Cats clock up Leinster four-in-a-row as Slaneysiders challenge fades out

A LATE scoring dash saw Kilkenny collect their fourth Leinster IHC intermediate title in-a-row last night.

Led by Eoin Murphy (1-7) and Ger Shelly (1-2), the Cats had too much firepower for Wexford to cope with.

Wexford ended the first quarter with a slender lead (1-1 to 0-3), as Tomás O’Leary gathered a breaking ball and hammered it to the Kilkenny net.

That stirred the Cats into action, as points from Ger Shelly and Eoin Murphy (free) drew them level by the 22nd minute. Just a few minutes later they were in front again, Murphy firing home from close range.

Kilkenny’s forwards clicked into gear and Adrian Stapleton grabbed a brace of points, with Murphy adding another as they moved six clear by half-time (1-9 to 1-3).

Kilkenny looked in danger of being caught when Nigel Higgins fired a goal to cut the gap to two (1-12 to 2-7) with 15 minutes to play.

Kilkenny stepped up the pace. Ger Shelly helped them on their way with a goal, before JJ Farrell and Murphy moved them seven clear (2-14 to 2-7) and there would be no comeback.

Scorers: Kilkenny – E Murphy (1-7, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65); G Shelly (1-2); A Stapleton (0-3); J.J. Farrell (0-2); K Joyce, W O’Dwyer, W Walsh, S Burke, S Kenny (0-1 each).

Wexford: T O’Leary, N Higgins (1-1); J O’Connor (0-3, free), B Jordan, P Whitley, C O’Shaughnessy (0-1 each).

KILKENNY: R. O’Neill, I. Duggan, M. Walsh, S. Phelan, P.J. Rowe, S. Byrne, R. Doyle, C. Conway, K. Joyce, E. Murphy, W. O’Dwyer, W. Walsh, A. Stapleton, J.J. Farrell, G. Shelly. Subs: M. Grace for Conway, 36 mins; S. Burke for Byrne, 46 mins; L. Harney for Rowe, 57 mins; E. Hickey for Stapleton, 57 mins; S. Kenny for Farrell, 59 mins.

WEXFORD: B. O’Connor, D. Kehoe, E. Boggan, B. Kehoe, B. Jordan, B. Hobbs, B. Travers, P. Whitley, C. O’Shaughnessy, P. Murphy, F. Cullen, E. Furlong, T. O’Leary, N. Higgins, B. O’Leary. Subs: J. O’Connor for Murphy, 34 mins; J. Dwyer for Kehoe, 50 mins; J. Breen for O’Leary, 54 mins.

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