Westmeath suffered a 2-17 to 1-11 Allianz Football League Division Three defeat against an impressive Armagh outfit at TEG Cusack Park last Sunday.
Ronan Lappin’s first half goal ensured Armagh led by three points at the interval, but Westmeath responded after the restart. James Dolan netted a fine goal, but Armagh recovered with Rory Grugan blasting a penalty.
Next on the agenda for Westmeath is a trip to Wexford for a hugely important encounter. Colin Kelly acknowledged Armagh’s excellence following last weekend’s match in the midlands.
“The performance wasn’t good enough,” Kelly reflected. “We tried hard, but we made mistakes that ultimately we were punished for. I felt we hadn’t played particularly well in the first half, we went in a goal behind at half-time, it wasn’t happening, it wasn’t just one change, the lads were just off it for whatever reason. That happens in football, and in fairness to Armagh, I thought they were excellent, some of the scores they kicked in the second half were very good, they are a polished outfit.”
Kelly was pleased with how Westmeath contained an imposing Armagh forward line initially.
“I thought we defended very well in the first half, they missed some chances, we missed some chances,” Kelly commented. “I thought it was a lacklustre game missing intensity, but when we moved at pace we looked like causing them trouble. For too long we were lateral, we seemed to be dropping off, we just weren’t at it for whatever reason. It wasn’t a good day at the office, we will re-assess it to move on.”
Captain John Heslin continues to produce excellent displays for Westmeath, according to Kelly.
“In fairness to John, his high fielding was spectacular at times, he did all he could to get a platform for us to move forward,” Kelly stated. “That is what happens when you have poor days like this, it is easy identify, if you are getting bet in midfield you aren’t going to have a lot of ball. For whatever reason, not as an individual, but as a group we didn’t play with the intensity of the last couple of days.
“That happens in sport, I’m not going to be critical of the group of players, they have done really well so far. We had a little blip, but we will sort it by moving on as positive as we can.”