Despite suffering two Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round Robin defeats, Westmeath still have a chance to advance to the quarter-finals in the province.
A win over Meath at Cusack Park on Sunday might be enough for Westmeath, depending on how Kerry’s encounter with Laois in Tralee goes.
It means that an interesting Sunday awaits with Michael Ryan’s team keen to claim a berth in the knockout stages for the third year in a row.
During the past two summers, Westmeath have competed in 10 matches, so another loss this weekend would be viewed as a disappointment and a setback.
Westmeath performed well for large spells when losing to Laois with one lapse in concentration proving costly. Laois made an important burst in the second half and while Westmeath rallied late on, sufficient damage had been inflicted.
There was nothing wrong with Westmeath’s battling qualities again when Kerry visited Mullingar, but the Midlanders were still beaten.
Now Westmeath’s campaign hinges on how the two matches unfold. A Laois victory down south in Tralee coupled with a Westmeath triumph in Mullingar could be sufficient to maintain Ryan’s charges’ Championship interest.
Tom Cribbin is busy preparing the Westmeath footballers for next month’s Leinster Championship encounter against Offaly at O’Connor Park.
On Sunday Westmeath claimed a 6-15 to 2-15 win over Louth in a high-scoring challenge match to mark the pitch opening of Dreadnots GAA in Clogherhead.
It was a useful exercise for Allianz Football League Division Four champions Westmeath, who have reached the last two provincial deciders.
Meanwhile, Westmeath minor footballers’ Leinster campaign ended with a disappointing defeat against Carlow following a thriller at Cusack Park on Sunday.
A powerful third-quarter display from Westmeath guided them into a commanding 0-16 to 1-7 advantage.
But a Jordan Morrissey goal brought Carlow back into contention and Westmeath were beaten by the visitors’ late rally.
Michael Murphy had netted a first-half goal for Carlow, but Westmeath, with Joe Moran and John Tumelty impressing, only trailed by a point at the break.
Westmeath responded well when the action recommenced and looked set for victory, but Carlow did enough to advance.
There was no shortage of drama at Parnell Park when Westmeath and Cavan drew an absorbing Lidl Ladies National League Division Two Final.
Maud-Annie Foley struck a late point to secure a draw at the end of a keenly contested game.
In recent years Westmeath lost at this stage to Donegal and Galway, but they showed great character under pressure.
Reaching Division One would be a significant boost for Westmeath, who are a respected side.
Ciara Blundell starred for Westmeath bagging a brace of important goals for the Lake County.
Cavan were 0-8 to 1-2 ahead at the break, but Westmeath continued to battle.
Stephen Maxwell’s players came thundering back in the dying moments with Foley’s score forcing a replay.
The next installment is scheduled to take place at St Brendan’s Park in Birr at 4pm on Sunday.
Tipperary and Wexford will collide in a Division Three replay at 2pm.