Walsh and Hickey put Cats in control
Kilkenny 3-20 Wexford 2-14
TWO early second-half goals helped Kilkenny cruise to a nine-point victory at Wexford Park yesterday evening.
Kilkenny opened the game impressively, going 0-3 to 0-1 in front inside the opening four minutes. Niall Walsh and Tommy Dwyer exchanged points, before Paul Murphy and Walter Walsh put the visitors in front.
The home side responded, with Liam Og McGovern forcing a fine save from Richie O'Neill, but Padge Doran was on hand to fire the breaking ball to the net, bringing the sides level.
Kilkenny gradually gained an edge as a Joe Lyng point and a superb seventh-minute overhead strike from Walsh took them 1-5 to 1-1 ahead.
After Michael Lillis pointed for the home side, Kilkenny who took the initiative, striking fine points through Rory Hickey, Walsh, Murphy and Cathal Kenny to move into a 1-11 to 1-5 lead.
Within five minutes of the restart, Kilkenny were out of sight with goals from Robbie Walsh and Hickey.
By the end of the third quarter, Kilkenny had stretched into a nine-point lead as the Wexford challenge crumbled.
SCORERS -- Kilkenny: R Hickey 1-7 (4f), W Walsh 1-2, R Walsh 1-0, N Walsh 0-3, P Murphy, G Aylward, C Kenny 0-2 each, J Lyng, Jeff Brennan 0-1 each. Wexford: T Dwyer 1-5 (4f), P Doran 1-3, L Og McGovern 0-2, M Lillis, S O'Gorman, J Breen, E Quigley 0-1 each.
Wexford -- N Carton; B McCormack, C Lawlor, B Kehoe; J Tonks, E Doyle, D Morton; T Dwyer, M Lillis; L Og McGovern, T O'Leary, S Doyle; R Fox, S O'Gorman, P Doran. Subs: J Breen for Doyle, C O'Shaughnessy for Morton, E Quigley for O'Gorman, C O'Connor for O'Leary, S O'Hanlon for Fox.
Kilkenny -- R O'Neill; M Phelan, A Walsh, S Norton; B Kennedy, P Hartley, P Phelan; P Murphy, J Lyng; N Walsh, R Hickey, J Brennan; R Walsh, W Walsh, G Aylward. Subs: C Kenny for Brennan, J Corcoran for M Phelan, B Staunton for W Walsh, Jeff Brennan for Murphy.
Ref -- J Keenan (Wicklow)