Shane Stapleton and Michaael Verney look ahead to the relegation clash of Westmeath v Laois at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
SATURDAY: WESTMEATH v LAOIS, SEMPLE STADIUM, 2.0
Both lost all five games in Group A and B respectively, leaving them facing a relegation play-off.
Joe Fortune tasted success at this venue in the Division 2A final in April of 2022 when hitting Down for 5-19.
The Westmeath manager will hope that positive experience of this stage will stand his players in good stead this weekend as they look to end a five-game losing streak.
Willie Maher, a native of Ballingarry in Tipperary, knows Semple Stadium like the back of his hand after coaching his county at underage level.
Laois suffered a heavy loss against Liam Cahill’s men here at the start of the NHL campaign and will hope this is their biggest performance of 2023.
RESULTS SO FAR…
Clare 4-27 Westmeath 0-14
Wexford 2-23 Westmeath 1-15
Cork 2-21 Westmeath 0-21
Limerick 1-27 Westmeath 1-15
Galway 4-27 Westmeath 1-12
Played 5, Lost 5
K Doyle……0-30 (0-22 frees, 0-1 ‘65’)
N O’Brien……1-13 (1-0 pen, 0-9 frees, 0-1 ‘65’)
C Doyle……..1-9 (0-3 frees)
R Greville……0-4 (0-1 s/l)
Tipperary 2-32 Laois 0-18
Waterford 2-31 Laois 2-19
Kilkenny 0-34 Laois 1-18
Antrim 3-18 Laois 1-18
Dublin 1-29 Laois 0-20
Played 5, Lost 5.
S Maher……..0-36 (0-31 frees, 0-1 ‘65’)
DIVISION 2A: KILDARE REACH FINAL
Kildare have qualified for the final and will be joined by Offaly or Kerry who play their semi-final on Saturday.
Offaly and Kildare, who drew last Sunday, both accumulated nine points from their five games but the Lilywhites qualified for the final because of their better scoring difference after they drew with Offaly last weekend.
Kerry’s win over Derry last Sunday took them into third place and a semi-final date with Offaly in Tullamore next Saturday. Offaly beat Kerry by a point (0-22 to 1-18) when they met in Round 3.
DIVISION 2B: ROYALS SEAL A PLACE IN THE FINAL
Five wins from five games took Meath to top spot, earning them a place in the final.
They will meet either Wicklow or Donegal, who meet in the semi-final in Aughrim next Saturday.
Wicklow beat Donegal (2-24 to 0-11) in their Round 4 clash.
DIVISION 3A: WHO WILL JOIN ROSCOMMON IN THE FINAL?
After an incredibly tight campaign where only three points separated the six teams, Roscommon, Armagh and Monaghan all finished on six points.
Roscommon qualified for the final on scoring difference. Armagh and Monaghan play in the semi-final in the Athletic Grounds on Saturday. Monaghan beat Armagh by a point in Round 2.
DIVISION 3B: CAVAN, LETIRM, LONGFORD IN PROMOTION PUSH
Cavan have qualified for the final where they will play Leitrim or Longford who meet in the semi-final in Drumshanbo next Saturday. Leitrim beat Longford by a point in their group game last weekend.
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