Plenty to play for as club championship kicks off this weekend

Maryland and Kieran Martin will be looking for an opening Championship win against the Downs this weekend. Photo:

Maryland and Kieran Martin will be looking for an opening Championship win against the Downs this weekend. Photo:

The Westmeath senior, intermediate, and junior football championships have snuck up without much fuss or hype. There are plenty of interesting tussles down for decision this weekend.

The clashes of St Loman’s and Tyrrellspass and Garrycastle and Castledaly look like the pick of the senior games while Caulry and Tubberclair are sure to draw a huge crowd when they lock horns in the intermediate championship in Tubberclair on Sunday.

In the senior championship section B which includes reigning champions Mullingar Shamrocks, Garrycastle, Tyrrellspass, St Loman’s, Castledaly, and Bunbrosna looks decisively stronger than group A which consists of Athlone, CFCW, Maryland, The Downs, Killucan, and Coralstown/Kinnegad.

Before a ball is kicked Garrycastle have deservedly been installed as favourites with reigning champions Shamrocks their biggest danger. Tyrrellspass or St Loman’s are likely to fight it out for third spot in group B.

While group A looks weaker all teams in the group will fancy their chances of making the knockout stages. Maryland, Athlone, and Kinnegad will be fancied to emerge from the group but anything could happen over the course of the summer.

Cusack Park hosts a double header on Saturday with Maryland and The Downs throwing in at 5pm. Finbar Egan’s side, with Kieran Martin and Callum McCormack on board, should open their campaign with a win. Jack Cooney is sure to have Coralstown/ Kinnegad well primed for their opener and they should prove too strong for Killucan in the second game.

On Sunday Cusack Park again hosts a double header with St Lomans and Tyrrellspass getting things underway at 2pm. The Saints will be favourites to bag both points on offer but Tyrrellpass look more potent up front and can get Tom Coffey’s reign off to a winning start.

Shamrocks are warm favourites to account for Bunbrosna in the second game but I expect Bunbrosna to give the reigning champions a bit of a fright even if Ray Smith’s men should prevail.

Garrycastle who easily accounted for Mullingar Shamrocks in a recent league game should have too much strength in depth for Castledaly when they battle it out in Tubberclair at 3.30pm.

Athlone are pitted against last year’s intermediate champions Castletown/Finea/ Coole/ Whitehall in a game fixed for Kinnegad on Sunday at 6pm. Athlone have been going well under new manager Noel O’Brien but will be expecting a right battle from CFCW who will want to mark their promotion to the senior ranks with a win.

While each club will be going all out to get their championship campaign off to a winning start, Pat Flanagan’s main concern will be that all of his squad come through with a clean bill of health and are ready for the division 2 final next weekend.


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