Cawley the hero as Sligo see off Westmeath
Sligo 1-11 Westmeath 1-10
Newcomer Kyle Cawley was the Sligo hero in Markievicz Park as his second-half goal proved crucial.
The 18-year-old secondary school pupil, playing at corner-forward, fired home his side's crucial score midway through the second period just as the visitors threatened to take a stranglehold on the game.
Cawley finished to the net after some good approach play by Brian Egan and Cian Breheny, as Niall Carew's side looked to bounce back from last weekend's defeat in Clare.
The Yeats men started brilliantly and they were seven points up inside 25 minutes.
But the midlanders hit 1-3 without reply in the last 10 minutes of the half to leave just a point between the sides when the whistle went for the break.
The goal came from the penalty spot from wing-forward Ger Egan with the last action of the first half, after he had been fouled by Brendan Egan, who was black-carded.
And John Heslin, who top-scored with seven points, pulled his side level by the 50th minute as Westmeath put the pressure on and went for the victory.
Minutes later, however, they were back chasing a three-point deficit, as Cawley made no mistake from close range.
Mark Breheny, Niall Murphy and Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch all pointed prior to the goal as Sligo kept their noses in front, but Cawley's strike was to prove their last score of the game, as Westmeath went in search of a response.
Kieran Martin and Heslin clipped over points, but they could not force one more score to pull them level again, and Sligo hung on for a win that has revived their hopes of challenging for promotion this year.
Scorers - Sligo: N Murphy 0-5 (2f, 1 '45'), M Breheny 0-4 (4fs), K Cawley 1-0, Brendan Egan, G O'Kelly-Lynch 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Heslin 0-7 (5fs), G Egan 1-0 (pen), R Connellan, S Dempsey, K Martin 0-1 each.
Sligo - A Devaney; J Kelly, K McDonnell, E Flanagan; Keelan Cawley, Brendan Egan, G O'Kelly-Lynch; N Murphy, C Breheny; N Gaughan, E McHugh, N Ewing; Kyle Cawley, M Breheny, Brian Egan. Reps: A McIntyre for Brendan Egan (BC, h-t), J Hynes for Kyle Cawley (61), C Davey for Gaughan (64), P Clarke for M Breheny (70+2), D Rooney for Ewing (70+3).
Westmeath - D Quinn; J Gonoud, A Stone, K Maguire; J Egan, P Holloway, K Daly; R Connellan, F Boyle; G Egan, P Sharry, K Martin; C McCormack, J Heslin, J Connellan. Reps: S Dempsey for McCormack (h-t), J Dolan for Daly (43), D Corroon for J Egan (47), D Lynch for Gonoud (63), R Foley for Stone (68).
Ref - S McLaughlin (Donegal)