Kilkenny and Wexford minor hurlers served up a thrilling Leinster final at Netwatch Cullen Park, with the Cats hanging on for a two-point win to retain their title and record a 59th provincial victory in the grade.
The sides were tied at 1-5 apiece at half-time. The goals came late in the half, in the 30th minute from Kilkenny’s Ted Dunne, which drew an immediate Wexford response with centre-forward Adam O’Grady kicking the ball to the Kilkenny net.
Wexford led for the first time minutes into the second half through a well taken Simon Roche goal. But Kilkenny, inspired by their center-back and man-of-the-match Gearóid Dunne, were level by the 47th minute when a Danny Glennon point made it 1-11 to 2-8.
A Kilkenny point from captain Harry Shine put them ahead and the Cats led by two in the final minutes. A fine save from goalie Alan Dunphy prevented a certain Wexford goal while a close-range Wexford free deep in injury time from Luke Roche was cleared by the Kilkenny defence.
H Shine (0-6, 0-5f); T Dunne (1-1); D Glennon (0-3); G Dunne, J Neary, K Doyle, K Carey, D Queally (0-1 each).
L Roche (0-7f); A O’Grady, S Roche (1-1 each); L Murphy (0-1).
A Dunphy; E Rudkins, B Hughes, S Moore; J Fitzpatrick, G Dunne, E Lyng; J Neary, K Doyle; T Dunne, H Shine, K Carey; D Glennon, C Hackett, D Queally.
B Whitty for Neary (47); J Walsh for Queally (51).
T Doyle; C O Tuama, E Whelan, R Chapman; Dylan Purcell, S Cooney, P Doyle; S Rowley, C Byrne; Darby Purcell, A O’Grady, F Walsh; S Roche, L Roche, L Murphy.
C Doyle for Walsh (18).
T Gleeson (Dublin).