Kilkenny’s drive for four Leinster titles in a row is over as David Redmond’s second-half goal saw Wexford into their first Leinster final since 2008 after a 1-20 to 3-11 win at Wexford Park.
With Lee Chin inspirational in a play-making role around the middle, three points from Paul Morris and five from Conor McDonald triggered scenes of jubilation on the pitch at full-time.
The early goal may have shaken Wexford, they soon steadied their challenge and five brilliant points between the seventh and 14th minutes had them two ahead and in control.
Three frees apiece from Chin and McDonald left the Model County in front by 0-12 to 1-5 at Half time
Redmond’s goal five minutes after the restart sent Fitzgerald’s men 1-13 to 1-5 in front, but Kilkenny coldly began to cut away at that lead. Reid slotted over three placed balls and then Fennelly struck for his goal on 53 minutes.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks forward beautifully placed an effort into the top corner from outside the 21m to spark his team back into life. Three minutes later and Kilkenny had a third goal. This time Fennelly turned provider, winning a delivery over Liam Ryan before he was dragged down by Murphy. Reid’s second penalty was as clinical as the first.
Wexford responded with a pair of massive Chin scores, one 65, and then O’Hanlon clipped one over to extend their lead to three. The Model County progressed to a July 2nd Leinster final date with either Galway or Offaly
Scorers for Wexford: L. Chin (0-6, 3 frees, 2 65s); C. McDonald (0-5, 4 frees); P. Morris (0-3); D. Redmond (1-0); D. O’Keeffe, L. Ryan, J. Guiney, J. O’Connor, M. O’Hanlon, S. Tomkins (0-1 each)
WEXFORD: M. Fanning; W. Devereux, S. Donohue; S. Murphy; J. Breen, M. O’Hanlon (j-c), D. O’Keeffe; L. Chin (j-c), L. Ryan, A. Nolan; C. McDonald, P. Morris, J. O’Connor, J. Guiney, H. Kehoe.
Subs for Wexford: D. Redmond for J. O’Connor (32); S. Tomkins for A. Nolan (58); P. Doran for H. Kehoe (62); K. Foley for P. Morris (66).