Carlow next on the list
WEXFORD MANAGER Liam Dunne has revealed that he is looking forward to coming up against his old friend Kevin Ryan when they lock horns with Carlow in phase one of the All-Ireland Senior hurling championship qualifier at Wexford Park on Saturday next (2.30 p.m.).
The new Wexford boss played under Ryan when the Waterford native led his club Oulart-The Ballagh for a spell, and since his departure from the Wexford scene he has taken over at the helm in Carlow.
Dunne, in his opening stint as Wexford manager, realises that Carlow caused a shock two seasons back when defeating the Model county in the league, so he will be giving them the utmost respect.
'I'm looking forward to coming up against Kevin (Ryan) again. It will be another demanding game but that is what one comes to expect in the championship.
'We made five changes in personnel for Westmeath but there will be more changes for Carlow,' he said. 'More players will get a chance to push their claims for a starting place in the side. At the moment we are not looking beyond Carlow.'
Dunne made the changes for the clash with Westmeath, leaving out Willie Devereux, Stephen Murphy, Shaun Murphy, Eoin Quigley and Jack Guiney, with Eoin Moore, Darren Stamp, Richie Kehoe, Harry Kehoe and Diarmuid O'Keeffe coming into the side and acquitting themselves well with effective displays, particularly young O'Keeffe who had a very impressive championship debut.
Wexford have returned to winning ways, having put the opening game defeat to Offaly behind them. They played with a great deal of quality, with their possession game denying Westmeath the ball, and as a result it was no surprise that they went on to run up such an impressive winning margin.
This will be another demanding game for Wexford as Carlow have made huge progress on the hurling scene over recent seasons. Wexford are now in the qualifier route so they will be anxious to progress their summer campaign as it would provide a further opportunity for this young side to gain in championship experience.
It has been a hectic schedule for the players both on the club and inter-county scene but one can see the improvement in their hurling as a result. Wexford will go into the game as the hottest of favourites. It would be a major shock should they fail to put away the Barrowsiders.