Positive start to national league campaign as Westmeath earn merited victory in O’Connor Park

Athlone’s Ray Connellan enjoyed a fine start to his league campaign as he turned in a rewarding performance for Westmeath during the Lake County’s four point win over Offaly. 
Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Athlone’s Ray Connellan enjoyed a fine start to his league campaign as he turned in a rewarding performance for Westmeath during the Lake County’s four point win over Offaly. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

RONAN FAGAN

In contrast to their opening Allianz National Football League Division 3 encounter in 2023, Westmeath made a positive start to this year’s quest for promotion, deservedly meriting a four point success over Offaly in Glenisk O’Connor Park, Tullamore, on Sunday afternoon.

Played in squally weather conditions, a first half goal from Caulry forward Senan Baker proved to be the game’s crucial moment and allowed the visitors to attain scoreboard supremacy which they were not to relinquish for the remainder of this contest.

The goal allowed Westmeath to build in game momentum and as the confidence started to flow through the players, the Lake County enhanced their scoreboard superiority, enjoying a six point half time lead as the shrill of the interval whistle sounded at the well attended Offaly venue.

Offaly returned to the playing fray in a more determined mood and with Westmeath retreating into defensive mode, the hosts gradually reduced the visitor’s six winning margin to a mere three points as they sought to achieve a morale boosting brace of league points.

Westmeath did regain in game control as the game elapsed, closing points from the experienced James Dolan and Luke Loughlin ensuring Westmeath commenced this year’s league campaign with a victory which will stand the team in positive stead prior to the TEG Cusack Park Mullingar fixture with Clare on Sunday afternoon (throw in, 2pm ).

Devoid of the influential Kevin Maguire and John Heslin, team manger, Dessie Dolan, will be pleased to achieve an opening round robin fixture win with notable contributions from Charlie Drumm, Conor Dillon, Andy McCormack, Ray Connellan and Senan Baker.

Clare started their Allianz National Football League Division 3 campaign with a one point win over Sligo, but a Westmeath victory in Mullingar on Sunday will cement a positive start and further build confidence and momentum as the round robin fixtures progress.

 

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