Old money back in circulation
Kilkenny’s run of scores in the first half. They were 1-2 to 0-1 down on seven minutes, and they outscored Wexford 1-11 to zero for the next 25 minutes. That was the ball game.
A sporting Paddy Deegan of Kilkenny was helping Diarmuid O’keeffe with a cramp in injury time, flexing the Wexford man’s foot - until a ball squirted loose and Deegan abandoned his post, racing onto the sliotar and soloing upfield.
For Kilkenny, hitting 1-27, qualifying for a league final and giving some promising young players another big day out. Experience and a chance of silverware, everyone’s a winner.
Wexford got a bit of a jolt yesterday. Losing is one thing but being swept away in the first half and not scoring for almost half an hour is not encouraging ahead of the championship.
Davy Fitzgerald paid tribute to Brian Cody’s change in tactics, and Kilkenny are certainly playing more of a possession game now. But Cody also identified potential strong points for Wexford, such as Jack O’connor’s fielding from puckouts, and nullified those.
Ger Aylward was feeling a hamstring but Brian Cody was hopeful the injury wasn’t too serious. He also welcomed Conor Fogarty back: “Conor was excellent. He was out for a long time with a serious virus and I thought he was excellent when he came on.”
BEST ON SHOW
TJ Reid was immaculate, hitting 15 points and generally doing the right thing over and over. And over and over.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Colm Lyons of Cork handled the game well.
Kilkenny take on Tipperary in the NHL final next week, while Wexford prepare for the upcoming Leinster championship.