independent

Sunday 25 August 2019

Purple and gold hordes set to descend on Croker on July 28

Wexford's All-Ireland Senior hurling semi-final has been scheduled for Croke Park on Sunday, July 28, with a 3.30 p.m. start.

It will be a hugely attractive double-header for Model county supporters as the Minor hurlers will play their semi-final clash beforehand.

Kilkenny, Galway and Clare are playing a mini three-game series to determine the two remaining semi-finalists, with the Cats beating the Banner county by seven points on Saturday.

And having already played Kilkenny in the provincial final, it looks most likely that the Minors will face Galway who are favourites to emerge from this play-off section.

In addition, Wexford will have an opportunity to make a clean sweep of provincial hurling titles when they entertain arch-rivals, Kilkenny, in the Leinster Under-20 final at Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday next, July 17.

Wexford saw off Offaly in the provincial semi-final with an impressive second-half performance. Offaly had defeated Westmeath and Carlow before shocking Dublin in the quarter-final, a run of victories that - coupled with Wexford's double three days earlier - helped swell the attendance at the midlands venue to close to 6,000.

Wexford will know their semi-final opponents next Sunday, with Tipperary facing shock team Laois in the All-Ireland quarter-final, a pairing that few, even those inside the O'Moore county, expected despite their Joe McDonagh Cup success of seven days earlier.

Laois looked hugely impressive in the manner which they disposed of Westmeath in the Joe McDonagh Cup final, form which they took into the preliminary quarter-final at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, on Sunday where they caused the first huge shock of the current championship campaign with their dismissal of hot favourites Dublin (1-22 to 0-23).

This was a game that Dublin were expected to coast through, but Eddie Brennan's Laois side had other ideas, as they led their opponents for most of the game before emerging with a 1-22 to 0-23 victory, which led to a memorable after-match atmosphere at the home venue.

Following their Leinster final victory over Kilkenny, Wexford have now put celebrations to one side, having returned to training last Thursday evening, with preparations continuing over the weekend.

There are no fresh injury concerns in the Wexford camp, but it's not yet clear if they will follow through with a further appeal relating to the two-match ban handed down to Aidan Nolan.

One of the incidents leading to the extra game ban occurred during the Fenway Classic, a game which many believe should not be taken into consideration as it was not played under G.A.A. rules.

Gorey Guardian

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