The Lake County list

Cusack Park in Mullingar is our next destination in this year’s National League Division Two North campaign. On Saturday we’re set to face Westmeath there in a game that throws in at 3pm that afternoon. The match is being broadcast live on Eir Sport and Noel Mooney of Cavan is the ref for it.

We’ve played the Lake County twenty times in all down the years. Eighteen of those meetings were in the National League, over a period spanning 1953 and 2014. We’ve won fifteen of those clashes, drawn one and lost four.

In the Championship, meanwhile, it’s a win apiece from two meetings, both held at neutral venues. They beat us in 2001 at Dr Hyde Park in the qualifiers while we got the better of them, also in the qualifiers, in 2016 at Croke Park.

That’s our most recent meeting with them and the last time we played them in the League was when we met in Division One at Cusack Park in March 2014. We won that one too.

Since then we’ve gone our separate ways, which for them has meant a life outside Division One of the League and regular enough eviscerations at the hands of Dublin in the Leinster Championship.

Looking at their more recent form, the best place to start is the beginning of last year when the world was still operating as normal, even if the news out of Wuhan was starting to get a little concerning, and the League got going on schedule in late January.

Westmeath began their Division 2 campaign last year with a narrow 2-9 to 1-11 win over Clare in a match played at Cusack Park. That’s Westmeath’s Cusack Park, by the way, not Clare’s county ground of the same name in Ennis.

In Round 2 the following week the Lake County lost for the first time, Cavan coming out on top by 1-17 to 1-13 at Breffni Park. Back in Mullingar a week later, however, Westmeath steadied the ship with another narrow win, this one over Fermanagh by 0-10 to 0-8.

A high-scoring draw, on a scoreline of 3-12 to 2-15, against Armagh, a match also played in Cusack Park, followed in Round 4. Then, in the final round of games before the Covid restrictions were imposed, they went down heavily enough away to Roscommon, losing that game in Dr Hyde Park on 1st March by 1-16 to 0-12.

The resumption of matches last October saw Westmeath win and lose to Leinster opposition. First off they enjoyed an impressive 1-18 to 0-13 home victory over Laois but the following weekend their faint promotion hopes were dashed as they lost out by 0-16 to 0-11 to Kildare in Newbridge. This meant Westmeath ended in fourth spot in Division Two on seven points.

Drawing Dublin in the Leinster quarter-final was only ever going to mean one thing. That draw had been made over a year before the match was played so the Lakesiders knew what was in store for them all that time. Because it was Dublin’s first outing, though, it didn’t turn out to be a proper pummelling as Westmeath left O’Moore Park in Portlaoise bearing only the scars of an 0-22 to 0-11 defeat.

That game was played on 7th November last year, which meant that when Westmeath galloped out onto the pitch at Páirc Tailteann last Sunday to face Meath in the first round of this year’s League it was their first competitive outing in over six months. Despite this, they controlled the game fairly well for most of the seventy minutes only to lose a four-point lead late on and fall to a one-point loss to the Royals, on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-15. That win for Meath, by the way, was their first in the League for over two years.

Sunday’s defeat puts Westmeath under a bit of early pressure in Division Two North and that’ll get ramped up a few notches on Saturday should we come away with a win from Cusack Park. Needless to say, we’re huge favourites to do the business then. As ever, though, let’s conclude by testing the waters with you, dear readers, to see if that optimism is reflected among the county’s supporters.

How will we do against Westmeath?

  • Win (89%, 505 Votes)
  • Draw (5%, 31 Votes)
  • Lose (5%, 29 Votes)

Total Voters: 565

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24 thoughts on “The Lake County list

  1. I’m looking forward to the clash of Oisín Mullen and John Heslin, Westmeath”s top player by a mile. Mullen looked under pressure early on against Down last Sat but soon mastered the problem and also proved a dangerous attacker when he got the opportunity. Sometimes a forward helping out in defence is no help at all, when his marker proves a more dangerous attacker than he is a defender, as last Sat with Mullen.
    The ladies clash with Galway will also be interesting and a good indicator of where we will be going under Moyles’ managership. It is a pretty tough start but it’s where we expect Mayo to be at.

  2. I might have missed it but was there an announcement of the final amount raised in phase one of Laochra Mhaigheo Eo Wall?

  3. @mayolass not a mention on the website. This is so bloody amateurish. No feedback to the punters who they are trying to get contributions from.
    Only for this blog, I would not have known about it in the first place.
    Great idea. Poor execution. Why am I not surprised. As I said. Amateurs.

  4. i just checked on website too – no update. Yet Offaly’s Michael Duignan wrote to contributors to the Grand Canal Walk thanking them – the event raised over 200grand (split evenly between the clubs and County Board). Over 6,000 people donated to the event. That is an unreal involvement. Liam Moffat promised transparency – so we need to see it now or Mayo supporters wont get involved. And not a word on the debt at all anymore…

  5. @claremorris1951 It’s a bit harsh to call it ‘so bloody amateurish’. They did release an excellent video promoting it on 1st May (Mayo day). It’s been on all the local newspapers. Plus as you said this blog.
    I think our county board get a lot of unfair criticism. This is a excellent, something you don’t see many other counties doing.

