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Wexford's Eoin O'Leary pictured ahead of the Bord Gais Energy Leinster Under 20 Hurling Final.
Wexford's Eoin O'Leary pictured ahead of the Bord Gais Energy Leinster Under 20 Hurling Final.

Eoin O'Leary ready for Leinster decider

By Cian O'Connell

Eoin O'Leary has noticed the excitement and sense of anticipation sweeping through Wexford.

Senior and minor provincial glory has already been attained, but now the challenge is to add the Bord Gais Energy Leinster Under 20 crown to the collection.

Another interesting match against neighbours Kilkenny looms with O'Leary relishing the opportunity.

"The minors and seniors are after meeting them now and there is a bit of added pressure on the Under 20s for this Leinster final to deliver," O'Leary admits.

"The Wexford fans will be, not expecting, but feeling optimistic in the home patch. We need to concentrate on our own game and block out that buzz around the county, but at the same time use it to our advantage."

O'Leary is adamant that Wexford are making strides under manager MJ Reck's guidance. "This is my first year at Under 20," O'Leary states. "I was on the minor panel two years ago against Kilkenny where they beat us comfortably.

"There’s a good lot of lads after coming through from minor, there’s new lads on the panel that wouldn’t have been there from minor so they’ve nothing to fear. This is their first big day out, obviously there will be nerves and a bit of pressure but MJ has us well-grounded for Wednesday night."

That such a talented Kilkenny outfit provide the opposition merely adds to the task according to O'Leary. "Even thinking of a couple of names off the top of my head, Adrian Mullen, and I’m in college with a couple of the lads so they’re no strangers to us," O'Leary remarks.

"At the same time, the likes of Adrian, Eoin Cody, Evan Shefflin, Michael Carey, lads are going to be tricky, but when you’re playing the starting backs v starting forwards in training, you’re up against the best.

"A few of them will take watching and it’s going to be a tough night for an awful lot of lads, but we’ll wait until the night, see the match-ups, and take it from there."

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