Westmeath ease to Division Four crown after comprehensive win over Wexford
Westmeath 2-24 Wexford 2-11
Westmeath hammered Wexford by 13 points to win the Division 4 Allianz League title at Croke Park and secure the county's first senior trophy since they won the Division 2 title in 2008.
It was the first time the county won silverware at Croke Park since their famous win in the 2004 Leinster championship.
Westmeath hit 1-4 without reply at the end of the first quarter – midfielder Ger Egan scored the goal from a penalty – and although Kevin O'Grady got a goal back for Wexford in the 23rd minute, the game was essential over as a contest at half time when seven points separated the teams.
It was a very disappointing performance from Wexford who have now lost their last three games on the spin. They were down to 14 men for the last seven minutes after substitute Conor Carty was black carded – by then they had used their full quota of substitutes.
But frankly they were never truly in contention as Westmeath, who have contested the last two Leinster finals, demonstrated their class.
Midfielders Ger Egan and Alan Stone were totally dominant at midfield and this established a platform for their classy forwards to put on an exhibition of scoirng.
Their full forward line of Kieran Martin, John Heslin and Tommy McDaniels hit 0-10 from play and by the time substitute Shane Dempsey scored 1-1, Martin and McDaniels had been withdrawn.
On the basis of this performance Wexford face a big challenge against Carlow – who finished third in Division 4 in the championship and they thought of either side taking on Dublin in the Leinster quarter final ought to treated with trepidation.
Westmeath: D Quinn, K Maguire, M McCallon, J Gonoud; J Dolan, K Daly, N Mulligan; A Stone, G Egan (1-2, 1 gl; pen), K Reilly (0-1), P Sharry (0-3), D Lynch; K Martin (0-4), J Heslin (0-8, 5f), T McDaniels (0-3). Subs: D Glennon for Daly 48m; S Dempsey (1-1) for McDaniels 51m, D Corroon for Stone 55m; J Egan for Mulligan 57m; J Connellan (0-2) for Martin 61m; C McCormack for Lynch 66m
Wexford: S Roche; R Devereux, J Rossiter, M Furlong (0-1); B Malone, E Nolan, J Leacy; D Waters (0-1), C Kehoe; K O'Grady (1-1), B Brosnan, P Curtis; C Lyng (0-4, 3f), J Turbritt, PJ Banville (0-2). Subs: C Carthy for Curtis 30m; A Flynn for Leacy ht; M O'Regan for Devereux ht; D Shanley (1-2, 1f, 1 45) for Brosnan 42m; J Wadding for Turbitt 50m;T Rossiter for Nolan 56m.
Referee: P Faloon (Down)