Westmeath footballers follow their hurlers in keeping the County colours flying. In a mixed weekend for the Midland teams in the first round of the Leinster football Championship, Westmeath and Laois had good wins while Offaly had a disappointing defeat to Longford, whom they had trounced by 13 pts. only 3 weeks ago in the division 4 league final. Offaly were 7 pts. ahead early in the second half but allowed Longford to take control of the game and go on win by 3 pts. Westmeath meanwhile defeated Louth in their opening game and continued the counties good run in all grades at present. Laois also had a big win over Carlow in their opening round and will be hoping to improve on last year’s performances and win a Leinster football final.
Mixed luck for Midland teams in first round of Leinster Championship round robin series.
Laois senior hurlers were very unlucky to be beaten by a single point in a thriller with Antrim. There were 47 scores in the 70 mins including 8 goals with both teams playing some fantastic hurling. Laois were leading by a single point in the closing stages when Antrim were awarded a penalty. Ciaran Clarke, who ended up scoring 2-7, crashed the hurling ball to the Laois net for a memorable win for Antrim. Westmeath, on the other hand had a very good win against Carlow in a game that ebbed and flowed up until Westmeath went 2 points clear in the final few minutes. The teams had been level at half time but Westmeath were helped by the accuracy of Niall O’Brian, who scored 5 great points from play and 2 frees when he struck the hurling ball with great accuracy.
Both Laois and Westmeath supporters will be eagerly awaiting the next games and if Westmeath beat Antrim in Mullingar they will be on their way to the Leinster Championship proper. Laois must beat Carlow to have any chance of progressing.