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Monday 18 November 2019

Cryptic Davy will have an eye on Limerick clash

Walsh Cup final, Wexford v Galway, (Enniscorthy, Today, 2.0)

Sean Bleahene (left) in action against Dublin
Sean Bleahene (left) in action against Dublin

No joy for Galway having this game moved to a less arduously-visited venue.

However, there is some respite at least in having it switched to this afternoon to allow greater preparation for the start of this year's National League.

This is the most head-wrecking part of the season for inter-county managers.

And this year, it seems the ranks of the hurling bainisteoir are particularly aggrieved.

Mattie Kenny estimated last week that a whopping 24 players of his current training squad are involved in Fitzgibbon Cup action in close proximity to - and either side of - Dublin's League opener against Carlow next Saturday.

Mícheal Donoghue doesn't have quite the same level of college involvement but he does have a total of seven players club-tied with both St Thomas' and Oranmore, while Joseph Cooney and Johnny Glynn have still to rejoin the panel.

Imposing

For all that, there was a nice mix to the team he brought to Parnell Park last Sunday.

Cathal Mannion's performance in midfield and Joe Canning's majestic match-winning stroke were the highlights but other men stood up too.

Seán Bleahene, who secured Galway's first Leinster Under-21 title with an injury-time goal against Wexford, adds to Donoghue's ranks of physically imposing, sweet ball-striking forwards.

Elsewhere, Jack Fitzpatrick can reflect on an afternoon when, at the very least, he broke even with Liam Rushe in the aerial stakes.

In Bellefield, meanwhile, Davy Fitzgerald was doing his best to make out that we'll see something different from Wexford this season after his latest victory over Kilkenny.

"All I'll say is it will be an interesting year... actually, I mightn't say too much," he said in that typically Davy Fitzgerald way of being explicit while simultaneously attempting to come across as cryptic.

"But it will be interesting as the year goes on, that's all I will say."

He fielded a team much closer to full strength than Brian Cody and the same is likely to be the case this afternoon against Galway.

Against that, Galway host Laois in their first game of the League while Wexford start against All-Ireland champions, Limerick.

It would be no surprise then, if Fitzgerald pulled in the horses today.

Odds: Wexford EVS, Draw 8/1, Galway EVS

Verdict: Galway

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