Roscommon hurlers enjoyed a five-point win over Donegal at Letterkenny today, but lost out on a final appearance to Louth.
Roscommon finished level on points with second-placed Louth but having lost the head-to-head when the sides met earlier in the campaign, they will not enjoy a final appearance.
Today, they were victors on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-13 and manager Michael Mulry admitted afterwards he was happy with his side's display.
“We played well today, it wasn’t our best display of the campaign but when the lads knew there was nothing to play for maybe they were just content to get the win and that’s what we did so I’m pleased enough,” he said.
Substitute Jack Mulligan scored the ‘Rossies goal on 25 minutes having just come on the field. His smart strike was the product of some outstanding defending, typified by the efforts of wing-back Sean Melia.
That goal put them well in control approaching the break but a freak Donegal goal from Lee Henderson just before half-time threw the contest wide open again.
However, points from David Loughnane, Colin Moran, Ian Delaney and David Dolan (0-6) in the second half saw them hang on. Kevin Campbell was the Northerner's top scorer with 0-7 points.
Four wins from six the ‘Rossies notched up but the losses to Wicklow and particularly Louth cost them a place in this year’s Division 3B decider.
“That was a shame alright,” said Mulry of his side's loss to Louth. “We were a bit careless when we went down there and we ended up paying for it.”
Next up for them is the Nicky Rackard Cup and a June 5 meeting with Monaghan.
Wicklow made it six wins from six to remain on top of the league following another crushing defeat, this time of second-placed Louth on a score-line of 3-21 to 0-8 points at Arklow.
With the same teams already qualified for the Final in a fortnights time it was a chance to experiment which saw wholesale changes from their respective games to date.
It mattered little as Wicklow totally blew away the opposition, scoring 2-10 in the first half, conceding just 0-4 points before turning in a similar second-half return to delight manager Mick Hagan.
“The lads were outstanding again today, really excellent. That wasn’t our strongest team but the fringe players really laid down a marker for the final and we’ll certainly have a few selection headaches in a fortnight's time.”
Don Highland was once again in terrific form, registering a goal and six points while half-time substitute Jonathan O’Neill was equally impressive knocking over six-points.
The Garden County led 2-10 to 0-4 points at the break, the goals coming from Christy Moorehouse and Highland in the opening seven minutes.
O’Neill came on at the break, landed two 65s, a line-ball as well as three frees from midfield while substitute Andy O’Brien made the game safe when he goaled minutes after being introduced.
Chris Kavanagh (0-3), Leon Browne (0-2) and Christy Moorehouse (1-1) were the pick of the bunch for Wicklow while Louth, who rested several first team regulars had good outings from Gavin Kerrigan (0-2), David Dunne (0-2) and Colin Connolly (0-2).
Both sides will meet again on May 1st in Parnell Park (7pm) in the Final.
In the final game, Sligo notched their second win of the campaign with a comfortable demolition of a woeful Tyrone side at Markievicz Park, running out winners by 3-17 to 1-13.