Roscommon and Westmeath ladies on collision course
The Westmeath and Roscommon ladies football teams are on a collision course to meet in this year’s All-Ireland intermediate championship semi-finals.
Both Roscommon and Westmeath are one win away from All-Ireland semi-final places in the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship.
In Group 1 of the championship, Roscommon face Offaly in Kinnegad this Sunday, while Westmeath meet Louth in Donaghmore/Ashbourne, Co. Meath on the same day in Group 2.
Both games are listed for 1pm throw-ins and victories for Roscommon and Westmeath would see the neighbours from either side of the Shannon advance to meet each other in the last four.
Roscommon defeated Wexford on a 1-15 to 2-9 scoreline in Clane last Sunday. Sinead Glennon scored Roscommon’s goal early on, helping to build at 1-10 to 1-4 lead at half-time. St Dominic’s duo Aimee O’Connor and Aoife Gavin (a daughter of former Roscommon All-Star Enon Gavin) also impressed in attack.
Goals from Aisling Murphy and Catriona Murray kept Wexford in contention, but Roscommon did enough to secure the victory, with joint captains Jenny Higgins and Laura Fleming influential figures for Michael Finneran’s side. St Brigid's duo Kate Nolan (who came on as a sub) and Lauren Curran were part of the Roscommon squad.
Wexford defeated Offaly in the opening round (3-10 to 1-8), so the formline would suggest Roscommon are strong favourites to emerge victorious in Kinnegad on Sunday.
If Offaly claim a surprise win, it would mean the three teams in the group would be level on points and the semi-final place would be decided by scoring difference.
In Group 2, Westmeath claimed an emphatic 9-9 to 2-6 victory over Longford at Mullahoran last Saturday week.
Louth overcame Longford by 4-10 to 2-7 last weekend, with Lauren Boyle, Kate Flood and Eimear Byrne among the goals. This means the Wee County ladies will secure a semi-final place if they defeat Westmeath. A draw would be enough for Westmeath as their scoring difference is superior to that of Louth.
Westmeath manager Sean Finnegan (whose management team includes the vastly experienced Tom Carr) will be hoping to welcome back some players who missed the Longford game through injury. However, Garrycastle’s Aoife Connolly remains a long term absentee, having suffered a second cruciate ligament injury.
Lucy McCartan, a key figure on the Westmeath team, played for Peamount United in last week’s Champions League match, in which they lost on penalties to Glasgow City.
Meath have already progressed to the All-Ireland semi-finals by topping Group 3, and Kildare are leading the way in Group 4 in the battle to join them.