Dunne says Sunday's match against Waterford will be 'huge game of hurling'
WITH an easing injury list and growing confidence Wexford's bid for promotion to Division 1 cannot be ignored when they entertain neighbours Waterford in a crucial Allianz Division 1B national hurling league game at Wexford Park on Sunday next.
With the exception of corner-forward Paul Morris, who is recovering from a knee ligament problem, manager Liam Dunne and his management team are confident they will have a full squad of players available, although the Ferns player is by no means ruled out of the equation at the moment.
Attacker Jack Guiney is having a scan on a groin problem this Thursday, but is expected to be fit, while Tomas Waters (hamstring), Daithi Waters (flu), and Ciaran Kenny (groin) will be fit to push for a return to the side having missed the win over Laois. Defender Paidi Foley, who retired following a head knock, will be full fit to take his place.
Wexford have conceded high scores in league games to-date something Dunne will be paying particular attention to when the team to play high flying Waterford is being selected, particularly as Sunday's opponents are unbeaten and have been particularly lethal in attack.
It was always going to be interesting to see how Wexford would react to their narrow loss to Limerick, but Manager Dunne was particularly with the way his players responded.
'Offaly beating Limerick gave us all a lift and put everything very much back in our own hands. It was always going to be interesting to see how the players reacted following loss to Limerick, but in fairness the response was positive.
'The players turned their focus to the Laois game and achieved the result despite some late defections from the original team.
'Tomas Waters tested his hamstring hurling on the wall on Saturday afternoon and was not happy. Daithi (Waters) reported with flu, so we decided to pull both out. I had released players not in the starting fifteen to play with their club's so had to make contact with Naomh Eanna to pull Eoin Conroy out of their league game which was at half-time stage.
'Our hand was forced but we dealt with what was presented. My plan is to release players to their clubs for league games who are not in the first fifteen so as they will get game time.'
So the selection for the Waterford game will be an interesting one.
'It's now all back in our own hands. We are playing for promotion, as are Waterford, so it will bring a huge edge to this game. From now on every game is a knock out. Sunday's game is a knock-out for it decides promotion, while we are in a quarter-final, which is also a knock-out.
'This is where we want to be. We want to be up in Division 1 playing with the top sides. That's the players goal and they are focused on that. So it should all make for a huge game of hurling, one to look forward to,' added Dunne.
Nobody will doubt but that Wexford hurling is now in a place where everyone, even those outside the county, want it to be. The opportunity has now presented itself to take it to another level through promotion and on home soil Wexford will be determined to achieve their goal.
The team will be announced at training on Wednesday evening.