Westmeath hurlers bowed out of the Walsh Shield following an 11-point defeat at the hands of the students of DIT. In the bigger scheme of things exiting the Walsh Shield is not the be all and end all but the manner of the defeat raises serious questions ahead of their upcoming division 2 campaign. It certainly highlights the need to get a number of our more experienced players back on board as soon as possible.
In a game played on the 3G pitch in St Loman’s it was the visitors who had the better of the exchanges in the opening half and held a five-point half-time lead. Hopes of a second-half comeback never materialised and the students went on to dominate the second half, opening up a 14-point lead at one stage. A late Niall O’Brien goal was too little too late for the home side.
Manager Brian Hanley certainly has a lot of work to do to lift morale and indeed the level of performance before the league begins. A lengthy players meeting after the game is indicative of how low morale is in the camp at present. On a positive note this is the time of year to iron out any problems and hopefully Hanley can get his charges back on track and pulling in the one direction in time for their league opener away to Kerry on February 24.