Leinster U-20 Hurling Final: Kilkenny win first Leinster U20 title with 1-17 to 0-18 win over Wexford

Wexford 0-18 Kilkenny 1-17

Kilkenny claimed the first ever Leinster U20 Hurling title on Wednesday when they defeated Wexford by 1-17 to 0-18. It was a goal in the first half by Evan Shefflin that proved the difference in Wexford Park. A big home crowd was in attendance hoping to see their county complete a clean sweep of titles after the minor and senior side claimed Leinster titles.

It took 6 minutes before a score was registered on the scoreboard at the Clonard End. The first five minutes was a bit cagey bit both sides looking to settle down. Banville knocked over the first point which came from a free from around the 45 metre mark. Banville from the Shelmaliers club double the tally with another free, before Aaron Brennan got DJ Carey’s men first score of the game. The rain made the game difficult for players meaning the scoreboard wasn’t ticking over. It was 0-04 to 0-03 after 16 minutes when Kilkenny. The Noresiders raised the only green flag of the game a minute later when Shefflin got on the end of a rebound after a good save from James Lawlor. It was Wexford though who finished the half stronger outscoring the Cats 0-5 to 0-03. Sean O’Connor landed two scores just before the short whistle to leave it 1-07 to 0-08 at the break.

Wexford thundered into the game on the resumption and drew level with Kilkenny 0-12 to 1-09 after 38 minutes, Gorey club man Charlie McGuckin, Ross Banville (2 frees) and Cian Fitzhenry all pointing. Kilkenny though as they so often do battled back with the man of the match David Blanchfield, Sean Ryan, Eoin Cody and Eoin O’Shea raising white flags to make it 1-13 to 0-12 with just over 15 minutes left. Ross Banville, Chris Turner, Conor Scallan and Cian Fitzhenry all pointed to ensure the game would go to the wire. However, it was Kilkenny who won but both teams remain in the championship. Kilkenny will meet the winner of Cork/Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final, while Wexford will meet the loser of that game in the semi-final also.

Kilkenny: Dean Mason; James Brennan (0-1), Conor Flynn, Mikey Butler; Conor Heary, Michael Carey (0-1), David Blanchfield (0-2); Eoin O’Shea (0-1), Evan Shefflin (1-2); Stephen Donnelly (0-1), Niall Brassil (0-5, 4 frees), Aaron Brennan; James Bergin, Seán Ryan (0-2), Eoin Cody (0-2).

Subs: Ciarán Brennan for Bergin (41); Jack Kelly for Donnelly (54); John Dowd for O’Shea (59); Jim Ryan for A Brennan (60+5).

Wexford: James Lawlor; Cathal O’Connor, Eoin Molloy, Eoin O’Leary; Niall Murphy, Mike Kelly, Conor Scallan (-1); Charlie McGuckin (0-2), Ross Banville (0-7 frees); Seán Keane-Carroll, Connall Clancy, Jack Reck (0-1); Seán O’Connor (0-3), Diarmuid Doyle, Eoin Murphy.

Subs: Cian Fitzhenry (0-2) for Keane-Carroll (5); Oran Carthy for Doyle (HT); Chris Turner (0-2, 1 free) for S O’Connor (54); Ben Maddock for Banville (58).

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