Crunch time looms as the Westmeath SFC progresses

Another interesting weekend in the Westmeath SFC is imminent with six matches set to take place. In Group 1, Tyrrellspass and holders St Lomans of Mullingar, will be hoping to maintain their winning runs, but Athlone and Killucan require points also.

On Friday evening the action gets underway at TEG Cusack Park when The Downs, a promising outfit, face Coralstown-Kinnegad, who have suffered a couple of defeats in the competition so far. The Downs finished strongly to defeat Killucan by 2-15 to 0-8 in their most recent encounter which was an important statement following a loss to Lomans. Significant expectation is attached to The Downs, who will feel that they can make a positive impact in this year's championship. Niall Mitchell is an influential figure for The Downs, who should treat the Coralstown-Kinnegad challenge with the the utmost respect.Athlone and Tyrrellspass have proven too strong for Coralstown-Kinnegad, who will be looking to Ger Leech for scores and inspiration in attack.

On Saturday, the meeting between Tyrrellspass and Athlone promises to be a hugely revealing affair. Athlone struck four goals when outfoxing Coralstown-Kinnegad and were competitive against Lomans, who just had enough guile to secure the spoils. John Connellan and Ryan Gaffey have impressed to date for Athlone, but Tyrrellspass showed last year what they can do. Tyrellspass have already accumulated two wins without conceding a goal and they will hope to be similarly solid against Athlone.

Group 2 is proving to be extremely competitive with Garrycastle the only outfit to glean full points from two games. On Saturday evening at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, St. Mary's Rochfortbridge face Rosemount in a critical clash. Rosemount were too strong for Maryland and subsequently drew with Castledaly so they will be anxious to maintain their unbeaten start. St Mary's Rochfortbridge suffered a narrow 1-13 to 1-10 loss against Garrycastle before cruising to a convincing triumph over Maryland. That is why this match carries such relevance and whoever prevails will be nicely placed to push for a place in the knockout stages.

That is precisely where Garrycastle want to operate in as confirmed by their successes against St Marys and Mullingar Shamrocks. Ger Heneghan's accuracy in attack has been a real feature for Garrycastle, who will know that Castledaly remain a decent outfit when in the groove. Castledaly netted two goals, but still lost to Shamrocks by five before drawing with Rosemount.

Now Castledaly need a positive result against Garrycastle so that promises to be a lively game. Mullingar Shamrocks will be heavily fancied to beat Maryland, who have suffered reversals against Rosemount and St Mary's Rochfortbridge. Shamrocks continue to be prompted by Denis Cooroon and a victory is needed following the 1-13 to 2-8 defeat to Garrycastle. That was a blow, but Shamrocks should be sufficiently powerful to respond at TEG Cusack Park on Sunday evening.

Weekend Westmeath SFC fixtures

Group 1 - Friday August 17 Coralstown-Kinnegad v The Downs, TEG Cusack Park, 7.15pm; Saturday August 18 Tyrrellspass v Athlone, Hogan Park, Moate, 7.15pm Killucan v St Loman's, Mullingar, Kinnegad, 7.15pm

Group 2 - Saturday August 18 St Mary's Rochfortbridge v Rosemount, TEG Cusack Park, 7.30pm; Sunday August 19 Garrycastle v Castledaly, Tubberclair, 7.15pm Mullingar Shamrocks v Maryland, TEG Cusack Park, 7.15pm

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