Joe Canning: Wexford’s decline poses a big problem for the Leinster championship

4 days ago 7

The Leinster title that Galway joined astatine the commencement of my playing vocation was a antithetic beast to the 1 we’ve witnessed this season.

In Galway’s 2nd year, 2010, we drew with Offaly successful the Leinster semi-final and lone bushed them by a constituent successful the replay. A twelvemonth aboriginal Dublin knocked america out. The twelvemonth aft that we won it for the archetypal time, but we’ve lone won it a mates of times since – contempt being favourites oregon 2nd favourites each year.

The constituent is that for astir of those years the contention had depth. Kilkenny and Galway would beryllium seen arsenic the beforehand runners, but each twelvemonth they would beryllium looking implicit their shoulders astatine Dublin and Wexford, braced for what was coming. In my playing vocation Dublin gave america atrocious trouble.

I ever recovered playing against Dublin difficult. We ne'er got thing casual and I hated going to Parnell Park, nary substance what it was, Walsh Cup, league oregon championship. Dublin eliminated america from the title connected scoring quality connected that celebrated nighttime successful Parnell successful 2019. The adjacent clip the teams met successful the championship, 2 years later, Dublin won again.

This mightiness dependable similar a huffy statistic, but Galway person ne'er beaten Dublin successful the title successful Croke Park. People were wondering wherefore Michael Donoghue wanted to play Dublin’s location games against Wexford and Galway successful Croke Park, but helium would person been precise alert of a statistic similar that.

Dublin won’t fearfulness Galway successful Croke Park connected Sunday. I cognize that from experience. They mightiness beryllium down astir 10 players from past year, but it mightiness springiness them adjacent much of a cause.

But successful the circular robin format you request astatine slightest 4 teams threatening each different for a spot successful the final, oregon for the 3rd qualifying spot. Munster has that dynamic but Leinster has mislaid it.

Dublin were lone beaten by six points successful Nowlan Park past weekend, but they didn’t look similar winning astatine immoderate signifier successful the 2nd fractional and Derek Lyng wasn’t that blessed with his team’s show afterwards. Kilkenny expected to triumph and they expected to play better.

To marque definite of their spot successful adjacent year’s Leinster title they request to bushed Kilkenny connected Sunday and I can’t spot that happening.

Whatever past says, Galway volition expect to bushed Dublin connected Sunday, solely based connected this season’s signifier lines. Galway, though, person wounded worries. There are doubts astir Cathal Mannion and Brian Concannon and they are 2 immense players. It’s hard to regenerate leaders similar that. Others volition person to basal up.

The large occupation for Leinster is Wexford’s decline. To marque definite of their spot successful adjacent year’s Leinster title they request to bushed Kilkenny connected Sunday and I can’t spot that happening. They mightiness enactment with them for 40 oregon 50 minutes, but that volition beryllium the tallness of it.

If they lose, they’ll beryllium depending for their lives connected Westmeath beating Antrim successful Mullingar but I’m not truthful definite that effect volition enactment retired for them either. It’s going to beryllium hard for Westmeath to mentally get up for that crippled truthful soon aft making specified a monolithic effort successful Wexford Park past play and Antrim could instrumentality vantage of that.

I cognize it’s lone 12 months since Wexford bushed Kilkenny successful Nowlan Park, but Kilkenny are a amended squad now, with a deeper panel. The large question is however Wexford tin person fallen truthful acold successful a year?

I wonderment if this radical of players person moved connected decently from the 5 years they had nether Davy Fitzgerald. It was ever going to beryllium a immense situation for Darragh Egan coming successful aft a manager who has specified a large property and who seemed to person a large narration with those players.

After 1 season, erstwhile it looked similar Davy mightiness permission them, 10 oregon 12 of them reportedly drove down to his location successful Clare to beg him to stay. A clump of those Wexford players were astatine Davy’s wedding. There seemed to beryllium a existent enslaved there.

Daragh Egan: had an unenviable occupation pursuing Davy Fitzerald arsenic Wexford coach. The Clare antheral seemed to person developed a heavy enslaved with the players. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Davy’s teams besides person a precise chiseled benignant of play that would person been drilled into Wexford implicit that five-year period, and it was going to beryllium hard for Egan to travel successful and enactment his ain stamp connected it. They believed successful Davy’s tactics; I’m not truthful definite they judge successful Egan’s, and that’s not needfully his fault.

Whatever the reason, they’re not successful a bully spot now. Relegation would beryllium a catastrophe for Wexford and it would person a earnestly antagonistic interaction connected the Leinster championship. The content that Kilkenny and Galway person already pulled distant from each the different teams successful Leinster would beryllium adjacent harder to reason with successful 12 months’ time.

It’s not their fault. It’s up to each the different teams to person their houses successful bid and get up to the required standard. In the agelong run, you wonderment what it volition mean for Galway and Kilkenny arsenic All-Ireland contenders successful the remainder of this year’s championship. Would they person wanted person matches successful the circular robin series, oregon are they conscionable arsenic blessed to get retired of Leinster without having to termination themselves?

In Munster, the margins person been tiny successful astir of the games and each squad has been going level out. You wonderment what toll that volition instrumentality connected them down the road. It was evident erstwhile Clare got to the All-Ireland semi-final past twelvemonth that they didn’t person overmuch near successful the vessel and that’s the hazard for the squad that loses the Munster final.

Not lone person you travel retired of a pugnacious circular robin series, you indispensable past woody with the disappointment of losing a Munster final, aft different earnestly draining match, and look into a quarter-final. The Munster champions, successful contrast, get a period off. Apart from winning the title, those other weeks of remainder are a immense prize for the Munster winners.

For each the teams who played past play and who person thing connected the enactment this weekend, this week volition beryllium each astir recovering mentally. In presumption of hard carnal activity, they volition beryllium doing adjacent to thing successful training. Every intercounty squad present has adept spot and conditioning radical who volition grip their carnal recovery, but getting the caput caller again is simply a antithetic challenge.

I can’t spot Wexford recovering good capable to prevention themselves against Kilkenny. Too overmuch harm has been done implicit the past fewer weeks. Looking backmost implicit the play what performance, successful the league oregon the championship, tin they instrumentality encouragement from? Whether they enactment up oregon spell down volition yet beryllium retired of their hands I deliberation and that’s a horrible presumption to beryllium in.

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