Draw feels like defeat as Cats let big lead slip

by on the 16th of June 2023

Kilkenny 1-17

Wexford 3-11

By Robert Cribbin

All-Ireland winners Kilkenny will have been left hugely frustrated after they let slip a 10 point lead in their opening senior championship clash with Wexford at UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday evening.

A late goal from Aine Lacey as well as a subsequent equaliser from Ciara O’Connor ensured Wexford left the Marble City with a draw as they hit 1-4 without reply late on.

When Julianne Malone goaled for Kilkenny in the opening stages of the second half, the Cats looked well primed to run out convincing winners but Brian Dowling’s team faded completely and only scored two points in the final 25 minutes or so as the visitors reeled them in.

Kilkenny started slowly as Wexford found the net within three minutes when Shelley Kehoe scored after Chloe Foxe had a shot well blocked beforehand.

Despite that early setback, Kilkenny soon found their way and hit the following five points as Denise Gaule and Katie Nolan who were sharing the free taking load helped put the hosts in front.

Ciara O’Connor then knocked over a pair of Wexford frees either side of a well taken Nolan effort from play as Kilkenny led by the minimum at the halfway mark of the half.

Kilkenny duly went through the gears shortly afterwards as Gaule and Nolan continued to score freely while Katie Nolan also made her mark.

A crucial moment then arrived five minutes from time when Ciara O’Connor knocked over a sideline cut which garnered two points and that would prove crucial come the end of the game.

Kilkenny still rounded off the half on top with Jenny Clifford and Julianne Malone both scoring from play as the winners led 0-12 to 1-5.

Those two point scorers as well as Kellyanne Doyle combined within seconds of the resumption before Malone rattled a shot to the net.

Kilkenny looked in cruise control at this stage and when Gaule and Aoife and Kellyanne Doyle all scored in quick succession, there looked to be only one winner.

A well taken Linda Bolger goal gave Wexford a lifeline and with Kilkenny losing their shape somewhat, the Model County sensed an opportunity.

The excellent Ciara O’Connor continued to excel and with Aine Lacey batting in a goal, Wexford had their chance and they made no mistake in claiming a share of the spoils when O’Connor hit her ninth point of the game.


Teams and Scorers

Kilkenny – Katie Nolan (0-6, 0-4 frees); Denise Gaule (0-5, 0-4 frees); Julianne Malone (1-1); Katie Power, Jenny Clifford, Aoife Doyle, Kellyanne Doyle, Asha McHardy (0-1 each).

Wexford – Ciara O’Connor (0-9, 0-5 frees); Aine Lacey (1-1); Shelley Kehoe, Linda Bolger (1-0 each); Kate Kirwan (0-1).

Kilkenny – Aoife Norris; Michelle Teehan, Grace Walsh, Tiffany Fitzgerald; Niamh Deely, Claire Phelan, Laura Murphy; Steffi Fitzgerald, Kellyanne Doyle; Aoife Doyle, Denise Gaule, Katie Power; Katie Nolan, Julianne Malone, Jenny Clifford.

Subs: Asha McHardy for Murphy, 40 mins; Michaela Kenneally for Clifford, 50 mins; Aoife Prendergast for Nolan, 50 mins; Laura Norris for A.Doyle, 63 mins.

Wexford – Laura Brennan; Miriam O’Dowd, Ciara Storey, Laura Dempsey; Aoife Dunne, Sarah O’Connor; Anais Curran, Orla Sinnott; Chloe Cashe, Shelley Kehoe, Kate Kirwan; Linda Bolger, Ciara O’Connor, Chloe Foxe.

Subs: Aine Lacey for Kehoe, 36 mins; Emma Tompkins for Cashe, 52 mins.

Referee – Andy Larkin (Cork)


Read more

Back to news