Westmeath did most of the damage in the first eight minutes as they eventually recorded a vital Allianz Hurling League Division 2A win over Kildare at Newbridge.
It has been a difficult start to the year for Westmeath, but early on they scored 2-2 without reply to take control of this crucial encounter and ease their relegation fears. Noel Conaty and Alan Devine grabbed the Westmeath goals early on, but Kildare found a way back into the reckoning.
It was delicately poised after the interval, but 10 minutes remained when Devine burst clear to earn victory for Westmeath. Now Brian Hanley’s side venture to Dr Cullen for the last group game with Carlow, who want to book a place in the Division 2A decider themselves.
At the start of the campaign that was an objective Westmeath wanted to meet, but now the focus is firmly on the upcoming Leinster Senior Hurling Championship campaign.
The round robin format guarantees Westmeath matches against Antrim, Laois, Carlow, and London. Those clashes between April 27 and May 25 will offer an accurate barometer as to Westmeath’s current health. Two teams will emerge from that pool. Westmeath face Antrim and Laois in the first two weeks of that series so Hanley will be anxious to ensure the midlanders’ are primed for provincial action.