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“I’m such a lucky girl; I’m still in shock that I’m going to Tralee,” is the reaction of Westmeath Rose Aisling Baker to her participation in next week’s Rose of Tralee festival.
It’s last chance saloon time for the minor hurlers and footballers of Westmeath with both sides in action following their opening round defeats to Laois and Louth respectively. Both sets of players will be out to redeem themselves this time out.
The clock is ticking. Before we know it the ball will be thrown in and the 2012 AIB All-Ireland final will be underway and if a new name will be on the silverware by full time remains to be seen.
Pat Flanagan has already made no secret of the fact that his side’s best chance of maintaining division two status is to win their home games. Not surprisingly then this Sunday’s game against Monaghan has to be seen as a six-pointer.
Westmeath’s hard-fought and unlikely win over Galway was a timely and welcome morale booster for our much maligned senior squad. Along with the u21 mid-week success it will go some way toward erasing the negativity surrounding the squad and management team for the time being at least. Let’s face it, few (outside the squad themselves) gave them a prayer against the Tribesmen. Not to take from the home side’s great win but Galway themselves must surely have expected to win.
The Westmeath footballers held a hugely successful fight night last Saturday week in The Mullingar Park Hotel to raise much needed money to fund their endeavours for the year ahead.
A - Anthony Cunningham has had the sort of 2011 that any manager could only dream of. After steering his native Galway to u21 All-Ireland glory in September, the two time All-Ireland winner was announced as the new Galway senior hurling bainisteoir. He also found time to guide Garrycastle to a third county title on the trot en route to seeing his side become the first Westmeath club ever to win the AIB Leinster club championship. Not a bad year’s work.