New rules have very little impact as Westmeath get the better of Carlow in the O'Byrne Cup
Westmeath 0-12 Carlow 0-8
Jack Cooney got his tenure as Westmeath manager off to winning start as they enjoyed a four-point win over Carlow in their opening O'Byrne Cup match in Netwatch Cullen Park this afternoon.
Before a small crowd, Westmeath used early wind advantage to build up a commanding lead with newcomers Sean Petit, Joe Halligan and Paddy Fagan all showing well in attack in the opening half.
Carlow lost Paul Broderick to injury in the ninth minute and they struggled to build any momentum, appearing to be more inconvenienced by the restricted handpass rule than their opponents.
Westmeath led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break but had Petit sin-binned in the third quarter.
In his absence Carlow made inroads, reducing the gap to just two points.
But Westmeath were able to bring on the experienced Kieran Martin and talented Luke Loughlin to take control in the final quarter.
The new rules had little impact but did visibly lead to more contests for possession.
Scorers - Westmeath: S Petit 0-5 (3fs), L Loughlin 0-3 (3fs), J Halligan 0-2, P Fagan, K Daly 0-1 each.
Carlow: D Lunney, D Walshe (1f) 0-2 each, D Foley (f), S Doyle, L Walker, D St Ledger (f) 0-1 each.
Westmeath: K Fagan; B Sayeh, R Wallace, G Carr; N O'Reilly, K Daly, C Slevin; S Flanagan, N Mulligan; A McGivney, P Fagan, J Maxwell; S Petit, J Halligan, T Watts. Subs: K Martin for Carr (h-t), L Loughlin for Watts (41), N Cully for Sayeh (49), C McCormack for Fagan (61), T Molloy for Petit (68).
Carlow: R Molloy; BJ Molloy, J Murphy, C Crowley; J Moore, S Doyle, D Lunney; J Kennedy, D Foley; S Clarke, P Broderick, L Walker; C Crowley, D Walshe, D St Ledger. Subs: C Moran for Broderick inj (9), D Thompson for Crowley (43), N Lowry for Kennedy (45), N Roche for Clarke (49), J Clarke for Moran (58).