Forde return put on hold

Wexford supporters will have to wait another week for the return of Matty Forde to inter-county football, as Dundalk IT have conceded a walkover to the Model county in the first round of the O'Byrne Cup today.

Wexford supporters will have to wait another week for the return of Matty Forde to inter-county football, as Dundalk IT have conceded a walkover to the Model county in the first round of the O'Byrne Cup today.

Sunday's clash between Paul Bealin's men and the college side has been called off. It was due to go ahead at 2pm in Tagoat, the home of St. Mary's.

The Rosslare club were due to make history by staging the first ever competitive inter-county game at their home ground, which boasts an excellent all-weather pitch.

Forde, the former GPA Footballer of the Year, is back available to Bealin after serving the three-month suspension he earned for stamping on Offaly's Shane Sullivan last summer.

Desperate for some game-time, Forde has only played one game of football in the last six months - a county semi-final for his club Kilanerin.

His availability for Wexford this season will be crucial as John Hudson and John Hegarty, two key forwards during the Model men's successful 2005 campaign, have bowed out of the inter-county scene.

Work commitments in Drogheda have prevented former skipper Hudson from giving his full commitment, while Hegarty has retired after twelve years on county panels.

Wexford will also be without the retired Leigh O'Brien for 2007, while Shane Cullen (Australia) and Paraic Curtis (America) are off travelling.

Courtesy of the walkover, Bealin's charges are now straight into the O'Byrne Cup quarter-finals which take place on Sunday week (January 14). They will play the winners of Saturday's televised encounter between Carlow and Wicklow.

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