You had a feeling that this was going to be Kilkenny’s night.
From Billy Drennan’s opening score to a six-point lead aided by Denis Walsh, Timmy Clifford and Drennan again with eighteen minutes on the clock, Kilkenny looked made for the game, on paper at least.
For spectators, the first half may have translated a little different with some scrappy play in wet conditions and missed opportunities piling up for both sides. Wexford, for their four points on the board by halftime, couldn’t get any scores from play from their forwards with Kilkenny posting two of seven, leaving both sets of fans hoping for something better in the second half.
Both sides delivered after the break, Jack Doyle finding the back of the net early in the second half to give Kilkenny some breathing room but with as the clock rolled on both Kilkenny and Wexford looked to be suffering a hangover from their wins on Monday last.
Indeed Wexford proved much the better side for the last quarter of the game and with four minutes of added time on the boards, they would close the gap to a single score, ultimately missing with the last ball of the game to send the final to extra time.
“There wasn’t a whole lot in it, it could have gone either way”, said KCLR analyst Michael Walsh on the final whistle.
“Noone would begrudge them the extra time, it was an absolute sitter of a chance (from Jack Redmond), but that’s the way it goes. You’d imagine he would have put it over in his sleep normally.”
“It’s something to look forward to (for Kilkenny). They’ll improve from tonight. It definitely wasn’t by any means a vintage performance but it’s all about getting over the line. Kilkenny held out and just about deserved to do so.”
1-13 to 0-15 is how it would finish, and while the result brings Kilkenny a much needed Under 20 title and the county’s first since 2019, you would be forgiven for thinking that more work will need to be done against Limerick in the All-Ireland final on 21/22 May.
Listen Back: Wexford v Kilkenny
Listen back to full commentary and analysis with Brendan Hennessy and Michael Walsh on commentary duty.