Lonesharkoy looks ahead to Kilkenny v Wexford and is expecting a comfortable win for the Cats.
Kilkenny vs Wexford
If this season has taught us nothing else so far, it’s that playing three weeks in a row does not end well. So far we’ve had Tipperary, Cork, Offaly and Wexford all try to hurl for a third time in the space of 15 days, and all four counties lost on the handicap – Cork and Tipp secured draws while going in as odds on favourites, Offaly and Wexford lost heavily in home ties when some pundits gave them a puncher’s chance.
Only Offaly have attempted to play a fourth week in a row up to now, and as regular readers of this column will know, that led to our 2/1 winning bet last weekend, as they were well and truly filleted by the Dubs.
Jackie Tyrrell, writing in the Irish Times, suggested that while these counties will go into this game hoping to win and set up a Leinster final clash with Galway, they might find it hard to muster up the inner strength to carry on at their very best if things get tough. That’s entirely reasonable, but doubly so in the case of Wexford, who aren’t coming into this on the back of a week off as the Cats are.
If we start from the basis of saying that all things being equal, Kilkenny are a fraction ahead of Wexford, even then 4/9 looks wrong. The fatigue factor is huge, and while people like to talk of venues like Aughrim and Parnell Park as “fortresses”, Nowlan Park and Wexford Park are far bigger factors in results. It was a huge swing in Wexford’s favour last year, and it will favour Kilkenny strongly tomorrow as well. It’s not the bet of the week, but 11/10 about Kilkenny minus four looks like a solid play, as there’s every chance Wexford will fade out in the latter stages of this one.
Kilkenny (-4pts) at 11/10 with Paddy Power and BetVictor