Two second-half Westmeath goals in Ballymahon enabled Tom Cribben’s improving team to defeat neighbours Longford by 2-11 to 0-10 in the Bord Na Mona O’Byrne Cup on Sunday.
The majors from Lorcan Smith and Kieran Martin ensured Westmeath, who had outfoxed DCU the previous Wednesday, recorded a second victory in the competition which pleased Cribben. “It was good to get a win,” acknowledged the Westmeath boss.
“We had to make a few enforced changes from the team from Wednesday night. We had to play lads out of position in a way to try to get a balance in the team. It didn’t work the way we thought, but we had to be fair to the lads who are students and others who were smothered with sickness. It was good for the lads to get a run out.
“When you get a win and a bit of confidence all of sudden little things fall for you. Definitely without a shadow of a doubt the two goals were lucky for us. We worked hard, we turned over the ball a lot. If you keep working like that these bits of luck are inclined to go your way.”
Having suffered so badly in the top flight last year, Westmeath will be hoping to be competitive in Division Two of the Allianz Football League. Cribben is hopeful that he will be in a position to choose a full strength team for the February 1 Cusack Park clash with Laois. “We would like to get everyone cleared up, but we have to take into consideration that lads have Sigerson. We want to make sure lads don’t pick up knocks. If we get everybody right we should have a good balance for the Laois game.”