Last weekend was a busy one on the playing fields of Westmeath and Roscommon with a number of quarter final matches down for decision. Tyrrellspass secured a semi-final spot thanks to their 1-13 to 0-10 win over a gallant Maryland. Most pundits expected the Pass to breeze through against surprise quarter-finalists Maryland. In the end they did, even if they were outplayed in the opening half and it looked as though a shock was on the cards. Finbar Egan’s men deserve credit for the way they took the game to Tyrrellspass in the opening half, leading by five points at one stage and 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.
The underdogs couldn’t maintain the intensity of their opening half performance after the break. Nor could they cope with the deadly duo of Glennnon and Flanagan when they got motoring. Between them they kicked 1-10. Glennon’s haul of 0-8 again underlined his importance to Tyrrellspass championship expectations. They now face Garrycastle in a mouth-watering semi-final clash on Sunday week, September 13. I fancy Garrycastle to go all the way this year but to do so they will have to devise a way to curb the influence of the two Glennons and Flanagan. That should keep Anthony Cunnningham busy for the next week or so.
A replay is needed to decide the second quarter final after Shamrocks and St Loman’s finished all level 0-10 to 1-7. Both sides missed clear-cut chances to win the game in the final ten minutes but a draw was probably a fair result. Shamrocks had the edge over their neighbours for much of the game but couldn’t pull away from a determined Loman’s side. Indeed when Conor Lynam goaled for The Saints on 50 minutes to bring them back on level terms, the tide swung very definitely in favour of the blues. They will be kicking themselves for their failure to turn possession into scores in those final ten minutes, but can thank the brilliance of goalkeeper Stephen Gallagher for an outstanding save which keeps their hopes alive. The replay is fixed for Cusack Park on Sunday week, September 13. Shamrocks will be hoping to have Donie O’Donoghoe back, having been forced off through injury after 3 minutes last Sunday. His presence around the middle should be enough to swing it in favour of the green and whites.
At the other end of affairs The Downs just about did enough to maintain their senior status at the expense of a somewhat unlucky Bunbrosna outfit. The Downs enjoyed a five point half-time lead but Bunbrosna dug deep in the second half. With The Downs down to 14 men, Bun closed the gap to a single point. Unfortunately for them time ran out and their worst fears were realised as they lost their senior status.
St Brigid’s exit from the championship thanks to a 1-10 to 0-10 defeat at the hands of near neighbours St Aidan’s was certainly the main talking point after last weekend’s quarter final. Brigid’s have been the team to beat in recent years and with them out of the way all of the remaining teams will fancy their chances that little bit more.
In a repeat of last year’s county final, Castlerea ended Padraig Pearses hopes of lifting the Fahy Cup for another year on a scoreline of 0-09 to 0-07. Clann na nGael also went down by two points to Western Gaels while St Faithleach’s and Kilbride finished all square.
Westmeath U16 hurlers do us proud
Last weekend was a significant one for all involved with underage hurling in Westmeath. While the U14s and U15s acquitted themselves well in their respective tournaments, pride of place must go to our U16s.
The first Westmeath team to compete in an A grade at this level, this talented group certainly raised a few eyebrows in Tipperary. In their opening game they were unlucky to lose out by two points to Kilkenny. Next up were Dublin who had defeated the Cats. Westmeath needed to win by 4 points to get through to the Cup semi-final. After a marvellous display they emerged victorious 2-12 to 2-09. Score difference meant that they would be contesting the Shield competition.
In the semi-final The Lake County men beat none other than Waterford on a score of 4-10 to 2-8. Now in the Shield final the Westmeath lads faced Clare and after a nip and tuck game were unlucky to lose out by two points.
All concerned can be proud of their efforts and the results show that the hard work that is being done at underage in the county is bearing fruit.
James McGrath to ref All-Ireland minor final
Turin clubman and Athlone Community College based teacher James McGrath will referee this year’s all-Ireland decider between Galway and Kilkenny. Having already refereed the club decider last March, no doubt James will do an equally good job on Sunday.
Garrycastle ladies make it two in a row
Congrats to Garrycastle ladies who captured their second county title in succession thanks to their 1-8 to 1-4 win over Corralstown/Kinnegad.