Henry Shefflin was back to his best as Kilkenny easily saw off the Wexford challenge, 1-26 to 1-15, in Saturday night’s Leinster SHC semifinal to set up a date with Galway or Dublin next month.
Shefflin looked back to his best on his return after knee injury, much to the delight of manager Brian Cody.
“It is terrific to see him back so good,” said Cody. “Everyone was wondering if we would see him back again for Kilkenny, but his free-taking straight away was outstanding.”
The result was never in question and Cody added, “It was a good win in the end. It was a competitive game, though.
“We were happy with how things went. We created good chances, we missed a few easy ones as well, but anytime you score that you have to be happy.
“The main thing was to get the win, but the win couldn’t come without the performance.”
Wexford manager Colm Bonnar said, “Kilkenny put us under immense pressure in there in the first half, they picked up every breaking ball from our own puck-out.
“That’s something we tried to change around at halftime and we maybe did it for the initial five or 10 minutes at the start of the second half and we started to win a bit more hard ball around that area.
“But really from then on Kilkenny dominated and got a foothold there and we just found it very hard to get in among them. They’re a very physical team and a very hungry team.
“We always knew that but we just felt that if we could get close to them and worry them and keep the scores down, that we could make the most of the home crowd but it just didn’t happen.”