Jackie Tyrrell expects authoritative Wexford to ruffle some feathers in the All-Ireland series after their momentum-building Leinster SHC win over Kilkenny.
Having drawn with Westmeath in the penultimate round, Wexford travelled to UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday knowing that it was win or bust for their season – and they produced a performance laced with grit as they headed for home with the 1-22 to 1-18 win that booked their ticked in the All-Ireland series.
Speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, four-time All-Star Tyrrell saw something in the Model camp that suggests that they can be a test for anyone, even if they did miss out on a provincial final spot.
"I'd like to get the sense from them after that performance that there’s a leadership group there with Lee Chin, Liam Ryan, maybe Rory O’Connor, that they sense that there might be an opportunity to do something here.
"How many teams have come to Kilkenny, put it up to Kilkenny for 50, 55 minutes and kind of fall away? If that game had gone on and on there was only going to be one winner.
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"Wexford believed that they were going to win, there was authority to their play, they reacted to the crowd. I just felt that this was a kind of a drawing (a line) in the sand performance. 'Not today’, they weren’t losing to Kilkenny and they wanted to make third at a very minimum.
"I do think it could be the springboard, they could have a real cut at someone and they’re dangerous opponents."
Lee Chin top-scored with nine points as Kilkenny lost to Wexford in the championship for the first time on home soil. Tyrrell was excited by what he saw from the Faythe Harriers clubman.
"Lee Chin, you speak about peak performances and all that - he was probably injured earlier in season - he looks buoyant, he looks fresh, he looks game.
"They’ve probably landed on their best team now and they’re going to be a serious proposition for anyone."
The viral moment of the game came via Wexford's Damien Reck who made a stunning goal-line stop and clearance when his side led by three points late on.
Reck stretched his hurl brilliantly to deny TJ Reid from hitting to the empty net, and with the Kilkenny player and team-mate Billy Ryan converging on the loose rebound, Reck showed immense calmness to flick the sliotar up and win his free – something that Tyrell loved.
"The best part about Damien Reck’s block...he just makes an unbelievable block from TJ Reid to prevent a certain goal, he’s on his knees and he rises the ball in the square as if he’s on a beach in the Bahamas."
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