Leinster SHC: Cats earn final berth with strong finish

June 09, 2018

Kilkenny's TJ Reid steals the ball from Matthew O'Hanlon of Wexford

Kilkenny 0-22
Wexford 1-18

Kilkenny produced the second-half goods to down Wexford by the minimum this evening at Nowlan Park and move towards a Leinster SHC final date with Galway.

TJ Reid (0-11) was instrumental for the Cats as they put a poor first-half showing behind them to turn around their seven-point deficit at half-time and at the finish it was scores from Conor Fogarty and substitute John Donnelly that got them over the line.

Looking for a return to the same stage they lost out to Galway on last year, Wexford started this one lively as Rory O'Connor, Diarmuid O'Keeffe and Lee Chin led their charge against the hosts to open up a 0-10 to 0-5 lead before the game's only goal arrived seven minutes from the interval.

Model corner-forward Paul Morris was the finisher after Chin and David Dunne combined well to set-up the Ferns/St Aidan's sharpshooter to blast past Eoin Murphy in the Kilkenny goal to push the visitors towards a 1-11 to 0-7 interval lead.

Davy Fitzgerald's men sailed over the opening two scores of the restart through Paudie Foley and Chin before the province's kingpins began to assert their authority on matters.

Reid's frees kept the score board ticking over prior to sub Richie Leahy squaring the sides with 12 minutes left on the clock.

Enda Morrisey nudged the winners in front soon afterwards and while Foley, scorer of 0-5 (4f), came up with an accurate response the home side were able to finish in style, raising white flags via Leahy, Fogarty and Donnelly that ensures them a rematch with the Tribesmen on July 1st.

Kilkenny - E Murphy (0-1, 1f); E Morrissey (0-1), P Walsh (0-1), P Deegan; C O'Shea, C Buckley, P Murphy; C Fogarty (0-2), J Maher (0-1); C Fennelly, TJ Reid (0-11, 9f, 1 '65), R Hogan; B Sheehan, W Walsh, L Scanlon. Subs: J Holden 0-1 for C O'Shea (HT), M Keoghan for C Fennelly (HT), R Leahy (0-2) for R Hogan (HT), L Blanchfield for B Sheehan (47mins), J Donnelly (0-2) for L Scanlon (65).

Wexford - M Fanning; D Reck, L Ryan, C Firman; P Foley (0-5, 4f), M O'Hanlon, D O'Keeffe (0-1); K Foley (0-1), S Murphy; L Chin (0-3), A Nolan, D Dunne; P Morris (1-1), R O'Connor (0-5, 2f), C McDonald (0-2). Subs: H Keohoe for K Foley (54mins), J O'Connor for D Dunne (55), S Donohoe for D O'Keeffe (63), S Tomkins for Morris (70).

Ref: J McGrath (Westmeath)

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