Three changes for Westmeath


Our Round 4B opponents Westmeath last night announced their team – and subs – for tomorrow evening’s clash at Croke Park (throw-in 6pm). Here are the details:

Westmeath (All-Ireland Qualifier Round 4B v Mayo 50/7/2016): Darren Quinn (Tyrellspass); Kevin Maguire (Caulry), Francis Boyle (Killucan), Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks); Jamie Gonoud (Tyrellspass), David Lynch (St Malachys), James Dolan (Garrycastle); Darragh Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks), Ger Egan (Tyrellspass, captain); John Egan (Athlone), Paul Sharry (St Lomans), Kieran Martin (Maryland); Callum McCormack (Maryland), John Heslin (St Lomans), John Connellan (Athlone). Subs: David Bryan (Killucan), Alan Stone (Castledaly), Paddy Fagan (Mullingar Shamrocks), Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks), Ronan Foley (Coralstown), Dean McNicholas (Tyrellspass), Shane Flanagan (Milltownpass), Sam Duncan (Milltownpass), Rob Gorman (Moate), Shane Corcoran (Tyrellspass), Daragh Conway (Shandonagh). 

The team the Lakesiders have named shows three changes from the one that went under by fifteen points to Dublin in the Leinster final a fortnight ago. Out go centre-back Alan Stone, midfielder Denis Corroon and half-forward Ray Connellan, who was forced to go off with a serious injury the last day. Into the team for tomorrow evening come Darragh Daly, John Egan and John Connellan.

We’re due to name our pick later on this evening. Don’t expect anything from this announcement, I reckon, but exactly the same again.

Ahead of that there are a few morsels to gnaw on, the pick of the bunch being these comments about us by Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin. Some people have, I know, got a bit hot under the collar about these somewhat outspoken remarks but personally I don’t see what the problem is. This is, after all, the same man who – when Westmeath were relegated to Division Three last year – said that the attitude of senior players in the county was “fucking not on”.

I’d take issue with him on some of his facts when he talks about us – “they’re not in the same league as Dublin”: we are, it’s called the NFL Division One; “They don’t have All-Ireland medals in their locker at senior level, and under-21 and minor”: correct regarding senior but our 2013 minor and 2016 U21 titles must have passed him by – but the man’s forthright attitude is, for sure, a breath of fresh air. Give me that any day ahead of the soulless, corporate-style blancmange that the likes of Jim Gavin comes out with on a regular basis in his painfully stage-managed media outings.

Speaking of media outings, the GAA website has stuff this morning with Stephen Rochford (here) and Keith Higgins (here) but this is just reheated fare from last week’s press event so I wouldn’t be rushing to delve into it. We’re leaving our talking for the pitch on this occasion it would seem.

Anyone have some glue and a pair of scissors handy, by the way? I have to pop down to Croker shortly to paste something up on our dressing room door for tomorrow evening.

30 thoughts on “Three changes for Westmeath

  1. Ray Connellan was the man who got injured.
    I like Cribben’s straight talking though I prefer our own man’s approach of softly, softly with the media. Remember that time last year when Cribben was on the radio swearing and giving out about his own team? Not for me.

  2. Thanks for that correction, Rochford’s Brigade – careless error on my part. The same man has been in the news all week as he’s off to the AFL once he recovers so there was no excuse in my getting his name wrong. I’ve linked in the piece, by the way, to that audio with Tom Cribbin where he blew his own lads out of it last year. Tough love, eh?

  3. I think its fair to say Tom Cribben would get some abuse if he contributed to this blog for providing “ammunition” to the opposition with comments like that.

  4. Imagine the roasting he’d get, Behindenemylines, if he had the audacity to talk about a possible quarter-final appearance or, God forbid, ticketing issues for that game!

  5. WJ
    You’re right about Jim Gavin. I have to take me tablets when I hear him talk about the opposition. Cribbin is more my type of guy.

