Saturday, May 21, 2022

No stroll in the Garden for senior footballers

By Damien Maher

Westmeath senior manager Jack Cooney was the most relieved man in TEG Cusack PArk following his side’s five-point victory over a fired-up Wicklow side last Sunday, in the first round of the National Football League (Division 3).

Promotion hopes looked set to take a severe dent when the Garden County led by eight points after the first 12 minutes, their intensity levels putting Westmeath firmly on the back foot. Driving wind and rain (the elements favoured Wicklow) added to Westmeath’s woes and they lost full back Kevin Maguire to injury.

However, Cooney moved Ronan Wallace to full back where he was really impressive and the Lake County managed to turn it around as a well-taken goal from the excellent Sam McCartan turned the game in Westmeath’s favour. Wicklow will certainly bemoan the dismissal of Rory Stokes on a second yellow card after 33 minutes and it was a big factor as the game progressed in the energy-sapping conditions.

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