Wexford pipped by point in Walsh Cup semi
A chance to gain an early-season morale-boost in the form of a win over Kilkenny wasn't taken before an estimated 4,000 crowd in rain-soaked O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Sunday, when Alan Murphy's tenth converted free in added time handed the visitors a hard-earned 0-15 to 0-14 win in the Bord na Móna Walsh Cup semi-final.
Wexford did have a golden chance to snatch victory from Mark Fanning's immediate short puck-out to Simon Donohoe who launched the ball goalwards. It broke kindly for Lee Chin who fed substitute Cathal Dunbar with a handpass, but the Ballygarrett man's shot from point-blank range was saved superbly by Richie Reid.
Chin stepped up to the '65 which arose and tried to force extra-time, but his effort tailed to the left and wide as Kilkenny held on to secure a place in the decider against Galway.
The conditions ensured it was never going to be a free-flowing encounter, but the hard hitting and tough physical battles kept spectators entertained throughout.
Centre-back Matthew O'Hanlon in particular revelled in taking the fight to Kilkenny in the first-half, but the Cats held a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead with Glenmore's Murphy - a former New Ross C.B.S. and Wexford Schools stalwart - on song from frees.
Wexford were level with their rivals on three separate occasions in the second period but significantly couldn't edge ahead at any stage. Yet they had chances to do so in a tight game that could have gone either way.