A facile 3-24 to 0-9 Allianz Football League Division Four win over a much changed Wexford last Sunday ensured Westmeath earned promotion.
Tom Cribbin’s team will face Wexford in the Division Four decider on April 8. The Westmeath boss is thrilled that the Midlanders have realised their spring target.
“The lads were focused, we knew we needed a point to be guaranteed promotion, that is what we got,” Cribbin said in an interview with Midlands Sport 103.
Following an opening weekend draw with Carlow, Westmeath have defeated Limerick, Leitrim, Waterford, Wicklow, and Wexford.
“Carlow were very fit early on, we only brought a lot of our key players back at the beginning of January, it pays off long term,” Cribbin says. “A lot of the Loman’s lads, we have five of them on the panel, and some of the others were going until the middle of November. You have to be careful if you want them right for the championship.”
Cribbin is delighted that Westmeath have secured a place in the decider against Wexford ahead of the Leinster Championship.
“I see us in a great position, we are getting a day out in Croke Park, a league final, we are going up instead of down. The panel is stronger this year, most definitely it is stronger. It is a very, very good young panel, I think we are in a great position.”
John Heslin’s 1-10 haul was instrumental in the Wexford success.
“He is remarkable, he is just on fire at the moment,” Cribbin admits. “It is the work rate that is going on to get quality ball up to John - that is the difference.”
London are next on the agenda for Westmeath, who host Ciaran Deely’s outfit at Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Sunday, with a 1pm throw-in.
“We will try to give a lot of our panel members a run, but we will still keep a structure to our team so that we have a system. We play to a decent system. We will make a fair few changes, but I will try to keep a lot of strong lads up the centre to give them every chance, to support them.”
Meanwhile, Michael Ryan’s Westmeath hurlers ended their Allianz League Division 2A campaign with a fine 0-20 to 1-15 away win over Antrim. The victory meant that Westmeath are currently in fourth place with three wins and two losses from their five games.