Westmeath's Paul Bannon in action during last year's Leinster SFC clash against Louth. The counties will meet again in the opening round of the 2013 Allianz FL.
By Kieran Galvin
Westmeath will begin their Allianz Football League campaign against Louth for the third year in a row when the 2013 competition starts next February.
The provisional list of fixtures were released by the GAA this week and Westmeath will be at home to Louth in the opening round on Sunday, February 3.
There have been numerous meetings between Westmeath and Louth in recent years. They met three times last year with Louth winning the league fixture at Haggardstown and they also won the Leinster championship clash in Navan, a somewhat fortunate victory thanks to a late goal. However, Westmeath ended their losing run in competitive games against Louth with a subsequent victory in the All-Ireland Qualifiers.
A midlands derby away to Longford will be Westmeath's second game and this will be followed by a trip to face Galway. The Lake men recorded a surprise win over Galway in the 2012 league, a result which proved crucial in avoiding relegation.
This will be followed by a home clash against Leinster rivals Laois, and then a trip to face Wexford, a game which is due to take place on Monday, March 18.
Pat Flanagan's charges will then entertain Armagh and, in common with the 2012 campaign, Westmeath will finish their campaign against Derry. Westmeath secured Division 2 status for 2013 with a fine home win over the Oak Leaf County earlier last year; next year, Derry will have the benefit of home advantage.
Rossies to start against Sligo
Meanwhile, Roscommon will open their Division 3 campaign with a home tie against neighbours Sligo on February 3. Roscommon, who defeated Sligo in the 2010 Connacht final, will then face an away clash against Fermanagh.
The Saturday evening clash against Fermanagh will be followed by games against Wicklow (promoted from Division 4), Meath (relegated from Division 2), Antrim, Monaghan and Cavan.
*Provisional fixtures - venues, times and dates are open to change
Allianz FL Division 2
(First named team at home)
Round 1 (Sunday, February 3): Westmeath v Louth, 2pm
Round 2 (Sunday, February 10): Longford v Westmeath, 2pm
Round 3 (Sunday, March 3): Galway v Westmeath, 2pm
Round 4 (Sunday, March 10): Westmeath v Laois, 2.30
Round 5 (Monday, March 18): Wexford v Westmeath, 7pm
Round 6 (Sunday, March 24): Westmeath v Armagh, 2.30
Round 7 (Sunday, April 7): Derry v Westmeath, 3pm
Allianz FL Division 3
(First named team at home)
Round 1 (Sunday, February 3): Roscommon v Sligo, 2pm
Round 2 (Saturday, February 9): Fermanagh v Roscommon, 7pm
Round 3 (Sunday, March 3): Roscommon v Wicklow, 2pm
Round 4 (Sunday, March 10): Roscommon v Meath, 2.30.
Round 5 (Saturday, March 16): Antrim v Roscommon, 7pm
Round 6 (Sunday, March 24): Roscommon v Monaghan, 2.30
Round 7 (Sunday, April 7): Cavan v Roscommon, 3pm