Christy Ring Cup Group A (Round One):
Wicklow v Roscommon in Aughrim on Saturday at 4 pm
Roscommon hurlers have a mini injury crisis as they prepare for their championship bow against Wicklow in the Christy Ring Cup on Saturday in Aughrim.
Speaking to People Sport on Tuesday, however, Roscommon manager, Johnny Keane, remained confident that his side could cause a surprise in the Garden County following a poor league campaign.
“We have injuries to four of our starting team: Paul Dolan, Sean Trundle, Oisin Kelly and Cathal Kenny are all out and they are big losses for us but we just have to get on with it. The most positive way to look at it is that it will offer a chance for four more lads to come in and show what they can do,” he said.
The Roscommon manager knows how important a win would be for his charges on Saturday.
“The lads are determined to bounce back after what happened in the league. This is a game that we really have to win and it would take the pressure off ahead of our home match against Derry. Our aim is to qualify for the semi-finals. We know it won’t be easy to win in Aughrim but the lads are looking forward to the challenge.
“What we need is a good performance and if we get that then we will be in with a chance of a win. We haven’t had much luck this year up to now but if we play well and get a bit of luck on the day we can get the win.
“We haven’t had a lot of time in terms of preparation this year but I suppose it’s the same for every team. We need to start strong on Saturday to give ourselves a chance,” he concluded.
The last time these sides met was in last year’s National Hurling League fixture at Dr. Hyde Park when Wicklow led by 15 points before Roscommon staged a dramatic comeback only to lose narrowly in the end. That second half performance will give Roscommon hope on Saturday.
However, the heavy defeats in this year’s National League campaign must have taken a toll on the confidence of the team and the loss of four prominent players though injury is another major blow. A win would be a fantastic result but in Aughrim it’s probably too much to hope for.