Busy week­end for the Gar­den County


Bray People - - Sport - Mark KENNEDY

WICK­LOW FACE into a busy week­end on the GAA front with three im­por­tant in­ter-county matches to be de­cided in­clud­ing their first Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship fix­ture. Mick O’Dwyer’s men come to their sec­ond league match at home to Water­ford (Satur­day) on the back of vi­tal draw with Antrim in their open­ing league fix­ture at Case­ment Park.

It was cru­cially im­por­tant that Wick­low’s foot­ballers get a re­sult from Belfast if they are chal­lenge for pro­mo­tion from the base­ment fourth divi­sion and a draw with Antrim did just that.

Water­ford should be less for­mi­da­ble op­po­nents than Antrim but nev­er­the­less Micko’s men can­not af­ford to take their foot off the gas, lapse into com­pla­cency, or they will find them­selves pay­ing a heavy penalty.

Wick­low’s U-21 foot­ballers are the first team to taste Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship action on Sun­day and the fact that they have to travel into Long­ford’s den is not go­ing to make their job of grind­ing out a re­sult any eas­ier.

Philip McGilly­cuddy has put his charges through a stren­u­ous train­ing pro­gramme in re­cent weeks and the fact that the re­ward for winning will be home venue for all re­main­ing cham­pi­onship matches in Le­in­ster should be a huge in­cen­tive for Wick­low to go for it.

Michael ‘Titch’ Phe­lan has his first com­pet­i­tive game in charge of Wick­low’s se­nior hurlers on Sun­day next when they kick off their divi­sion three league cam­paign against Ar­magh at Ark­low.

Set­ting out his stall for the year, which in­cludes good runs in both the league and Christy Ring Cup, Michael Phe­lan has put his play­ers through a rig­or­ous train­ing sched­ule over the last fort­night and he has in­tro­duced a num­ber of new play­ers to the squad.

Af­ter their heavy de­feat of 4-21 to 1-5 to West­meath in the Ke­hoe Cup, the hurlers should have made ap­pre­cia­ble strides for­ward over the last fort­night, enough of an im­prove­ment we hope to be good enough to ac­count for the Or­chard County men and get their league cam­paign off to a winning start.

Three Wick­low wins at the week­end would be just right re­sult all round.

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