Lakemen advance as Louth see red
Westmeath 1-15 Louth 0-12
Three players were sent off here in a game of 54 frees but it was Westmeath who were celebrating at the end in Cusack Park, Mullingar.
Louth had captain Mark Brennan and free-taker Darren Clarke sent off in the opening half, while Westmeath midfielder John Heslin was also dismissed for a second yellow in the closing stages.
Louth, whose manager Peter Fitzpatrick was unable to attend due to illness, weren't able to do enough in the opening half when they had the wind and led by just 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
Louth battled gamely in the second half to overcome the numerical disadvantage but Westmeath kicked four without reply to lead 0-9 to 0-7 after 43 minutes.
Louth rallied however, and while a Jim McEneaney point was met with efforts from Denis Glennon and Ger Egan, Derek Crilly, Ray Finnegan and McEneaney pointed to level at 0-11 each after 61 minutes.
Then Heslin was dismissed for a second yellow but it was Westmeath who pushed on.
A superb delivery from Egan saw Denis Glennon set up McCormack for the decisive goal six minutes from time, and they ensured the win with three late points.
Scorers -- Westmeath: C McCormack 1-3, G Egan, J Heslin (4f) 0-4 each, D Glennon 0-3 (1f), J Dolan 0-1. Louth: D Clarke 0-4f, J McEneaney 0-3f, D Crilly, R Finnegan, D Byrne, A Hoey, JP Rooney 0-1 each.
Westmeath: D Quinn; M McCallon, J Gaffney, K Maguire; D Harte, P Sharry, D McDermott (C McCormack 35); J Heslin, P Bannon; K Martin, David Glennon, G Egan; M Ennis (D Corroon 48), J Dolan, Denis Glennon.
Louth: N Gallagher; P Rath, D Finnegan, G Hoey (D Collier 53); R Finnegan (D McComish 68), M Fanning (D O'Connor 67), D Byrne; J McEneaney, M Brennan; A Reid, A Hoey (J Carr 35), D Reid; D Crilly, JP Rooney (R Moore 56), D Clarke.
Referee: D Fahy (Longford)
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