New kings ready to be crowned
Published 06/04/2011 | 05:00
Leinster U-21 FC final
(Extra-time if necessary)
Wexford v Longford, Portlaoise, 7.45,
G McCormack (Dublin)
It's the first decider since 1995 where none of Dublin, Meath, Laois or Kildare are involved, as both Wexford or Longford bid to become champions for the first time in 47 attempts.
Longford are slight favourites according to the bookies and have five members of Glenn Ryan's senior panel among their number -- including captain Colm P Smith -- while Wexford can call on seven players who've lined out for their senior side.
Longford came out of the tougher side of the draw, beating Meath (who themselves toppled All-Ireland champions Dublin) and a 14-man Westmeath -- who had been tipped to secure a provincial crown -- with James McGivney getting the crucial score in a tight game.
Wexford's progress past Louth, Kildare and Carlow has also been notable, with Emmet Kent steering his side home over the Barrowsiders in the semi-finals.
But with a big attendance assured -- there's free admission for U-16s -- the line of form is with the midlanders, who are managed by former county footballer Padraic Davis.
Odds: Wexford 6/5 Longford 5/6 Draw 7/1