Hanley keeps faith for Galway game
15:20, 01 Jun 2012
In naming his team to face Galway on Sunday, Westmeath manager Brian Hanley has given a vote of confidence to the players that started the Leinster SHC first round win over Antrim.
Hanley has kept faith with the side that beat the Saffrons 0-14 to 0-12 two weeks ago, with minor stars Niall O'Brien and Robbie Greville retaining their places in attack.
O'Brien from Castletown-Geoghegan marked his Championship debut against Antrim by top-scoring with 0-8, including six efforts from frees.
Former dual player Francis Boyle will again lead the attack from centre forward, and another newcomer Aonghus Clarke, O'Brien's club-mate, will continue his midfield partnership with brother Joe.
Andrew Mitchell and Dan Carty remain on the Lakesiders' injury list, while vice-captain Philip Gilsenan has to be content with a place on the bench once more.
Westmeath certainly put it up to Galway when the sides met at this stage of last year's Leinster Championship, going down by 4-17 to 2-14 after a spirited showing.
Sunday's quarter-final in Mullingar (throw-in 3.30pm) offers the underdogs another chance to cause an upset and Athenry man Hanley sees it as 'a massive test' for his youthful, new-look side.
Speaking to the Westmeath Topic, he said: "All the pressure is on Galway to perform and Anthony (Cunningham) will want to make a big statement in what is his first Championship game as Galway manager.
"He's had a lot of big days at Cusack Park with Garrycastle and I know from having worked alongside him with the Galway Under-21s for two years just how well he'll have his team prepared for this game.
"For us, it's another step up from the Antrim game, another massive test. We've come a long way from last year, having lost only two competitive games (both to Carlow), but so too have Galway.
"They only missed out on a place in the league semi-finals by a point and I suppose the biggest difference from last year is that they will be ready for us."
WESTMEATH (SHC v Galway): Shane McGovern; Conor Jordan, Adam Price, Paul Fennell; Paddy Dowdall (capt), Alan McGrath, Paul Greville; Aonghus Clarke, Joe Clarke; Brendan Murtagh, Francis Boyle, Robbie Greville; Niall O'Brien, John Shaw, Eoin Price.
Subs: Paddy Maloney, Philip Gilsenan, David Fennell, Eamonn Clarke, Cormac Boyle, Andrew Dermody, Kevin Orme, Seamus Savage, Tommy Gallagher, John Gilligan, David Higgins, Killian Murphy, Aaron Craig, Anthony Price.