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