While all the focus is now turned towards next Saturday evening at the Gaelic Grounds, spare a thought tonight for the county’s hurlers. Their 2018 season ended today and it did so in rather calamitous circumstances.
A season that began so well with promotion to Division 2A of the NHL fairly came apart at the seams over the last few weeks in the Christy Ring Cup. Defeat to Roscommon at Athleague in today’s final group game sees them end the campaign with three defeats from three outings. The price for finishing bottom of their group is relegation to hurling’s fourth tier Rackard Cup next year.
Roscommon were on top from the get-go in today’s match. They gradually pulled away as the first half progressed and then struck a killer blow, via the game’s only goal, just before half-time. The home side went in at the break ten points in front and there were nine points between the teams at the finish, Roscommon prevailing on a 1-17 to 0-11 scoreline.
It’s a desperately disappointing end to the season for Derek Walsh’s charges. There were real hopes that they’d go well in the refashioned Ring Cup format this year but defeats to Wicklow, Kildare and now Roscommon have well and truly put paid to those ambitions. Instead it’s very much back to the drawing board for the county’s hurlers next year.