Wexford’s late heroics stun shell-shocked Cats

Wexford 1-21 Kilkenny 0-21 (after extra time)

Wexford’s late heroics stun shell-shocked Cats

Wexford raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes. After a John Power pointed free had Kilkenny ahead within 90 seconds, Wexford responded with four unanswered points. A beautiful Conor McDonald point had the sides level while Byrne’s free, along with efforts from Rhys Clarke and McDonald, once again had the Slaneysiders three points clear.

The excellent free-taking of John Power had the Cats back level by the 11th minute with three excellent efforts. Lee Chin and Ger Aylward traded points before Wexford edged back in front through a Jack Guiney pointed free.

Power had the sides level 0-6 each with a further pointed free. But Kilkenny were gradually beginning to take a grip as Power, this time an excellent point from play off the wing, and Richie Reid had the visitors two points clear for the first time after 20 minutes.

Kilkenny finished the half stronger with points from Kelly and a Power free, leaving the visitors leading 0-12 to 0-9 at the interval.

Wexford started the second half well with points from Rhys Clarke and Barry Carton to leave just a point separating the sides, 0-12 to 0-11, after 36 minutes.

Richie Reid eventually opened Kilkenny’s second half account after 38 minutes with an excellent point.

Kilkenny forged into a three point lead, 0-14 to 0-11, through a further Power pointed free, before Guiney responded with a similar effort at the opposite end leaving just two points separating the sides, 0-14 to 0-12, after 44 minutes.

Wexford responded again, Ian Byrne pointing from play before sending over a 65 to level the sides 0-14 each after 50 minutes. But Kilkenny bounced back with points from Kevin Kelly and Richie Reid to keep their noses in front.

Wexford struck back for points from a Guiney free and a superb Gary Moore sideline cut to level the sides, 0-16 each entering the closing four minutes.

Kilkenny’s Power missed a relatively easy free but atoned three minutes from the end to edge his side back into a single point lead, 0-17 to 0-16, but in additional time Jack Guiney forced extra-time with a pointed free.

Points from Rhys Clarke, Jack Guiney and Ian Byrne both frees helped Wexford to a 0-20 to 0-18 lead after the first period of extra-time, Kilkenny’s only response been a Kevin Kelly pointed free.

Kevin Kelly with three pointed frees had Kilkenny back in front, but Wexford in a dramatic finish saw Guiney point a free off the sideline, before sub Niall Murphy goaled in the closing seconds after a goalkeeping mix-up to give Wexford a dramatic late victory.

Wexford scorers: J Guiney 0-9 frees; I Byrne 0-5, 4f, 1, 65; N Murphy 1-0; C McDonald, R Clarke 0-2 each; G Moore (sideline cut), L Chin, B Carton 0-1 each.

Kilkenny scorers: K Kelly 0-9 frees; J Power 0-7, 0-6 frees; R Reid 0-3; G Aylward 0-2

WEXFORD: B Murphy; G Foley, C Goff, E Conroy; A Kenny, S O’Gorman, D O’Leary; L Chin, J Hobbs; J Guiney, I Byrne, G Moore; C McDonald, B Carton, R Clarke.

Subs: D Wright for Hobbs (27); N Murphy for Wright (47); C O’Leary for Carton (76).

KILKENNY: A Duggan; P Carroll, W Phelan, B Kennedy; P Walsh, L Harney, O McGrath; J Langton, O Walsh; J Power, R Reid, K Kelly; C Martin, G Aylward, M Brennan.

Subs: D Bourke for Brennan (30); C Buckley for Langton (46); S Donnelly for Martin (48); C Pendergast for Bourke (66).

Referee: P Murphy (Carlow).

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