Storm Dennis was the official title awarded to the howling winds and driving rain that lashed Ireland last weekend, but Storm Davy battered Kilkenny once again as Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford got the better of Brian Cody’s Kilkenny in the big NHL Division 1B game on Sunday.
The two old rivals locked horns again at Chadwick’s Wexford Park with the home team eventually emerging victorious on a 1-16 to 1-14 scoreline despite the gale-force winds.
With the wind at their backs, Wexford led by seven points at the break conceded 1-6 without reply early in the second half then came storming back to the front with late and match-winning points from Diarmuid O’Keeffe and Paul Morris.
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Speaking to RTE’s Brian Carthy, a beaming Fitzgerald declared, “We’re delighted to get the victory. I honestly felt we should have gone in more than seven up at the break. We were up nine and 10 there, probably deserved to go in 10 or 11 up.
“Just the same thing as the Clare game; coming into halftime we took our foot off the gas a small bit. It was hard-fought. There was some breeze there, and listen, it could have gone anyway at the end. Thankfully we fought it out and got the result.”
Fitzgerald clearly has the Indian sign over Cody and the Cats with only one defeat to their neighbors since he took over as Wexford boss in 2017 and some sweet wins, including last summer’s Leinster final.
“The physical contest there in the last 15 minutes was incredible,” added Fitzgerald. “Some hits. You know that with Kilkenny. They’re going to give you 110 percent. They don’t change, they’re the same way the whole time.
“The way we used the ball, and our composure in the last seven or eight minutes was very good, I thought. Every game to me is important. I was asked could I get to a league semi-final or final, and I honestly don’t look at it like that.
“Playing Kilkenny is special because you know every single ounce it will take you to hang in with them and get a victory.”
Kilkenny remains ahead of Wexford on scoring difference in the Division 1A table, both are on four points from three games, with Clare sitting comfortably on top with six points, their latest win coming on a 0-17 to 0-9 scoreline over Laois in atrocious conditions at Cusack Park on Sunday.
Dublin also notched their second win of the league season with a 0-20 to 0-9 margin in Carlow on Saturday night.