Kilkenny welcome Wexford to Nolan Park on Sunday for the third round of the Allianz National Hurling League. In previous seasons this would have been one of the ties of the round, but this weekend, anything less than an easy win for the hosts will be a surprise.
The visitors are nowhere near the force they once were and have struggled in the league to date. Galway destroyed the Yellow Bellies in round one, and Colm Bonnar’s side could only manage to score 0-6 in the entire game. While they did show some improvement against Waterford last time, it was still not good enough, and it looks like the county are set for a quick return to the second division.
The last thing Wexford would have wanted this weekend was a trip to Nowlan Park to take on one of the top sides in the country. While, the side have traditionally raised their game for an encounter with the cats, it is very difficult to see Wexford take anything away from Sunday’s game. The best that can be hoped for is an encouraging performance that leave the side with something to build on going forward.
Kilkenny have made a slow start to the season, almost throwing away a huge lead against Cork, before losing out to Dublin in the Walsh Cup Final last weekend. Brian Cody’s side were 15 points down at one stage of that game before the manager introduced Eddie Brennan and Aidan Fogarty who steadied the ship and helped the cats stage a remarkable fightback.
A home tie against Wexford will be welcome for Cody, as it should give his side a chance to get their season back on track and help them advance to the latter stages of the competition. For Wexford it will be little more than a damage limitation exercise.