DUNNE EYES UP FIRST CUP
Hurlers fight to earn Walsh Cup final date with Dublin
LIAM DUNNE will be seeking to collect his first piece of silverware when his Wexford Senior hurlers entertain Dublin in the Walsh Cup final on Sunday afternoon next.
His attention to detail and the endless hours of preparation put in over the last number of months have seen his side emerging and looking determined to make an impact on this competition.
This they have achieved with three successive victories over D.I.T., Offaly and Kilkenny, leaving them prepared for an assault on the county's first trophy in Dunne's tenure.
The manager is determined for his side to make an impact, so much so that he has been successful in bringing Stephen Nolan back into the squad after an absence of a few seasons. This is a huge boost and with the likes of Keith Rossiter, Rory Jacob and Diarmuid Lyng still to come back into the system, they are building a squad with strength in depth.
Either way, Dunne will be looking at this game against Dublin as another test for his young side. Dublin recorded a one-point victory over Galway in their semi-final on Saturday last, fielding many of their regulars, so this will be the stiffest test to date.
Interestingly, this will be the first of three meetings between the sides this season, as they will also clash in the league, with the first two encounters leading up to their championship showdown in Wexford Park next June.
Meanwhile, it looks as if Aidan O'Brien is ready to make a big impact on Division 2 of the Allianz Football League, particularly after his side's dramatic second-half recovery, coming from nine points down at one stage, to fashion a one-point victory over Longford in their opening game.
O'Brien will have learned a lot from this tie ahead of next Sunday's clash away to Armagh which is another searching test, even if the northerners are still without the club-tied Crossmaglen Rangers players.
Armagh lost their opening game against Laois so will be seeking a victory, while a positive result for Wexford would be a huge boost to the side's confidence.
O'Brien is well aware of the improvement needed for more searching tests ahead. He will have learned and taken much out of the Longford victory. It was a massive win in the circumstances which will help the side on their long journey north.
The new manager is confident of having a full squad to select from. It was an impressive start but one he will be determined to build upon.
New Ross Standard