Wexford next up for Limerick hurlers

Aaron Gillane in action against Tommy Doyle of Westmeath last Sunday.

ON THE back of three straight wins – over Clare, Galway, and Westmeath – Limerick are on the brink of qualification for the semi-finals of the National Hurling League.

Next up for John Kiely’s side is a visit from Wexford to the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday. The game throws-in (1.45pm) as a curtain-raiser to the National Football League clash between Limerick and Kildare (3.45pm). 

It’s been a long while since both flagship county teams have been billed together, and certainly an age since the three-in-a-row champions have been on the undercard. 

Wexford will be no push-over, evidence of which was in their narrow loss to Cork at the weekend. 

“We actually owned that game for long periods but didn’t hurt Cork enough on the scoreboard. That’s ultimately what cost us,” reflected Wexford manager Darragh Egan to waiting reporters at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. 

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In Mullingar, Limerick manager John Kiely expressed his satisfaction with the routine win over Westmeath. 

He commented: “It was very pleasing to get Mike (Casey), Diarmaid (Byrnes), and Aaron (Gillane) back. They are very important members of our group.”

He added that captain Declan Hannon is back to full fitness and Gearóid Hegarty was rested as a precaution after twinging an ankle in training. 

Kiely told Live 95: “We’re in good shape, very, very few issues injury wise. It’s a healthy place at the moment, very competitive. I think the next six weeks are going to be very competitive within the group and I’m looking forward to those next six weeks to see where the boys can drive themselves in terms of that competitiveness, and our performances.”

Into the reckoning of late have come the likes of Jamie Power (goalkeeper), Fergal O’Connor, Ronan Connolly, Cathal O’Neill, and 21-year-old Donnacha Ó Dálaigh, who hit five points from play in the midlands. 

Elsewhere in Division 1A on Sunday, Galway are fancied to win at Westmeath while Clare and Cork is likely to be a tight affair at Cusack Park, Ennis (1.45pm).  

Tipperary, Waterford, and Kilkenny are in a three-way tussle to emerge from Division 1B.