Sunday 22 July 2018

Davy Fitzgerald to face his native Clare in All Ireland quarter-final as Wexford see off Westmeath

Wexford 2-21 Westmeath 0-16

Damien Reck of Wexford in action against Ciaran Doyle of Westmeath
Damien Reck of Wexford in action against Ciaran Doyle of Westmeath

Darragh Small

Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford will face Clare in the All-Ireland quarter-finals after Conor McDonald's second half goal eased them past Westmeath.

There were perfect conditions for hurling at Cusack Park in Mullingar but the sides shared 11 wides a first half, where Wexford took a 1-12 to 0-8 lead into the break.

David Dunne's goal arrived eight minutes before half-time and that pushed Wexford clear with the breeze to come in the second half.

McDonald found the net in the second half and that ended a brief comeback from Westmeath, who could have scored a goal late on but Allan Devin's free was saved.

Wexford weren't great here but their bench looked strong and they are primed for a tilt at the beaten Munster finalists.

A week after they lost 2-26 to 1-14 to Carlow in the Joe McDonagh Cup final Westmeath had to make a fast start and Allan Devine scored two early frees.

Rory O'Connor was rested after his midweek exploits with the Wexford U-21s, but Conor McDonald and Lee Chin (free) drew the game level after six minutes.

Westmeath had the breeze at their backs in the opening half but they fell behind for the first time in the seventh minute when Paul Morris scored. Derek McNicholas drew the sides level again but Wexford led from the tenth minute onwards.

Paddy Carroll foiled three goalbound efforts from Dunne, Kevin Foley and Matthew O'Hanlon. But Dunne's scored the crucial goal in the 27th minute when Aidan Nolan provided the assist.

Jack O'Connor scored the last point of the half and it meant a 1-12 to 0-8 lead for Wexford at half-time.

Westmeath had their comeback after the interval but McDonald put an end to that when he finished a goal after a pass from Liam Óg McGovern in the 46th minute.

Scorers – Wexford: L Chin 0-7 (0-6f, 0-1 65), D Dunne 1-1, C McDonald 1-1, A Nolan 0-4, H Kehoe 0-2, P Morris 0-1, J O'Connor 0-1, D O'Keeffe 0-1, S Murphy 0-1, L Ryan 0-1, S Tomkins 0-1.

Westmeath: A Devine 0-8 (0-6f), A Clarke 0-2, E Price 0-2, D McNicholas 0-1, C Boyle 0-1, C Doyle 0-1, J Boyle 0-1.

Wexford – M Fanning; D Reck, L Ryan, S Donohoe; P Foley, M O'Hanlon, D O'Keeffe; K Foley, S Murphy; L Chin, A Nolan, J O'Connor; P Morris, D Dunne, C McDonald.

Subs: L Óg McGovern for Morris (43), W Devereux for O'Keeffe (54), H Kehoe for O'Connor (63), S Tomkins for O'Connor (63), É Martin for Reck (69).

Westmeath – P Carroll; C Shaw, T Doyle, J Gilligan; S Clavin, P Greville, D McNicholas; E Price, A Clarke; R Greville, C Doyle, C Boyle; N O'Brien, N Mitchell, A Devine.

Subs: J Boyle for McNicholas (44), L Varley for Boyle (54), D Clinton for Doyle (58), A Craig for Shaw (69).

Ref – Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).

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