Hurlers face difficult Royal test

Allianz National Hurling League Division 2B (Round 3): Roscommon v Meath on Sunday in Athleague at 12.30 pm 

Roscommon hurlers face another tough test on Sunday when they meet table-toppers Meath at Athleague. Roscommon were very disappointing in their opening game against Wicklow but they improved considerably in defeat against Down in round 2.

  Roscommon manager Johnny Kelly says that he wants to see another improvement in the performance this weekend but that there are a number of injuries that are not helping with preparations.

  He said: “We have had a lot of injuries in the past few weeks and that is not helping us but I have to say that after a bad start to the campaign against Wicklow we made a big improvement in the match against Down and that was encouraging. We gave away a few soft scores late on in that game that cost us in the end.

  “This will be a very tough game for us. Meath are in the Leinster Senior Championship and they are a few steps ahead of us in terms of their development but what we want is to improve our performance from the Down game and see where it takes us.

  “I am hoping that Padraig Kelly will be back and able to take some part in the game. Alan Moore is back from suspension and Cathal Dolan may also be available so that’s positive. We are hoping for a good display and we will need to play at our very best to trouble Meath but we are looking forward to the challenge,” he concluded.

  Being short so many experienced players has been a drawback for Roscommon in this campaign so far and this will be a huge challenge against the reigning Christy Ring Cup champions. But an improved performance will give Roscommon confidence ahead of the crucial games against Derry and Mayo. At home, Roscommon can give it a rattle, but Meath look a cut above and they should maintain their unbeaten run.

Prediction: Meath