GAA: Slaneyside Skipper Set for Another Cat Burglary; LEINSTER HURLING FINAL: KILKENNY V WEXFORD JACOB TO MICK TITLE

Article excerpt

Byline: By JACKIE CAHILL

WEXFORD skipper Mick Jacob believes his side is capable of another smash and grab raid against Kilkenny in Sunday's Guinness Leinster hurling final.

Jacob famously blocked down Peter Barry before crashing home a winning goal in last year's semi-final between the two sides.

Although Kilkenny will start as red-hot favourites to exact a heavy revenge, Jacob insisted that there won't be much in it at the finish.

The Oulart-the-Ballagh clubman said: "We always expect a charge from Kilkenny - they're a very strong team, the best in the country over the last number of years.

"They completely blew us away in the league earlier this year and they're the form team in the country, but form goes out the window when Wexford meet Kilkenny and there's usually very little between the teams.

"Last year, we got a bit of luck. My goal was lucky and Damien Fitzhenry made a great save from Henry Shefflin.

"But you need a bit of luck to win any game. We had no luck in 2002 when we were beaten by two points in the Leinster final against Kilkenny," Jacob recalled.

His last-gasp goal in last year's clash is sure to be replayed and relived over and over again before Sunday.

It gets better and better with each viewing but Jacob smiled modestly: "Pot luck, just lucky.

"Peter was unlucky, I just blocked him down and thankfully the ball hopped up nicely close to goal. I turned and hit it, hoped for the best and it went in."

Wexford went on to beat Offaly in a Leinster final but were hammered by Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final.

John Conran departed as manager, paving the way for former U-21 boss Seamus Murphy to take over. The transition hasn't been as smooth as many had hoped.

Larry Murphy retired and Paul Codd did likewise when it appeared that there was plenty of hurling left in him.

Darragh Ryan, Adrian Fenlon, Rory McCarthy and Tomas Mahon all struggled with injury this year.

Darren Stamp is out for at least another month and young Nigel Higgins is unhappy after being let go by Murphy prior to Sunday's game.

Higgins had struggled to make training in recent weeks after setting up his own business and was disappointed that a compromise wasn't reached. …