independent

Monday 21 May 2018

O'Hanlon allays fears

Joint captain will be back to meet Dubs in first round

Brendan Furlong

Matthew O’Hanlon giving some half-time encouragement to his St. James’ clubmate, Darragh Lyons, before the resumption of their Tom Doyle Supplies SFC clash with Gusserane in O’Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday. St. James’ lost by 0-13 to 0-12
Matthew O’Hanlon giving some half-time encouragement to his St. James’ clubmate, Darragh Lyons, before the resumption of their Tom Doyle Supplies SFC clash with Gusserane in O’Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday. St. James’ lost by 0-13 to 0-12

Wexford supporters will be focused on this weekend's county hurling championship first round games, hoping to receive a major boost regarding their injured players.

Joint captain and centre-back, Matthew O'Hanlon, has been forced to sit out St. James' two Senior football championship outings with a slight knee problem.

However, there is positive news regarding the availability of the defender for the Dublin opener as he expects to be back fully fit despite being forced to sit out the Ramsgrange side's clash with Blackwater in Killurin next Sunday.

O'Hanlon gave this positive news on Monday morning: 'I have a medial knee ligament problem sustained in the Kilkenny game. This will keep me out for all of club championship games but I should be fine for the first round of the Leinster championship.'

It's a huge weekend for a number of players, with further concern expressed over attacker, David Dunne, who left the field with an ankle problem received when assisting his club, Davidstown-Courtnacuddy, in the Junior football championship against Gusserane in Cushinstown on Sunday. The extent of the injury is still not known.

It's also a weekend that could decide what part, if any, players like Jack Guiney, Eoin Moore and Shane Tomkins will play in the upcoming provincial championship campaign, with all three forced to sit out crucial league games.

Guiney has been receiving treatment for an ongoing knee problem, which has curtailed his preparation, but it nows looks as if his display with Rathnure against Naomh Eanna will outline to the management whether or not he has reached sufficient fitness levels to take him back onto the inter-county scene.

There's no doubt that the injury has proved a setback to his preparations, leaving him with a huge task to reach the level of fitness required to play a role against the Dubs in Innovate Wexford Park.

The prospects of both Moore and Tomkins figuring in the opening round clash with Dublin will also very much hang on their respective club displays, particularly after such lengthy absences from competitive hurling.

Moore is expected to take his place for Oulart-The Ballagh in their opening round Senior hurling game against Glynn-Barntown on Friday, while Tomkins should figure in the Askamore attack as they commence their Intermediate hurling title bid versus Crossabeg-Ballymurn in Monamolin on Sunday.

Aidan Nolan, who has been struggling with an ongoing back problem, will play a full role in HWH-Bunclody's first game on that same double-header at the Buffers Alley club grounds, with Craanford providing the opposition.

Also on the inter-county front, it's believed that Askamore club player and former Wexford Senior attacker P.J. Nolan has joined the Wicklow Senior hurling squad which is managed by Rathnure's Seamus Murphy. Nolan, a one-time Wexford regular, has not figured over recent seasons due to ongoing injury problems.

Wexford People