Wexford went on to beat Offaly in the Leinster final in 2004 to take their first provincial crown in seven years. But a year on Kilkenny are raging hot favorites to regain their provincial title. Three weeks ago the Cats scored six goals and 28 points against Offaly in the semifinal and two months earlier they hammered Wexford by 30 points in the National League at Nowlan Park.
Kilkenny seem to have a never-ending supply of good hurlers coming through. Manager Brian Cody, who has been working off a squad of 32, has just dropped seven players from the panel. Out go the Coogan brothers, Jimmy and Ken, James Fitzpatrick, Sean Dowling, John Maher, Colin Herity and Willie O’Dwyer. Into the squad for Sunday come Cody’s son Donncha, who has been doing well with All-Ireland club champions James Stephens’, Mick Fennelly from Shamrocks and Tullaroan’s Stephen Maher.
Wexford’s biggest worry is dual star Redmond Barry, who is also due to line out for the footballers in the second round of the qualifiers on Saturday evening. The Wexford County Board are hoping to reschedule the football fixture. Kilkenny are unlikely to score six goals again on Sunday, but they should be much too strong for their great rivals and neighbors from the South East.
It will be an all-seated Leinster hurling final as Hill 16 will not be open. The Hill was the location for the stage during U2’s three concerts last weekend and work on demolishing the stage will not be completed in time for Sunday’s final. Already Wexford are moaning that their fans will have to pay