Wexford 2-15 Kilkenny 1-16
All-Ireland champions Kilkenny have used up their ninth life in championship hurling, crumbling in the last minute of injury time to a Michael Jacob goal as Wexford won through to a July Leinster SHC final.
The Cats’ first provincial championship loss in 14 games, stretching back to 1997, looked unlikely when Eddie Brennan crashed home a goal seconds into the second half but back came the Model county, with a 42nd minute goal from Rory Jacob and a brace of points from Michael Jacob and Mitch Jordan.
Henry Shefflin on the hour, Sean Dowling and Martin Comerford struck back for Brian Cody’s side and with DJ Carey, a 58th minute substitute, clipping over off the ground following a brave double save by Damien Fitzhenry, it looked like the Cats would hold on for a one-point win.
But back came Wexford and a Jacob cracked home the injury time winner to James McGarry’s net from an acute angle after blocking down Noel Hickey’s attempted clearance.
Wexford veteran Larry Murphy, who was brought on to tumultuous cheers15 minutes into the second half, said: “Sure it’s unbelievable. We’ve been beaten before by a last minute goal so we know what it’s like to be in Kilkenny’s place. They’ll be back I’m sure.”
"But it’s a tremendous result for us. We’ve answered a lot of critics with this, and I’m delighted for John Conran (Wexford manager).
“Hopefully we can go on and build on this.”
Scorers: Wexford: R Jacob, M Jacob 1-01 each, B Lambert, M Jordan 0-04 each, P Carley 0-03, E Quigley, A Fenlon 0-01 each
Kilkenny: H Shefflin 0-05, E Brennan 1-01, T Walsh, M Comerford, S Dowling 0-02 each, J Coogan, J Hoyne, P Tennyson, DJ Carey 0-01 each
Kilkenny: J McGarry; M Kavanagh, N Hickey, JJ Delaney; S Dowling, P Barry, B Hogan; D Lyng, P Tennyson; J Hoyne, H Shefflin, T Walsh; E Brennan, M Comerford, J Coogan. Subs used: DJ Carey for Coogan (58 mins), A Fogarty for Hoyne (65 mins)
Wexford: D Fitzhenry; M Travers, D Ryan, D O'Connor; R McCarthy, D Ruth, J O'Connor; A Fenlon, T Mahon; B Lambert, E Quigley, P Carley; M Jordan, M Jacob, R Jacob.
Subs used: L Murphy for Lambert (50 mins), P Codd for M Jacob (58-62 mins), A Fenlon for Mahon (63 mins), C Keogh for Ryan (69 mins)
Yellow cards: Wexford: -; Kilkenny: B Hogan (58 mins)