An important Saturday for Westmeath in the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship beckons tomorrow when Brian Hanley’s team visit Ballycastle for a clash with Antrim.
In an innovative new round robin series Westmeath, following a difficult spring, will hope to make an impact against Antrim, Laois, London, and Carlow.
The next month will bring plenty of challenges for Hanley’s side, who face an awkward assignment first time out as Antrim preserved their Allianz Hurling League Division 1B status.
That victory, with Paul Shiels outstanding, over Offaly proved how tough an opponent Antrim can be in Ballycastle.
Shiels struck nine points for Antrim, who responded despite trailing by six points at one stage in the opening period.
Westmeath, who now have former Kilkenny selector Martin Fogarty involved in a coaching capacity, will be fully aware that a purposeful performance will be necessary against Kevin Ryan’s Antrim, who registered five of the last six scores when defeating Offaly.