Westmeath look to Galway after edging out Carlow

Robbie Greville of Westmeath motors away from Sean Whelan of Carlow during the Leinster GAA Hurling Championship qualifier, Round 3, at Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Robbie Greville of Westmeath motors away from Sean Whelan of Carlow during the Leinster GAA Hurling Championship qualifier, Round 3, at Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Westmeath claimed a third Leinster SHC Round Robin win in a row after defeating Carlow by 0-22 to 2-15 at Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday.

Westmeath received a stern test throughout an interesting game as Michael Ryan’s improving team prepare to host Galway in a provincial quarter-final at Cusack Park, Mullingar, on Sunday, June 5.

“There’s never much between Carlow and Westmeath over the years, they’ve been very tight games and that’s why I’m delighted we dug this out because there were times when the game was slipping away from us,” Ryan said in a post-match interview with RTÉ.

Seamus Murphy’s early goal gave Carlow hope, but Niall O’Brien and Brendan Murtagh were instrumental for Westmeath.

“We got some good points and we drove on at the end but we know that game is over now and there’s a huge challenge coming up in two weeks time, but there’s also a huge opportunity.”

Galway, All-Ireland finalists in 2015, travel to the Midlands on Sunday week, and Ryan is looking forward to the challenge.

“Laois beat us by six or seven points a few weeks ago so there’s no reason to suggest Laois would be any easier. Whoever you get you get.

“We will prepare well; we have two weeks to get ready. We know there’s a lot of aspects of our game we’ve got to improve on. We know if we do that and produce our best performance on the day in Cusack Park who knows what can happen.

“We’re always hard to beat at home, but having said that the home venue won’t win the match for us.

“It’s all about our performance, what we do when the ball is thrown in. We’ll prepare well and look forward to it.”

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