Not the hoped for result as Westmeath returned to Allianz National Football League Division 3 action in TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Sunday afternoon, Cavan gaining a modicum of revenge for their Tailteann Cup Final defeat to the Lake County in July of last year.
A disjointed performance in the main, team manager, Dessie Dolan, has much to ponder upon prior to Westmeath’s return to league action this weekend when they journey to Pearse Park in Longford for a crucial fixture, the result of which will prove pivotal to his charges’ promotion aspirations.
Bar a 15 minutes spell in the second half when the home team enjoyed momentary momentum following Ronan Wallace’s goal, Cavan were deserving of their victory before a sizeable TEG Cusack Park crowd.
Prior to throw in, the Westmeath management made a number of changes to the starting team and this appeared to impact upon the Lake County performance with the Tailteann Cup champions unable to obtain a flow to their play, the absence of core players, Sam Duncan, Ray Connellan, Luke Loughlin and David Lynch proving detrimental.
In a low scoring first half, during which Westmeath availed of the elements, it was Cavan who gained scoreboard ascendancy from the 23rd minute, as centre back Dara McVeety (who impressed over the duration ), pointed. It was a lead which the victors were not to relinquish, as the Lake County struggled to exert their dominance on proceedings.
A two point interval lead was lengthened to six points on the 52nd minute, Westmeath management reacting to the scoreline with the introduction of Loughlin, Connellan and Lorcan Dolan to proceedings. Loughlin’s introduction was the catalyst for a positive reaction, The Downs talisman assisting Wallace’s goal, before creating point scoring opportunities for Castledaly marksman, Dolan.
Cavan’s lead now reduced to the minimum on 62 minutes, hopes were increasing amongst the Westmeath faithful that an unlikely win may be secured, but Cavan responded with the next three scores, dampening the home crowd’s enthusiasm, John Heslin’s injury time point a mere consolation for the Lake County.
Having also suffered defeat in their opening league encounter, Longford will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s league contest when they defeated Westmeath by four points in TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar.
Much improvement is expected from Westmeath this Sunday with the hope that the experienced players within the group will return to the starting team and gain a much needed brace of league points in the quest for end of campaign promotion.