Kent's late show denies Kilkenny
Wexford 1-16, Kilkenny 2-12
LEINSTER U-21 HC
Emmet Kent's pointed free in added time proved the difference as Wexford emerged from an enthralling quarter-final with the narrowest of wins over Kilkenny at Wexford Park last night.
During a fractious opening half, referee Pat Murphy issued six yellow cards and two reds.
Michael O'Regan of Wexford was dismissed after 20 minutes and Kilkenny's Ger Aylward followed for an early shower six minutes later.
Wexford enjoyed a flying start, going 0-4 to 0-0 clear inside six minutes through points from Padraig Doran, Michael O'Regan, a free by John Leacy and a Shane Tomkins score.
But Kilkenny's Aylward flicked home a superb goal from a long Eoin Murphy free to leave the minimum separating the sides, 0-4 to 1-0.
Wexford made a breakthrough after 11 minutes when Paul Morris crashed home a wonderful goal. However, Kilkenny's response was quick and positive with a Thomas Breen goal two minutes later.
The home side were 1-11 to 2-4 ahead at the interval but the Cats re-emerged to put away four points within three minutes of the restart through an Eoin Murphy free, Cathal Kenny, Walter Walsh and substitute Michael Moloney.
That brought the sides level and Wexford had to wait until the 41st minute for their opening second-half score, a Liam Og McGovern point to restore their lead.
At the end of the third quarter, it was a run and point out of defence from wing-back Shaun Murphy that lifted the home crowd. And with two minutes remaining Wexford were battling to protect a single-point lead, but when Michael Moloney pointed one minute from the end, extra-time beckoned.
Wexford managed one late surge, forcing a 60-metre free out close to the sideline that Emmet Kent pointed superbly in additional time to give his side a dramatic and deserved victory.
Scorers -- Wexford: P Morris 1-1, J Leacy, E Kent (3f), L Og McGovern 0-3 each, S Tomkins 0-2, M O'Regan (f), S Murphy, H Kehoe, P Doran 0-1 each. Kilkenny: E Murphy 0-5 (4f), T Breen 1-1, G Aylward 1-0, 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.
Ref -- P Murphy (Carlow).