Westmeath Senior Hurling manager Michael Ryan says the focus and enthusiasm remains the same despite the the fixture list been disrupted.
Speaking to KCLR, Michael is expecting another close game against Carlow on Saturday.
“There is a huge prize at stake and both teams I suppose have been trying to get out of this Division for a while and it hasn’t effected”, says Ryan.
“The same momentum seems to be there, but we won’t know until the ball is thrown in on Saturday at 3.30pm. I mean you have two teams who know one another very ,very well, Carlow and Westmeath. They beat us last year, we won this year and over the last few years, it’s been very very tight. I don’t think there has been any loss of focus. I’d say the enthusiasm on both teams is equal and this is our third final in four years, it’s Carlow’s third final in a row.”
“We both want to get out of the Division so I think you are in for a cracking game.”
No Time For Free Taking
A free-taking competition decided last Monday’s National League Quarter-Final clash between Limerick and Clare, and speaking to KCLR, Michael says the whole Inter-County fixture list needs to be revised.
“When you think about it, counties are playing five or six league games in four or five weeks”, says Ryan.
“Then you have a gap, then you have five or six Championship games in another four or five weeks, so there will be Inter-County hurling for 9 weeks of the year for a lot of the teams, and for the other what is it? Forty four weeks, there is no Inter-County hurling so somebody has got to sit down and have a rethink on it.”
“Now I suppose maybe it’s unfair to judge until we have seen a year or two of it, but I don’t know what it’s going to be like going forward but certainly a free-taking competition in my opinion is not the way for a team to go through or a team to be knocked out.”
Westmeath v Carlow is live this Saturday at 3.30pm on air and online with thanks to the Step House Hotel, Borris.