Sunday 4 December 2016

Lakeside U-21 surge can raise all boats

Cyril Farrell

Published 28/05/2016 | 02:30

Adrian Moran (SPORTSFILE)
Adrian Moran (SPORTSFILE)

Every so often a result pops up that makes you check it twice. Westmeath 1-11 Kilkenny 0-12 demanded a few re-visits to make sure it was accurate.

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And yes, it was. The U-21 win has given hurling in Westmeath an unbelievable boost, one that will bring benefits for a very long time. I bet you there were more hurleys in young hands in the county over the last few days than for many years.

That's what a result like that does. And with the seniors going well too, it's a good time for hurling in Westmeath.

One big win won't change their hurling landscape forever but it will provide hope and inspiration for people who continue to drive the game in the county - and elsewhere too - with such enthusiasm.

It's easy be involved in the hurling strongholds where success can be expected but it takes real dedication to keep going in counties like Westmeath. And still they do it because they love the game.

Hopefully, the win is the start of something big in Westmeath. Only time will tell but, in the meantime, the sense of joy it has brought is immeasurable.

The big question now is whether the squad and manager Adrian Moran can keep the fairytale going.

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