TANG have been struck with a worrying injury crisis ahead of the third round of fixtures in the Westmeath IFC this weekend.
Paul Conway's charges are pencilled in to face current Division A leaders Caulry at Tubberclair on Sunday (7pm), but the former Westmeath forward has major selection headaches ahead of the task.
Niall Bannon, Robert English, goalkeeper Michael Galvin and Alan Higgins all missed the last championship outing, a 14-point win over Garrycastle's second team, and are expected to continue on the sidelines this weekend. In addition, Colm Conlon, a key performer at midfield, and Fergus Farrell have also picked up recent injuries and could miss Sunday's game.
Paul Conway described the run of injuries as "horrid", but said there's no point complaining about it.
"In fairness to the other lads, we were without the bulk of that list (of injured players) against Garrycastle, and still wracked-up a good score and got the win. Ideally, Westmeath would have beaten Kerry on Sunday and given us all a few extra weeks to prepare for the championship! But it doesn't always work like that. You get on with it, no matter what hand you're dealt, and we'll go to Tubberclair determined to get a good result," said Conway.
The Tang boss said "the pressure is all on us", after losing the opening game to Tubberclair before beating Garrycastle.
"Caulry have been moving very well under Brendan Clarke and will be tough opposition. But our lads showed against Garrycastle, particularly in the opening few minutes, what they're capable of. We just need to get that potential out of them on a more regular basis," Paul said.
With two wins from two outings, Caulry are in confident mood, and have been catching the eye of onlookers since the start of the campaign. Of some worry is a groin injury sustained by ace attacker Peter Smith, and he was struggling to respond to treatment at time of print.
Manager Brendan Clarke said Smith's knock is a concern, and that Tang will present Caulry with their toughest challenge to date in this year's championship.
"We've had two tough matches so far against Ballynacargy and Tubberclair, but I rate Tang as one of the most consistent teams at intermediate level in Westmeath over recent years. They're always there or thereabouts in terms of competing for the championship and, with Paul Conway at the helm, they'll be a stiff challenge for anybody," said Clarke. Youngster David Brookes netted two goals when Caulry beat Tubberclair last time out, while Alan Rigney and Smith also contributed well to their scoring tally. Elsewhere in Division A, Garrycastle will look to respond to the defeat to Tang when they face Ballynacargy in Tang next Monday evening (7.30pm).
In Division B, Eamonn Gallagher's Rosemount try to maintain their 100 per cent winning start when they take on Ballinagore at Moate on Saturday (6pm). That game acts as a pre-cursor for the Westmeath SFC meeting between Athlone and Maryland (7.30pm), so a tasty Saturday evening's action should lie in store there.
Also in Division B, Castletown F/C/W meet Shandonagh at Kinnegad on Saturday (7.30pm).
Meanwhile, Moate All-Whites are bidding to build on their last outing, a victory over Kilbeggan Shamrocks, when they play Loughnavalley at Ballymore on Friday evening in the latest round of Westmeath JFC fixtures (7.30pm). Kilbeggan Shamrocks are also in action, taking on Delvin at Kinnegad on Saturday evening (6pm).