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Friday 18 August 2017

Wexford to set up clash with Kilkenny

Laois v Wexford (Portlaoise, Tomorrow, 2.0)

Wexford star Lee Chin
Wexford star Lee Chin

LEE Chin's assertion that "Davy's doing what he can" was a little cryptic until he fleshed it out.

"In terms of training, he's only there in spirit, so all we can do is be in contact in any way we can."

So, according to Chin, Fitzgerald is serving his ban to the letter of the law and has not attended training sessions since the league semi-final and his two-match suspension was issued.

And for a manager who has such a hands-on role in every facet of team preparation, that must be a struggle.

June 10th is a date that has been etched into the psyche of Wexford hurling people since Fitzgerald's appointment last year and any failure to reach that date and their expected hosting of Kilkenny would sour what has already been an outrageously successful season so far.

Helpfully, Shaun Murphy is back from injury and is expected to play that sweeping role in which he has excelled for Wexford this spring.

Liam Óg McGovern, Andrew Shore and Shane Tomkins remain on the long-term injury list however, and time is running out for any to be fit enough to contribute against Kilkenny, should things go as expected here.

Laois are in something of a transitional season after the unexpected end of Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett's reign last year.

One of the mainstays of the team, Cahir Healy, may not be fit after suffering serious damage to his right hamstring during Laois's last victory against Meath in the round-robin part of the draw.

Paddy Whelan, meanwhile, is out for the rest of the season with a similar problem, while Ryan Mullaney and Eanna Lyons are also out and leave Laois with a significant deficit of experience.

All Wexford want here is a win of any description.

They know there are no marks for artistic merit and even if there's a strong suspicion they have less scope to improve from their league showing, they have the prospect of goals in their attack and should leave Laois for dead with a couple of early ones.

ODDS: Laois 11/2, Draw 12/1, Wexford 2/15

VERDICT: Wexford

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