Hurling and camogie

'Absolutely pathetic' Wexford hold nerve in shootout to win Walsh Cup

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerland didn't have much praise for his side on Saturday, despite their victory over Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup final at Nowlan Park
Padraig O Meiscill

Walsh Cup final: Wexford 1-24 Kilkenny 1-24 (AET, Wexford win 3-2 in shootout)

WEXFORD manager Davy Fitzgerald has claimed his side were “absolutely pathetic”, despite their shoot-out win over Kilkenny in the final of the Walsh Cup at the weekend.

Although goalkeeper Mick Fanning eventually stepped forward to fire the Yellowbellies to victory in a 65s battle of nerves, it was a rollercoaster encounter at Nowlan Park as even extra-time failed to separate the sides.

"In the first 20 minutes, Mark Fanning made two or three incredible saves, so we could have been down 13 or 14 points, we were absolutely pathetic," Fitzgerald said afterwards.

"If we start that way against Waterford [next week in the National Hurling League], we'll be out the door and gone - we'll be hammered. We can't afford to start that lackadaisical; we did it against Dublin last week [Wexford won the semi-final by seven points]."

The former All-Ireland winning manager with Clare added: "After the first 20 minutes, we settled and started to pull back the lead and were well in touch by half-time.

"We were down, eight or nine points once or twice, we were down six points twice, so I'm happy that we were able to pull it back."

Extra-time was required after a Wexford surge in the dying minutes of normal-time yielded a Kevin Foley goal and points from Paul Morris (2) and substitute Lee Chin. Morris sent over the equaliser in the third minute of stoppage-time as the sides finished level on 1-21 apiece.

The Leinster rivals remained deadlocked at the end of extra-time after the impressive Alan Murphy converted a free for Kilkenny right at the death, ensuring the free-taking shootout.

Murphy was off target for the Cats with his free attempt and Mark Fanning sent over what proved to be the winner for the Model county.

MATCH STATS

Wexford: M Fanning (0-1f); S Donohoe, L Ryan, E Moore (0-1); A Maddock, S Murphy, E Martin; Joe O'Connor, K Foley (1-0); A Nolan, C Dunbar (0-1), H Kehoe (0-3); P Morris (0-9, 7f), J Guiney (0-5, 3f), D Dunne (0-1). Subs: M O'Hanlon for E Martin, D Reck for Joe O'Connor, Jack O'Connor (0-1) for C Dunbar, L Chin (0-1) for J Guiney, C McDonald (0-1) for B Kehoe, J Firman for D Dunne, P Foley for A Nolan, D O'Keeffe for A Maddock, A Nolan for Jack O'Connor.

Kilkenny: E Murphy (0-2f); J Holden, P Walsh, P Deegan; E Morrissey, C O'Shea, C Buckley; C Fogarty (0-1), O Walsh (0-2); M Keoghan (0-2), R Reid (0-1), P Lyng; A Murphy (1-13, 1-0pen, 0-6f, 0-1'65), W Walsh (0-2), C Martin (0-1). Subs: L Ryan for P Lyng, C Bolger for C Martin, C Browne for O Walsh, J Maher for E Morrissey, J Walsh for C Bolger, C Martin for M Keoghan, J Malone for C Fogarty.

Referee: J O'Brien (Laois).

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Hurling and camogie