Westmeath will be staying in the top tier of the Allianz Hurling League for another year and they have plenty to thank Killian Doyle for in that regard.

He scored 1-14 in the relegation play-off decider against Carlow on Sunday to inspire survival.

Having helped keep Westmeath in Division 1 for another year, he joined the RTÉ GAA Podcast.

"At half-time, we felt we were in a good place going into the second half," he said of the all-important Carlow decider.

"But we knew that Carlow were always going to get a purple patch and we knew that we had to react to when they did hit their spell.

"So we were glad that we got over their dominance of five to six minutes and just saw out the game."

Seeing out the match and getting the vital result was paramount for Westmeath, Doyle said of a league campaign in which they were "under no illusion" about how difficult results would be to come by as "heavy underdogs". 

"For us as a group, it was so, so important," he said.

"We had two objectives at the start of the year and the first one of those was Division 1 hurling.

"It was a massive incentive for us to keep on trying to promote the game in our own county and playing the bigger counties, so-called bigger teams, on more than just rare occasions. 

"It was a massive game for us and we were delighted to get through it."

With that objective sorted, Doyle and co have other targets in mind.

"Our concentration turned straight away to the Joe McDonagh Cup," he said.

Given that Carlow and Laois beat them in the last two finals respectively, Westmeath have plenty of incentive in the competition.

"The last two years we were in the final, we were beaten by the better teams on both occasions," said Doyle.

"So we want to put that right this year and make sure we put ourselves in a position first of being in the final and then make sure we win the final when we're there." 

He added that it is "up to us to make that next step to the Leinster Championship" in the future and "to do that we have to win the Joe McDonagh Cup".

"We weren't good enough the last two years and we have to earn the right to get there."

Carlow have been familiar foes for Westmeath and that is the main factor in the counties' rivalries on the hurling field.

"It's only for the fact that we play each other on many occasions that we are building a bit of a rivalry," said Doyle.

"But it's only from being in the same competitions and at the same grade that we're playing each other quite often. So there is a rivalry there."

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