Kilkenny are through to the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Final after an incredible game against their neighbours Wexford in Croke Park on Saturday.
The first half was a close encounter that saw both teams match each other in almost every department. TJ Reid and Lee Chin led the charge for both teams with the Kilkenny and Wexford talisman consistently scoring frees throughout a tight affair.
Ballyhale Shamrocks men Richie Reid and Eoin Cody were in fine form in the first half while Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Matthew O’Hanlon and Rory O’Connor all produced well taken points as both sides could not be separated in a tight and tetchy first half, Kilkenny 0-15 – 0-14 Wexford.
The second half was the polar opposite to the opening 35 minutes as the old rivals opened up and produced an entertaining display for the 8,00 supporters inside of Croke Park. Despite the more open nature of the game after the interval, nothing separated both teams as the referee signalled for the second half water break, 0-19 – 0-19.
The game really sparked into life from that point forward. David Dunne found the net with less than ten minutes remaining as Wexford went ahead by two points, 1-22 – 0-23. However, their lead did not last long as Eoin Cody shortened his grip and struck off his left past Mark Fanning to give Kilkenny a three-point lead with just over two minutes left on the clock, 1-27 – 1-24. Wexford got the last three points of the game to send a riveting encounter to extra time.
The first key moment of extra time saw Eoin Murphy sent off for ten minutes after a cynical foul on Conor Firman. Mark Fanning dispatched of the penalty past Darren Brennan as Wexford moved into the lead. TJ Reid once again proved solid from frees as Kilkenny cut the deficit to one-point at half time, 1-31 – 2-29.
A Walter Walsh goal and an Eoin Cody point pushed Kilkenny seven ahead and Wexford weren’t able to come back again as Kilkenny ran out deserved victors on a scoreline of 2-37 – 2-29.
Wexford head for the qualifiers. Kilkenny will face Dublin in the Leinster final.