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Michael Duignan: Wexford can lower Banner in hurling qualifier replay

Updated: Friday, 11 Jul 2014 17:49 | Comments

Wexford and Clare will battle it out again for the right to meet Waterford in the next round of the qualifiers
Wexford and Clare will battle it out again for the right to meet Waterford in the next round of the qualifiers

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RTÉ analyst Michael Duignan believes Wexford can make home advantage count in their All-Ireland SHC Round 1 replay against Clare on Saturday.

Last weekend in Ennis, the sides could not be separated after extra-time, though the common view afterwards was that the Slaneysiders had more than enough chances to win the game in regulation time.

As for the All-Ireland champions, it's fair to say that they have not found their groove so far this term.

They still carry the favourites tag heading to Wexford Park on Saturday evening but Michael Duignan believes that Wexford have more going for them and that they can reap the benefits on their home patch.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "Wexford look to be on the up and up.

"Wexford's use of the ball in the drawn game was excellent" - Michael Duignan

"The main discussion has been about Clare and how jaded they looked last weekend in Ennis. It took tremendous heart, more than anything, to keep them in the game.

"On the plus side for them, I thought Conor McGrath was outstanding, scoring 1-05. Tony Kelly scored 0-04. 

"Wexford's use of the ball in the drawn game was excellent. They were full of running up front.

"Liam Óg McGovern, in particular, has been outstanding. In the U-21 final the other night, Conor McDonald gave another exhibition. He’s only 18; an outstanding talent. I’m expecting another big game from him and from Wexford.

With the home crowd behind them, I think a surprise (of sorts) is on the cards and I think Wexford will do it."  

In the weekend's other qualifier game in hurling, Duignan has no hesitation in saying that Tipperary will overcome Offaly.

The sides meet at O'Moore Park in Portlaoise on Saturday, throw-in 7pm.

"There is only going to be one result here - a Tipperary win," revealed Duignan.

"Tipp looked dead and buried against Galway but they fond the form they’ve been looking for in the last few years in the second half.

"Their forward line was on fire – Noel McGrath and Seamus Callanan in particular."

As for Offaly. it's a bleak scenario, according to Duignan, who won two All-Ireland hurling titles for the county as a player.

"Offaly are at a low," he added.

!I was at the minor match (Offaly badly beaten by Dublin in Leinster football semi-final) and it was terribly disappointing. We really are soul-searching at the moment with everthing - in hurling and football

!For a great county to be gone where we are - well that's another day's work."     

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