Hurlers one step from Croke Park ‘Rackard’ date

The Roscommon hurlers will hope to make history this Saturday evening in Drogheda as they bid to overcome home side Louth and make it to the Nicky Rackard Cup Final of 2007. After a comprehensive win over Monaghan in the previous round, hopes are high that they can book a place in the final – which will be played in Croke Park – with a win on Saturday.   The aim for manager David McConn and his selectors has been to make it to this stage in the competition and his team have certainly not let him down to date. An appearance in a Nicky Rackard Cup final would put the icing on the cake in what has been a productive year for hurling in the county.   ‘In a word it would be a dream for us to make it to the final. The aim at the beginning was to make it to Croke Park to contest the final so it would be the ultimate achievement to make it that far.   ‘We don’t want to get carried away with the Croke Park factor though. It’ll be nice if we make it there but what we really need to do is concentrate on the development of hurling in Roscommon as it may take years to get to where we want to be’, acknowledged Mr. McConn, who acknowledges what a great occasion it would be to play in Croke Park.   The team that stand in their way are Louth who have been playing quite well themselves in recent games.   ‘Louth are a strong and physical team. They have been together for basically two or three years where as we are working of a panel for the last three of four months. They have registered some high scores in recent games and the fact they have home advantage may also be a factor’.   Roscommon should have a full complement to chose from for this Saturday’s games with only long term injury casualties Michael Mulry and Brendan Hanley unavailable.   ‘Unfortunately, we are missing Michael and Brendan who were involved earlier in the year. We have managed to fill those positions left vacant by the injuries and the fact our U-21 team is also doing very well is a big help. There are currently eight on the panel but numbers may increase depending on performances’.   There is a growing optimism surrounding the game on Saturday and McConn is quietly confident that if his Roscommon team perform to their potential then they will be in with a great chance of securing their place in the final.   ‘We’re looking forward to the game but we are certainly not taking anything for granted. We will be looking for nothing less than a win but we know we will be up against it this Saturday’, concluded McConn.   In an era when our football teams make most of the headlines on a sporting front in the county for the right or wrong reasons, maybe its time for the hurlers moment in the limelight. Will dreams become reality this weekend in Drogheda? Saturday evening will tell the tale. Throw in at 7p.m.