Carlow tonight before trip to lion’s den to face Dubs
WICKLOW’S FOOTBALLERS have their second of three O'Byrne Cup games tonight (Wednesday) when they take on neighbours and rivals Carlow at Bray.
A win would be important as it would set up a showdown in the last match against Dublin in Parnell Park with a semi-final place at stake for both teams.
It is never easy to beat Carlow in any game and it’s going to be no different this time, with the Barrowsiders showing no signs of capitulating against Dublin last Sunday.
Wicklow gave something of a curate's egg performance against DCU at Greystones, and can count themselves somewhat lucky to come away with a draw in the end.
We can expect Carlow to punish any laxness in Wicklow's performance. Against Dublin they showed they are well capable of just that as they came back from being five points down (1-7 to 0-3) after 22 minutes, to cut the margin to just four points at the break.
Beaten by 3-13 to 1-12 in the end, Carlow still kept coming at the Dubs in the second-half and it is obvious that Anthony Rainbow has brought something to the table as their new manager.
Wicklow are going to have a battle on their hands if they are going to go into the last match with Dublin on Sunday at Parnell Park with an outside chance of making the semi-finals.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is for Harry Mur- phy to get something out of the Carlow game as he continues to blood new talent ahead of the start of the league in February.
Winning matches at any time does build up confidence and a head of steam - just what we need as we start a new league phase in the higher Division 3.
Then on Sunday next, Dublin must be the hottest of favourites to win on home soil at Parnell Park. A good performance by Wicklow would be nearly as good as a win, while I seem to remember another occasion some years ago when the Dubs came to Aughrim as firm favourites, but were sent packing with their tail between their legs.
Here's always hoping for a mission impossible.