Testing encounter in store as Westmeath footballers face Offaly

Cusack Park hosts an interesting Leinster SFC quarter-final clash involving neighbours Westmeath and Offaly on Sunday (June 12 ).

Having reached the provincial decider in 2015, Westmeath remain hopeful of enjoying another productive run this year, but Offaly were heartened by a fine first-round triumph over Longford.

That was an encouraging result for Pat Flanagan’s Faithful team, who continue to make quiet and steady progress.

Westmeath, who have suffered three Allianz Football League relegations in a row, overcame a testing spring last year to move impressively in the summer.

Wins over Louth, Wexford, and Meath edged Westmeath into the Leinster final, but Dublin proved too strong for the Midlanders in the decider.

Offaly continue to be inspired by the prolific Niall McNamee in attack, so Tom Cribbin’s team will need to be solid defensively.

During the league, Westmeath, who were severely restricted by injuries and player unavailability, only supplied glimpses of their class.

Considering the strides Offaly are taking under former Westmeath boss Flanagan, a decent game is in prospect.

Whoever registers a win will feel that the June 26 semi-final against Kildare at GAA headquarters is a most winnable fixture so a lively encounter is imminent.


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