IN a radio interview prior to Saturday’s Leinster SHC quarter-final, Wexford manager Liam Dunne, who donned the Maor Foirne bib on this occasion, declared, “I’m in this (job) because I firmly believe it’s the place to be. Ollie Baker is the manager of Offaly — deep down, how badly does he really want that job? He’s a Clare man. It’s part of what we are, it’s part of who I am.”
And you can be fairly sure that Dunne’s words were used as motivational fodder as when Offaly skipper David Kenny was asked post-match about Baker and his side-kick, coach Alan Cunningham, he stated, “For a Clare man to come up here and bring that pride and passion it’s great to see. He got more animated on the line more than anyone. Thank God we got the win in the end.”
Offaly were left clinging on for dear life but the most important thing is that they laid the ghost of not beating Wexford in the provincial championship since 2000 rest.
Baker concurred. “We got out of jail,” said the 1995 and ‘97 All-Ireland medal winner with the ‘Banner County’.
He revealed, “When Wexford got that 21m free at the end, it was just coming back to us the nightmare we had down in the Wexford Park earlier on in the year and two frees that day effectively put us out of the league.
“We’re delighted. Our backs really stood up tall particularly in the last 20 minutes when it looked like we were completely outplayed in certain areas of the pitch and they came out with the ball time and time again. I’m desperately proud of them.”
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