Wicklow seeking double success
Weekend championship action in both codes
Wicklow GAA faces a pivotal double-header this weekend as both the men's football and hurling championships commence.
Joule Park will host Wicklow and Mayo for their Christy Ring Cup opening clash at 3pm on Saturday, while Wicklow footballers travel to Portlaoise at 4pm on Sunday as they look to oust Offaly and collect their first championship victory since 2014.
A meet and greet was organised for both teams at the Ballinakill Centre of Excellence on Friday evening but it produced a demoralising turnout - we have the reaction of county chairman Martin Fitzgerald inside.
Seamus Murphy's men reached the semi-final stage last year before being bested by eventual champions Carlow.
Saturday pits them against Division 2B champions Mayo - a side that got the better of Wicklow in league action in February.
Wicklow captain Warren Kavanagh has said that he is "very, very confident" that 2018 will be the year that sees Wicklow triumph in the Christy Ring Cup.
The Glenealy ace says that they feel "like a horse in the traps...we're waiting to let loose".
His manager Seamus Murphy has also warned his charges that defeat to Mayo will leave them with a mountain to climb and he has called upon the people of Wicklow to flock in their droves to Aughrim and roar their men to success.
Wicklow football captain Seanie Furlong bagged the decisive goal when Wicklow last enjoyed a championship victory in 2014 and the Kiltegan man longs to feel the "virus" that victory can produce.
With his side unable to collect victory in the league, Furlong hopes that arrogance could creep into Offaly's psyche and it would prise the door open for Wicklow to cause an upset.
Furlong also spoke about how he's hoping to use Rathnew's heroic performance against St. Vincent's as motivation to spring a surprise.
For John Evans, anything but victory is unacceptable.
He has no interest in taking a moral victory for a battling performance - he wants to leave Portlaoise with Offaly's scalp and nothing else will do.