Mitchell fires Westmeath on
WESTMEATH'S senior hurlers confidently booked their place in the semi-finals yesterday, after they edged Down in an entertaining encounter at Kinnegad.
Eleven points from Down star Paul Braniff was not enough to counter the challenge of Kevin Martin's charges, who led 0-12 to 0-8 at half-time.
Clonkill duo, Andrew Mitchell (0-8) and Brendan Murtagh (0-5), led the scoring for the hosts.
In the second half, Braniff twice came close to bagging the game's only goal, but his efforts were stopped by Westmeath 'keeper, Pat Burke.
The Ulstermen had full-forward Eoin Clarke dismissed by referee Sean Cleary late on, and this didn't help their case in a nail-biting finish,as late points from Murtagh and Paddy Dowdall helped secure the win for the Lakesiders.
Scorers -- Westmeath: A Mitchell 0-8 (0-5f, 2 65s), B Murtagh 0-5 (0-3f), D Carty, J Clarke, J Shaw, G Gavin, A Dowdall, P Dowdall 0-1 each. Down: P Braniff 0-11 (7f), S Clarke, A Savage 0-2 each, G Johnston, S Wilson (65), J Coyle 0-1 each.
Westmeath -- P Burke; G Gavin, D McCormack, A Price; E Price, A Mitchell, J Shaw; J Clarke, R Jackson; N Flanagan, B Murtagh, P Dowdall; D Carty, E Loughlin, D Golden. Subs: C Curley for Golden (h-t), A Dowdall for Flanagan (50), J Hardiman for Loughlin (57).
Down -- G Clarke; F Conway, S Wilson, S Ennis; P Flynn, M Ennis, P Hughes; K McGarry, D Flynn; P Keith, G Johnston, S Clarke; J Coyle, E Clarke, P Braniff. Subs: C Woods for Keith (23), A Savage for P Flynn (h-t), M Teague for S Wilson (50), C Coulter for D Flynn (63), M Magee for Coyle (63).
Ref -- S Cleary (Kilkenny).