Saturday 20 January 2018

Two more injury casualties for Limerick game

Brendan Furlong

Shane Tomkins' loss is a blow as he was one of the brighter performers in the Walsh Cup
Shane Tomkins' loss is a blow as he was one of the brighter performers in the Walsh Cup

An untimely injury crisis has hit Wexford hurling as they face into two huge Allianz League Division 1B games over successive weekends.

Manager Liam Dunne's squad has been hard hit with injuries as they face into a showdown away to Limerick this Saturday (7 p.m.), while the following Sunday they have another huge game at home to Clare.

However, the squad's walking wounded has reached frightening levels, with the side set to be short four key players for the opener as the injury list continues to grow.

With Conor McDonald (broken thumb) and Paul Morris (hamstring) already ruled out, they have now been joined by Diarmuid O'Keeffe (concussion) and Shane Tomkins (calf muscle).

O'Keeffe and Tomkins suffered their fate in a challenge with Tipperary on Wednesday evening, with the St. Anne's clubman having to spend some time in Clonmel hospital as a result of the concussion, while the Askamore attacker has been one of the side's most prominent attackers during the Walsh Cup.

To complicate matters even further, also absent from the squad is Ballyfad's Conor Devitt. Devitt has been part of the U.C.D. set-up for the Fitzgibbon Cup but owing to studies he will not be available to the county for the National League campaign.

Manager Liam Dunne, however, will have Jack Guiney, Pádraig Foley, Eoin Conroy and Jack O'Connor available for selection following their respective college commitments. This is a plus, coupled with the fact that Ian Byrne (hamstring) and Podge Doran (ankle operation) enjoyed some game time against Tipperary, making them available for selection.

'People talk about Division 1B but when you have sides like Limerick and Clare, two teams capable of mixing it in the top division, you realise how difficult it is, but we'll just have to concentrate on our own game,' Dunne said.

'Looking back on the Walsh Cup and the final against Dublin, we will just have to be more clinical. If we create the same chances as in the final, I'll be happy, but we still need to put them away, that would make me even more happy.

'We are looking forward to the game despite our problems but we'll just have to get on with it.

'We have two huge weekends coming up, but while important, it's not going to define our season,' he claimed.

'Looking back on the Walsh Cup it served us well to an extent. Young players like James Breen, David Dunne and Cathal Dunbar come through impressively. There's also both Joe O'Connor and Aaron Maddock, just out of Minor ranks.

'These players will give us options in the squad,' he added.

The team will not be finalised until after training Thursday evening, while Limerick will be without their Na Piarsaigh contingent.

Wexford People

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