By Damien Maher
Wonderful Westmeath swooped with an unanswered 1-4 to claim victory over Cavan and become the first ever winners of the Tailteann Cup at Croke Park last Saturday.
Jack Cooney’s men trailed the pre-match favourites by three points with 57 minutes on the clock, but a storming finish saw them turn the game on its head to record a landmark victory. The Lake County are guaranteed to play in the Sam Maguire Cup in 2023, regardless of how their Division 3 League campaign goes.
Cooney beamed: “The lads showed great character. They showed it here in this game, but they also really showed it over the weeks and months, and even years. I actually thought that when our own goal went in, the yelp that went up, you’d swear there were 80,000 Westmeath people out there! It certainly felt like that.
“We’ve grown as a group over the last eight weeks; we’ve been delivering messages since the day we came in that everything is taken from the training ground and based on what we do there.
“It’s been a great experience, our sixth championship game today. We had an extra eight weeks of training with the lads since losing to Kildare and today caps it off. We have a nice blend of youth and experience, and next year in Division 3 gives us a chance to develop other players.”