By Kieran Galvin
The under-21 footballers of Westmeath and Roscommon are both in Hastings Cup semi-final action this Saturday.
Having defeated the Rossies in their last group match played in Moate last weekend, Westmeath take on arch rivals Meath in Abbeylara on Saturday (2pm).
Westmeath are due to face Longford in the opening round of the Leinster U21 FC (Longford venue, February 19). And another outing in the Hastings Cup is likely to be seen as ideal preparation for that assignment.
In the other Hastings Cup semi-final, Roscommon take on Cavan in Ballinalee at 2pm.
Cavan have won the last three Ulster U21 titles and are likely to give Roscommon a tough test, which should prove useful preparation for their forthcoming Connacht championship clash against Mayo.
Meanwhile, the Westmeath senior footballers are set to take on Wexford in a challenge match tonight (Thursday) in Castletown, Co. Wexford. This workout will continue Westmeath's preparations for their Allianz FL Division 1 campaign - in which the Lake County's first game is away to Cork on Sunday, February 2 (Páirc Ui Rinn, 2pm).
Westmeath defeated Tomas O Flatharta's Laois charges in a challenge match played in Vicarstown on Sunday last.
In other upcoming GAA fixtures, the Westmeath senior hurlers face Carlow in the Bord na Mona Walsh Shield final on Sunday (Dr Cullen Park, 2pm), while AIT host UCD in the first round of the Sigerson Cup on Tuesday, January 28 (throw-in: 5pm).
*For a report on last weekend's Westmeath v Roscommon Hastings Cup match, see this week's Westmeath Independent.