Spirited showing sees Westmeath fall short against resolute Armagh

Westmeath suffered an All Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 2B defeat against Armagh at TEG Cusack Park on Saturday evening (July 8 ).

The Midlanders’, who produced a spirited display, were eventually beaten 1-12 to 1-7 by Kieran McGeeney’s team.

Paul Sharry’s first-half goal ensured Westmeath went in at the break level, 0-7 to 1-4. It was tight after the restart too with Gregory McCabe dismissed, but a late Ethan Rafferty goal sealed Armagh’s win. Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin will decide his future soon.

“It’s a massive, massive commitment,” the popular Westmeath boss said. “I have to sit down with the chairman and secretary, but I also have to see if Tom Cribbin is right for these players and to take them on. Whatever is right for Westmeath I will certainly do.”

Cribbin was disappointed that Westmeath were not able to advance to Round 3B.

“All the northern teams seem to have a harder edge than most teams in the country,” Cribbin reflected. “If you’re going to come out of an Ulster clash, you have to develop that hard edge. That naivety and that lack of cynicism probably cost us. They have it. If you’re going to win anything, you’re going to have to develop that, a little bit of it.

“But the players left the game completely behind them and they’re very disappointed with themselves and they’re very hard on themselves.”

Westmeath squandered decent scoring opportunities throughout the match.

“It’s fierce disappointing,” Cribbin remarked. “A lot of the chances we missed at crucial times fell to lads we would be very comfortable giving the ball to. They were kicking from very good positions as well.”

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