Wexford will face the old enemy, Kilkenny, in the Walsh Cup semi-final this weekend…
In the opening clash of the new year and the new campaign, both teams will be looking for a win. Defeating the Cats is never an easy task, but that task has become all the more difficult with a number of key players missing for the Yellowbellies.
Damien Reck, who fractured his jaw against Limerick in the Fenway Hurling Classic will be absent – and as per the Wexford People, Fitzgerald reckons it’ll be “at least mid-February before [he] features” in the Purple and Gold again.
Similarly, Rory O’Connor will not feature until in or around the same time.
Longstanding Wexford goal-keeper, Mark Fanning, will also miss out on the weekend decider, owing to a recent injury. Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald confirmed to the Wexford People that Éanna Martin will start in place of the injured Fanning, while he also stated that Shane Reck’s name will be on the starting fifteen.
Unfortunately, Lee Chin was also named on the injury list.
While the prevalence of injuries could cause Fitzgerald and his selectors a headache, the absence of some key players provides a brilliant opportunity for younger, and less experienced players, to prove a point.
In the opposite camp, Kilkenny will be without a number of their star performers, such as Pádraig Walsh and Cillian Buckley, who recover from their respective injuries.
The winner of the derby clash will play the winner of Galway or Dublin in the Walsh Cup final.