Heslin to the fore as Westmeath stroll home
Westmeath 3-24 Wexford 0-9
It was a stroll in the park as Westmeath cruised to a 24-point victory over experimental Wexford in this Division 4 clash at Innovate Wexford Park yesterday.
In what was a final dress rehearsal, Wexford were put to the sword by Westmeath during the opening 35 minutes as the wind-assisted Midlanders took total control of the game, scoring at will through the second quarter.
Little separated the sides through the opening ten minutes at the end of which Westmeath led 0-3 to 0-3, but by the 18th minute they had stretched into a 0-8 to 0-2 lead with John Heslin, Kieran Martin and Paul Sherry on target.
The Midlanders really put the game beyond the reach of the home side after 25 minutes when Jake Firman brought down Noel Mulligan as he bore down on goal, conceding a penalty, which Ger Egan neatly slotted home.
Firman received a black card for his efforts, but the Wexford struggle was to continue for the rest of the half as Westmeath went on to add a further seven points, with the solitary Wexford response being a Ryan Nolan 32nd-minute point.
The second-half was to follow the same pattern as the Westmeath dominance continued, and they strolled through proceedings adding further goals through Heslin and Alan Stone.
Scorers - Westmeath: J Heslin 1-10 (5f), G Egan 1-2 (1-0 pen), A Stone 1-1, K Martin 0-3, J Dolan, P Sherry, T McDaniel 0-2 each, C McCormack, D Lynch 0-1 each. Wexford: D Shanley (2f), P Curtis 0-2 each; A Flynn, N Hughes, R Nolan, J Tubritt, P J Banville 0-1 each.
Westmeath - D Quinn 7; M McCallon 7, K Maguire 7, F Boyle 7; J Dolan 8, J Gonoud 8, N Mulligan 8; A Stone 8, G Egan 8; K Reilly 7, P Sherry 7, T McDaniel 7; K Martin 8, J Heslin 9, D Lynch 8. Subs: C McCormack 7 for Martin (45), D Corroon 7 for Reilly (51), K Daly 7 for Boyle (54), J Connellan 6 for Egan (54); S Dempsey 6 for McDaniel (54); C Boyle for Mulligan (66).
Wexford - C Swaine 7; S Gaul 7, N Rossiter 6, C Carty 6; A Flynn 6, J Leacy 7, J Stafford 6; N Hughes 7, S Byrne 6; P Curtis 7, I Carty 6, J Firman 5; D Shanley 6, M O'Regan 6, R Nolan 7. Subs: J Tubritt 7 for Carty (21);T. Rossiter 6 for Firman (B.C. 25); P J Banville 7 for Curtis (h-t), J Wadding 6 for Stafford (49).
Ref - B Cawley (Kildare).