Westmeath ladies boss blasts ‘crazy’ away venue situation
Westmeath ladies football manager Michael Finneran has blasted the “crazy” situation which sees his side travelling to Killarney to face Kerry on Saturday.
“It’s a second away game and I’ve looked at it. I can’t see any other team in the competition that’s playing two away games. It’s crazy,” said Finneran, after last Sunday’s heavy defeat to Galway (see report in this week's paper).
Despite travelling to Tuam last weekend, Westmeath are set to be on their travels again on Saturday as they prepare to play Kerry at Fitzgerald Stadium (throw-in 1pm). It certainly makes things more difficult for a team who has come up from the intermediate grade.
“You can imagine it’s great stress on a county board to get accommodation for 30/40 people on a Friday night,” said Finneran.
“These girls have to spend four hours driving on Friday evening for a game early on Saturday. It’s not ideal at all but listen, it’s the way it is,” he added.
Looking back on the Galway game, Finneran said: “There are a few simple things that went wrong for us today that the girls will be very disappointed with. We’ll try and fix them in time for next week and try and go down and give the best account of ourselves.”
“We’ll be very disappointed when we look back,” continued the St Dominic’s club man. “We can’t be faulting the work rate which we thought was very good early on. But we’re still giving away too many easy scores and against top teams, you can’t afford to do that.”
While Kelly Boyce Jordan wasn’t allowed advantage from a foul when nearly put through in the opening minute, Finneran refused to use that as an excuse.
“That kind of call going against us was a tough one,” he remarked. “If we’d gone and got a goal at that stage, and I thought was a goal opportunity, it would have put us into the lead which might have changed the dynamic of the game a bit.”
There was concern for Westmeath keeper Aoife O’Donnell who needed attention after stopping an Ailish Morrissey Galway goal chance.
“She made a great save when she got injured,” stated the former Roscommon footballer. “She’s still only 17 and she’s doing really well coming up out of minor to be the senior inter-county goalie. It’s mighty to see.”
Finneran pointed to how turnovers cost his side and admitted that once Galway got on top in the opening half, it left his side with “a mountain to climb”.
Another mountain awaits next Saturday in the shadow of the mighty MacGillycuddy Reeks.