Six Wexford And Offaly Players To Watch Out For In Tonight’s Leinster U-20 Hurling Final

The u-20 Leinster Hurling final between Wexford and Offaly has been fixed for Dr Cullen Park, Carlow, this evening, Wednesday (May 17th) at 7.30 p.m….

There’s a lot of excitement building ahead of this evening’s clash. So much so, that Dr Cullen Park has sold out its tickets for the Leinster final.

Wexford last won silverware in this competition back in 2015, when Eoin Conroy lifted the trophy for Wexford at home in Wexford Park, marking Wexford’s three-in-a-row. For Offaly, they last tasted success in 2000. Both teams are craving success and silverware.

While both teams have stars across their teams, we’ll look at some of the big names to keep an eye out for during this evening’s clash.

Cian Byrne:

Fethard’s Cian Byrne has been a revelation for the Wexford u-20s. He plays at wing-forward and he has been named to start there again this evening. Byrne is dead accurate on the frees, and when given the opportunity he is likely to punish the opposition defence. His game is more than frees though: when he gets the ball in the half-forward line, he likes to run directly at the opposition defence, often bringing other Wexford players into the game. He’s very pacey and one of his best assets is being able to slot the ball over the bar from difficult angles on the run.

Corey Byrne-Dunbar:

Corey’s name came to the fore during his successful season with his club team, Ferns St-Aidans. He played a vital role in Ferns’ first-Senior hurling championship success last year, popping up with vital scores and proving to be difficult to handle by many defenders throughout the championship. He has brought his good run of form into the Leinster u-20 championship too. Similar to Cian Byrne, he’s very pacey and he likes to go on solo-runs, directly at the opposition’s defence. He is also a bit of a play-maker, throwing out a lot of balls and distributing them excellently to his teammates. It would not be surprising to see a Wexford goal come directly from a mazey Corey Byrne-Dunbar run into the full-forward line, for him to then hand out a clear goal-scoring opportunity to one of the inside forwards.

Simon Roche:

Simon Roche is a member of the Oulart-The Ballagh club and he plays in the corner-back position. He is playing under the guidance of his clubmate, Keith Rossiter, and he has similar traits to Rossi – one of Wexford’s all-time great defenders. Roche likes to play from in front of the attacker, running directly onto the ball. It’s an attacker’s nightmare. Roche performed excellently against Kilkenny in their last outing, but there will be a lot of attention on him this evening. He will likely be marking Adam Screeney, one of Offaly’s talisman. The battle between the two could be a battle for the ages.

Adam Screeney:

As mentioned, Screeney is one of Offaly’s talisman. He plays in the corner-forward position. He’s small, and light, but pacey. While he may be small in stature, his skills on the hurling field can cause significant damage to any defence. Screeney, who was taken off due to injury in the semi-final, will be rearing to go. He was a member of last year’s successful minor hurling team with Offaly which won the Leinster final and then lost out narrowly to Tipperary in the All-Irlenad final. He was named the Minor Hurler of the Year.

Cormac Egan:

Along with Screeney, another member of this year’s Offaly team is Cormac Egan. He is a dual-star, an incredible athlete, and tasted All-Ireland football success with the Faithful in 2021. Egan is a similar player to Wexford’s Corey Byrne-Dunbar. With his long hair and his yellow helmet, he’s easy to pinpoint on the field. More would pin-point him though due to his ability. He likes to take on his man at every chance and when given the opportunity, he will take his chance to hit it over the bar. Playing at centre-forward, he will be given those opportunities. Wexford’s Dundon, who has performed well throughout the campaign, will be marking him, but Egan would fancy his chances of beating him for pace.

Sam Bourke:

Offaly’s Bourke is often viewed as a man playing against boys. He’s a strong, powerful defender, who commands the centre-back position and he’s considered one of the best-emerging talents coming out of Offaly hurling. He’s strong in the air and he’s the key focal point for Offaly, especially when turning defence into attack. His distribution is solid and with the way he often drives out of defence, he gives himself scoring opportunities too. However, he’ll be coming up against it tonight, with the duty to mark Corey Byrne-Dunbar. Just like with Roche and Screeney, this could also be a battle for the ages and would be worth watching as the match unfolds. The winner of this battle could prove vital for both sides; the winner of this battle will likely win the game.


There were many other notable mentions that could have made this list. It serves to highlight that both teams have an array of talent on their teams, talent that is matched by the opposition, which makes it such an exciting novel encounter.

The match is sold out in Dr Cullen Park and a cracking atmosphere is to be expected. For those not attending the game, the match will be broadcast live on TG4. The match, which also acts as an All-Ireland semi-final with the winner playing Cork in the final, can also be watched live on the TG4 Player.

To whet the appetite further for the game, read the talking points ahead of the novel Offaly-Wexford Leinster hurling final.

Jason Redmond
Jason Redmond

From Gorey, Jason is the owner of Wexford Weekly. He is also a post-primary English and History teacher.

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