Tyrrellspass captain Darren Quinn hailed the character of his team after they fought back from seven points down to edge out Castledaly in last Sunday's thrilling Westmeath SFC clash.
"There is great heart in that dressing room in there. Some people think we are dead and buried, but we came back well and showed our true colours," said the Tyrrellspass and Westmeath goalkeeper.
The sky blues were 0-14 to 1-4 behind approaching the 40-minute mark, yet they still managed to eke out a one-point win (1-14 to 0-16). It was arguably the most entertaining game of this year's senior championship, but that was scant consolation to Castledaly after they saw their lead whittled away.
Derek Heavin's charges had played some excellent football, with the impressive Alan Stone scoring five points, but they left Cusack Park empty-handed.
However, Quinn believes Castledaly can bounce back from the heartbreak of last Sunday's defeat.
"It's always a big battle against Castledaly, it's very physical. They'll come back from that. They (Castledaly) are taking it hard in there (in the dressing room), but they'll be back come the end of the championship," he told the Westmeath Independent.
Quinn was among the Tyrrellspass contingent who played for Westmeath when they came mighty close to a shock win over Kerry in the previous Sunday's dramatic All-Ireland qualifier. But they had to quickly put aside their disappointment to focus on their club commitments.
"The club is good to us. It was tough (going back training) on Tuesday but you have to come back to the club, it's where you start. We were happy enough to come back and get ready for this game and we had to be focused," Quinn remarked.
"We were very slow to get going in the first half, we weren't winning any breaking ball."
Denis Glennon, Martin Flanagan and Ger Egan all came good for Tyrrellspass in the second half - having been peripheral to the action during a first half which Castledaly dominated.
"They turned it on when we really needed them, they were kind of out of it in the first half. We are delighted that they got the scores when we really needed them," said Quinn.
"We have a load of work to do, that first-half display wasn't good enough, so we'll be back in training on Tuesday night to try and get things right," he added.
Tyrellapass are now joint-top of Division A in the Westmeath SFC (with two matches remaining), while Castledaly will need a victory in their next outing, against Bunbrosna, to keep their 2012 hopes alive.
Reds run champions close
Later in the evening, Jack Cooney and his young son Breen were the last two people to leave the Coralstown/Kinnegad dressing room following their spirited display against Garrycastle.
Although a two-point defeat (2-9 to 0-13) was the eventual outcome, the Coralstown/Kinnegad manager had just reason to be satisfied with his side's performance.
The fact that key forwards Mark Gorman (suspended), Eamon Fleming and Alan Giles were not part of the reds' starting line-up (though the latter was introduced as a sub) meant their display was all the more encouraging. Midfielder Niall Kilmartin only recently returned from abroad but also saw action from the bench.
"We were looking for a good performance. It's important after coming up from intermediate level to settle back into senior. We won the first two matches and we looked at the next three matches as a way of trying to build a team and put good performances together," said Cooney.
"We had a cut at Garrycastle and pushed them right to the end. They got their second goal at the right time, halfway through the second half, and that gave them a little bit of a cushion. But I'm delighted with the way the lads played, they did very well.
"Garrycastle are Leinster champions and they have been great ambassadors for Westmeath football over the last number of years. It's a great yardstick for us to put ourselves up against Garrycastle. We have a young team. We have an awful lot of young fellas coming through and we're trying to blend them into a team."
Looking forward to his team's next game against Tyrrellspass, Cooney added: "We'll knuckle down and get back training during the week. It's one game at a time and we'll have a go at Tyrrellspass, they had a great win tonight. They are a team of a lot of quality players and they'll be pushing for the championship this year. We'll be looking to put in another good performance and try and build on that again."
Garrycastle manager Paul Clancy, whose team are level at the top of Division A with Tyrellspass, was also missing several first-choice players and he was happy to see his side emerge with a win.
"We're happy enough because we've a good few lads out and people coming back from the All-Ireland campaign and Dessie (Dolan) is away. We're trying to introduce a few new players and I suppose it was satisfying from that point of view," said the former Galway star.
One of the younger brigade, Eoin Monaghan, came up trumps by scoring Garrycastle's second goal.
"Eoin is a good player but he's just back with us a couple of weeks, you don't want to fire lads in too early. I thought Robbie (Shine) did well when he was on, but we just needed to move the ball forward a bit quicker and Eoin was a good option for us," said Clancy.
"We could have killed the ball a few times and we had a couple of goal chances that we should have taken and we didn't. We need to be more clinical up front. There's always something to work on but, overall, I'm delighted," he added.
Garrycastle's next championship game is against Killucan. See main paper for further details in all last weekend's SFC and IFC games.