As the ultimate round of Westmeath senior football championship group fixtures await, results this past weekend have added shape to the current standings as thoughts prominently turn towards the knockout phase and the ultimate quest for the Flanagan Cup.
Athlone and Garrycastle remain in contention for a quarter final berth having experienced opposing results in Group 1.
Despite a narrow defeat to reigning champions St Lomans in Hogan Park, Moate, on Saturday evening, Garrycastle remain placed to advance to the knockout phase of this year’s championship.
Trailing by seven points at the second water break, Gary Dolan’s charges showed immense character to respond in the remaining quarter of the contest but just failed to achieve scoreboard parity at the shrill of the final whistle.
Garrycastle’s second one point defeat in succession has ruled out any opportunity to secure a semi-final berth but a win in their last fixture over Coralstown-Kinnegad will ensure that a place in the knockout phase is annexed.
Athlone achieved their first victory in the senior football championship with a four point victory over Group 1 bottom club and 2020 finalists, Tyrrellspass.
In scoreboard superiority throughout, Athlone now have an outside opportunity of advancing to the quarter final stage of the championship but will be reliant upon group games to fall in their favour - should Coralstown-Kinnegad defeat Garrycastle and Athlone achieve a win over St Lomans, a place in the last six of the competition will be assured.
Meanwhile, in Group 2, form teams Caulry and Moate All Whites achieved victories over Mullingar Shamrocks and Rosemount respectively this past weekend.
Played on the vast green swathe of Fr O’Growney Park, Rosemount, the Mount Temple/Baylin club earned a six point victory over Mullingar and were impressive in their team display.
The win places Caulry on top of Group 2, level on points with Moate All Whites (whom they play in the last round of fixtures ) following the reigning Intermediate champions five point success over Rosemount in TEG Cusack Park Mullingar on Sunday, talisman Robbie Forde to the fore over the duration of this local derby contest.
A win for either club in the remaining fixture places them automatically into a quarter final fixture with the losing team likely to miss out on a knockout phase place should Mullingar Shamrocks and Killucan achieve victories in their closing group contests.
Rosemount must defeat Killucan to ensure their senior championship status for 2022, a loss and the prospect of a relegation looms.
The remaining group fixtures are due to throw in the weekend commencing Friday, October 1.