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Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 4 Final

By Jackie Cahill

Westmeath 1-11

Roscommon 2-6

WESTMEATH’S thoughts are turning towards the championship following Saturday’s historic success in the Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 4 final.

The Lake County, beaten Division 3 finalists in 2007, captured a very first League crown with a hard-fought 1-11 to 2-6 victory against Roscommon at Cusack Park, Ennis.

And the prospect of further silverware presents itself on June 22 when Westmeath tackle Longford in the Leinster intermediate final.

Westmeath chairperson Geraldine Giles, former President of the National Ladies Gaelic Football Association, described Westmeath’s weekend victory as “huge”.

She explained: “Two years ago we were looking at installing a new management team.

“We had players willing to put on the county jersey but there was no structure in place. And yet we knew we had talent because our U16 team reached the (2009) All-Ireland B semi-final.

“Last year we put a management team in place and tried to build from there.

“But we had a late start and were relegated from Division 3. But a lot of the work put in has paid dividends now. We were too strong for Division 4 all year, winning our games well, and it was always a toss-up between ourselves and Roscommon for the divisional title.”

Giles added that the manner of Saturday’s victory pleased her most, with Westmeath overturning a 0-7 to 1-6 half-time deficit to clinch the win.

She said: “They had to come from behind, which they hadn’t been used to all year. The first goal has now been achieved. Two goals were set out this year – the League title and the Leinster intermediate championship.

“Progression in the championship is another story because we have a tough task, in a similar group to last year with Fermanagh and Cavan, who are playing at a higher grade of football. That’s a major challenge for us and the work starts now.”

On Saturday, top scorer and player of the match Karen Hegarty’s second half goal ultimately proved the difference between Westmeath and Roscommon.

Jenny Downey’s 12th minute goal handed the Rossies an early tonic but they could only manage a goal in the second half as wind-assisted Westmeath hit 1-4.

Sub Cliodhna McHugh’s goal for Roscommon midway through the second half cut the Westmeath lead back to just a single point but the winners responded strongly to close the game out.

Scorers for Westmeath: K Hegarty 1-4, E Morris 0-2, L Walsh, E Finn, F Claffey, K Sommers & S Dolan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscommon: J Downey 1-3, C McHugh 1-0, S Cooney 0-2, C Grehan 0-1.

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