  6. you cant argue with the man and the forthright opinion is refreshing, if inaccurate re: all ireland medals which is no harm in my book! Makes himself look a tad foolish if anything but apart from that I’ve no issue with his comments.

    I for one am loving the low key build up we’re enjoying this year. I’m just sitting back and watching the Tyrone bandwagon being cranked up notch by notch, day by day. Christ there’s even a bandwagon cranking up in Galway and the Clare and Tipp stories are getting plenty of mileage too which helps deflect attention away from us, and that’s most welcome IMO. A win on Saturday, any win, will do me, because I know these players are capable of rattling the hell out of whoever they get in the quarters should we win, which I expect us to, but that’s a conversation for another day. Lets keep her lit, but lets not burn too brightly! another incremental rise in performance levels from the Kildare game is all I ask at this stage. I’m sure that will be enough.


  7. Despite our optimism Heslin Martin and John Connellan are good footballers as good in my view as Comer Cummins and co from Galway.
    Where they are lacking is on the bench…little strength in depth.Their backs can be loose but Ger Egan and James Dolan give them impetus going forward.
    We will have to be very good to win.I expect we will be but it is not as easy as some might think.
    Particularly think John Connellan is fine footballer who only for injuries would be highly respected.

  8. Whilst our lads might get some small motivation from Cribben’s comments I have to say I was annoyed by Aidan Henry’s headline about Westmeath being ‘easy pickings’. Those words are derogatory and inflammatory from a Westmeath perspective. I just don’t see what benefit such a headline provides to the team – its almost as if Henry is being mischievous and trying to make the team’s job a little harder.

    I have a feeling that Parsons will start the next day but if so who will lose out?

  9. Westmeath had a great win over Kildare. Think they came back from 7 or 8 down
    The Dublin match was as everyone expected ..

    But if Mayo’s heads are not right, they could find themselves in a dogfight. Especially
    if Heaslin rattles the net early on, which with no Ger Cafferky around could happen.

    They have nothing to lose, Mayo no matter what anyone says expect to win. Its impossible guard against complacency ..

    It will take a Tyrone or Dublin for Mayo to be really up for it. So I would be happy with any type of win tomorrow.

    Looking forward to seeing how Regan gets on with more room on the big croke park pitch and how McLouglin fares covering the ground ..

    Looking for a big game from Cillian .. he needs it for his confidence ..

  10. It is amusing at times on here, people like Cribbens straight talking style but if a mayo man or even the most luke warm of a supporter says something positive about winning a game against a team we should in all honesty beat then all hell breaks loose.

    The fact is talking never won or lost a sporting event, Mayo never lost a game beacuse of fans “getting ahead of themselves,” past players talking up the team ete etc. Mayo lost games beacuse they were not good enough on the day to win. Galway beat us beacuse we were not good enough that day plain and simple.

    If Mayo play well on Saturday, A little better than they played v Kildare then they will win. Are they good enough to go all the way? At the moment I would say no, they are not. But they dont have to be tomorrow, all they have to be is good enough to beat Westmeath, which they are. Then look to make another improvement for Quater final.

  11. Exiled in Dublin
    You’ve said it well there. I’ve no other thoughts original or otherwise, to share. Probably due to this extremely low profile build-up of ours. Perfect.

  12. Agree WJ – I like Cribben’s attitude. Really sick of the Gavin and Fitzmaurice BS /Corporate speak which is just platitudes.

    Would gladly take a narrow win of WestMeath as long as the performance stays on the upward curve.

    Let’s see how the sweeper system works in the open spaces of CP and threat of Heslin. If Regan and Andy can reproduce last match’s form and Cillian gets even close to his usual form then we should have enough in FF line to get us though. Expect special attention for Diarmuid in this game

  13. With regard to Spotlights post above I haven’t heard aiden henrys name mentioned for a while. He used to be on his high horse during the Horan era and even told us all that Horan was behind the heave last autumn and that JH would be the man to replace Holmes and Connelly. He will hopefully get this prediction right as we should hopefully have too much for the midlanders.

