Senior hurlers secure first league win

Back 24/03/2023 @ 03:18 | hurlingnews | Senior hurlers secure first league win

Sligo’s senior hurlers came up with the first win of their 2023 league campaign when they overcame Wicklow at a cold and wet Markievicz Park on Sunday last.

The five-point winning margin will give the team a boost as they face into a play-off against London this coming weekend to retain their Division 2B status.

Sligo’s victory was built around the free taking accuracy of Diarmuid Hanniffy and well as some clever play by the inside forward line who got critical scores at key times in the game to keep Wicklow at bay.

There was nothing between the sides in the first half as they struggled with the conditions and were never more than two points apart.

Sligo’s first four scores were off the hurl of free taker for the day Diarmuid Hanniffy with the sides scoring four each in the first 12 minutes.

Sligo had a gilt-edged chance to make the first decisive note of the day on 18 minutes when Liam O’Kelly Lynch was fouled by Wicklow goalkeeper Cian Staunton to concede a penalty. Staunton made amends by saving from Hanniffy only to see the referee order a retake. On the second occasion Rory McHugh took over as the striker but Staunton again deflected the shot to keep his net intact.

Tyrone kept the scoreboard ticking over adding three points that were matched by Sligo’s first points from play by Hanniffy, his brother Conor and the lively Eddie O’Donoghue who had his best game of the campaign so far to leave the sides level on seven points each going into half time,

Sligo however got the decisive break of the half just as the game turned past 35 minutes as Tomás Cawley finished to the net with aplomb after great set up play by O’Donoghue.

There was still time for a quick exchange of points with Joe McHugh on the mark for Sligo to give them a 1-8 to 0-8 half time lead.


Wicklow made a bustling start to the second half and managed the first three points to restore parity in the first ten minutes, Hanniffy picked up the mantle again however and converted a 65 after Staunton ion the Wicklow goal deflected a goal bound O’Donoghue shot past the post.

He added another from play before O’Donoghue pointed a free from 80 metres to restore the three-point advantage for Sligo ahead.

Wicklow pulled one point back and Sligo looked potentially to be on the back foot when midfielder Fionn Connolly picked up a second yellow card with 12 minutes to go.  O’Donoghue popped up for another point to restore the three-point advantage and then Diarmuid Hanniffy extended that to four with the score of the day finishing from 50 metres on the run from wide on the right after being teed up by a brilliant cross-field ball from Rory McHugh.

Joe McHugh got his second to extend that lead again with two minutes left on the clock and it proved to be the last score of the game. Sligo were further reduced hallway through those four minutes when Fionn Moylan picked up his second yellow but they held out comfortably to claim the full league points.


Sligo: Luke Comerford, Darragh Cawley, Gavin Connolly, Niall Kilcullen; Ruairi Brennan, Rory McHugh, Ronan Molloy; Fionn Connolly, Diarmuid Hanniffy (0-8, 5f 1 ‘65) ; Joe McHugh (0-2), Fionn Moylan, Conor Hanniffy (0-1); Tomás Cawley, Eddie O’Donoghue (0-3, 1f), Liam O’Kelly Lynch

Subs: Darragh Flynn for O’Donoghue and John Cosgrove for O’Kelly Lynch 66m, Donal Keavney for Brennan 68m.

Wicklow: Cian Staunton;  Dylan Byrne, Brian Kearney, Tommy Collins; Cian Lonan, Eoghan Byrne, Sam O’Dowd; Mark Murphy, Jack Doyle; Torna Mulconry, Gavin Weir (0-5, 1f, 1’65), Seanie Germaine; Andy O’Brien (0-3, 2f), Luke Evans (0-1), Mikey Lee (0-2).

Subs: Pádraig Doran for O’Dowd 22m, Eoin McCormack for Mulconry and Davy Maloney (0-1) for Lee HT, Diarmuid Masterson for Doyle, 50m, Pádraig Doyle for Weir, 56m