Silver lining for hurlers?
It may have seemed highly unlikely just last month but Roscommon senior hurlers are now preparing for a league final following their 1-19 to 0-14 win over Monaghan last Saturday in Clontibret.
The win, which comes amid an upturn in fortunes following the appointment of Seamus Qualter as manager just last month, sees the Rossies into the NHL Division 3A final where they will meet Armagh or Monaghan in just over a week’s time.
Qualter, who stepped into the role after Francis O’Halloran resigned in February, has now presided over two excellent wins against both Armagh and Monaghan.
Speaking to People Sport this week, he expressed his delight with how things have progressed so far.
“I met the players first on the 22nd of February and I have found them to be a great bunch of lads and really easy to work with. It’s great that we have another win under our belts and the next few weeks will be very busy between the league final and the championship,” he said.
While Roscommon took time to get going last Saturday, Seamus was happy with the performance over all.
“We were playing with the wind in the first half and we were not at our best early on. But once we got into the game and got the goal before half-time we were in business,” he said.
The Galway native says that there is a great atmosphere in the squad and the players are responding well to the demands of training and playing.
“I contacted a couple of players to see if could they return but some of those lads just cannot commit and I fully understand that. We have a very honest hard working set of lads here on the panel and that’s all I am looking for,” he said.
“I am enjoying it but this is not about me or what I can do or can’t do. It’s about the players and the team. I will continue until our interest in the championship is over and the County Board will have plenty of time to get someone else after that. But for the moment we are all enjoying being involved.
“We have a very busy couple of weeks to come now. We have a league final to prepare for and then just a two week break to the championship so we will be training hard for those matches,” he concluded.
Roscommon were on top and led all the way in Clontibret last Saturday. Brendan Mulry scored the all-important goal in the 20th minute and at half-time Roscommon led by 1-10 to 0-8.
The trend continued on the resumption and Roscommon scored some excellent points, with Paddy Fallon to the fore, and eventually ran out the deserved winners.
Armagh face Monaghan in the semi-final this Saturday with the winners playing Roscommon in the decider the following weekend.