Cody's Cats cruise to Leinster title

Kilkenny 5-21 Wexford 0-17

Kilkenny 5-21 Wexford 0-17

18,855 may have watched a spirited Wexford display, but two goals from Eddie Brennan inside a seven minute spell after the interval set Kilkenny on their way for their 65th Leinster title at Croke Park this afternoon.

Wexford certainly weren't intent on letting the Cats take the Bob O'Keefe Cup the easy way and gave a spirited performance, up until the half-time break, before Kilkenny turned on the style in the second half.

Wexford played out of their skins and they weren't in the slightest perturbed by Kilkenny's dominance in the opening quarter, which saw the Cats take a 1-6 to 0-3 lead by the 14th minute.

Full-forward Henry Shefflin had converted 1-2 of his sides tally at this stage, with the goal coming from an eighth minute penalty, as Shefflin rifled the ball to the top right corner of the net following a foul by Paul Roche on Eoin Larkin.

Referee Barry Kelly was eagle eyed to spot the infraction, with the Westmeath official positioned 45 metres out from the incident.

This goal gave Kilkenny a 1-3 to 0-3 advantage and further points from Larkin, Shefflin and Derek Lyng ensured a six-point gap.

However Wexford responded strongly and outscored their opponents by four points to one over the following five minutes with John Meyler's side using the direct route, down the centre of the field which resulted in fine points from Michael and Rory Jacob, with PJ Nolan also on target; to leave a goal between the sides 15 minutes from the interval.

Although Kilkenny took some excellent points from James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick and Larkin, Wexford finished the half strongly, with Diarmuid 'Gizzy' Lyng scoring two excellent scores in injury time to ensure just two points separated the sides at the interval on a 1-9 to 0-10 score-line.

Kilkenny began the second half on a positive note with Shefflin slotting over his third point of the contest, however Wexford weren't keen to lie down with Lyng continuing to impress as the half-forward slotted over an impressive sideline cut from the Hogan Stand side, between the 65 and 45 metre lines.

However the Cats then exerted their strength and power, which kept their unbeaten run in Leinster since 2005 intact as they fired from all angles and showed their opponents no mercy.

Eddie Brennan kick-started Kilkenny's period of dominance with a well worked 38th minute goal, which came following a direct ball in from midfield, as a previously quiet Brennan suddenly sprung to life.

A trio of points from Shefflin, Richie Power and Brennan opened up an eight-point gap between the teams, before Brennan struck the back of Damien Fitzhenry's net for a second time, as Derek Lyng combined with the Graigue/Ballycallan clubman who struck to the net from the 13 metre line.

Lyng and Stephen Doyle done their utmost to keep Wexford in touch, but the impressive Kilkenny attack couldn't be halted and a Richie Power goal 20 minutes from the end, firmly ensured there was no hope of a Wexford comeback.

Kilkenny continued to impress and a 62nd minute point by Martin Comerford ensured all of the Cats forwards had managed to get on the score-sheet.

The rout was completed six minutes from the end when substitute Aidan Fogarty sent home the Cats fifth goal to open up a 19-point gap and put a firm gloss on Kilkenny's 65th Leinster Senior Hurling Championship win, despite a late Wexford rally with Rory Jacob and David Redmond taking late scores.

KILKENNY: PJ Ryan; M Kavanagh, JJ Delaney, J Dalton; T Walsh, B Hogan, PJ Delaney; J 'Cha' Fitzpatrick (0-4, 1f), J Tyrrell; M Comerford (0-1), D Lyng (0-1), E Larkin (0-3); R Power (1-2), H Shefflin (1-7, 7f, 1-0pen), E Brennan (2-2). Subs: A Fogarty for Comerford (BS 54-56); A Fogarty (1-1) for Comerford (63); W O'Dwyer for Lyng (63); M Rice for Power (64); R Mullally for Delaney (66)

WEXFORD: D Fitzhenry; M Travers, J Tonks, P Roche; M Jacob (0-1), D O'Connor, D Stamp; E Quigley, D Redmond (0-2); PJ Nolan (0-2), W Doran, D Lyng (0-7, 6f, 1 sideline); S Doyle (0-1); S Banville, R Jacob (0-3). Subs: B Lambert (0-1) for Nolan (54); C Farrell for Roche (56).

REFEREE: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

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