Wick­low are aim­ing for dou­ble suc­cess Hurlers and Un­der-21 foot­ballers are in action at the week­end

Bray People - - Sport - Mark KENNEDY

WICK­LOW AND Laois face up to each other for a third year in a row in the Le­in­ster U-21 foot­ball cham­pi­onship when the coun­ties meet at Aughrim on Sun­day.

And the score stands at one win apiece, so Sun­day’s rub­ber will be some­thing of a de­cider be­tween the present squads of U-21 play­ers.

Philip McGilly­cuddy’s men come to this game on the back of a 1-11 to 2-6 win over Long­ford in the first round, which should be a boost, but they can ex­pect Laois to come to Aughrim with all guns blaz­ing on Sun­day, seek­ing re­venge for last year’s hu­mil­i­at­ing 1-11 to 0-3 drub­bing.

One thing Wick­low will need to guard against is over­con­fi­dence as a re­sult of their away win over a Long­ford team that was highly rated and fan­cied af­ter do­ing well in the Hast­ings Cup.

Such over-con­fi­dence is not mer­ited. It must be re­mem­bered that they only tri­umphed over Long­ford with two late points by Paul Cun­ning­ham and Cathal McNi­cholas, and they must also bear in mind that last year’s first round win over Laois was fol­lowed by de­feat to Wex­ford.

As they ap­proach Sun­day’s game, Wick­low feet must be kept firmly on the ground, con­scious that a step up in per­for­mance from the Long­ford match will be re­quired if they are to beat Laois.

Home venue will be an ad­van­tage to Wick­low and they can win and ad­vance fur­ther in this cham­pi­onship, but only if they ap­proach the game in the right frame of mind.

Over in Ark­low, Michael ‘Titch’ Phe­lan’s hurlers will be in action in the na­tional hurl­ing league and, even though Mayo are their sec­ond round op­po­nents, victory is not a given. The men from Con­naught have made great strides in hurl­ing in re­cent years, some­thing that Wick­low are all too well aware of from last year when Mayo dumped them out of the Christy Ring Cup as a re­sult of a 3-18 to 1-22 de­feat at Ark­low.

Kilkenny man Michael ‘Titch’ Phe­lan has just taken charge of Wick­low’s hurlers this year and he is in the process of build­ing a new team.

They only lost their open­ing league match to a late Kil­dare win­ner by Paul Fitzger­ald, which should give a re­al­is­tic hope that the hurlers could well join the U-21 foot­ballers in pre­sent­ing Wick­low with a wel­come present of a dou­ble victory on Sun­day.

Wick­low’s Ni­amh Cole­man gets her shot away be­fore Kilkenny’s Ly­dia Phe­lan's chal­lenge dur­ing their Na­tional Foot­ball League Divi­sion 3 match.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.