Gaels shock Pearses in SHC opener!

Dara Finn and Joseph Kelly from Pádraig Pearses and Ryan Conlon and James Connolly from Roscommon Gaels get ready for throw-in ahead of their Roscommon SHC game last Sunday. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

There was a sensational result in the opening round of the Kepak Roscommon Senior Hurling Championship last weekend when Roscommon Gaels defeated Pádraig Pearses by three points on Sunday evening last.

It was the first time in almost seven years that the town team have won a championship match in the competition.

Under new manager Ronan O’Meara, there were signs over the past couple of months that a major improvement was in the offing as the team had beaten Pearses in a recent league semi-final.

While it is early days yet, a win for The Gaels will give this championship an added bit of spice and it would be good for the game in the county if the town team able were to progress.

They haven’t won a county senior title since 1972 and while no one is suggesting that they have a chance this year, the arrival of O’Meara as manager and the fact that there are several young and talented players on the panel is promising.

Roscommon Gaels’ Eoin Kiernan takes a shot while Luke Corbett attempts a block during last Sunday’s Roscommon SHC clash between Pádraig Pearses and Roscommon Gaels. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

A goal just after half time from Finn Killian was the key score as The Gaels cancelled out a 0-6 to 0-3 half-time deficit. Pearses, who are without many of the players who helped them get to last year’s county final, couldn’t breach the gap, and The Gaels’ defence performed very well on the day.

O’Meara’s charges now face Athleague this weekend (Sunday at 7 pm) in round two with confidence running high.

Elsewhere, Athleague and Tremane fought out a low-key local derby in their opening fixture last Saturday night with Athleague prevailing by five points.

Cormac Kelly’s goal saw Athleague lead by 1-7 to 0-9 at the break and they just about kept their noses in front in the second period with Cian Murray’s late goal sealing the win.

Champions Four Roads, meanwhile, put down a marker with a thumping 15-point win against St Dominic’s. Cathal Dolan scored 1-9 from frees and play while Conor Mulry scored an additional 1-4 in an impressive display.

Looking ahead to this Sunday and round two, Four Roads take on Oran (12.30 pm), who make their debut in the competition, having had a bye last weekend. Meanwhile, two teams who lost last weekend, St Dominic’s and Tremane, face each other (at 2 pm) with a win vital for both clubs.