Time stands still for Damien Reck with incredible goal-line clearance
Kilkenny supporters were getting impatient, the Wexford contingent were shutting their eyes but time stood still for Damien Reck.
The Oylegate-Glenbrien player was the coolest man in Nowlan Park. It was do-or-die for Wexford on Saturday night and the game was at one of those stages where, if either team scored a goal, you'd have backed them to kick on and win.
As it eventually transpired, thanks to Dublin's loss to Galway, Kilkenny didn't need to win to reach the Leinster final but when Billy Ryan lined up his shot on the edge of the box, he certainly didn't know how things were going in Pearse Stadium. Neither did Liam Ryan, who threw his body in front of the missile and, for his troubles, took a reddener on the back-side.
Mossy Keoghan did brilliantly then to dispossess Mark Fanning before Matthew O'Hanlon kept Wexford in the game with what looked like a last-gasp clearance.
There was another time for another gasp though as, with the ball breaking to TJ Reid, Damien Reck calmly got the block in before, from his belly, lifting the ball like he hadn't a care in the world. O'Hanlon and Fanning looked on in admiration of their team-mate.
It was a sensational piece of hurling that, as it turned out, kept Wexford in this championship.
Damien Reck has ice in the veins 🧊pic.twitter.com/Fmn8Qqcwbh
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) May 22, 2022
Video credit: Ray Boyne and the GAA.
It was this Wexford team's best display under their new manager Darragh Egan and afterwards, he was full of praise for the whole lot of them.
"We are building a panel. We are not done yet," the Tipperary man said.
“We have absolutely loads and loads of work to do. We still have to be more efficient in front of goals.
"Like, at half time we had nine wides on the board. That just isn’t good enough at this level and it’s hurt us over the last few weeks. But, ultimatley finishing strong is definitely something we go after and Cathal Dunbar got a very important score. Mikey Dwyer got a really, really important score. We ran ourselves into the ground the last few minutes.
“I suppose a lot of lads staring out this year would have felt we didn't give them enough action.
“Well, we are giving them plenty of action and you have to be delighted for the work that the likes of Oisin Foley put in, Charlie McGuckin, these lads that have never played for Wexford before.
“And you can seen the impact they made on our team today. They are really vital panel members.
“We need loads of lads putting up their hand over the next few weeks. that 20 man panel will be needed over the next few weeks."