Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Tyrrellspass fancied to see ofF Shamrocks

The knock-out stages of the Westmeath Senior and Intermediate Football Championships take place this weekend, with four quarter finals down for decision.

The meeting of last year’s finalists, Tyrrellspass and 2012 champions, Mullingar Shamrocks in the senior quarter-final on Saturday evening (6.30pm in Cusack Park) is an interesting tie. Mullingar Shamrocks would be favourites if they had a full team available and were at their best, but they have looked vulnerable this season and face a mighty challenge on Saturday, with county star Kieran Gavin (Achilles injury) a notable absentee.
Tyrrellspass manager, Tom Coffey is playing down his side’s chances, but they will deservedly carry the favourites tag and at the moment, pose the biggest threat to defending champions, St Loman’s, who await the winners in the semi-final.
Speaking after his side’s victory over St Malachy’s in the last round, Coffey was satisfied that things are gelling together nicely.
“We would have had the height of respect for St Malachy’s and their manager Peter Leahy, but it just went well for us on the evening. We are settling down well now; at the start of the year we had lads involved with the county and others away at college. We have a tight panel and a small pick but we are coming together nicely now,” he said.
“The players are putting in a serious effort and it’s all down to them; they are really putting their shoulder to the wheel,” he added.
The Rhode man, in his second year at the helm in Tyrrellspass, was keen to point out that Mullingar Shamrocks still represent a serious challenge for his side.
“Obviously Mullingar Shamrocks are a very capable side, despite recent results. They are a big town and we will need to be totally on our game. When we started training at the start of year we targeted going one better than last year. Obviously, we will have the height of respect for Mullingar Shamrocks; Bernard Flynn will have them well tuned in and they have the panel,” he remarked.
“I’ve seen it before where teams haven’t gone well in the earlier stages of the championship and then turned it around come the quarter-final. Town teams are always very capable of getting big scores,” added Coffey.
He was full of praise for his side’s dedication, saying: “Tyrrellspass are great: they are very committed and the village is closely-knit. The players are putting in a big effort and have got the results so far.”
Mullingar Shamrocks have suffered two bad defeats against St Loman’s (2-12 to 0-4) and Killucan (2-10 to 0-8). The return of Darragh Daly will boost them, while Davy Gavin and Dylan McDermott will strengthen their side and Lorcan Smyth remains a key forward.
Tyrrellspass’ 3-14 to 1-6 victory over St Malachy’s was impressive, while they also posted a big total against Bunbrosna (3-17) earlier in the campaign. Backboned by Glennon brothers, David and Denis, and midfielder Ger Egan, they are a strong outfit. The inimitable Martin Flanagan is a big impact sub and while form can often be made a mockery of in the knockout stages, it’s hard to look beyond them.

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