independent

Thursday 18 April 2019

Park will be buzzing for Meyler's return with Cork

Brendan Furlong

Questions were always going to be asked of Wexford this season, but already they are delivering some of the answers which should see a huge attendance flock to Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday for their Allianz Hurling League Division 1A clash with Cork (2 p.m.).

Wexford showed enough in their dominance of last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists, Waterford, in their opening outing to suggest they will not fear the visit of Munster champions, Cork, who themselves got their league campaign off to a winning start with a hugely impressive victory over Kilkenny.

Wexford's season has sprung to life from their opening games, as they have already taken the scalps of Dublin and Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup, lifting the trophy for the first time since 2002.

However, it was the manner in which they outplayed Waterford on home soil that suggests they are by no means out of place in the top flight.

Sunday's game has an added flavour since Cork are managed by Wexford native John Meyler, a former Model county manager who, having guided the Rebel county at Under-21 level last year, took over the Senior mantle from Kieran Kingston, having been a selector in 2017.

The Tacumshane native has got his Senior tenure up an running with a victory over Kilkenny, his first over Brian Cody as a manager. Right now he will be planning a path to overcome Davy Fitzgerald.

This game with Cork will offer Wexford a real opportunity to put league victories back to back, but more importantly give them four points from two games, which would go some way towards alleviating the fear of relegation.

It's going to be a huge game even on home soil, as Cork will have Pat Horgan back from suspension, having missed out on the league victory, while they have a sprinkling of talented young players right through the side.

Tim O'Mahony at centre-back, Darragh Fitzgibbon at midfield, and Shane Kingston at corner-forward performed well against Kilkenny to go along with vital contributions of players like Eoin Cadogan, Mark Ellis, Christopher Joyce, Seamus Harnedy and Alan Cadogan.

Wexford have no injury concerns following the Waterford game, and given the impact the starting 15 had in setting the framework for this hugely impressive victory, Davy Fitzgerald is likely to go with the same starting 15.

Meanwhile, Wexford footballers, having lost their opening game to Fermanagh, make the journey west next Sunday to take on Sligo, where a victory is of utmost importance to lift them out of the relegation zone.

However, their cause will not have been helped with the straight red card issued to Brian Malone, which rules him out of this game, and his experience in defence will be sorely missed.

While never looking like achieving a victory, Paul McLoughlin's charges put up a very competitive display in the defeat to a highly fancied Fermanagh, but it will require even further improvement if they are to take their opening points of the campaign.

Experienced attacker Ben Brosnan sat out Sunday's game owing to injury, and his return would be a boost for this second successive tough away trip.

Eoghan Nolan also limped off in the last 15 minutes during the loss up north, but it's hoped that he will be fit for the fray.

Wexford People

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