Tang manager Paul Conway ... his side face St Malachy's today (Saturday) in Cusack Park, throw-in: 6.30pm. Photo: Ann Hennessy.

Westmeath IFC quarter-final previews ... Tang, Caulry and Tubberclair bid for last four places


Kieran Galvin looks forward to this weekend's Westmeath Intermediate FC quarter-finals - Tang v St Malachy's and Caulry v Tubberclair.


Tang v St Malachy's

(Saturday, Cusack Park, 6.30pm)


Tang made a very poor start to the championship, failing to score in the first half in their defeat to Caulry. They improved significantly since then but still needed a late point from Robert English to secure a place in the knockout stages, thanks to a narrow win over St Mary's Rochfortbridge.

The only team to get the better of Milltownpass in Section B, Tang also defeated Ballinagore but a defeat to Rosemount meant that aforementioned game against St Mary's was a must-win clash.

Tang dished out a heavy defeat to Athlone in a recent ACFL Division 1 game - which shows the potential in their ranks - but Paul Conway's charges will need to hit top form to overcome St Malachy's.

The form of St Malachy's has been somewhat patchy. They lost their opener to Shandonagh but then underlined their championship credentials with an impressive win over Tubberclair.

They had an easy victory over Ballymore before the wheels came off the wagon when they were hammered by Ballynacargy. However, they hammered Kilbeggan Shamrocks in their last group game to take second place in Section A, by virtue of superior scoring difference to Tubberclair and Shandonagh. 

St Malachy's were only relegated from the senior grade last year and their experience of playing at a higher level, allied to the scoring power in their ranks, could be decisive.

Verdict: St Malachy's.


Caulry v Tubberclair

(Sunday, Moate, 5pm)


Tubberclair are facing into their third game in the space of eight days in this local derby clash against Caulry.

A hugely disappointing 0-17 to 1-7 defeat to Ballynacargy meant Tubberclair had to face Shandonagh in a play-off earlier this week. They overcame that test quite impressively (1-14 to 1-8) to set up a quarter-final against Caulry.

Tubberclair are another side seeking consistency but they will be keenly aware that there are no safety nets left now. With Francis Spollen having picked up an injury against Ballynacargy, they will be looking to the likes of Alan Coffey and Conor Elliot for scoring power.

Caulry seemed to be set for the semi-finals having won their first four games - against Tang, Ballinagore, Rosemount and St Mary's Rochfortbridge. However, a surprise defeat to Milltownpass meant Caulry had to take the quarter-final route.

Francie Grehan's charges have had an impressive sequence of results and they will be looking to banish the memory of that blip against Milltownpass. With the likes of Damien Dolan and Kevin Maguire in defence, and Peter Smyth, David Brookes and Robbie Hickey up front, there is plenty of quality in the Caulry ranks. 

Caulry edged out Tubberclair in last year's semi-finals, with Gary Flanagan notching a late goal.

This is a very hard game to call and a solid case can be made for either side. But if Tubberclair can build on the momentum from their win during the week, and if they can harness their desire to avenge last year's defeat, Martin McCabe's charges might just edge it.

Verdict: Tubberclair.