Westmeath senior footballers strive to advance in championship qualifier

Westmeath and Rosemount senior footballer, Boidu Sayeh, in action during the All-Ireland qualifier series round one victory over Waterford.

Westmeath and Rosemount senior footballer, Boidu Sayeh, in action during the All-Ireland qualifier series round one victory over Waterford.

A return to the vast green swathe of Cusack Park awaits the Westmeath senior footballers on Saturday evening as the hosts aspire towards a place in round three of the All-Ireland qualifier series, with Limerick providing the opposition in a game which throws in at 6pm.

Despite plying their league trade in Division 4, akin to round one opponents Waterford, Limerick will be a stern test for the Lake County. A physically strong side, they accounted for Tipperary in the Munster championship, before succumbing heavily to Cork in the provincial semi-final.

Speaking this week to the Athlone Advertiser, Westmeath captain and Maryland clubman, Kieran Martin, noted the championship challenge which the Munster opponents will provide on Saturday.

"Limerick had a notable win in the opening round of the Munster championship, when many onlookers would have expected Tipperary to be victorious in that game. They are a well drilled and physical team and will be hoping to return to winning ways following a heavy loss to Cork. They too would have welcomed the result of the draw viewing this game as one in which a win is achievable," Kieran remarked.

However, Westmeath will be in determined mood with the aim of annexing a successive championship win on home soil.

"At this stage of the senior championship you cannot afford to treat any opposition differently. We have prepared for this encounter in a thorough manner and are looking forward to throw in on Saturday evening.

"We had a high scoring rate against Waterford, as aspect of our performance with which we were particularly pleased and hopefully, we can perform to similar levels against Limerick," Kieran continued.

With key players returning to full fitness, most notably John Heslin, who did not start against Waterford, Westmeath are in a strong position personnel wise.

"With John absent through injury, it allowed John Halligan to step into the team and he showed what he can offer the team. Callum McCormack also contributed when introduced and we know that all squad members are capable of making a difference on the field of play," Kieran emphasised.

The senior game will be preceded by the Leinster minor semi-final encounter between Westmeath and Dublin and with a keenly contested double header on the horizon, Kieran is hopeful that the Westmeath faithful will come out in supporting force.

"Hopefully, both teams can garner success and we have two reasons to celebrate on Saturday night," Kieran concluded.

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