The Roscommon Senior Hurler’s Christy Ring Cup campaign came to an end on Saturday when they suffered a seven point defeat to Down.
The conditions in Ballycran were very tough as the weather was wet and cold and the pitch was unusually hard, which led to a very slippery surface.
The first half was evenly contested with both teams coming to terms with the conditions and their opponents. Jerry Fallon opened the scoring with a free, which was followed by two points from Down. A good point from play by Tomás Seale levelled the game in the 12th minute. Down took the lead again only for Eamon Flanagan to equalise in the 22nd minute. Down replied again two minutes later before points from Jerry Fallon and Jamie Lawlor gave Roscommon the lead after twenty seven minutes. Then it was Down’s turn to score two without reply. Cathal Dolan completed Roscommon’s first half tally of six points before Down scored a late point to give them a 0-7 to 0-6 lead heading into the break.
Roscommon started the second half brightly when full forward Jamie Lawlor broke through the Down defence and kicked the Sliotar, which was diverted over the bar but could have as easily been a goal. Down then began to get the better of the exchanges and scored seven points without reply. Substitute Naos Connaughton threw the Rossies a lifeline with a well taken goal but this proved to be too little too late. Down added a late goal from Conor Woods to run out comfortable winners on a scoreline of 1-14 to 1-7.
Roscommon played well in this tough encounter but the second long distance away match in a week and the absence of two key players Jason Kilkenny and Ronan O’Meara took it’s toll. Best for Roscommon were the half-back line of Shane Curley, Michael Kelly and Alan Moore in particular who put on some tough tackles. In the middle Cathal Dolan and Eamon Flanagan battled well. Up front Thomas Featherson and Jamie Lawlor and sub Naos Connaughton were best.
The Roscommon men can be very proud of their efforts in 2016 with their promotion in the league and their retention of their Christy Ring Cup status for 2017.
Team. Noel Fallon; Ian Delaney, Peter Kellehan, Liam Kilcline; Shane Curley, Michael Kelly, Alan Moore; Cathal Dolan (0-1),Eamon Flanagan (0-1); Tomás Seale (0-1), Thomas Featherson, Jerry Fallon (0-2, one free); Cillian Egan, Jamie Lawlor (0-2) and Adrian Murphy.
Subs used: Gearoid Keenan for Murphy, Conor Mulry for Seale, Naos Connaughton (1-0) for Fallon, Hugh Rooney for Egan, Ciaran Shaw for Lawlor.