Hurlers survive scare and avoid drop

Nickey Rackard Cup

Roscommon 2-17 Fermanagh 1-18

The Roscommon senior hurlers will play in the Nickey Rackard Cup again in 2024 – but they had to survive an almighty scare against Fermanagh in their final group match in Athleague on Saturday last before winning by two points.

Roscommon were never behind in the match but neither were they ever able to pull away as Fermanagh proved sticky opponents.

The hosts struck for a well-taken goal in the 6th minute when Ryan Conlon of Roscommon Gaels was on target. With Paddy Fallon accurate from the placed ball, they kept their noses in front until half-time to lead by 1-9 to 0-6.

Fermanagh were much the better team on the resumption and outscored the home side by 0-6 to 0-1 in the opening 12 minutes of the new half to reduce the margin to one (1-10 to 0-12). When Sean Corrigan and Daniel Teague pointed for the visitors by the 53rd minute, the scores were level.

Brendan Mulry flicked home a very well-taken goal a minute later after a long delivery from Eamon Mulry, a score which gave Roscommon some breathing space. Fermanagh refused to lie down though and with Daniel Teague and Sean Corrigan in top form, they were always in the hunt.

Late points from Mickey Joe Egan and Hugh Rooney looked to have sealed the win for the home side. There was still time for further drama, however, when – deep into injury-time – Daniel Teague’s free went all the way to the Roscommon net. It proved too little, too late for the Ernesiders and it is they who are relegated to the Lory Meagher Cup for next year.

Roscommon stand-in manager Daithi Hand confirmed afterwards that he would not be a candidate to become the Roscommon manager for next season so the county’s hurling board will have to commence their search for a new manager for 2024.

Roscommon: Enda Lawless; Darragh Finn, Mark Ward, Darragh Mullen; Eamon Mulry, Hugh Rooney (0-2), Jack Dowling (0-1); Mickey Joe Egan (0-1), Conor Cosgrove (0-1); Brendan Mulry (1-1), Eamon Flanagan (0-1), Ryan Conlon (1-0); Conor Mulry (0-1), Paddy Fallon (0-9, 8 frees), Adam Donnelly. Subs: Naos Connaughton for Donnelly (43), Eoin Kiernan for Conlon (53).

Fermanagh: Mark Curry; Dylan Bannon, Rory Porteous, Ciaran Duffy; Aidan Flanagan, Daniel Teague (1-7, 1-6 frees), Francis McBrien; Ciaran Breslin, Ryan Bogue (0-1); John Paul McGarry (0-3), Sean Corrigan (0-3, 2 frees, 1 ‘65), Brian Teehan; Jimmy Tormey (0-1), Caolan Duffy (0-2, 1 free), Luka McCusker (0-1). Subs: Sean McKendry for McCusker (11), Ben Corrigan for McKendry (h/t), John Duffy for Teehan (31), Ronan McGurn for Teehan (53).

Referee: James Judge (Mayo).