ROSCOMMON 1-16 WESTMEATH 0-12
While Sunday’s opponents, Roscommon, may be within close proximity to Westmeath, the final scoreline certainly did not reflect such a scenario, as the Hyde Park hosts ascended to the top of the Allianz National Football League Division 2 table with a thoroughly merited seven point victory.
Despite this loss, Westmeath still remain poised to attain a place in the ultimate fixture at the end of March, but would need results to fall in their favour with two round robin league fixtures remaining.
With Leinster rivals Laois the visitors to TEG Cusack Park, a win is most definitely achievable on home soil, which would leave Westmeath’s closing contest in Kildare one of immense interest should the Lake County still be in contention for a place in the Croke Park final fixture.
In what is a congested league table, Westmeath are presently placed in fourth position alongside Armagh, just two points adrift of Roscommon, so the management and players mindset must still be one of focus as a fruitful conclusion to this league campaign may still be realised.
Pertaining to Sunday’s contest, Westmeath never attained momentum flow to their play and playing against the weather elements in the opening moiety, retreated in numbers to stem a Roscommon team who, when they found their scoring range, worked the scoreboard on a regular basis, building up a nine point lead at the interval, the game’s crucial score arriving at the end of the first quarter when talisman, Enda Smith, placed Padraig Pearses clubman, Conor Daly, for the contest’s solitary green flag.
The three pointer, complemented by white flags from Conor Cox and Donie Smith, ensured scoring superiority was maintained by the reigning Connacht champions and despite Westmeath being favoured by a strong wind in the second half, there was little sign of scoreline retrieval as a confidence laden Hyde Park team stemmed numerous forward forays by the Lake County team, who only positively effected the scoreboard with a flurry of points in the closing stages of this one-sided league contest.
Although Westmeath tasted their second league loss on Sunday, shoots of optimism remain with regard to the closing two fixtures. Undefeated at TEG Cusack Park, this should be the positive statistic to effect the players mindset prior to throw-in against Laois on Sunday week and should success be achieved, spirits will be of the highest order with the short trip to Newbridge awaiting as Westmeath’s league campaign reaches its conclusion.