Brendan Hackett's reign as Westmeath senior football manager got off to a disappointing start at St. Loman's Lakepoint Park yesterday when a much fitter and slicker DCU side knocked an understrength home side out of this year's O'Byrne Cup.
In front of a small attendance, the students had wind advantage in the first half and were full value for their 0-8 to 0-2 lead at the interval.
A potent attacking division, spearheaded by a particularly potent full-forward line of Seanie Johnston (Cavan), Donal Shine (Roscommon) and David Kelly (Sligo), caused endless problems for a sluggish home rearguard.
At the other end, regular Westmeath full-back Kieran Gavin was a tower of strength for DCU and Tommy McDaniel was the only consistent threat in an experimental Lake County attack.
DCU had 10 players who scored from play, in sharp contrast to two for Westmeath. For his part, Hackett will be hoping to have a much stronger squad to pick from come Westmeath's difficult Division Two campaign.
SCORERS -- DCU: D Shine (0-2f), S Johnston 0-3 each, N Collins, S Shortall, P Byrne, P Andrews 0-2 each, D Sheridan, J Cooper, D Kelly, W Mulhall 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Durkan 0-4 (0-3f), T McDaniel 0-2 (1f), P Greville (1f), M Ennis 0-1 each.
DCU -- M Boyle; P McMahon, K Gavin, N Collins; D Sheridan, B Cullen, J Cooper; D Mooney, H McGrillen; P Flynn, S Shortall, P Byrne; S Johnston, D Shine, D Kelly. Subs: P Andrews for Shortall (h/t), K Nolan for McGrillen (h/t), W Mulhall for Kelly (53), E Culligan for McMahon (58), L O'Donovan for Johnson (63).
Westmeath -- S Gallagher, F Boyle, G Quinn, W Murtagh, G Crowley, D O' Donoghue, D Harte, S Bracken, A Finnan, N Kilcoyne, M Ennis, J Durkan, R Doolin, P Greville, T McDaniel. Subs: P Sharry for Kilcoyne (h/t), J Gaffey for Murtagh (h/t), P Gilsenan for Crowley (h/t), M Curley for Boyle (h/t), W Coyne for Greville (49 mins).
Ref -- F Barry (Kildare).