Kilkenny and Wexford to contest Leinster U20HC final

May 03, 2022

Kilkenny's Billy Drennan shoots on goal

Kilkenny and Wexford will face off in next Monday night’s Leinster U20HC final after coming through dramatic semi-finals yesterday afternoon.

Inspired by free-taker Billy Drennan, the Cats defeated a Galway side packed with 2019 and 2020 All-Ireland MHC winners by 1-28 to 1-27 after extra-time in O’Connor Park. In what was an epic contest, the Tribesmen looked set to justify their favouritism when they led by 0-9 to 0-4 at half-time.

But with Drennan shooting the lights out and goalkeeper Aidan Tallis saving two Liam Collins penalties at the other end, the Cats fought back to lead by 0-16 to 0-14 entering the final quarter. Brian Hanley’s side regained the lead with points from Collins and Alex Conaire before Drennan forced extra-time with his only score from play.

A Reuben Davitt goal helped Galway to a 1-22 to 0-21 advantage in extra-time, but a Gearoid Dunne major revived the Cats and they snatched victory at the death thanks to a long-range effort from Joe Fitzpatrick.

The other semi-final between Wexford and Dublin at Chadwicks Wexford Park was also a nail-biter which the hosts edged on a 1-15 to 1-14 scoreline.

Cian Byrne’s point had Wexford 0-7 to 0-6 up at the interval before a Jack Redmond goal increased their advantage after the restart. But a Dara Purcell goal in the 37th minute cancelled that out before the same player levelled proceedings.

The hosts then surged three points clear, 1-15 to 1-12, only for Purcell and Tom Gleeson to leave the minimum in it again. In an exciting finale, a Ben McSweeney sideline attempt hit the post as Wexford held on by the skin of their teeth.

Most Read Stories