Home GAA Wexford Clinch First Leinster Crown In 15 Years With Narrow Kilkenny Win

Wexford Clinch First Leinster Crown In 15 Years With Narrow Kilkenny Win

Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 30/6/2019 Kilkenny vs Wexford Wexford’s Conor McDonald celebrates scoring a point Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Wexford clinched their first Leinster senior hurling title since 2004 with a thrilling 1-23 to 0-23 win over Kilkenny at Croke Park on Sunday.

After the pair played out a thrilling draw two weeks ago to clinch their respective places in the Leinster final it was no surprise to see the game begin as a tight affair.

A sublime score from Wexford’s Conor McDonald put Wexford on the scoreboard first before TJ Reid quickly equalised. From there neither side could gain much control, with a pair of frees closing a two-point deficit just as Davy Fitz’ men looked as though they may begin to push ahead.

The two traded scores and the lead for the majority of the first half with Reid’s scoring from placed balls key for the Cats while Rory O’Connor and Lee Chin kept Wexford ticking over.

Kilkenny entered the interval with a one-point lead but the first half in truth lacked flow and tempo, something Walter Walsh looked to address early in the second period as he clipped over a tidy score just 20 seconds in.

Wexford levelled proceedings with two quick scores before Colin Fennelly capitalised on some poor Wexford defending to find himself with a goal opportunity only for Mark Fanning to deny him brilliantly.

The second half flow picked up but both sides were matching one another blow for blow, Chin clinical from placed balls with Eoin Murphy from distance and a sublime score from TJ Reid keeping the game tight.

Then came a turning point for Wexford in the 63rd minute. With neither side able to pull away Rory O’Connor picked the ball up and darted through the Kilkenny defence before eventually being brought down by Enda Morrissey.

Keeper Fanning stepped up and confidently struck the ball past Murphy to give Davy Fitz’ men a two-point lead with just over five minutes left to play.

Liam Óg McGovern followed up with a quick Wexford point to give them a three-point lead as the game became stretched with Brian Cody’s charges desperate for a goal opportunity to level proceedings.

Kilkenny pushed but couldn’t find the net as Wexford clinched their first provincial crown in 15 years.

About Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com