Sunday 19 November 2017

Game at a glance

Man of the match: Paddy Keenan (Louth):Louth's skipper combined passionate commitment with unrelenting graft, used the ball well, dominated midfield with Brian Donnelly and contributed three points. Deserved his award.

Turning point

The 60th-minute goal bundled in by Ronan Carroll from JP Rooney's low shot that was only partially blocked by Gary Connaughton. It inspired Louth to a strong finish.

Talking point

Louth back in a final at Croke Park less than a year after their 2010 Leinster disappointment. How would they react? In the right way, especially in the last 10 minutes as they drove on in style to clinch the winning result.

Ref watch

Rory Hickey controlled the game. Showed the yellow card five times, but didn't use it to paper the walls as some have done this season. A sensible and competent performance.

What they said

Peter Fitzpatrick (Louth manager):

"We had said that with 10 minutes to go no matter what, we were just going to keep attacking and attacking, and I thought it was the best 10 minutes of football I've seen Louth play in a long, long time."

Pat Flanagan (Westmeath boss):

"You have to give credit to our young players who stood up to be counted, especially in the last three games. It's probably a game too far, too quickly, but we are learning."

Match statistics

Wides: Louth 13 (9); Westmeath 8 (4)

Frees: Louth 15 (9); Westmeath 22 (10)

Yellow cards: Louth 4 (P Keenan 44; R Finnegan 55; S Fitzpatrick 70; A Reid 70; Westmeath 1 (G Egan 62).

Attendance: 8,130

What next?

Louth are away to Carlow in the Leinster championship on June 12; Westmeath also start on June 12, away to Wexford or Offaly.

Irish Independent

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