    If I was to complain about anything it would be the fact that we have to fundraise at all. Dublin don’t have to pay to resurface their defacto home ground croke park. Surely with the amount of money we have made the GAA over the past decade HQ could cover it.

  6. Exactly JB. It has been advertised consistently over the last few months. Liam Moffatt was on mid west radio as well. People just love giving out.

  7. Also, Liam Moffatt sent a ‘thank you’ note to everyone who contributed to the training fund prior to December’s All-Ireland.
    Maybe Michael Duignan was copying Moffatt!

  8. Tubberman ‘ Did the County Chairman say how much in total was contributed to tbe traininng fund?

  9. Seeing as we now have the football back, can we keep the debate on on-field issues? If anyone wants to know about how the tile sales are going the only way they’ll get info on that here is if it’s already been published somewhere else. So, if you really want to get news on this issue which hasn’t already been made public then it would make sense to make enquiries of your own rather than – as a few are doing – constantly posting comments (the same one reheated) about this issue and nothing else. We’ve got football to be talking about so let’s discuss that instead.

  10. Hi all,

    Good win at the weekend, Westmeath away will be a tougher test. Really looking forward to this weeks podcast. A little bit of feedback Willie Joe & team, the podcasts are fantastic and I know get a lot of people thorough the week but if ye are going down the subscription route, Wednesday is far to late to be releasing an episode, especially if it is a review podcast.

    Keep up the great work.

  11. Thanks, Michael – point taken re the subscription model, which I’d fully agree with. If we do go down that route it’d be a very different weekly schedule of episodes. As you know, our aim up to now has been to get the review episode out on the day after the match but for the early games this year this just isn’t feasible for us to do and it makes sense to do one review/preview episode instead.

  12. Willie Joe
    There was an interview with Chris Barrett on a podcast and no matter what I cant find it.Is there any chance you could throw up a link.
    I hear its well worth a listen

  13. No problem, Pat – the link for that episode on SoundCloud is here. You heard right, by the way – it’s definitely worth a listen. Chris has some fascinating insights to provide, about high performance, how he operates as a defender, the culture in the squad etc.

    By the way, I’ve been meaning to sort the Podcasts tab here on the site to include links to the 2021 episodes so maybe this is the prompt I need to make some time to do this.

  14. On a separate note, I think its a bad idea relying so much on Cillian for frees.
    I know he is so reliable and brilliant, but what happens when for some reason he is unavailable? In those games where we are winning pulling, up would it not be an opportunity to try another lad and give him some experience. Paul Towey would be a huge asset here. Any thoughts? Up Mayo.

  15. Mayolass – The mayo county board publish their accounts every year and it says the amount raised from fundraising. There is never any secret there. As the all Ireland final was in December it will be included in this year’s accounts.

  16. Michael Brennan,
    Is Conor Loftus not an expert freetaker? Diarmuid O’Connor has taken frees occasionally with success – I recall the league match v Donegal last year as one occasion. If somebody is good enough to take frees what is the benefit to be had in taking them when we are “winning pulling up”? There is no pressure in that situation so no benefit. There would be much more pressure in a club game when the game is in the balance.

    Mayolass,
    Why not ask your club delegate to Co Board for info on fund raising if it bothers you so much? I’ll say no more on this issue as I agree with Willie Joe that we should concentrate on the games now that they are up and running.

  17. While getting relegated is not what we wanted.this was a good year for it to happen as we only have to win 3 games out of 4 to go back up. And actually it could be possible to get promoted by only winning 2.
    I expect us to win all 3 in our section and then it looks like it will be Cork in the promotion play off. I would be wary of Cork and not to surprised if they beat us as i think they are better in reality then their performance against Tipp last year suggests. They would be our only real test before Connacht Final which is not ideal.its reasonable to say connacht is a 3 horse race even sfter Galways performance last week. But saying thats its a relegation play off between them and Rossies this week.

  18. On all known form, Galway and Roscommon will both be in the relegation playoffs regardless of what happens this weekend.

  19. Wonderful podcast Willie Joe. Looking ahead to all the action at the weekend. I hope Hession starts for us, a very exciting prospect for Mayo. The Galway v Roscommon game is going to be a right battle as Galway will want to make amends for their poor performance against Kerry, and the Dublin v Kerry game should be a real thriller. Thank God for football and thank you Willie Joe for this wonderful blog.

  20. Thanks for that link WJ.
    It was well worth listening to.
    Its a real shame he couldn’t have done 2 more years as he clearly felt able physically…but life takes over eventully

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