Sunday, 11th June: Leinster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final: Offaly v Westmeath; O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
A rivalry that began in Rochfortbridge in 1918 continues at O’Connor Park on Sunday, 11th June, when Offaly and Westmeath bid to complete the line-up for this year’s Leinster Senior Football Championship semi-finals.
The players are familiar with each other since last year’s quarter-final at TEG Cusack Park, which the home side won by 13 points to 12, en route to reaching the provincial final for a second successive year.
Both managers, too, are not only experienced at the helm of their current squads, but Tom Cribbin was previously in charge of Offaly, while Pat Flanagan was his predecessor in Westmeath.
Westmeath will enter the game with a spring in their step, having shown they were too strong for Division 4 of the Allianz League by topping the group and easily defeating Wexford in the final at Croke Park in April.
At the same time, Offaly were buoyed by miraculously avoiding relegation from Division 3, with hard-earned victories over Sligo and Laois in the final two rounds making amends for a heavy defeat away to Armagh. The Laois game at O’Connor Park was described as one of the most exciting matches in the venue in recent years and should encourage a big Faithful County following to turn up on Sunday.
Westmeath, likewise, will have a big following as they bid to reach the Leinster final for the third year in a row. The winners will meet Dublin in the semi-final at Croke Park on Sunday, 25th June. Tickets are now on sale at Centra and SuperValu, and the competing counties.