The Wexford Senior Hurlers were back in action today…
Wexford travelled to Laois for their opening clash in the Walsh Cup. It wasn’t the perfect start to the campaign that Darragh Egan was looking for, losing on a score-line of 0-20 to 0-18 in Mountrath, Laois.
Plenty of youth:
Despite losing the game, Wexford manager Darragh Egan gave plenty of youth the opportunity to play for Wexford today and to lay down a marker. Tomas Kinsella, Kyle Firman, Eoin Murphy, Ian Carthy, Richie Lawlor, and Rory Higgins, to name just a few all received game time. There’s no doubt that these young men will remember that day for a long time; while Wexford may have lost the Walsh Cup clash, it’s always good to invest into the future too.
One of the most disappointing things about Wexford’s performance was their wide-count. It has become an area synonymous with Wexford hurling. Although the conditions were not great, and after all, it is January hurling, it’s an area that has let down previous Wexford sides in the past. Within the first 20 minutes, Wexford hit five wides and it was a common theme throughout the match.
Shelmaliers hurler, Ross Banville, was excellent on the frees for Wexford. But it wasn’t just that, he was good from open play too. He has a brilliant, effortless strike of the ball and he has pinpoint accuracy. He scored nine points, with three coming from play. Given Wexford’s problems with free-takers, perhaps a position could be made for Banville should he continue to hurl well in open-play.
Down by one point in the 73rd minute mark, Lee Chin plucked a beautiful ball from the sky. With excellent vision, he found his team mate and club mate, Josh Shiel, who was through on goal. Shiel went for the goal, but the Laois keeper, Enda Rowland, pulled off an excellent save. It really shows that there are such fine margins in these games.
While James Lawlor did not have to do an awful lot in the goal today, he showed that he is capable at inter-county level. He pulled off one good save and it’s always a good day for a goalkeeper when they don’t concede any goals. After that, focus was paid to his distribution. It looks like he has learned a lot from Mark Fanning; he’s comfortable going long, but is dead accurate with short puck-outs. Likewise, he makes himself available for the Wexford backs often, which is needed in the modern game. He will no doubt challenge Fanning for that number one spot this year.
Next up for the Wexford Senior hurlers is an away clash to Offaly next Sunday, Jan 15th. Wexford will be hoping to give some more players some experience, but also will be aiming to come away with the win. Wexford’s full fixtures for the Walsh Cup can be found here.
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