Dublin likely to score what is necessary to get through Wexford challenge

Anthony Daly sticks with John McCaffrey and Conal Keaney

The experienced John McCaffrey lines out in midfield for Dublin against Wexford at Wexford Park this evening.

The experienced John McCaffrey lines out in midfield for Dublin against Wexford at Wexford Park this evening.

 

Signs of changed times in Leinster with Wexford fulfilling the less-than-glamorous role of ideal opponents for a fragile Dublin: tricky enough to focus the mind but, equally, unlikely to beat them.

Neither county is particularly buoyant at present. Wexford have completed a downbeat league campaign in which they were never in danger of relegation but at the same time never threatened promotion.

One experienced observer in the county said yesterday that what he most regretted about the current situation was the loss of confidence amongst players and public.

Had Wexford gone for it against an experimental Dublin in the Walsh Cup final they might have won but instead the winners pulled away.

Interestingly the biggest contribution on the scoreboard that day was from Paul Ryan, with 0-12, 10 off placed balls, who doesn’t start today according to the announced team.

There’s always been a wish to try and get more from Ryan in open play although if there’s any sign of distress on the dead-ball front he’ll presumably make a swift appearance.

Dublin’s year has been mixed. The Walsh Cup was a good start and the quick exit from Division One B even better but the punishment beating by Tipperary in the league semi-final can’t have helped morale, as they try to put last year’s wretched championship behind them.

Anthony Daly sticks with John McCaffrey and Conal Keaney, both of whom had indifferent days during the spring, and will be hoping that the good weather brings on their unquestioned hurling capacity.

At home Wexford have in recent times drifted from ‘being dangerous’ to, ‘can be hard to beat’.

Certainly in the league Dublin didn’t encounter either threat in what was possibly Liam Dunne’s team’s worst performance of the campaign.

There’s likely to be plenty of smoke and mirrors in respect of the selections but the Dublin defence looks sufficiently steady to hold their opponents and prevent the sort of turned-to-11 opening that could unhinge their own confidence as well as critically lift Wexford’s.

At the back Keith Rossiter is likely to start, which will benefit Wexford but Dublin have good options on the bench and are likely to score whatever is necessary to get through this tricky assignment.