Former Roscommon intermediate ladies’ football manager, Michael Finneran, will be hoping to plot the downfall of his native county when he brings his Westmeath team to Kiltoom on Sunday next.
The former county and St. Dominic’s footballer managed Roscommon for four seasons, winning two Connacht titles alongside reaching the semi-finals of the intermediate championship before stepping down to be replaced by Diane O’Hora for the 2021 season.
On Sunday, however, he will be wearing the Westmeath Bainisteoir’s bib in a bid to move the Lake County away from the relegation zone in Division Two.
Finneran took charge of Westmeath in 2022 where he endured a very difficult year, working without a significant number of the panel that won the intermediate championship in 2021, as well as several prominent injury absentees along the way. Players like Anna Jones, Vicki Carr (daughter of former Roscommon manager Tommy Carr) and Aoife Connolly all missed some or all of last year due to injury, and that was a key factor in the Lake County suffering relegation in both league and championship.
A narrow defeat to Tipperary and a big win over a good Laois side suggested they were going to rebound in fine style in 2023, but they hit a speed bump when they lost out by a single point (2-8 to 3-4) to Cavan last time out. Another reverse on Sunday would plunge them right back into the relegation mire.
For their part, Roscommon have been competitive against Tyrone, Armagh and Tipperary, but they have no league points on the board and, realistically, Ollie Lennon’s side are going to need something from Sunday’s game to avoid a quick return to Division Three.