Friday 23 February 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match: Kevin Niblock (Antrim)A real shortage of outstanding individual displays on offer, but Niblock always looked composed and classy in possession.

Turning point

Arguably before a ball was kicked, with Westmeath losing star forward Dessie Dolan to a recurring hamstring injury.

Talking point

A second successive feeble championship display from Westmeath, despite their impressive late surge to gain promotion from Division 3 in the league.

Ref watch

Despite his late sending-off of the Westmeath manager, Martin Sludden will be pleased to have got his 2011 championship opener out of the way relatively free of controversy.

What they said

Liam Bradley (Antrim manager):

"We made it hard for ourselves by missing a goal chance in each half, but I felt we were by far the better team."

Pat Flanagan (Westmeath manager):

"We started exactly the way we wanted, but ultimately we gave the ball away far too often."

Match statistics

Wides: Antrim 7 (4); Westmeath 10 (8)

Frees: Antrim 20 (11); Westmeath 18 (7)

Yellow cards: Antrim 2 (A Gallagher, T Scullion); Westmeath 6 (A Finnan, D Daly, G Egan, M Curley, B Murtagh, F Boyle)

Attendance: 4,000

What next?

Antrim play Carlow in Round 2 of the qualifiers on Saturday week; Westmeath exit the championship.

Irish Independent

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