Successive Leinster Senior Hurling Championship draws have kept Laois and Wexford apart since 2005, and there’ll be massive interest in this contest at O’Moore Park on Sunday.
Laois GAA received a boost last Sunday with the footballers’ big win over Longford and the hurlers would love to build on their impressive recent form by pulling off a shock victory against Wexford.
But there’s no disputing that the Slaney-siders will pose a more stringent test than the three teams they encountered, and defeated, in the round-robin phase.
Looking back at league form, Wexford beat Laois by 2-24 to 2-20 on 26th March on their way to topping the group and followed-up with a quarter-final victory over Kilkenny. Laois edged out Kerry in a relegation play-off and, since then, defeated Westmeath, Meath and Kerry in the championship.
Team captain, Ross King and his midfield colleague Paddy Purcell – who hit a hat-trick of goals against Meath – have been sensational so far, while Cha Dwyer and Ciaran Collier have been rock-solid also.
Eamonn Kelly moved to the manager’s role in Laois after only one season at the helm in Offaly and has steadied the ship after an unsatisfactory 2016 for the O’Moore County.
Three wins out of three will have given them great heart, but Wexford are also enjoying a resurgence under Davy Fitzgerald, and with Matthew O’Hanlon, Lee Chin, Conor McDonald and Diarmuid O’Keeffe leading the charge, they are anticipating an exciting summer.
The winners of this quarter-final will meet Kilkenny on 10th June.