Athlone seek their second senior championship win

The third round of Westmeath senior football championship fixtures throw in this weekend with the Group 1 contest between Athlone and Tyrrellspass in Hogan Park, Moate, on Saturday evening (7.15pm ) being the standout game.

Both teams are considered the closest challengers to St. Lomans quest for four in a row and will be hopeful of achieving latter championship status as the campaign continues.

Athlone, defeated by the champions the last time out, will be seeking a return to winning ways and should they claim the brace of points, they will restore Group 1 parity with Tyrrellspass come the shrill of the final whistle on Saturday evening.

The Shannonsiders will feel that they should have inflicted a rare championship loss on St. Lomans and having lead the fixture midway through the second half, while playing against 14 players, this was an opportunity missed by Emmett McDonnell's charges.

Jordan Marshment's return to the Athlone starting lineup added energy to the team's performance, but it is in the forward department where improvement is required with an over reliance on John Connellan to kick the necessary scores.

Despite the senior championship semi-final loss in 2016, Athlone have held sway over Tyrrellspass in recent encounters, but last year's finalists will be hopeful of maintaining their winning start to the round robin format.

Annexing wins over Killucan and Coralstown/Kinnegad will have boosted confidence and should they overcome the Athlone challenge, they will be rightly placed to secure a top two spot in Group 1.

Garrycastle aspire for a third successive win on Saturday evening when they take on the challenge of Castledaly in Tubberclair (throw in 7.15pm ).

Having gained a somewhat contentious victory over Group 2 rivals Mullingar Shamrocks, Gary Dolan's charges will be keen to maintain their championship momentum, but will face a Castledaly team boosted by their deserved draw with Rosemount.

A win would certainly see the green and red on course for a quarter final spot with games against Maryland and Rosemount ahead, but the county champions of 2008 will also be seeking that crucial brace of points to stave off the relegation threat.


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