Dardis brace powers Meath into final
Meath 3-14 Westmeath 1-7
Meath qualified for the provincial decider with an emphatic victory in Mullingar on Saturday.
The Royals started well as Barry Dardis found the net in the second minute. Luke Loughlin pulled a goal back but Meath dominated the second quarter and a cool finish by Fiachra Ward in the 20th minute gave them a 2-8 to 1-4 interval advantage.
Meath increased their lead to nine points courtesy of two Ward frees and further points from James McEntee, Dardis and Ward again.
An unsavoury off-the-ball incident in the 57th minute resulted in three sendings off -- substitutes Conor O'Brien (Meath) and Ray Connellan (Westmeath) via straight red cards and Westmeath corner-back Bryan O'Donohoe on a second yellow.
SCORERS -- Meath: B Dardis 2-2, F Ward 1-5 (5f), C O'Sullivan 0-3, J McEntee 0-2, P Harnan, A Flanagan 0-1 each. Westmeath: L Loughlin 1-2, G Leech 0-4 (2f), A McGivney 0-1.
MEATH -- J Hannigan; J O'Malley, B Power, S Gallagher; D Smyth, C Carton, R O Coilean; P Harnan, A Flanagan; C O'Sullivan, J Daly, J McEntee; B Dardis, S Coogan, F Ward. Subs: C Gillespie for Carton (42), C O'Brien for Coogan (49), N Kane for O'Malley (60), C O Griofa for Dardis (60), A Garry for O'Sullivan (60).
WESTMEATH -- B Doyle; R Gorman, L Corless, B O'Donohoe; R Caffrey, K Daly, E O'Reilly; A Curley, D Gaye; T Watts, G Leech, A McGivney; L Loughlin, L Dolan, D McDermott. Subs: PJ Maguire for Gaye (11 inj), R Connellan for McGivney (27), J Barrett for Curley (h-t), S Dempsey for McDermott (42), TJ Fox for Watts (60).
REF -- S Johnson (Louth).