Lyng hails young guns as Wexford cut loose
WEXFORD 1-24, WESTMEATH 0-15
CIARAN LYNG scored 10 points as Wexford turned on the style and crushed Westmeath at Wexford Park to cruise into a semi-final with surprise-packets Carlow.
They began the summer looking for a first win in Leinster for three years, but Wexford must now be eyeing a provincial prize after yet another impressive shooting spree.
They set the tone from the outset, with Redmond Barry burrowing forward to clip a goal after only 20 seconds, and they never looked back.
Westmeath threatened when they managed to pick out inside dangermen Denis Glennon and Dessie Dolan, but once Wexford tinkered at the back and stamped their authority in midfield, it was surprisingly easy for Jason Ryan's men.
And with Lyng in sensational form in the full-forward line and getting no shortage of supply from a physically dominant Model outfit, Wexford were in complete control.
During the week, the talk from the camp was of pressure being on the Wexford footballers to deliver a big display in front of the big turnout that was expected to see their hurlers try to topple Kilkenny.
If anything, the home fans in the 17,000 crowd will have left Wexford Park taking a mental note of when their footballers will play next because, as a PR exercise, it was near flawless.
"We're delighted. It was great to win and we believed we'd win it. We won enough ball that they were able to get a really good attacking platform and it was great. We are all delighted to get the win and to get two wins in the Leinster championship on the trot," said manager Ryan afterwards.
Man of the match Lyng added: "You never expect a championship game to be easy. We knew we'd have a lot of support and I suppose that brought a little bit of pressure with it too. But credit to our young lads, they shone brilliantly.
"It's a great score to put up and the last day (2-16) was a great score to put up. We have our targets, we said them at half-time and they're nowhere near 1-20 or 1-21.
"But we just keep going. Westmeath, in fairness to them, lost a bit of it towards the end when it was gone from them and it was a bit easier to clip scores over, so maybe it wasn't a completely fair reflection of the game."
For Westmeath boss Pat Flanagan, this was an indication of the road that needs to be travelled for the Lake men to return as a football force in Leinster.
"It was very difficult to look at, but Wexford were by far the superior team. Physically they were a stronger team than we were and, with their movement off the ball, they are an attack-minded formation and you have to give them credit," he said.
"It was disappointing to give away a goal so early but, saying that, they fought back very well.
"But as the game progressed we couldn't get our hands on the ball and Wexford really punished us every time they went forward. They are a seasoned team and they showed it."
Ben Brosnan had been the star against Offaly, but it was Lyng who was the hero here as he drove forward at every opportunity and was given plenty of possession from the performance of Rory Quinlivan, Daithi Waters, Shane Roche and Eric Bradley around the middle.
In a free-flowing first half Westmeath threatened when they picked out Glennon and Dolan. Glennon kicked four points in the first 18 minutes, but when Wexford switched Graham Molloy onto him instead of Joey Wadding, things settled for the Model men.
A Wexford burst before half-time left it 1-12 to 0-9 at the break.
Westmeath brought on underage star John Heslin at half-time and he won some good ball in the middle, but Wexford were in a different gear by then and held the visitors scoreless between the 38th and 58th minutes -- during which time they scored eight points.
Wexford eased out of sight as a young Westmeath team, with 10 players under 22, were given a lesson by a physically dominant Model crew.
SCORERS -- Wexford: C Lyng 0-10 (3f), B Brosnan 0-7 (5f), R Barry 1-3, A Flynn, R Quinlivan, S Roche, E Bradley 0-1 each. Westmeath: D Dolan 0-7 (2f), Denis Glennon 0-4, P Greville 0-2 (2f), A Finnan, J Heslin 0-1 each.
WEXFORD -- A Masterson 7; J Wadding 6, G Molloy 7, A Doyle 6; B Malone 7, D Murphy 7, A Flynn 7; R Quinlivan 8, D Waters 8; C Morris 7, E Bradley 7, B Brosnan 8; S Roche 7, R Barry 8, C Lyng 9. Subs: L Og McGovern for Bradley (blood 13), N Murphy 7 for Wadding (47), A Morrissey 7 for Flynn (56), B Boyle 7 for Bradley (60), P Byrne 7 for Roche (60), McGovern for Lyng (65).
WESTMEATH -- G Connaughton 7; F Boyle 5, K Gavin 6, A Finnan 6; G Egan 6, K Martin 6, D Harte 6; D Daly 6, D Corroon 6; P Sharry 5, P Greville 6, C Lynam 6; David Glennon 6, Denis Glennon 8, D Dolan 8. Subs: J Dolan 6 for Boyle (26), J Heslin 7 for Sharry (h-t), J Gaffey 6 for Gavin (inj 39), B Murtagh 6 for Corroon 56, M Curley 6 for David Glennon (61).
Ref -- P Hughes (Armagh).