A late injury time free from Emmet Kent free in the 61st minute helped Wexford defeat Kilkenny in an exciting Bord Gais Energy Leinster Under 21 hurling championship quarter-final at Wexford Park last night.While the crowd enjoyed a most exciting and dramatic first half the main talking point at the interval was referee Pat Murphy who issued six yellow cards and two red cards in the first half. Michael O’Regan of Wexford being sent off for a second yellow card after 20 minutes and Kilkenny’s Ger Aylward also for two yellows being sent off six minutes later. It was a pity that these decision impacted so much on the game as the hurling was good with both sides striving to gain an advantage.
Wexford started strongly and had established a four point to no score lead after six minutes thanks to points from Pádraig Doran, Michael O’Regan, a John Leacy free and Shane Tomkins, before Kilkenny opened their account when Ger Aylward flicked home a good goal from an Eoin Murphy free. However Wexford continued to dominate and struck for a goal of their own after 11 minutes when Paul Morris scored with an excellent finish.Kilkenny responded well with an excellently finished Thomas Breen goal two minutes later. Both teams exhibited great skill with some excellent long range points which saw Wexford maintain the advantage to the break when they led by 1-11 to 2-4.Kilkenny enjoyed their best spelll of the game on the resumption of play striking four points within three minutes thanks to an Eoin Murphy free, and white flags from Cathal Kenny, Walter Walsh and half time substitute Michael Moloney, to level matters. The game was finely balanced and was to reamin so for the remainder of the half. A point from Liam Óg McGovern restored Wexford’s lead in the 41st minute lead. Dylan Walsh in the Kilkenny goal made an excellent save saved from a Shane Tomkins effort . The large crowd enjoyed a see saw battle for the remainder of the half and with two minutes of normal time remaining Wexford had a single point lead, but when Michael Moloney pointed one minute from the end to level affairs it seemed extra time was on the horizon.However, Wexford won a free close to the sideline 60 metres from goal and Emmet Kent a pointed it in additional time to give his side what was a deserved victory.
Wexford scorers: P Morris 1-1, J Leacy0-3, E Kent 0-3 (frees) , L Og McGovern 0-3, S Tomkins 0-2, M O’Regan 0-1 (free), S Murphy, H Kehoe, P Doran 0-1 each. Kilkenny: T Breen 1-1, G Aylward 1-0, E Murphy 0-5, (0-4frees), C Kenny 0-3, M Moloney 0-2, W Walsh 0-1. WEXFORD: M Fanning; W Devereux, M O’Hanlon, E Moore; M O’Regan, A Shore, S Murphy, E Kent, H Kehoe, S Tomkins, J Leacy, L Og McGovern, P Morris, J Breen, P Doran. Subs: J Gahan for Breen; I Byrne for Doran. KILKENNY: D Walsh, I Duggan, M Walsh, A Moran, J. Callinan, R Doyle, C Fogarty, J Lyng, O Walsh, T Breen, C Kenny, E Murphy,G Aylward, W Walsh, J Brennan. Subs: M. Moloney for Moran, B Kennedy for Callinan,P Walsh for Brennan, J Gannon for O Walsh.
Referee: P Murphy (Carlow).