weeks time after they played out a pulsating 0-21 to 1-18 draw at Wexford Park on Saturday. In a thrilling night in the province, Dublin’s superb win over Galway at Parnell Park meant that the Tribesmen exit the championship. Galway, Kilkenny, Wexford and Dublin all had five points but Wexford and Kilkenny’s scoring difference came into play.

Brian Cody opted to change 4 of the player he named in his starting match programme. Walter Walsh, Cillian Buckley, Enda Morrissey and Joey Holden all starting instead of Alan Murphy, Ger Aylward, Tommy Walsh and Bill Sheehan. Wexford opened the scoring through Conor McDonald inside the first minute, but TJ Reid responded from a free for Brian Cody’s men. Conor Fogarty and Lee Chin then traded scores. Kevin Foley and Paudie Foley though scored nice points from distance as Wexford lead by two points for the first time. Diarmuid O’Keeffe had a superb first half and got a nice score to which Adrian Mullen replied for Kilkenny. Paddy Deegan and Walter Walsh had Kilkenny level on 13 minutes. O’Keeffe and TJ Reid (free) traded scores before wind assisted Wexford went ahead again thanks to a long-range strike from Crossabeg man Foley. Colin Fennelly levelled up matters once again only for O’Keeffe to notch his third of the night.

Huw Lawlor and Padraig Walsh denied Wexford two-goal opportunities in the space of a couple of minutes. Lee Chin put the hosts two points ahead, before St Anne’s man O’Keeffe hit his fourth of the half from play. TJ Reid hit a few frees for Kilkenny in between those scores. Chin hit his third point before Reid replied. Naomh Eanna club man Conor McDonald closed the scoring for the first half, as it was 0-13 to 1-10 at the break.

TJ Reid got the first score of the second on 40 minutes and Kilkenny led for the first time in the game on 44 minutes when the superb Adrian Mullen rattled the corner of the net after a poor misjudged puck out from Mark Fanning. Kilkenny 1-11 to Wexford’s 0-13. Rory O’Connor and Paul Morris but Paul Murphy landed a long point from distance followed up by Padraig Walsh had the Cats ahead approaching the three-quarter stages. Adrian Mullen and Paul Morris then traded scores, before Joey Holden and Lee Chin swapped scores to keep the scores level. Mullen and Rory O’Connor then traded scores before Jack O’Connor pointed twice either side of a Colin Fennelly point before TJ Reid put Kilkenny back ahead.

Lee Chin had the final say though as he held his nerve to point a free in injury time to send both sides to a Leinster Final meeting on June 30th where a huge Wexford following will flock to Croke Park.

Wexford: M Fanning; D Reck, L Ryan, S Donohoe; P Foley (0-2, 2f), M O’Hanlon, S Murphy; K Foley (0-1), D O’Keeffe (0-4); L Chin (0-6, 6f), L Og McGovern, P Morris (0-2); C Dunbar, R O’Connor (0-2), C McDonald (0-2). Subs: J O’Connor (0-2) for Dunbar (HT), A Nolan for McGovern (54mins), L Blanchfield for B Ryan (56), D Dunne for Morris (64)

Kilkenny: E Murphy; H Lawlor, P Walsh (0-1), J Holden (0-1); P Murphy (0-1), P Deegan (0-1), E Morrissey; C Buckley, C Fogarty (0-1); R Leahy, TJ Reid (0-7, 7f), W Walsh (0-1); B Ryan, C Fennelly (0-2), A Mullen (1-3). Subs: J Cleere for Deegan (18mins), J Maher for Buckley (50); J Donnelly for Walsh (68)

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