Friday 9 December 2016

Henry Shefflin: Cork's hurt to carry them past misfiring Wexford in key qualifier

Henry Shefflin

Published 04/07/2015 | 14:00

Ger Cunningham
Ger Cunningham

The game in Wexford Park today is one with massive implications for the losers.

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Both Cork and Wexford disappointed greatly last time out, but my gut instinct is that Cork have had more time in which to process their anger.

My understanding is that they've taken a lot of flak for their performance against Waterford and you're probably going to see a very driven Cork this time.

Wexford don't look as if they've really kicked on from last year and, while Wexford Park is a difficult place to go, particularly when there's a breeze blowing down the field, my hunch is that Cork might just have too much for them.

Clare and Limerick should have relatively straightforward wins at home to Offaly and Westmeath respectively, but I don't think things will be quite as clear-cut in the Laois-Dublin game.

I give Laois a chance here. I'm expecting them to set up quite defensively and, it being in Portlaoise, I wouldn't rule out their chances of giving Dublin real trouble. Remember they scored 29 points against Offaly, so they're not exactly championship mugs.

This is a real must-win game for Ger Cunningham and Dublin. They go in as favourites but anything they get, they'll surely have to earn it.

Of the eight teams involved in these qualifiers, Clare are the ones you'd feel could get a real bounce now and become a factor in the business-end of this championship. With the likes of Conor McGrath and Colm Galvin back on board, I think they'll be everybody's qualifier short straw.

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