Westmeath hurling manager Brian Hanley ... will be renewing rivalry with Antrim in the 2013 Leinster SHC.
By Kieran Galvin
The Westmeath hurlers have been drawn against Antrim in the Leinster senior championship for the second year in a row.
Brian Hanley's Westmeath charges recorded a surprise win over Antrim in last year's championship - it was a notable victory for the Lake County, in a contest which contained some controversial moments.
Hanley was ratified as Westmeath hurling manager for next season last Wednesday night, and he'll be aiming to guide his side to another win over Antrim, who are now under new boss Kevin Ryan (former Carlow manager).
If Westmeath manage to overcome Antrim, they will progress to a Round 1 clash against Laois. The winners of that game will face Carlow or Leinster championship newcomers London in the quarter-finals.
The draw is undoubtedly kind to Leinster champions and defeated All-Ireland finalists Galway, who will face Antrim, Westmeath, Laois, Carlow or London in the semi-finals.
Interestingly, during the championship draw on RTE, hurling analyst and Cyril Farrell predicted that Westmeath would advance to a semi-final clash against his native Galway. Anthony Cunningham's charges defeated Westmeath in the 2012 Leinster championship with a degree of comfort, despite the fact that the Lake men scored four goals on the day.
Offaly have received the short straw, having been drawn against All-Ireland champions Kilkenny, with the winners meeting either Dublin or Wexford in the semi-finals.
2013 Leinster SHC
Preliminary round: Antrim v Westmeath.
Round 1: Antrim v Westmeath v Laois; Carlow v London.
Quarter-finals: Antrim/Westmeath/Laois v Carlow/London; Offaly v Kilkenny; Wexford v Dublin.
Semi-finals: Galway v Antrim/Westmeath/Laois/Carlow/London; Offaly/Kilkenny v Wexford/Dublin.
2013 Munster SHC
Semi-finals: Tipperary v Limerick; Clare or Waterford v Cork.