| 17°C Dublin

Jackson lauds Lake heroes

THE Westmeath manager, Ger Jackson, has the build of Joachim Kelly. And he too pucks every ball.

His post-match comments on Sunday following Westmeath's National League Division 3 final victory were all bread and butter.

"Hard work and determination were the key to the game," insists Ger. "We only scored one point against Dublin in the league itself. That was not a true reflection on our ability. We felt we had a point to prove.

"These girls are improving in every game we play. It's a work in progress. But there are good prospects for this group.

"A few minors came onto the squad this season and that was a huge boost."

Westmeath showed their resolve when it mattered most. Dublin were on the up after their goal 13 minutes into the second half. Ger admitted that conceding another goal then could well have changed the climate.

"We had spoken about that at half-time. That was the vital part of the game and it was crucial that we held out.

"Dublin had a few chances, but we got that bit of luck.

"If they had got a couple of those scores, things could have been different. It would have given them a boost and maybe our confidence could have dipped."

Ger saluted the spirit of the champions. "We withstood the pressure from Dublin, we got a grip on the game again and our half-back line drove us forward," he says.

Pamela Greville was their accomplished centre half-back. "She is an exceptional player. She leads by example. Pamela is one of the best Westmeath players of all time," says Ger.

Ger also hailed the heroic contribution of midfielder, Mairead McCormack. She was having a brilliant match. Then a couple of little things went wrong.

A lesser player could have drifted out of the action, but just when they needed it most midway through the second half, Mairead scored the point of the match way out on the right, judging the wind to perfection. She was selected as the player of the match.

"Mairead is a wonderful young player that has come onto the panel. Her two great points in the second half really lifted the team.

"You need that, and you won't win matches unless you have a bit of luck, hard work and somebody coming up with something special."