Crunch time for clubs as Westmeath senior football championship group phase enters crucial stage

The third round of Westmeath senior football championship fixtures throw in this weekend as the quest for Flanagan Cup success ventures towards the knockout phase.

Fresh from their defeat of Tyrrellspass in the second round of fixtures, 2019 champions Garrycastle open this weekend’s raft of games with a Friday night contest against The Downs in Kinnegad (throw-in at 8pm ).

Buoyed by an impressive second half display against the 2020 finalists, John Keane and Gary Dolan’s charges will be aiming for successive wins to cement their position in Group 1.

With four teams from Group 1 advancing to the knockout phase of this year’s senior championship, a victory for Garrycastle will place the team in a strong position with two round robin fixtures to play.

Opponents, The Downs, are currently joint top of this group following back-to-back wins over St Lomans and Athlone - confidence laden, they are certain to prove a stern test for Garrycastle.

Meanwhile, Athlone are hoping to achieve their first win in this year’s senior championship when they play Coralstown-Kinnegad in TEG Cusack Park Mullingar on Saturday evening (throw-in at 6pm ).

An opening fixture draw with local rivals, Garrycastle, gave cause for optimism, but defeat to The Downs in the second round of games will have given cause for much management thought prior to Saturday evening’s contest.

A win will cement Athlone’s standing in the top four of the group and bolster confidence levels prior to the remaining two fixtures, one of which is against reigning champions, St Lomans.

Coralstown-Kinnegad have started the championship positively with successive victories and in what is certain to be a closely contested fixture, know that a win would all but guarantee the North Westmeath club a place in the knockout phase.

Meanwhile, in what is, to date, an evenly matched Group 2, a local derby between Rosemount and Caulry in Hogan Park, Moate, on Saturday evening (throw in at 6pm ), is the standout fixture this weekend.

Moate All Whites, who achieved their first win of the championship campaign against Mullingar Shamrocks last time out, play Shandonagh in Tubberclair on Sunday evening (throw in at 6pm ), drawing to a conclusion the third round of senior chanpionship fixtures.


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