Bord na Móna Walsh Cup Semi-Finals
Kilkenny 1-20, Offaly 3-11
Wexford 1-20, Dublin 0-16
Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford joined Kilkenny in this season’s Bord na Móna Walsh Cup final with a 1-20 to 0-16 victory over Dublin at Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Cats will have home advantage for the decider next Sunday afternoon, 20th January.
For almost 50 minutes of the semi-final, it appeared that Dublin would receive another early-season boost under new boss Pat Gilroy.
The home side led by 15 points to 10, before the game changed when influential forward Paul Winters was sent off. Wexford immediately capitalised on their numerical advantage with a goal from Cathal Dunbar and they soon equalised through Paul Morris.
The Model County dominated the closing 20 minutes with a series of points from David Dunne, Jack Guiney and Kevin Foley as they made it three wins out of three in this competition in 2018.
Dublin only added one point after being reduced to 14 men and must now turn their attention to the start of the Allianz League on Saturday week.
Wexford took an early lead in this game with a couple of Conor McDonald points, but Dublin then eased ahead thanks to some excellent scoring from free-taker Winters and Donal Burke.
Dublin led by 0-11 to 0-8 at the break and stretched their advantage to five points before disaster struck twice in the space of a couple of minutes and Wexford seized the initiative.
Meanwhile, another Bord na Móna Walsh Cup title is in sight for Kilkenny after they came from behind to defeat a battling Offaly side at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park on Saturday, 13th January.
Boosted by an early Conor Mahon goal, Offaly established a 1-8 to 0-5 lead after 25 minutes, with Shane Kinsella firing over some well-taken points from his centre forward berth.
Kilkenny stayed in touch with some Alan Murphy frees and a scrambled goal by Ger Malone just before half time left just a point between the sides – 1-10 to 1-9.
Unanswered points early in the second half edged Kilkenny ahead, but Offaly equalised in the 43rd minute with a goal from a penalty by Shane Dooley.
However, with Richie Reid, Richie Leahy and free-taker Murphy clocking up the scores, Kilkenny pulled clear again. Offaly gave themselves a chance with a third goal from Shane Kinsella, but the visitors deservedly advanced from a competitive and enjoyable game.