Hurlers aim to secure first win as Division Three looms

Allianz National Hurling League Division 2A Wicklow v Roscommon (on Sunday in Aughrim at 2.30 pm) This weekend Roscommon play their final group game in Division 2A of the National Hurling League in Aughrim. However regardless of the result of this game, it would appear, at least from the GAA website, that  Roscommon will ply their trade in Division 3 of a newly-revamped National Hurling League next season.   According to the GAA website there will be four divisions in the hurling league in 2009. Teams 3, 4 and 5 in Divisions 2A and 2B this year will play in Division 3A in 2009 while the teams that finish 6th on the Divisions 2A and 2B tables will operate out of Division 3B in 2009. There will also be a Division 4 in 2009.   If that situation still stands and there is no reason to say that it does not, it would mean that even if Roscommon win on Sunday in Aughrim, they will be playing in Division 3B next season, given the situation with score difference. I spoke to Roscommon manager David McConn on Wednesday and he was not 100% sure of the situation but it would appear that Roscommon’s fate has been sealed already.   ‘We have been operating with a very inexperienced squad in this league. We started out with only six of the Nicky Rackard winning team against Mayo last Saturday and we had to line out without Tom Reddington, Shane Sweeney and Liam Murray and that was a huge drawback for us’ he commented.    ‘If we had everyone we had last year we would not have had the results we have had. We fielded with a lot of players who have no experience at U-21 or senior level and they have done so well in what was a very difficult league. We could have won the game against Kildare and we hope to do well next Sunday too and I can tell you that Mayo are five or six years down the road with their team and they have plans to do something big this year or next year’ he said.   ‘We are going to Aughrim very hopeful of a win on Sunday. The players we were missing are back this week but Liam Murray is carrying an injury. I think that we can do well against Wicklow’ he said.    It has been a disappointing league campaign for Roscommon and, according to the GAA website, Roscommon will be operating our of either Division 3A or 3B next season. Roscommon would need to beat Wicklow by more than 15 points on Sunday next to pass them on the table due to scoring difference. That is unlikely to happen. So it looks like Division 3B for Roscommon hurlers next season regardless of what happens on Sunday next.   Colm Moran and Michael Kelly are sure to feature again as Roscommon attempt to win their first brace of points in this year’s league. David McConn and his selectors will be hoping for a good display in Aughrim as the focus now switches to the Christy Ring Cup championship in a few months’ time. Prediction: Roscommon to win their first game – but they may still finish bottom of the table.