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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Wexford fancied to cause upset on home soil

All-Ireland champions Galway are worth taking on

Wexford star Paudie Foley
1 of 1

Wexford v Galway
TG4, 3pm Saturday

Wexford welcome All-Ireland Champions Galway to Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday afternoon, as Davy Fitzgerald’s men bid to continue the strong form which saw them finish third in Division 1A level after three wins.

Following a strong 2017 which led them to a first Leinster final since 2008, Wexford have made further strides, and it’s clear they have targeted the league this year, playing a strong team throughout the campaign. 

Galway have rested many of their stars throughout the league with hurler of the year Joe Canning making his first appearance off the bench in their round-five defeat at home to Limerick.

The manner of that loss will be a huge worry for Micheal Donoghue, as his side led by eight points at half-time, so they will be keen to put that loss behind them with a big performance against a side they dispatched with ease in the Leinster final last year.

Galway are deserved one-point favorites heading into this tie, but this is a chance for Wexford to lay down a marker, and in front of a strong and passionate home crowd, take a chance on Davy Fitzgerald’s men taking something from this game.

Wexford +1 
1pt Evs general

Na Piarsaigh v Cuala
TG4, 5.30pm Saturday 

Eighty minutes at Croke Park was not enough to separate 2016 champions Na Piarsaigh and 2017 victors Cuala last week in an All Ireland club hurling final that lived up to its billing.

The Limerick side looked to have reclaimed the Tommy Moore Cup as they led by three points entering the final seconds of normal time, but Cuala fired in a 21-yard line free to earn extra-time.

The sides traded scores in that period and must now do it all over again on Saturday in Portlaoise.

Both sides had their dominant patches in the frist game, with Na Piarsaigh flooding the defence and full-back Mike Casey did well to curtail the efforts of Dublin star Con O’Callaghan.

That left both teams outnumbered in the forward lines but it Cuala dominated the scoring from further out early on as some wayward shooting let down the Na Piarsaigh effort.

Cuala took the lead early in the second half and looked on top before Na Piarsaigh switched to a man-on-man policy which paid dividends. The Limerick side dominated the remainder of the game, but a three- point lead going into injury time was not enough to finish the job.

There’s no doubt going into the replay that it will be the Limerick side that will feel they left the game behind them, as they looked the stronger outfit throughout, and the return of Conor Boylan and Tommy Grimes will aide a Na Piarsaigh side who looked stretched for depth late in the contest.

If Na Piarsaigh can once again nullify the threat of Con O’Callaghan and improve their shot-selection, they should be well capable of winning the Tommy Moore Cup for the second time in three years.

Na Piarsaigh
2pts Evs Betfair
Na Piarsaigh -2
1pt 6-4 general

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The manner of that defeat will be a huge worry for Micheal Donoghue
E.W. Terms
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