Departing Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan, on Saturday night, the Westmeath senior football management and playing squad will reflect on this Allianz National League Division 2 encounter as a game from which a win should have been garnered.
Boasting a five point half time lead (0-8 - 0-3 ) and strengthened by the dismissal of Cavan corner back Paddy Meade, Westmeath appeared destined to attain a vital second successive league victory but only effected the scoreboard on two occasions in the game’s closing quarter as their Ulster opponents rallied with a return of 1-9 and secure the victory.
Starting prominently from a territorial and possessional perspective, Westmeath raised six consecutive white flags in a twelve minute scoring spree as the Lake County dominated playing proceedings and when Castledaly clubman, Lorcan Dolan, pointed with the last play of the opening moiety, the final whistle outcome looked positive for Jack Cooney’s charges.
Following the resumption of play, Cavan upped their level of play and successive scores ensured parity as the game’s third quarter reached its conclusion.
The introduction of substitute, Luke Loughlin, momentarily arrested the Westmeath scoring slump, The Downs clubman clipping 1-2 without reply in a four minute period to move his team into the scoreboard ascendancy once again.
A six point advantage now attained and with a first league win in Cavan in sixty years seemingly certain, a lapse of concentration allowed the home team to work their way back into the contest and when both Ronan O’Toole and talisman, John Heslin, were dismissed from playing proceedings as time elapsed, the scoring momentum gained by Cavan proved too strong for Westmeath, ultimately winning the fixture by a four point margin.
A return to the green swathe of TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, awaits this Sunday afternoon as Fermanagh provide the opposition in the third round of division fixtures (throw in, 2pm ).
Eager to swiftly return to winning ways, Westmeath host a Fermanagh team who eked out a minimum victory over Roscommon in the process annexing their first brace of league points.
A second home league win will set a positive tone for the remainder of the campaign as Westmeath aim to stave of any potential threat of relegation, while also bearing thoughts of a prominent division position finish.