Another interesting weekend beckons in the Westmeath Senior Football Championship with the Sunday evening meeting between holders St Loman’s and Athlone promising to be an interesting encounter.
Luke Dempsey’s standard bearers enjoyed a solid opening round success over The Downs, but Athlone also impressed beating Coralstown/Kinnegad.
Athlone, with Darren Magee prominent, will be eager to test themselves against Loman’s, who still remain the team to beat in Westmeath.
John Connellan will carry an attacking threat for Athlone, while Daniel Reid also bagged a brace of goals in the victory over Coralstown/Kinnegad which was a satisfactory start in a competitive group.
Loman’s just had too much power for The Downs, who still feel that they can make an impact as the Championship progresses.
The Downs play Killucan, who lost their opening match against Tyrrellspass by 0-14 to 0-9. Luke Loughlin is an influential figure for The Downs, who will be striving to land the spoils in Mullingar.
On Saturday at the same venue the other Group 1 fixture involves Coralstown-Kinnegad and Tyrrellspass in what should be a revealing match.
Tyrrellspass did enough to beat Killucan, while Coralstown-Kinnegad conceded some soft goals when losing to Athlone.
The action gets underway on Friday with a couple of important Group Two matches scheduled.
Rosemount will be particularly anxious to build on their solid display against Maryland when they play Castledaly at Pairc Chiarain.
Theo Watts David Tone, and Sean Petit all contributed to that success, but Castledaly need to respond following a defeat against Mullingar Shamrocks.
St Mary’s Rochfortbridge and Maryland carries huge relevance for both clubs, who lost their first fixture so that will be a keenly contested affair.
On Saturday Mullingar Shamrocks meeting with Garrycastle will be another vital clash following their initial successes.
Ger Heneghan has added quality to the Garrycastle forward unit, while Alex Gardiner can land scores too for the 2011 Leinster champions.
Shamrocks will be relying on Denis Corroon for inspiration, while Efe Siode is a key performer too for the Mullingar outfit.
Complete listing of Westmeath SFC fixtures
Friday August 3
Rosemount v Castledaly, Pairc Chiarain, 7.30pm
St Mary's, Rochfortbridge v Maryland, TEG Cusack Park, 7.30pm
Saturday August 4
Coralstown-Kinnegad v Tyrellspass, TEG Cusack Park, 7.30pm
Mullingar Shamrocks v Garrycastle, Fr Growney Park, 7.30pm
Sunday August 5
St Loman's v Athlone, Moate, 7.30pm
Killucan v The Downs, TEG Cusack Park, 7.30pm
Disappointing loss for Westmeath ladies
Westmeath Ladies Footballers suffered a disappointing 6-17 to 1-6 defeat against Galway in the TG4 All Ireland Championship at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe on Saturday.
Galway dominated the opening period to establish a commanding 2-12 to 0-3 advantage ensuring Westmeath were in serious bother.
Aoife Connolly and Laura Lee Walsh battled for Westmeath, but Galway just had too much attacking class. The midlanders leaked three further goals in the second half as Galway set up a Quarter-Final meeting against Connacht rivals Mayo.
Roscommon aim for respectability against Dublin
Following All Ireland Quarter-Final Group Phase losses against Tyrone and Donegal, Roscommon travel to Croke Park for a clash against Dublin at Croke Park on Sunday, throw-in 3.30pm.
Having impressed in a dramatic Round Four Qualifier win over Armagh, Roscommon’s two subsequent Championship encounters have culminated in disappointing losses.
The GAA headquarters setback against Tyrone was a reminder of the distance Roscommon need to travel and while the performance levels improved against Donegal at Dr Hyde Park the home team were still defeated.
Ultimately it means Donegal and Tyrone’s tussle at Ballybofey will be a shoot-out to determine who qualifies alongside Dublin from the group.
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay won’t be on the sideline this weekend after opting to accept the proposed 12 week ban following an incident at half-time during the Donegal game.
Reaching the last eight of the All Ireland series was Roscommon’s objective, but the manner of the Tyrone hurt deeply.
Though Roscommon started that match brightly the concession of a soft goal proved extremely costly and the Connacht outfit never recovered.
Donegal’s Odhran MacNiallais and captain Michael Murphy, in particular, caused Roscommon problems at the Hyde and a loss in that game means Roscommon can’t qualify even if a shock win over Dublin is registered.
The standard bearers have already beaten Donegal and Tyrone so it will be interesting to see what approach is adopted by Jim Gavin and his backroom team six days ahead of their August 11 All Ireland semi-final.
During his tenure Gavin has constantly introduced emerging talent into his panel and Dublin may well view this as an ideal opportunity to afford players valuable game time.
Whatever collection of footballers Gavin opts to select won’t be short on class or talent so Roscommon will be hoping to produce a competitive display at the Jones Road venue.