Tough test for Athlone against in-form Drogheda

Last Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League 0-21 to 0-10 win over Kildare means Westmeath have already qualified for the Division 2A decider.

Next Sunday, Westmeath travel to Netwatch Cullen Park for a clash against Carlow, but manager Michael Ryan is delighted that the Midlanders remain in the promotion hunt: “We need to try to get out of Division 2A, we want to get into 1B to play those better teams,” Ryan said.

“We’ve played four games, we have won four, but I wouldn’t be getting carried away. Aspects of our game were very good. Our long-range shooting was very good, we got some good scores. We were also a bit sloppy so there is a bit of work to be done.

“We cannot complain too much. We’ve a lot of work to do, but we have guys fighting for places. It will be interesting to play Carlow next week and then to get ready for the final. We are delighted to be in the final.”

Ryan was enthused by the compact way in which Westmeath restricted Kildare to only 10 scores during the contest. “Generally our defence played well, Cormac Boyle got a few mighty long-range points,” he said. “I’m confident we will improve a lot to be ready for the challenge.”

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