Wexford's failure to press home their numerical advantage in extra-time of an absorbing Leinster semi-final was a key factor in defeat to Kilkenny, says Eddie Brennan.
The Cats advanced to a provincial final showdown with Dublin after eventually seeing off the Yellowbellies 2-37 to 2-29 in a highly entertaining contest.
With the sides level in the closing stages, an Eoin Cody goal looked to have given Kilkenny victory within 70 minutes, only for three late Wexford points to force extra-time, the equalising score coming courtesy of full-back Liam Ryan's shot from distance which goalkeeper Eoin Murphy tried to bat out from behind the bar.
Within a minute of the restart there was further drama when Murphy was sinbinned for dragging down Connal Flood, though replacement custodian Darren Brennan almost saved the resulting penalty.
Kilkenny, however, rallied and a powerful second-half of extra time sealed their passage to the final.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, former Kilkenny sharpshooter Brennan said he was worried about the threat of Davy Fitzgerald’s side in the build-up to the game, but said that the newer players in the black and amber really stood up.
Having lost an All-Ireland semi-final to Tipperary in 2019 after John O’Dwyer was sent-off for the Premier men, Brennan said Wexford’s inability to again make the extra man count on the scoreboard was noticeable.
Was there a hint of déjà vu for Wexford?
"There is a massive rivalry after building between Wexford and Kilkenny over the last few years," he said, while praising the performance of referee Fergal Horgan in his handling of the match.
"It’s very hard to criticise both sets of players because they served up an epic game and it went the distance, but was there a hint of déjà vu for Wexford?" he questioned.
"They had a numerical advantage and they weren’t able to press that home. That was down to Kilkenny in some regard and they will definitely be scratching their heads over that."