Brendan Graham reporting from Croke Park
AJ REDMOND WAS the star man for Wexford in their Leinster minor final win over Kilkenny helping himself to an impressive 1-11 in a four-point victory against the Cats.
Both sides were slow enough to find their feet but it was Wexford who settled quickest with Redmond opening the scoring with four minutes on the clock before two frees minutes later gave James Shiels’ side a three point lead with 10 minutes played.
Kilkenny half forward Liam Moore had a great chance to level proceedings soon after displaying great strength to break free of Dylan Whelan and strike a low shot towards goal only to be denied by a scooping save from Cian Byrne.
Two points followed for Kilkenny before David Cantwell found the back of the net for Wexford. Richie Lawlor was the architect to extend his side’s lead back to four points with 15 minutes played.
Wexford’s dogged work rate and support for each other off the ball was brilliant to watch with the Cats finding scores quite hard to come by as the half wore on.
Kilkenny, to their credit continued to work hard close to goal and they found a breakthrough on twenty four minutes through full forward Jack Doyle to leave the scores at 1-5 apiece close to half time.
Another two frees from the impressive Redmond left Wexford leading 1-7 to 1-5 at half time.
What Reid could do for Wexford, Drennan could do just as well for Kilkenny and brought the sides level again with two routine frees close to goal.
Further points were exchanged between the sides before the linesmen were on green flag duty again.
Oisin Pepper celebrates at the final whistle.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Redmond showed drove past Kilkenny captain James Aylward and bury the ball into the net.
Kilkenny responded in admirable fashion with a goal of their own just seconds later with Timmy Clifford finding the back of the Wexford net to draw the team’s level once again with just five minutes left in the game.
Cian Byrne found the back of the net for Wexford in the closing stages with Kilkenny finding a consolation goal for themselves from Pierce Blanchfield moments before the final whistle.
The magnificent AJ Redmond helped himself to a further five points in the closing minutes of the game to bring his individual contribution on the day to 1-11 and ensure Wexford would deservedly be crowned Leinster Minor Champions for 2019.
Scorers for Wexford: Aj Redmond (1-11, 9f), David Cantwell (1-1), Paddy Whitty (0-1), Jack Kirwan (0-1), Cian Byrne (1-0).
Scorers for Kilkenny: Pierce Blanchfield (1-1) Billy Drennan (0-5, 4f), Jack Doyle (1-1), Liam Moore (0-1), Timmy Clifford (1-1), Ian Byrne (0-1)
of the team
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Conor Foley for Paddy Whitty (40)
Diarmuid O’Leary for Dylan O’Neill (40)
Cian Byrne for David Cantwell (50)
Oisin Pepper for Josh Sheil (62)
Emmet Cullen for Richie Lawlor (63)
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Ian Byrne for Colman O’Sullivan (43)
Aran Murphy for Andy Hickey (58)
Zach Bay Hammond for James Aylward (63)
Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin)
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