'Permission to lose' spells trouble for Lake men
Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30
I fear for Westmeath ahead of Sunday's Leinster final meeting with Dublin.
They are a young team and they are at nowhere near the same stage of development as the Dubs.
They were brilliant in the second half of their win over Meath, coming from ten points down to win by five, but they can't be judged by that alone.
They need to meet that level again, increase it and then sustain it for the 70 minutes if they are to be competitive this weekend.
They are a young team and they still have so much to learn tactically and about game situations. You can only learn these lessons by playing a lot of games, and that is just one area they are well behind Dublin.
Beating Meath for the first time ever in the Championship created history and was brilliant for Westmeath, but it also means they got something of a booby prize - a Leinster final against Dublin.
There's a danger that Westmeath might feel that they have already won something by beating the Royals.
They might be saying to themselves 'sure whatever happens, at least we won that game and did something that no other team from the county had done before'.
Those are the sort of thoughts that almost gives permission for a team to be beaten.
A team can't come from nowhere like Westmeath have and win a Leinster title.
I hope I'm wrong, but I can't see them living with Dublin.
At this stage of the competition, before they meet the big boys, the only team that can beat Dublin is themselves.
Finally, a quick word for one of the performers of the weekend - Fermanagh's Seamus Quigley, who scored an incredible 0-14 in the win over Antrim.