Westmeath's Kieran Gavin in action against Michael Meehan of Galway on Sunday last.
By Kieran Galvin
Team captain Kieran Gavin has been named in the Westmeath team for Sunday’s game against Laois – despite the injury he sustained in the closing stages against Galway last Sunday.
Gavin picked up a facial injury after what seemed an accidental collision in the closing stages of the drawn match against Galway. He required dental treatment in the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore last Sunday evening.
It had been thought likely that the Mullingar Shamrocks player would be out of action for about ten days. In that light, his inclusion in his regular full-back berth for the Laois match comes as something of a surprise.
The two players who were introduced as substitutes against Galway last Sunday – John Gaffey and David Duffy – have been handed starting places.
John Gaffey is picked at centre-back in place of Garrycastle club colleague Doron Harte. David Duffy has been drafted into midfield, with Denis Corroon moving to corner-forward, and Ronan Foley making way.
Paul Sharry and Dessie Dolan are both absent again, having missed the Galway match with groin and hamstring injuries respectively.
Westmeath top Division 2 at present and a win on Sunday at Cusack Park (throw-in: 2.30pm) would put them in a strong position to gain promotion.
The curtain-raiser to Sunday’s midlands football derby is the Allianz Hurling League Division 2A clash between Westmeath and Derry (12.45pm).
Manager Brian Hanley has made no changes to the side which lost narrowly to Kerry in the league opener.
Westmeath SF team v Laois: Gary Connaughton, Mark McCallon, Kieran Gavin (captain), Kevin Maguire, Micheál Curley, John Gaffey, James Dolan, David Duffy, John Heslin, Ger Egan, Callum McCormack, Kieran Martin, Denis Corroon, Ciaran Curley, Denis Glennon.
Westmeath SH v Derry: Peter Collins, Mark Keegan, Alan McGrath, Tommy Gallagher, Eoin Price (captain), Conor Jordan, Philip Gilsenan, Robbie Greville, Shane Power, Joey Boyle, Joe Clarke, Aonghus Clarke, Derek McNicholas, Niall O’Brien, John Shaw.