At the time of writing it’s currently 11:18 PM on Tuesday the 6th of June and it’s just under 12 hours until I’ll be sitting the first exam of the Leaving Certificate.
But thankfully, amongst the dark tunnel of exams, I can see the small glimmer of light of the big one – Wexford vs Kilkenny in the Leinster hurling championship on Saturday evening at 7 PM. It’s understandable that I won’t be able to sleep tonight for a particular few, not because of the Leaving Cert but because of a hurling match on Saturday evening that I nor the other 18,000 spectators can influence, in the cauldron also known as, Wexford Park.
Saturday evening hurling in Wexford Park always brings out the best in every Wexford supporter as seen in the famous clash against our beloved Davy’s Clare in July 2014, and not to mention Nowlan Park the following week against the Déise. We are probably the loudest and proudest set of supporters in the country – we are like the Borussia Dortmund of the GAA universe, and once more when the 15 men of Wexford step out over that white line on Saturday evening, the onus will be put on us to create an atmosphere like no other.
It’s times like this when you are proud to say you’re from Wexford; it’s not every day that a team in Leinster has a good chance of knocking the 36-time All-Ireland winners and 71-time Leinster championship winners off their pedestal. We don’t need luck, we just need belief. Pure Wexford belief; and all 30 of Davy’s soldiers need to have that along with our support when the referee throws the ball in on Saturday evening.
The match itself is as intriguing as it gets, for the first time ever (besides 96/97) it’s Kilkenny who are the dark horses when they travel down to the park, a team in transition perhaps, but there are no prizes for guessing that Brian Cody won’t have his troops riled up to the last. They’re also aided by the return of the human machine Michael Fennelley at centre-field, who is likely to start, and our tormentor from 2 years previous, Ger Aylward.
Undoubtedly, Jack O’Connor and Mark Fanning will be huge losses if they’re to be ruled out with injury but thankfully we have enough in our reserves to put up a stellar performance where once more we’ll look to the likes of Lee Chin, Conor McDonald, Shaun Murphy and Matthew O’Hanlon to hopefully guide us to a second victory in 2017 against our greatest rivals.
So let our voices be heard on Saturday evening and hopefully by 8:30 that night there’ll be people of Wexford Heritage dancing at every crossroad and junction from the Main Street to Manhattan and further a field in all four corners of the Earth as we begin preparing for a Leinster final.
Note from writer:
Thank you very much if you took some time out of your day to read this and to any of the people reading this who are sitting exams tomorrow, or in the next few weeks, best wishes. And finally best of luck to the boys on Saturday evening, make it one to remember, we’re all behind you. Loch Garman abú !