Minor hurlers seek semi final spot
Published 08/05/2015 | 16:23
The Wexford Minor hurlers will aim to bounce back from their agonising one-point extra-time loss to Kilkenny when they meet Westmeath in the Electric Ireland Leinster championship quarter-final in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday (3 p.m.).
The side they conquered in the recent league semi-final in Bellefield will travel south as rank outsiders, having edged out Carlow by 3-10 to 1-14 on the same day that Wexford were pipped by the Cats (1-18 to 1-17).
There will be no more chances for the losers of Saturday's tie, and the urgency of the situation should spur the young Slaneysiders on to a big effort in front of their home supporters.
Kilkenny and Dublin are already through to the Leinster semi-finals to be played on June 20, and the pairings will be determined after Wexford take on Westmeath and Laois meet Offaly on Saturday.
The vast majority of the Wexford players were in action with their clubs over the weekend in the first round of the domestic championships, with team captain and centre-back Aaron Maddock the stand-out performer for St. Martin's in their Pettitt's Senior win over Rapparees.
Wexford beat Westmeath by 1-17 to 1-10 in the league semi-final in Bellefield in late March, but it should be noted that only four of the first 15 that day - defenders David Clarke, Brian Quigley, Ciarán Kirwan and Conor Firman - started against Kilkenny last time out.
The reinforcements who were called from the bench to copper-fasten victory on that occasion included the aforementioned Maddock as well as Seamus Casey who scored 1-2 to finish the midlanders off, free-taker Ciarán O'Connor, Jack Pettit and Rowan White, all of whom will be expected to start Saturday.
Wexford were most unlucky not to claim Kilkenny's scalp, and anything other than a home win would be a major shock this time around.