Chin expecting a stiff test against 'impressive' Kilkenny
By John Harrington
Saturday’s Leinster SHC showdown between Wexford and Kilkenny has a recent reference point.
Five weeks ago the teams met in the Allianz League and Kilkenny scored a decisive victory, winning by 2-27 to 0-23.
It was the first time since Davy Fitzgerald took charge of Wexford that Kilkenny seemed to have figured out a way to open them up, and in the aftermath of the match former Kilkenny star Henry Shefflin suggested the result would give the Cats a lot of confidence ahead of a potential championship meeting with their neighbours.
That match has now come around, so will Kilkenny be able to once again show they now have the tactical flexibility to pick apart Wexford?
Lee Chin admits the Slaneysiders were very much second-best when the teams met in the League and has been impressed by the form Kilkenny have shown so far this year, but he’s confident too that Wexford will meet them head on.
“Kilkenny were in my opinion the most impressive team throughout the league,” said Chin yesterday at the launch of a new baseline concussion testing and treatment programme launched by the GAA, GPA, and UPMC.
“They had some great performances, looked very strong. You can tell with the way they're playing at the moment, they're playing with a lot of freedom and a lot of confidence as well. Look, they didn't finish top of our league for no reason either. They put in some really good performances. This week is going to be a very, very good test.
“Just regarding ourselves, we're happy that we get another opportunity to play Kilkenny. In the league, we probably didn't really hurl very well on the particular day. Not taking away from Kilkenny, they actually did hurl very well on the day.
“And it was a performance that summed up their league. I thought they were very good in the league. I thought they were very impressive. We're just going to prepare well during the week, we're going to recover from last weekend, and just go into this weekend and attack.”
Chin’s generation of Wexford players certainly won’t fear Kilkenny. He captained a Wexford U-21 team to victory over Kilkenny in the 2013 Leinster Final, and as a senior player has beaten them more often than not in League and Championship hurling.
“Yeah, I think over the couple of years of underage, particularly maybe U21, Wexford have a decent record in that grade,” he says.
“But I suppose at senior level, it's been nip and tuck the last number of years. We've had some really great battles, and a lot of the games have been tight.
“It's been two or three points going to either side, either Kilkenny's way or our way, really, really stiff contests.”