Keenaghan adds the gloss to Faithful victory
Offaly 3-9 Westmeath 1-7
Published 02/05/2016 | 02:30
Offaly advanced to the last four by overpowering Westmeath in what proved to be an underwhelming encounter in Mullingar.
Joey Keenaghan and Ciaran O'Brien traded early scores from frees before a wonderful point from a tight angle by Conor Langton put the wind-assisted visitors into a 0-2 to 0-1 lead after six minutes.
Westmeath then pounced for an opportunist goal, Ciaran O'Brien profiting from Conor McCrossan's delivery to score from close range.
The visitors replied from the ensuing puck-out when David Buckley found the net in style after soloing goalward.
Offaly led at the break by 1-7 to 1-1.
Westmeath failed to make the most of the strong wind on the change of ends and missed a couple of early opportunities via O'Brien (a free) and James Murphy (open play) before substitute Eoin Woods increased the Faithful County's lead to nine points from a 34th-minute penalty.
Offaly never really looked like being overturned and they ensured victory when top scorer Keenghan availed of Westmeath goalkeeper Brian McHugh's only mistake of the contest in the 57th minute by poking the ball to the net.
The home team had a few late chances to conjure up a consolation goal, particularly when Sean O'Brien was through on goal but the wing-forward fired the ball wide, while low-trajectory close-range frees in added-time by Marcus Kennedy and McCrossan were both saved.
Scorers - Offaly: J Keenaghan 1-4 (0-4fs), E Woods 1-3 (1-0pen, 0-2fs), D Buckley 1-0, E Kelly, C Langton 0-1 each. Westmeath: C O'Brien 1-2 (0-2fs), C McCrossan 0-3 (2fs), E Fox, M Kennedy (f) 0-1 each.
OFFALY - W Malone; S Leonard, C Burke, F Hanamy; P Walsh, B Kealey, M Ryan; E Callaghan, D Nally; J Keenaghan, D Buckley, K Guinan; E Kelly, C Langton, A Maher. Subs: E Woods for Langton (23), A Kenny for Maher (53), R Hogan for Ryan (60), S Malone for Burke (60 + 1)
WESTMEATH - B McHugh; D Reilly, N McKenna, A Ennis; P Fagan, J Bermingham, L Broderick; J O'Brien, C McCrossan; S O'Brien, J Murphy, D O'Reilly; C O'Brien, E Fox, M Kennedy. Subs: K Regan for Reilly (38), D Core for Murphy (38), C Lynch for O'Reilly (40), E Gorman for C O'Brien (50).
Ref - A Keating (Dublin).