Round 4: Predictions for the next round of the Wexford Senior hurling championship

It has felt like a quick one…

We’re now almost four weeks into the Wexford Senior hurling championship. And that means only one thing: Round 4 is incoming.

We started our predictions in Round 2, tipping five correct predictions out of the six games. Then, for Round 3, we’ve tipped four out of six. As Round 4 of the Wexford Senior hurling championship quickly creeps up on us, we’ve promised to do the same.

Group A:

St Martins vs Oylegate

St Martins will be favourites for this one. Last week, they looked like the team to beat in the Championship after they defeated Naomh Eanna. While Joe Coleman and Rory O’Connor will deservedly get some plaudits for their attacking play and for keeping the scoreboard ticking over, it was a real team performance from the Martins against a Naomh Eanna team that many were tipping to win the Championship outright. Although Naomh Eanna were missing some key players in Eoin Molloy, Cathal Stokes, and JJ Tawmley – the latter with a potentially serious knee injury – I’m not sure if Gorey still would have had enough to get over the line. St Martins looked the better outfit, overall with better distribution and link-up play and they are now seen as 9/4 favourites to lift the trophy in the eyes of the bookies. Their opponents this week will come in with plenty of confidence, after attaining a victory against Faythe Harriers last weekend. While Des Mythen’s side will give it their all, it’s hard to see them winning this one. (Prediction: St Martins by 6).

Glynn-Barntown vs Naomh Eanna

Although they will be bitterly disappointed with their performance against St Martins, Naomh Eanna will take some solace in the fact that they’re up against a struggling Glynn-Barntown side next. From their three matches so far, Glynn have registered just one point on the scoreboard, drawing with Faythe Harriers in the first game of the championship. It’s no secret that Glynn are facing an uphill battle from here on in, with many Wexford people suggesting that they’re strong contenders to go down. Glynn are a depleted team this year, with multiple players away from the panel due to travel commitments. Even though Naomh Eanna did not play well last week, their experience and their talent around the pitch should allow them to walk away with the victory. (Prediction: Naomh Eanna by 8).

St Annes vs Faythe Harriers

There are no easy games in the Wexford Senior Hurling Championship. This one will not be an easy one either. Last weekend, Lee Chin had a masterclass on the pitch, scoring 15 points in total, but still ending up on the losing side. As things stand, St Annes top the leaderboard, sitting on five points from 3 games with wins over St Marins and Glynn-Barntown. Faythe Harriers are at the other end of the table, registering just one point – which came in the opening round. St Annes seem like a team hitting form at the right time, while Faythe Harriers are struggling to get a break, losing agonisingly by just one point to Oylegate in the last round, and drawing with Glynn in the opening round. There’s more on the line now as the Harriers side though as they do not want to be facing down the barrels of a relegation final. A win for St Annes will see them cement their place in the quarter-finals, but this one will be closer than people are predicting. (Prediction: St Annes by 3).

Group B:

Ferns vs Rathnure

It’s safe to say that Ferns are the form team of the Championship. With three wins from three, they are already through to the quarter-final stages of the competition. But Pat Bennet will not want his charges to take their foot off the pedal. While there may be substitutes used earlier, and while they may play a somewhat weakened team, you can be guaranteed that Ferns will be out to win this one. Last week, I tipped reluctantly tipped Rathnure to edge it against Crossabeg. But after that performance, I can only see one winner here. Even though Ferns could ‘rest’ some players, they’ll still have enough to get over the line against a struggling Rathnure side. (Prediction: Ferns by 7).

Shelmaliers vs Crossabeg/Ballymurn

This could be a tricky game to call. Both teams are starting to hit some form after a cagey start in the opening round. The Shelmaliers dominated both Oulart and Rathnure in the previous two games, and although they will likely be slight favourites, it’s hard to see them dominating Crossabeg in a similar fashion. It must be noted though that the Shels’ only loss came against reigning champions Ferns, who do look to be the form team. The Shels will be delighted with the fact that they’ve only conceded one goal throughout the three games, and they’ll be equally as delighted to have rattled the net on six separate occasions. Upfront for Crossabeg include the pacey white helmet duo of Oisin Foley and Brody Murphy who are starting to link up very well together. I think the Shels have the right players to stop them though (Prediction: Shelmaliers by 6)

Oulart vs Rapparees

The derby game between the Rapps and Oulart may be the game to go to this weekend. Oulart will be delighted that Shaun Murphy’s injury is not as serious as first believed, but they have been dealt another blow with former inter-county hurler Eoin Moore injured last week. Meanwhile, the Rapps will feel unlucky for not at least getting a draw last weekend. After Liam Ryan’s solo run up the pitch in his usual style and after he knocked the ball between the posts, it looked like the game was over and that both teams would have to share the spoils. Only for a Diarmuid Doyle point in the last puck of the game, the Rapps would have secured another point on the table. Although the Rapps’ distribution from the defence was sometimes erratic, they do have the makings of a good team that can cause a lot of damage. After all, it was only in 2021 when they lifted the Wexford senior hurling championship. Oulart will have an uphill battle on their hands here, but nothing will be easy in a derby and anything can happen. (Prediction: Rapparees by 7)

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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