Friday 21 July 2017

Kingdom rock Westmeath to keep hopes of progress alive

Kerry 0-20 Westmeath 2-12

Westmeath got a lifeline in the 54th minute when Niall Mitchell scored a fine individual goal, and the hosts battled back. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Westmeath got a lifeline in the 54th minute when Niall Mitchell scored a fine individual goal, and the hosts battled back. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kerry are back in the hunt for a Leinster quarter-final place after shocking 14-man Westmeath in Mullingar.

With the wind behind them, the Kingdom raced into a three-point lead inside two minutes and were 0-8 to 0-3 ahead by the time Westmeath forward Niall O'Brien was sent off on the quarter-hour for a second yellow card.

They were full value for their 0-12 to 0-5 interval lead.

A '65' from Allan Devine and a monster free by Killian Doyle reduced the deficit but Kerry kicked on, with free-taker Shane Nolan bagging four points and Mikey Boyle landing his third point from play in a purple patch.

Westmeath got a lifeline in the 54th minute when Niall Mitchell scored a fine individual goal, and the hosts battled back. With three minutes remaining and Kerry 0-20 to 1-11 ahead, Doyle rifled home a penalty for Westmeath.

However, a period of all-out attack by the hosts in the closing stages yielded just a consolation point from Robbie Greville. Kerry also finished with 14 men, Jack Goulding picking up his second yellow in the 69th minute.

All four teams in the round robin section remain in contention for the two quarter-final places on offer. However, Kerry and Westmeath are still in danger of relegation to the Christy Ring Cup.

Scorers - Kerry: S Nolan 0-7 (4fs, 1 '65'), M Boyle 0-4, P Boyle 0-3, J Conway 0-2, J Goulding, P O'Connor, M O'Leary, J O'Connor 0-1 each. Westmeath: A Devine 0-8 (6fs, 1 '65'), K Doyle 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f, 0-1 '65'), N Mitchell 1-0, R Greville 0-2.

Kerry - M Stackpoole 6; J Buckley 6, R Horgan 6, S Weir 6; J O'Connor 7, D Dineen 8, T Murnane 6; J Goulding 7, P O'Connor 6; J Conway 6, M O'Leary 6, B O'Leary 6; P Boyle 7, M Boyle 8, S Nolan 7. Subs: J Griffin n/r for M O'Leary (64), M O'Connor n/r for P Boyle (68), K Carmody n/r for B O'Leary (70+4).

Westmeath - P Maloney 6; C Shaw 6, T Doyle 7, T Gallagher 6; G Greville 6, P Greville 6, A Clarke 8; C Boyle 6, J Boyle 6; A Devine 6, K Doyle 6, R Greville 7; N O'Brien 4, N Mitchell 8, D Egerton 5. Subs: J Galvin 6 for J Boyle (h-t), D McNicholas 5 for Egerton (h-t), A Cox 6 for G Greville (44).

Ref - P O'Dwyer (Carlow)

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