Hurling & Camogie

Final-day drama in store in Leinster Senior Hurling Championship

Wexford travel to face Kilkenny, while Galway will face Dublin

Eoin Cody celebrates Kilkenny's second goal against Limerick last year. Pic Philip Walsh
Eoin Cody grabbed a late goal in the win over Dublin. Picture: Philip Walsh

NEXT weekend’s games in the Leinster SHC will be de facto semi-finals, after results across this weekend left Kilkenny, Wexford, Dublin and Galway all finely poised with just a point between them in advance of the clashes at Nowlan Park and Pearse Stadium next Sunday.

Kilkenny have a slight safety net in that a draw against Wexford will be enough for them to secure their place in Croke Park, while it would take a landslide loss and a draw in Dublin for them to miss out on the All-Ireland series.

Dublin will feel that they let a glorious chance slip to deal the Cats a hammer blow as they led by three points with 15 minutes to play at Parnell Park on Saturday evening, but couldn’t quite shake off Derek Lyng’s side, who snatched a 1-28 to 2-23 win thanks to Eoin Cody’s goal in the first minute of stoppage time.

Lyng, who might have come under pressure if he followed last week’s draw with Carlow with another poor result, also had John Donnelly to thank for their result as the big wing forward shot a sensational 0-7 from play.

Donnelly hit the ground running while Martin Keoghan was also on the mark early as Kilkenny moved 0-9 to 0-4 in front, but a towering score from Cian O’Sullivan roused the Dublin crowd before half-time and when Conor Burke found the net to make it 0-16 to 1-12, Dublin were right back in it at the interval.

Brian Hayes’ goal at the start of the final quarter put the Dubs three up, but Donnelly, Eoin Cody and Billy Ryan had some big moments in the final quarter as Kilkenny delivered a trademark finish.

Last year Wexford almost condemned themselves to relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup when they were famously reeled in by Westmeath on home soil in the penultimate round of games. Yesterday they made sure there would be no such repeat as they walloped Carlow by 2-36 to 1-13, racking up an incredible 1-21 in the first half.

Conor McDonald scored the opening goal after Carlow goalkeeper Brian Tracey was blocked down, and Wexford never let up. Lee Chin (0-13, 0-10f), Conor McDonald (2-2) and Rory O’Connor (0-5) were the main threats for Wexford, but the Model County have a total of 14 scorers from play in all, as they left Carlow demoralised in advance of what will effectively be a relegation final at Corrigan Park next week.