The penultimate round of Westmeath senior football championship group phase fixtures throw in this weekend as aspirations of Flanagan Cup success continue to sharpen into focus for club players and management.
Hogan Park in Moate is the venue for what promises to be a close encounter between Garrycastle and St Lomans. The last two clubs to claim the prized silverware have yet to hit fluid form but remain in contention to secure two quarter final berths.
However, should Garrycastle defeat St Lomans on Saturday evening (throw in 5pm ) and The Downs achieve a similar result against Coralstown-Kinnegad, the eight times Westmeath senior football champions know that a semi-final place will be within their grasp in the ultimate set of round robin fixtures.
Garrycastle will be heartened by their second half showing against The Downs. Dominating possession, it was the lack of a clinical scoring edge that proved detrimental to the end result but should that be sharpened on Saturday evening, success is certainly achievable against a St Lomans team currently shorn of the services of talisman John Heslin.
Meanwhile, Athlone play Tyrrellspass in TEG Cusack Park Mullingar on Sunday evening at 5pm with both clubs seeking their first championship victory.
A win would revive Athlone’s quarter final ambitions, but defeat would virtually condemn Liam McHale’s charges to Group 2 of the senior football championship for 2022.
Athlone’s semi-final appearance in last year’s senior football championship afforded thoughts of positive playing times to come, but despite an opening round draw with Garrycastle, this young team have failed to build upon the momentum such a result would have instilled within the group.
Meanwhile, a local derby between Rosemount and Moate All Whites is the standout fixture in this weekends Group 2 schedule of fixtures.
To be played in TEG Cusack Park Mullingar at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, this salivatory local derby contest is certain to attract a vast swell of neutral supporters with the victors remaining on course to seal a knockout phase berth.
Both clubs have achieved similar results to date and will be eager to advance their Flanagan Cup cause with a win on Sunday.
Remaining South Westmeath club, Caulry, play Mullingar Shamrocks in Fr O’Growney Park, Rosemount, on Saturday evening at 5pm.
The Mount Temple/Baylin club will have positive thoughts returning to the vast green Rosemount playing swathe having accounted for Killucan at the venue in their second championship fixture.
A victory for Shane Curran’s charges over the current Group leaders will leave them in a strong position for knockout phase qualification prior to their remaining round robin contest against Moate All Whites.