Hurlers ease into Rackard Cup Final

Nicky Rackard Cup Roscommon 2-13 Louth 0-05 It’s a case of Croke Park here we come for Roscommon hurlers after this empatic win over Louth at St. Brigid’s Park in Dundalk on Saturday. This game was effectively wrapped up before half time as the visitors led by 2-08 to 0-03 at the break.   The stage is now set for a thrilling final against the other form team in the Championship Armagh at headquaters on August 11 th .   Louth forward Collins Connolly opened the scoring with a point which was immediately answered by a fine point from Mervyn Connaughton. A Shane Sweeney free for Roscommon was levelled by a simular effort by Connolly again.   Sweeney from a free soon had Roscommon ahead again but Eddie McCarthy equaliser for Louth after ten minutes was to be their last score for a full 35 minutes as they didn’t score again until shortly after half-time.   Roscommon in the meantime set about getting the scores that were to win the game. A Sweeney free, two from play by Tom Reddington and Cathal Kelly and a long range free by Tomas Lennon opened up a four point lead.   Their first goal arrived when a Gerry Fallon sideline caused confusion in around the Louth goal mouth and Reddington whipped a loose ball to the net. Gerry Fallon fired over a fine point from play from out near the sideline before a fine move involving Sweeney and Connaughton set up Colm Kelly for the second Roscommon goal. At half time therefore they lad by 2-8 to 0-3 and this game was certainly over as a contest.   The second half was played out at a much reduced pace and consequently the scores were few and far between.   Gerry Fallon sent over a splendid sideline cut and not long after we had Louth fourth point by Shane Callon(after 35 minutes of a wait). Roscommon’s other points in the second period came from Sweeney(2, one free) and two Colm Kelly frees. Callon blasted over a close range free in injury time to complete the Louth scoring.   Roscommon will know that their display in the second half would not be good enough to win the final but then the urgency was gone out of the game and there was the feeling that they had some more in the tank if needed.   With the Division Three League Title already won David McConn’s charges will be determined to win the Nicky Rackard Cup for the first time. Let’s hope they get big support from Roscommon G.A.A people everywhere when they represent the County at Croke Park in a little over two weeks time.   ROSCOMMON: David Connell; Noel Cunniffe, Colm Kelly, Michael Keaveney; Alan Cunniffe, Michael Kelly, Liam Murray; Mervyn Connaughton(0-1), Tomas Lennon(0-1); Liam Casey, Tom Reddington(1-1), Gerry Fallon(0-2); Cathal Kelly(0-1), Colm Kelly(1-2), Shane Sweeney(0-5). Subs: John Moran for Casey, Gerry Fallon for Cathal Kelly, Brendan Kelly for Noel Cunniffe.   LOUTH: Stephen Smith; Tony Teefey, David Mulholland, Adrian Wallace; Donnacha Callon, Brian Hasset, Diarnuid Murphy; Shane Callon(0-2), Trevor Hilliard; Collins Connolly(0-2), Eddie McCarthy, Shane Fennell; Paul Donoghue, David Dunne, Paul Dyas. Subs: C. Kerrian for T. Teefey, G. Smith for P. Dyas, D. Reid for P. Donoghue, D. McCarthy for C. Kerrigan. REFEREE: Declan McGee (Down)