  14. It would appear to me that their set up will be the one to bother Mayo the most….! Defend like hell and do whatever comes their way after that.They ll know we are sluggish in our attack.As far as they are concerned this is their All Ireland so the focus won’t be an issue.W Meath will be looking to their position in Leinster and in particular to their fine first half against the Dubs the last day to inspire their abilities. They will be well aware of the doubts that have enveloped this Mayo team in recent times and putting the two items together could indeed present a fair challenge to our men! That kind of thing can be significant but then again they might get the hebeejeebees at some stages.Who knows? However,Mayo need to approach the game with the highest regard for the opposition as they did for Dubs in league.It will possibly not be a great day out for the purist but that won’t be anything new.One team that is not too sure where its strengths lie at present will play a team that is pretty sure of what it’s got.If Mayo pull the right strings here and comes away with a true and genuine victory then she’ll indubitably be in a strenghening position for travelling on!The game is in a permanent state of flux in which guessing what an opponent is up to,puts the staff into the limelight nearly more than the players! Whatever happen tomorrow evening one thing remains the same…anticipation is the sauce or maybe the aperitif that makes it all so mouth watering! And so…ar aghaidh libh suas an dreimire ! Maigheo Abu!

  15. Mayo 4 14
    Westmeath 1 10

    In the last 2 mayo games I was with a score of the final result. In this game I predict Regan will score 2 goals, Andy 1 and Keegan 1.

    Note. Past predictions are no guarantee of future prediction accuracy.

  16. I have it on good authority that Jim Gavins real job in the Air Corps was far more important than people realise. He would be flown behind enemy lines in a plane equipped with very large loud speakers and he would then spend hours circling the battlefield broadcasting his views on such exciting subjects as cactus reproduction and tidal flows in Nova Scotia. Such was his way with the spoken word and his engaging tone that enemy soldiers invariably surrendered en masse or fired wildly at the plane thus giving away their position.

  17. Mayo by 5 or 6 points in an improving performance but one that is still holding tactics and intensity somewhat in reserve. Really loving this low key build-up. It might suit us?

  18. Could be a cagey and dour opening half an hour so the lads will need to be patient. As will supporters for that matter.

  19. Hope to see Andy start again. There’s goals in it for us tomorrow. We should be going out to end this as early as possible. Good ball into the full forwards is key, we saw glimpses of it against Kildare, a bit more of the same tomorrow please Mayo.

  20. I suppose Tom Cribben (on Mayo’s lack of underage titles), like Donald Trump, can’t be expected to check out the facts every time he shoots from the lip.

  21. No issues with Cribbens comments, many teams are beaten before they play the Dubs, and our defeat by Galway was a sign of weakness so teams playing us are more confident.
    Fine, still know that we should win, and I am sure that any hint of complacency within the team was washed away in our defeat to Galway.
    I always like Horans self confidence before games, and this was reflected in our performances. Kerry teams have it even when some of their teams are average, Dublin have it cos they are good, Tyrone are showing signs but think both the Dubs and Tyrone would prefer to avoid us in QF.
    Our sole focus should be on winning our next game, God knows where that will take us, onwards and upwards!

  22. You’d wonder were Cribben’s comments almost a come back to the article by Aidan Henry that appeared in the Connaught Telegraph and was reprinted in the Westmeath Independent. So the article said something like Westmeath would be easy pickings for us and basically that people in Mayo didn’t rate them. His come back was that we were a decent team but at the end of the day hadn’t really won much, in terms of All-Ireland titles compared to say Dublin who have. That’s why he reckoned we were not as daunting as them. That’s my take on it anyway. I suppose until we win ultimate honours we won’t really get any more recognition than that. That’s where we are at the moment. Roll on the game!

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