Heavy snow during last week’s ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma weather event took its toll on all sporting events in West- meath, while TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar was under more than a foot of snow during the height of the snowfall.
The weather led to the postponement of the entire National Football and Hurl ing League programme and last Sunday’s scheduled double header is now switched to next Sunday, 11 March, with the hurlers taking on Kerry at 1pm, followed by the footballers’ clash against Fermanagh (3pm). Both games have been fixed for TEG Cusack Park, but it will be a tough task to have the pitch ready for Sunday’s double-header.
County Board Chairman, Billy Foley said it will be a major challenge to have headquarters ready for a double header given the inclement weather of recent days and there may be a case for switching the hurling game later in the week, possibly to Lake- point Park.
“It’s a situation we will have to watch closely this week and we will be very conscious of the state of the pitch at TEG Cusack Park,” he said.
“Weather conditions will have to improve consider- ably if we are to play two games on the pitch on Sunday, so a definite decision will have to be made later in the week.”
It’s understood West- meath declined the option of playing the football game against Fermanagh on Saturday.
If the hurling is switched next Sunday, it will most likely move to Lakepoint Park GAA Grounds, where there is a very well main- be hoping to have all play- well and we are now in atained Prunty Pitch available. It’s a crucial game for Michael Ryan’s senior hurling side, who will be looking to improve remark- ably on their performance against London last Sun- day week, a game they struggled to win (2-12 to 1- 10).
“We know we have to play ten times better next Sunday if we are to reach the final,” remarked Niall Mitchell following the Lake County’s unimpressive win in London.
Meanwhile, the West- meath senior footballers have had an extra week to recover from their victory over Sligo and midfielder Denis Corroon, who came off injured near the end of that game, will surely have appreciated the extra recovery time. It’s the same for Callum McCormack (injured at a very early stage having just kicked the opening point) and manager Colin Kelly willers available for what is a key fixture.
“Callum is a big player for us, he has been since day one, so we’re hoping it’s not too serious,” remarked manager Colin Kelly after the victory over Sligo (0-20 to 0-14).
Westmeath were also minus Ronan O’Toole (virus) for the Sligo game and the inclusion of the St Loman’s star will be cru- cial to the outcome of next Sunday’s clash. Currently Fermanagh and Armagh are unbeaten in Division 3 and lead the way on eight points, while Westmeath and Longford sit on six points. A win on Sunday will put Westmeath in a great position ahead of the short trip to Pearse Park to take on Longford.
“We have been stretched as a squad and came out the right side of it so far,” said Kelly.
“Sligo got it back to a point, but we pushed on
great position in the league, which is spilt one half vying for promotion and the other half in in a dogfight (for survival). We didn’t want to be in that dogfight and we ensured that if we win our games we get promoted,” he added.