The fast-paced Wexford Senior hurling championship returns again this weekend…
We started our predictions ahead of the Round 2 clashes, and so far, we’re not doing too bad at all.
Round 2: 4/6 correct
Round 3: 5/6 correct
Round 4: 4/5 correct
Now into the fifth and final round of the Championship, the predictions have become that little bit more difficult, especially with some teams already qualified.
Glynn Barntown vs Oylegate/Glenbrien
Glynn-Barntown will take on Oylegate this weekend. Glynn’s campaign to date has seen their team struggle. Despite struggling, they’ll look at Oylegate as a team that they can beat. Both teams need a win here to ensure qualification into the quarter-final stages. Oylegate are on three points, while Glynn are on one point, but a win for Glynn could see them jump above Oylegate to resurrect their Championship hopes. Oylegate will be somewhat disappointed after last week’s heavy defeat to St Martins, but few would have expected them to win that game. Oyelgate will likely be able to bounce back this weekend, but it could be closer than some people are suggesting as we could see one or two returning stars in the frame this weekend for Glynn (Prediction: Oyelgate by 3).
St Martins vs Faythe Harriers
On paper, with the talent that they have across the pitch, St Martins should be able to get over the line here. But, in a local derby, and with more on the line for Faythe Harriers, you can be guaranteed that the Harriers will not give it to them easily. Faythe Harriers need a win, or they could be placed into a relegation final. Marking Lee Chin will be a test for St Martins, and like some other teams, they’ll likely double-mark the Wexford star. The fact that St Martins are already qualified and that Faythe Harriers need a win makes this an interesting match to call, but I think St Martins will still have enough firepower to win this one. After all, St Martins will not want to take their foot off the pedal either; they’re hitting form and Daithi ‘Bear’ Hayes will want his team to continue building momentum heading into the quarter-final stages. I’d suspect that the Harriers will have enough to stay with the Martins up until the final quarter of the game and then, after that, the Martins will drift away (Prediction: St Martins by 8).
St Annes vs Naomh Eanna
After the sudden passing of a St Annes GAA club stalwart, Noel O’Keeffe, the Annes will now be playing two games in quick succession. Both of these teams are already qualified, so it’s definitely a harder game to call. With McGovern and O’Keeffe in the attack for the Annes, they do pose a major threat to the Gorey defence. But, I think that Naomh Eanna, even though they are minus a few key players due to injury, will have enough here to get over the line. Conor McDonald has been relatively quiet during this Championship campaign, especially compared to his usual exploits in the Wexford senior Hurling Championship, and a big performance from the Naomh Eanna forward could be on the cards (Prediction: Naomh Eanna)
Oulart The Ballagh vs Rathnure
Who would have thought it? The once-powerhouses of the Wexford Senior hurling championship are essentially playing in a relegation semi-final this weekend. Out of all the games to go to, this is the one I would be attending as a neutral. Rathnure have not yet registered a win in the Wexford Senior hurling championship for 2023, while Oulart-The Ballagh are on one point. Oulart will be bitterly disappointed with their Championship campaign, having come straight up from the Intermediate Championship. This will be an excellent game, but we’re tipping Oulart to snatch the victory (Prediction: Oulart by 2).
Ferns vs Crossabeg
Very few people were predicting Crossabeg/Ballymurn to defeat Shelmaliers last weekend, but their performance showed that they can put it up and beat some of the top teams. With four wins from four though, Ferns look like the team of the Championship under Pat Bennet. Ferns sit nicely on the top of the table – and they can’t be moved, despite what happens in the final round of games. Given that, they may opt to rest some key players, but like ST Martins, they will not want to lose any momentum. Bennet will likely rest some key players, but the option to bring them on in the final stages of the game should see them pull away with the win against Crossabeg. On another note, the battle between the in-form players Niall Murphy and Brody Murphy could be one for the ages. (Prediction: Ferns by 5).
Shelmaliers vs Rapparees
It’s always a good battle between these two. After their loss to Crossabeg last weekend, the Shels will be bitterly disappointed and they’ll be out to prove that they still should be considered a Championship winning side. Around the field, on paper, the Rapps look to be that little bit better though. Kevin Foley is in flying form, floating around the midfield area and coming up with crucial sides for the Rapps. Meanwhile, Oisin Pepper is starting to hit form again which is music to the Rapps’ supporters’ ears. Both teams are already qualified for the quarter-finals, so there could be a bit of shadowboxing in this game between the two (Rapps by 4).
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