Tuesday 24 April 2018

Chin leading Model rising as focus turns to quarter-final redemption

The writing was on the wall for Liam Dunne’s side but Chin thought differently. Picture: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
The writing was on the wall for Liam Dunne’s side but Chin thought differently. Picture: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Michael Verney

Wexford have risen from the ashes and resurrected a potentially disastrous summer with Lee Chin guiding them through the darkness in typically defiant fashion.

When Daniel Kearney's goal edged Cork ahead in the closing minutes, having trailed by six at half-time, the writing was on the wall for Liam Dunne's side but Chin thought differently.

The 23-year-old took control of the game, showing experience beyond his years to hit the levelling score, one of four inspirational points, before driving them over the line.

"When that happened, I looked to the ground and I thought, 'There's something going to have to happen here, we're going to have to get the next score, if we don't I think it's going to be over. It's game over,'" he said.

The Faythe Harriers dynamo described his "lucky" point during those game-changing minutes with typical modesty before outlining his team's burgeoning self-belief.

"It's just another signal of our mental toughness and where we are. Last week (against Offaly) with the penalty goal not going our way, and today a goal going in on us. And we went a point down and we pulled it back.

"That's the thing, that's all in the head. I think our mental toughness at the moment is making improvements every day we go out and play, this proves it."

Confidence was low after an "awful" performance against Dublin in May, when Chin was unavailable through injury, but time has been a great healer for him and his side.

"I knew it since Friday! Yeah, I did. We did. We believed it. We believed we were going to put in a performance," he said.

"We've been in this position before when we came up here not really believing in ourselves but I think in the last six weeks we've really turned it around.

"We started gaining a bit of confidence. We've accepted that some lads weren't around with injuries and stuff, and we got a bit of momentum.

"We got the win against Offaly then last week, which was great for us … they beat us by nine points in the league, we beat them by nine points last week, that's an 18-point turnaround.

"So we knew we were making improvements and we came up here knowing that we were in the game from the very first minute. From the throw-in we knew we were going to be in it.

"We've put a lot of work in, and the boys drilled a lot of belief and confidence into us, and that paid off."

Chin is fast becoming the heart and soul of Wexford hurling and reaching the last six, where they meet Waterford, means "absolutely everything" while it also offers the Model men a shot at redemption for a 24-point quarter-final battering by Limerick two years ago.

"To get a win like that and get back to an All-Ireland quarter-final and try and redeem ourselves is huge for us. We want to redeem ourselves after that day." he finished.

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