WESTMEATH’s preparations for their upcoming Leinster SFC opener against Louth continued last Sunday with a one-point victory in a challenge match against midlands neighbours Longford.
The game took place in Edgeworthstown to mark the official opening of a new stand and pitch at Hugh Devine Park.
Westmeath triumphed on a 1-11 to 1-10 scoreline, with John Heslin returning to the maroon and whote colours having missed the latter end of the Allianz League campaign through injury.
Heslin was among the scorers in the opening half - as were Maryland duo Kieran Martin and Callum McCormack and Garrycastle stalwart Dessie Dolan - as the Lake County took a 0-6 to 0-3 lead into the interval.
Longford retaliated with four points after the break to take a one-point lead, but Paul Bealin’s Westmeath then struck 1-3.
Alan Giles, of Coralstown/Kinnegad, scored the Westmeath goal, while Tang’s Aidan Burke (a substitute) contributed two points. Longford notched a late goal through Brian Kavanagh but Westmeath hung on to win.
Westmeath’s Leinster Championship campaign begins against Louth on Saturday week, May 17, in Cusack Park, Mullingar (throw-in: 7pm). Before then, Westmeath will take part in another challenge match against Galway in Athlone Institute of Technology on Wednesday night (8pm).
Westmeath (v Longford): Stephen Gallagher; Steven Gilmore, Kieran Gavin, Kevin Maguire; Killian Daly, Paul Sharry, Ronan Foley; John Heslin, David McCormack; Kieran Martin, John Egan, James Dolan; Alan Giles, Callum McCormack, Dessie Dolan. Subs Used: Jamie Gonoud, David Lynch, Ray Connellan, Aidan Burke, Shane Flynn.