Tuesday 18 December 2018

Chin joins injury list

Joint captain a casualty as Davy's native Clare defeated

Lee Chin in the thick of the action with Clare’s David McInerney before injury ruled him out of the second-half of Sunday’s success
Lee Chin in the thick of the action with Clare’s David McInerney before injury ruled him out of the second-half of Sunday’s success

Brendan Furlong

While Davy Fitzgerald admitted that Wexford's victory over Clare represented serious progress for his charges, he must still be somewhat concerned with the growing injury list.

Inspirational joint captain, Lee Chin, who was proving so influential during the opening 35 minutes in his side's eventual four-point victory, was forced to retire with an injury to his pelvis at the break.

This led to the introduction of Rory O'Connor, who went on to turn in a superb attacking display, marking his continued progress following a long-term knee injury.

However, Chin joins the growing injury list and is sure to miss out on the side's visit to Nowlan Park on Sunday for their final Division 1A group game with Kilkenny.

With their status for 2019 already assured along with a place in the quarter-final, Fitzgerald admitted after the game 'we have some big games ahead so we were not prepared to chance Lee for the second-half, but wasn't Rory some replacement?'

While Chin looks set to miss the game, he will be joined on the list of absentees by Simon Donohoe and Eoin Moore, two players who still have some way to go before returning to full fitness.

However, there is more positive news regarding Jack Guiney who, following medical prognosis, will not have to undergo a cartilage operation.

'I should be back in a few weeks,' Guiney said before the Clare game, which in itself is heartening news, as it now looks as if he should be available for the league knockout stages.

While Fitzgerald said the victory marked serious progress for Wexford, he admitted it wasn't going to be easy against a Clare side with whom he spent five years as manager.

However, one got the sense that he was hugely happy with his own charges, as he maintained his one hundred per cent record at Innovate Wexford Park as Wexford manager, while also recording his third victory, after two as Waterford manager, over his native Banner county.

Fitzgerald described managing Clare as 'one of the greatest privileges of my life', and he still had strong feelings for his county in the wake of Wexford's victory.

'It wasn't the easiest of days you've ever come across. When you spend five years with a bunch of guys and then you're on the sideline against them, it was difficult. You have to do a job, that's fine, but it isn't the easiest.'

While he trying to keep a real balance, Fitzgerald hailed the Wexford supporters.

'I really love coming down here, I really do. The supporters are fantastic. Even today, in the first-half, when we were battling, but hurling well, they still got behind the team.

'In the second-half they lifted the players through this, it's fantastic to witness. The Wexford support base is something else.

'I'm delighted with the Wexford guys. We absolutely gave everything and I thought they played unreal today.

'The boys are telling me we were odds-on to go down at the start of the year, that there was no hope for us at all. We're top of the table at the moment so it's not so bad, we're happy enough.

'We're still learning. We're probably winning games where we should be winning them more than what we are. But you know what? It's good. To get the victories is good.

'We need the results to give us confidence. We've Kilkenny next Sunday. It's not as important as it might have been if we'd lost today. It will still be a good battle.

'We've just worked on a style that suits ourselves. Where can we go? I don't know. I think the hurling championship is pretty open.

'There's maybe two or three teams slightly ahead but not much. Given any particular day, if we cut down on the mistakes that we make, we'll be there or thereabouts.'

Meanwhile, a Wexford football side with four defeats from four games played will meet Offaly, also point-less, in their Division 3 league game at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday (2 p.m.).

Paul McLoughlin's young charges have been pushing hard in an effort to end their barren spell, losing out by six points to Longford last Sunday, but they will see this as an ideal opportunity to record their first victory of the campaign.

However, they will be without suspended captain Daithí Waters.

Enniscorthy Guardian