Westmeath cruise into O'Byrne Cup final after facile win over Longford
Westmeath 2-10 Longford 0-4
Westmeath had a surprisingly facile win over neighbours Longford in today’s O’Byrne Cup semi-final at The Downs, thereby qualifying for next Friday night’s final in Parnell Park.
Longford opened the scoring from a Barry McKeon free in the third minute but they failed to score again for the remainder of the first half which was dominated by the wind-assisted hosts. Indeed, the fact that all of their meagre total of four points came from frees was a measure of Longford’s poverty throughout the entire match.
Sean Flanagan availed of fine approach work by Sam Duncan to rifle the ball to the Longford net in the tenth minute. With Kieran Martin prominent in attack and Ger Egan accurate from frees, Westmeath went on to lead by 1-5 to 0-1 at the break.
The expected Longford comeback on the change of ends never materialised as the home team continued to dominate. Jack Cooney’s charges led by 1-7 to 0-3 when Callum McCormack scored a great goal in the 53rd minute at the end of a fine move in which he was twice involved.
The final quarter was lacklustre with Padraic Davis’ men spurning several good chances. Hard working midfielder Sam Duncan capped a fine display with the last point of the match late on.
Westmeath: C McCormack 1-1, G Egan 0-4 (4fs), S Flanagan 1-0, R O’Toole 0-2, J Dolan, K Martin, S Duncan 0-1 each.
Longford: R Smyth 0-2 (2fs), B McKeon (f), D Gallagher (f) 0-1 each.
Westmeath: E Carberry; B Sayeh, R Wallace, K Daly; J Dolan, N Mulligan, D Lynch; S Flanagan, S Duncan; G Egan, C McCormack, R O’Toole; G Leech, K Martin, N O’Reilly. Subs: T McDaniel for Leech (47), N Cully for O’Toole (58), D Giles for Flanagan (63), D Conway for O’Reilly (65), M Rowden for Carberry (65), S Pettit for Martin (66), T Watts for Egan (66), A McGivney for McCormack (69), C Slevin for Lynch (69).
Longford: P Collum; D Quinn, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; CP Smyth, M Quinn, D Mimnagh; D Gallagher, P Hanley; P Lynn, B McKeon, S Donohoe; D Doherty, R Smyth, L Connerton. Subs: I O’Sullivan for Donohoe (50), P Gill for Hanley (50), C Shields for Smyth (66), M Hughes for Doherty (66), N Rabbitte for Mimnagh (67), PJ Masterson for D Quinn (68).
Ref: B Cawley (Kildare).