Hurlers looking to NHL opener after Connacht League loss

Hurlers to play Tyrone challenge ahead of Mayo date

Connacht Senior Hurling League Final – Galway Development 1-25 Roscommon 1-20

Roscommon’s Joe Brennan gets his strike away as Seán Joyce from Galway Development attempts to block his shot during last Saturday’s Connacht Hurling League Final held at the Connacht GAA Air Dome. Pic: Bernie O’Farrell

Roscommon senior hurlers are now setting their focus firmly on the start of the National Hurling League in a few weeks’ time following last weekend’s Connacht League final in which they lost by five points to a Galway Development selection. Roscommon will face Mayo in Castlebar in their league opener.

In Saturday’s Connacht Senior Hurling League final at the GAA Air Dome in Bekan, Roscommon got off to a good start when Brendan Mulry goaled in the 4th minute. Roscommon matched their opponents in the opening quarter but a sudden scoring burst by the Galway men yielded 1-6 in the 12 minutes prior to half-time, turning the game on its head. Galway led by 1-16 to 1-7 at the break.

The eventual winners were always in control thereafter, but Roscommon finished strongly, producing the last five points of the game to reduce the margin to five. Enda Lawless, Padraig Kelly, Brendan Mulry, Paddy Fallon, Mickey Joe Egan and Matthew Comerford stood out for Roscommon.

It was a frustrated Roscommon manager Francis O’Halloran who spoke to the Roscommon People after the game. “I’d say the three games in six days took its toll tonight, but we will kick on from here. This match tonight won’t define our season”.

O’Halloran noted that a few of the younger players will be switching their focus to football “for a few weeks”. “There are a couple of lads with the U-20s and Conal Kennelly, Aengus Lyons and Niall Kilroy are with the senior footballers”.

Referencing the recruitment of Kilkenny legend Richie Power as an addition to the backroom staff, the Roscommon manager said he would be joining the set-up this week – last night (Wednesday) – and all involved will work on devising a plan for the coming weeks. Next up for Roscommon is a challenge match against Tyrone.

Roscommon: Enda Lawless; Darragh Mullen, James Dillon, Mark Ward; Joe Brennan, Conor Cosgrave, Padraig Kelly (0-1); Padraig Brennan, Jack Dowling; Ryan Conlon, Eamon Flanagan (0-1), Conor Mulry (0-1); Brendan Mulry (1-1), Paddy Fallon (0-10, 7 frees), Mickey Joe Egan (0-3). Subs used: Matthew Comerford (0-2), Mikey Lohan, Gearoid Egan, Adam Donnelly, Kevin Brennan, Cormac Mulry (0-1), Michael Brennan.

Galway Development: Ben Murphy; Gerard McGuinness, Sean Burke, Mac Dara O’Bearra; Dinny O Heallaithe (0-1), Enda Naughton, Bryan Horgan (0-1); Donnacha O Murchu (0-1), Niall Cox; Donall O Cualain (0-4), Dara Newell (0-1), Sean Joyce (0-1); Sean McDonagh (0-6, 5 frees), Eamon Trayers (1-3), Ryan Folan (0-3). Subs used: Ryan Duffy (0-1), Shane Kelly (0-1), Jack Mitchell (0-1), Brendan O Congaile (0-1), Keith Gleeson, Tom Collins.

Referee: Michael Connolly (Sligo).