Kilkenny turns on style to end Westmeath fightback
Leinster U-21 FC
DUBLIN survived a first-half scare before killing off Westmeath in Portlaoise.
When the Dubs led by eight points after only six minutes, it looked like it was all over -- but a battling revival had Westmeath level by the 29th minute.
But Westmeath's hopes were shattered by Aussie Rules target Ciaran Kilkenny (19), who scored 1-5 from play as the Dubs cruised into the decider.
A sensational first half began with a goal for Dubs star Mark Schutte after just 25 seconds.
Emmet O Conghaile clipped over a fine point, and in the third minute Jack McCaffrey added a second goal. When Paul Hudson landed a free in the sixth minute the Dubs were 2-2 to 0-0 ahead and coasting.
But a shell-shocked Westmeath delivered an explosive response when, after points from Seanie Daly and Callum McCormack, a high ball was fumbled and Kevin Reilly pounced to fire home.
With Dublin losing O Conghaile to injury, Westmeath were transformed and pulled level through a couple of John Heslin frees in the 29th minute before Kilkenny landed two points for the Dubs to go in 2-5 to 1-6 ahead.
On the resumption, a long ball from Ciaran Reddin found Hudson unmarked and he fired home. Kilkenny then got on the end of a classy pass from Philip Ryan as the Dubs pulled away.
SCORERS -- Dublin: C Kilkenny 1-6 (1f), P Hudson 1-4 (1f), M Schutte, J McCaffrey 1-0 each, G Sweeney, C Reddin, E O Conghaile, G Seaver, P Maguire 0-1 each. Westmeath: K Reilly 1-1 (1f), J Heslin 0-3 (3f), C McCormack 0-2, D Gavin, A Stone, S Daly 0-1 each.
DUBLIN -- R O'Flaherty; J Smith, K O'Brien, M Concarr; J Kelly, L Fletcher, J McCaffrey; E O Conghaile, C Walsh; M Schutte, G Sweeney, C Reddin; P Ryan, C Kilkenny, P Hudson. Subs: P O'Higgins for O Conghaile (inj, 16), S George for Concarr (23), G Seaver for C Walsh (inj, h-t), Concarr for Smith (h-t), P Maguire for P Ryan (inj, 45).
WESTMEATH -- E Carberry; K Sheridan, D Gavin, S Gilmore; K Maguire, B Moran, D Malynn; J Heslin, T English; G Egan, K Reilly, J Gonoud; S Daly, A Stone, C McCormack. Subs: C Boyle for Gonoud (42), E Boland for Reilly (54), E Gorman for Stone (54), P Fennell for Malynn (54).
Ref -- J Hickey (Carlow).