Saturday 24 March 2018

We can repeat form of last summer, insists McDonald

Wexford’s Conor McDonald
Wexford’s Conor McDonald
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Wexford starlet Conor McDonald expects the knockout nature of this weekend's clash with Cork to bring out the best in his side.

Either the Slaneysiders or the Rebels will see their season come to an end when the sides meet in Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday evening.

And McDonald believes Wexford can hit their best form this weekend, pointing out that it was exactly a year ago that they made the hurling world sit up and take notice when they went to Ennis and drew with the then All-Ireland champions Clare before finishing the job in a replay.

"We've basically played one game after the round-robin which was Westmeath. And because we were beaten by Kilkenny, in my eyes anyway, it doesn't mean the year is over or we're not meeting our potential," McDonald offered.

"It was only this time last year we were actually hitting our potential, it was this weekend coming last year when we played Clare in Cusack Park.

"Everyone was going mad about this Wexford team and the summer isn't over yet, it's only really starting with the nitty gritty and knockout hurling. I think knockout is where we play best and hopefully we'll put it right on Saturday."

Many expected Wexford to deliver a more stern examination of the Cats. McDonald believes basic errors contributed to their downfall and he denied Jack Guiney's exit from the panel had anything to do with their poor performance.

"I don't think it was a distraction, there's 30 other fellas there who were driving on and that was a matter between (manager) Liam (Dunne) and Jack. They came to the conclusion. We were just ready to go play Kilkenny which was the sole focus that week."

McDonald and a handful of other Wexford hurlers are managing two campaigns side by side. As well as running out with the senior side on Saturday, he'll be part of the U-21 team that takes on Kilkenny at home in the Bord Gáis Energy Leinster final next Wednesday. And it's a schedule McDonald loves.

"People have asked that before. We're young so I love to be out hurling every day of the week. Tiredness, fatigue, burnout, it doesn't really come into it for me. It's what you want to do.

"I suppose that's a question for the board, higher than me. I don't mind. We had the game against Offaly three days after being beaten by Kilkenny. It was a great opportunity to put things right."

Irish Independent

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