Heslin stars for Westmeath
Westmeath 0-19 Wicklow 0-14
Westmeath all but guaranteed their immediate return to Division 3 with a comfortable win over Wicklow at Cusack Park in Mullingar yesterday.
The home team's marquee forward, John Heslin, was the star of the first-half, kicking seven points, including four classy scores from play.
Last year's beaten Leinster finalists dominated most of the first-half exchanges and were awarded four 45s, all of which were taken by Paul Sharry. The first of them ultimately resulted in Heslin's opening point, but only one (in the 19th minute) was directly converted. Tom Cribbin's charges were full value for their five-point lead at half-time (0-10 to 0-5).
Westmeath's impressive captain Ger Egan took over the scoring honours in the second-half, kicking four fine points from play. Despite their dominance, the home side seldom threatened to score a goal, but ran out comfortable winners.
Scorers - Westmeath: J Heslin 0-10 (6f), G Egan 0-4, A Stone 0-2, P Sharry ('45'), D Lynch, T McDaniel 0-1 each. Wicklow: S Furlong 0-8 (6f), A McLoughlin 0-2, R O'Brien, D Hayden, Paddy Byrne, T Kelly 0-1 each.
Westmeath: D Quinn 6; M McCallon 6, K Maguire 6, F Boyle 6; J Dolan 6, J Gonoud 7, N Mulligan 6; A Stone 7, G Egan 8; K Reilly 7, P Sharry 6, D Glennon 6; K Martin 5, J Heslin 8, D Lynch 6. Subs: A Gaughan 5 for Glennon (inj., 15), S Corcoran 6 for Mulligan (45), T McDaniel 6 for Martin (51), C McCormack for Reilly (62), S Dempsey for Sharry (64), K Daly for Lynch (69).
Wicklow: R Lambert 6; E Murtagh 6, R O'Brien 5, J Snell 6; D Hayden 7, D Healy 7, J Crowe 6; R Finn 6, A McLoughlin 7; C Ffrench 5, S Kelly 6, J McGrath 5; Paddy Byrne 6, S Furlong 8, T Kelly 6. Subs: G Allen 6 for Byrne (51), M Kenny 6 for McGrath (51), D Boothman for Murtagh (66), Padraig Byrne for Ffrench (66), C Hyland for Finn (66), C O'Gorman for Crowe (70).
Ref: S Laverty (Antrim).