Ray Gavin’s Westmeath minor side produced another inspired performance to see off the considerable challenge of neighbouring Offaly last Saturday. They have now claimed the scalps of Carlow, Laois, and Offaly (and were unlucky to lose out to Kilkenny by two points ) and find themselves only one hour away from a first ever Leinster final appearance.
Offaly had wind advantage in the opening half and took an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead. Westmeath had no intention of repeating the poor opening half they had produced against Kilkenny and Paul Fennell bagged the game’s only goal to give the Lake County a 1-6 to 0-5 lead.
Westmeath seized full control in the second half and with Clarke and Scally keeping the scoreboard ticking they edged further ahead to seal a valuable win. They now face Dublin on Saturday week. While the Metropolitans will provide a formidable challenge, with the right attitude we are well capable of booking a place in the provincial decider for the very first time. The minor footballers turned dreams into reality in 1995. There is no reason why our minor hurlers can’t do likewise in 2011.