Tuesday 21 November 2017

We won't let an injury cost us again - Dunne

Wexford manager Liam Dunne
Wexford manager Liam Dunne

Jackie Cahill

LIAM Dunne has vowed that Wexford will never suffer again if one of their players is seriously injured in a big game.

The Model boss was left irate when referee Diarmuid Kirwan allowed play to continue after full-back Tomás Waters crumpled in a heap with cruciate knee ligament damage in extra-time of the All-Ireland hurling qualifier against Clare last July.

Clare picked off two points as Waters received treatment before leaving the field, and Dunne is adamant that Wexford will not be on the receiving end of a similar incident while he in charge.

"It'll never happen again. It cost us maybe, I'm not saying we would have won the game, but it won't happen again," pledged Dunne. "I sort of blame Mark Fanning a little bit, a young goalkeeper in his first year.

"If that had have been (former Wexford goalkeeper) Damien Fitzhenry, he wouldn't have been pucking the ball out with his anchorman down - he would have said to the referee, 'up yours, I'm not hitting that ball out until either he's gone off the field or I've someone in front of me'."

Dunne was reacting to GAA director-general Paraic Duffy's call for the Association to get tough on managers who criticise referees.

The Waters episode was one of three incidents Dunne highlighted where he felt that Wexford were on the receiving end from officials.

He referenced a penalty scored by Cork's Anthony Nash in the 2012 championship, recalling: "I asked Johnny Ryan doing the line one day in Wexford Park why he gave it, he said he'd come back to me but I never heard from him.

"I watched it several times and I don't know how or why he gave it.

TONGUES

"All the talk after the drawn Dublin game in Wexford Park (last summer), nobody mentioned Mark Schutte dropping his hurl and handpassing it to a team-mate to score a goal, and we had them with their tongues hanging at that stage."

Dunne has also called for the expulsion of third-level colleges from the Walsh Cup. He voiced his views after Kilkenny crushed DIT 5-23 to 1-9 in the quarter-finals and Wexford hammered NUI Galway 4-22 to 0-8.

Dunne, present at yesterday's Wexford GAA announcement of a three-year sponsorship deal with Gain Feeds, insisted: "I think the Leinster Council should throw them out of it, they shouldn't be in it.

"With the Leinster inter-county teams there, along with Antrim and Galway, you have a strong enough Walsh Cup anyway."

Despite his reservations about the Walsh Cup, Dunne believes that GAA chiefs have got it right with the format for the Allianz Hurling League.

Dunne has also warned Cork and Clare's potential dual stars that combining both codes for the coming season will be "very difficult".

Lee Chin played senior football and hurling for Wexford last year but has committed to Dunne's squad exclusively for the 2014 campaign. And Dunne is naturally pleased to have the Faythe Harriers powerhouse all to himself.

"Lee made his own decision and this year you have guys from Clare, Offaly and Cork wanting to be dual players. Best of luck to them if they think they can do it," he said.

Cork pair Eoin Cadogan and Aidan Walsh will play both hurling and football this year while Podge and Sean Collins, All-Ireland SHC medallist last year, have confirmed that they will be playing for their father Colm with the Clare footballers also.

When asked if it will be possible for those players to combine the two codes at the highest level, Dunne smiled: "I don't know - I'm not from Clare, Cork or Offaly - but it looks very difficult.

"Lee Chin did his best last year but it's hard enough to serve one master, never mind two.

"The bottom line is that he ended up injured in our game against Clare and he couldn't line out for the footballers as well."

Irish Independent

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