Wexford capable of causing an upset in low-scoring encounter
Michael Mulvihill previews the second of the Division 1 semi-finals
Wexford v Kilkenny
Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm Sunday
Joe Canning notched ten points in his first start of 2018, but it wasn’t enough to stop Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford side who gained revenge for last year’s Leinster Final defeat and they will look to book their place in a first League Final since 1993 when they face arch-rivals Kilkenny.
Conor McDonald proved the difference for the Wexford men as he hit 1-2 from play while Lee Chin returned to the starting lineup following his absence in Wexford’s round-five loss to Kilkenny.
The ability of Wexford defenders to attack and take scores from distance has become a hallmark of their game, with half-backs Padraig Foley and Diarmuid O’Keeffe hitting six points from play between them, as well as two long range frees from Foley.
Kilkenny survived a scare against Offaly in their quarter-final but TJ Reid and Walter Walsh once again came to the fore for Brian Cody’s men, hitting 16 points between them as they scraped through to the semi-final by a solitary point.
While Kilkenny have now won four on the bounce, some of their performances have been below par, and that will not be enough against a Wexford side full of confidence.
While Cody’s men will no doubt be stronger come the championship, players such as Colin Fennelly and Richie Hogan, among others, are irreplaceable at this stage of the year.
Goals for Wexford have been at a premium, and they’ve raised a green flag on only four occasions in their six league games. Both teams also failed to find the net when these sides met in round five.
Wexford have shown their ability to score from distance throughout the season, and especially against Galway, and the short confines of Wexford Park means both teams will be happy to take scores from further out the field.
2pts Evs BoyleSports
Under 2.5 goals
2pts 13-10 Paddy Power
Under 1.5 goals
1pt 7-2 BoyleSports