Roscommon GAA: Hurlers return to Down for Christy Ring opener


Christy Ring Cup Round One: Down v Roscommon in Ballycran on Saturday at 1 pm

Roscommon hurlers return to Ballycran on Saturday to meet Down in the Christy Ring Cup and the hope will be that Roscommon’s improvement in recent games can continue. Roscommon played Down at the same venue in the league earlier this year and following a very good display Down eventually prevailed by five points but Roscommon felt that they could have won that game.

  Roscommon manager Johnny Kelly said on Tuesday that if the team can improve their scoring rate, they can win this championship encounter.

  “We will be operating from much the same panel as we had in the league but Noel Fallon is a welcome addition to the panel in the last few weeks. Injuries are still a problem and Jason Kilkenny is almost certain to be out for Saturday as he sustained an injury at the weekend.

  “We played well against Down when we met in the league and in general our performances have been improving and we need to keep that going on Saturday. In fact, we controlled large parts of all our games in the league except for the game against Wicklow but we have been missing too many chances and that has been a recurring theme for us.

  “We have to show more composure in front of goal and if we do that we have a great chance of winning this game. We were desperately unlucky to lose against Mayo and if we play to our potential and have a bit of luck on the day, we can go there and win,” he concluded.

  Roscommon were very unlucky not to have won against Mayo in the league relegation play-off, a late goal for the Mayo men being decisive. Roscommon will be depending on the likes of captain Peter Kellehan, Shane Curley, Pat Nolan, Eamon Flanagan, Johnny Coyne and Cathal Kenny to lead the charge in what will be a difficult game.

  Down will be expecting to win at home but they have not been shooting the lights out this year, losing recently to Armagh in the Ulster championship. But Roscommon are certainly not without hope in this match and if they can take their scoring chances and have a change of luck, which they are due, they could cause a shock. However, it’s hard not to go for a home win.

Prediction: Down.