While our footballers secured promotion last weekend, Brian Hanley’s hurlers kept their own promotion hopes very much alive with another valuable win, this time over Wicklow.
Played in arctic-like conditions in Arklow last Sunday, the visitors held the better of the exchanges in the opening half but only led by a single point at the break.
The home side did draw level after the restart but from there on it was Westmeath who held sway. Derek McNicholas was in fine scoring form weighing in with 0-7, including four frees and a sideline while Brendan Murtagh bagged 0-4 from full-forward.
Seanie Kinsella fired a consolation goal for the Garden County late on but at that stage the Lake County had the two points on offer secured.
The win leaves Westmeath on six points along with Laois and Kerry with one round left to play. All three have home advantage in the final round as they chase the two places on offer in the final. If all three win, placing will be determined on scoring difference. At present Laois stand on +32, Westmeath are on +17, and Kerry are on -1.
This Sunday at 3pm Kerry entertain Derry, Westmeath host Kildare, while Laois welcome Wicklow to Portlaoise. Providing Westmeath play their side of the bargain and beat the Lilywhites their favourable scoring difference should see them join Laois in the league final at the expense of Kerry. Counting chickens can be a dangerous pastime but Brian Hanley is sure to have his side focused on the job in hand come Sunday.