Quaid delighted as Westmeath hold nerve in shoot-out drama
Khoe Cup final: Westmeath 2-20 Antrim 1-23 (Westmeath win penalty shootout 3-0)
"Silverware is silverware, whatever way you get it," was Westmeath manager Joe Quaid's pragmatic attitude after his side lifted the trophy on Saturday afternoon in Abbotstown by defeating Antrim in a penalty shoot-out after an entertaining contest had ended all square.
His opposite number, Neal Peden, is not a fan of the shoot-out idea. He opined: "I think it's a very unsatisfactory way to decide a game."
However, applauding the victors, he said: "We went five points up near the end, but we were tiring a bit and Westmeath showed great strength to draw the game."
Westmeath were four points to the good after three minutes, but Antrim settled and, with James McNaughton on target from frees and open play, they deservedly led by 0-11 to 0-9 at the break.
The second-half was a lively affair, with the lead changing hands on a number of occasions.
Allan Devine's 55th-minute goal edged Westmeath ahead, but Nigel Elliott responded two minutes later to hand the initiative back to Antrim, who led by five points with three minutes remaining.
However, Devine's second goal, a point from Darragh Clinton, and a wonderful last-gasp strike by Killian Doyle ensured penalties.
Westmeath won the shoot-out 3-0, with successful strikes from Niall Mitchell, Devine and Doyle, while McNaughton, Nicky McKeague and Keelan Molloy all missed for Antrim.
Scorers - Westmeath: A Devine 2-3, N Mitchell (5fs), D Clinton 0-5 each, K Doyle 0-4, S Power, J Galvin, S McGovern 0-1 each. Antrim: J McNaughton 0-9 (6fs), N Elliott 1-3, K Molloy 0-4, E O'Neill, K Rice 0-2 each, C Clarke, J Dillon, C McCann 0-1 each.
Westmeath - P Carroll; J Gilligan, T Doyle, N McKenna; J Bermingham, A Craig, G Greville; R Greville, S Power; S Clavin, C Shaw, A Devine; K Doyle, N Mitchell, D Clinton. Subs: S McGovern for Power (h-t), A Clarke for Shaw (h-t), J Galvin for McKenna (h-t), P Greville for Gilligan (47), D O'Reilly for Clavin (65), P Reilly for Craig (67), K Regan for Bermingham (70), E Corrigan for Mitchell (70), R Gillen for G Greville (70 + 2).
Antrim - R Elliott; S Rooney, J Dillon, P Duffin; R Molloy, C McHugh, M Donnelly; C McCann, K Rice; N Elliott, J McNaughton, N McKeague; J O'Connell, K Molloy, C Clarke. Subs: E O'Neill for Clarke (30), D McKinley for O'Connell (44), C Boyd for Rice (inj., 55), S Duffin for McKeague (61), C Patterson for Molloy (70).
Ref - R Fitzsimons (Offaly).