Westmeath claimed a second Allianz Hurling League Division 2A victory when beating Kildare at TEG Cusack Park on Sunday.
It means that Michael Ryan’s team now face Meath in a crucial contest in Trim on February 18.
Niall Mitchell struck Westmeath’s goal during an important 1-20 to 2-11 triumph.
“I’m very happy to get the win. We have a good points tally, but there are certain aspects of our performance that I wouldn’t be happy with,” Ryan reflected in an interview with Midlands Sport 103. “We were patchy in places, we weren’t very cohesive and I thought at times we were a little bit flat footed. I don’t know the reason for that, but having said that two games played with four points, that was the object of the exercise.”
Ryan was satisfied with aspects of Westmeath’s display and is looking forward to the Meath clash on Sunday week.
“Kildare are a better hurling team than people give them credit for and they deservedly beat us last year up in Newbridge. So it was a question of getting the result and at times our hurling wasn’t as good as it needed to be, and I thought our support play was lacking a little bit. Having said that we rattled off five points without reply at one stage, we brought on a few subs who made an impact, so overall I’m reasonably happy, but there is a lot more to do.
“Meath are on four points as well so that could have a huge influence on who qualifies for the league final. It is a huge game, a game both teams will want to win, so we will prepare for the next two weeks to get ready to go to Trim. I know from my time up here the rivalry between Meath and Westmeath is serious, so it is going to be a royal battle.”