Kilkenny captain Harry Shine lifts the Leinster trophy after tonight's victory. Pic: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Kilkenny made it two Leinster minor championship titles within a month but they were pushed all the way by Wexford in an enthralling provincial decider at Netwatch Cullen Park.
In truth Kilkenny were utterly thankful to goalkeeper Alan Dunphy who made a number of vital saves in the second period to deny the Slaneysiders while wing back Joe Fitzpatrick also stopped a shot on the line.
A rather drab opening half came to life in stoppage time with a brace of quickfire goals as Ted Dunne fired Kilkenny into the lead before Adam O'Grady replied in kind as the sides were deadlocked at 1-5 apiece at the break.
Kilkenny's defence was very stubborn in that opening thirty minutes as Wexford failed to score a point from play with Luke Roche hitting five frees but it was a different story in the second period as a brilliantly taken Simon Roche goal gave the 2019 champions the lead by the end of the third quarter.
It was at this stage that Dunphy thwarted both Luke Roche and Cian Doyle and a third Wexford goal could have been curtains for the Cats but Richie Mulrooney's side battled back with points from Ted Dunne, Harry Shine and Danny Glennon.
Wexford threw everything at Kilkenny in the final minutes but they couldn't find the much needed goal as Kilkenny hung on to claim a 59th Leinster crown.
Scorers: Kilkenny- Harry Shine 0-6 (0-6f); Ted Dunne (1-1); Killian Doyle and Danny Glennon (0-2 each); Killian Carey, Darragh Queally, Jeff Neary and Gearoid Dunne (0-1 each).
Wexford- Luke Roche 0-7 (0-7f); Simon Roche and Adam O'Grady (1-1 each); Luke Murphy (0-1).
Teams: Kilkenny- Alan Dunphy (Lisdowney); Evan Rudkins (Barrow Rangers), Bill Hughes (Bennettsbridge), Sean Moore (Carrickshock); Joe Fitzpatrick (Dunnamaggin), Gearoid Dunne (Tullaroan), Eoghan Lyng (Rower Inistioge); Jeff Neary (Graigue-Ballycallan), Killian Doyle (Emeralds); Ted Dunne (Graiguenamanagh), Harry Shine (Dicksboro), Killian Carey (Young Irelands); Danny Glennon (Tullogher Rosbercon), Cillian Hackett (Dicksboro), Darragh Queally (Emeralds). Subs: Ben Whitty (Danesfort) for Neary 46 mins, James Walsh (Kilmacow) for Queally 51 mins, Michael Brennan (Erins Own) for Glennon 61 mins.
Wexford- Tiernan Doyle; Cian O'Tuama, Eoin Whelan, Robbie Chapman; Dylan Purcell, Sean Cooney, Paidi Doyle; Sean Rowley, Cillian Byrne; Darby Purcell, Adam O'Grady, Fionn Walsh; Simon Roche, Luke Roche, Luke Murphy. Subs: Cian Doyle for Walsh 18 mins.
Referee: Thomas Gleeson (Dublin)
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