Westmeath revive Joe McDonagh hopes with impressive win over Antrim
Westmeath 0-29 Antrim 0-21
Seventeen points from the stick of Killian Doyle helped Westmeath to a deserved win over 13-man Antrim in this Joe McDonagh Cup clash.
Antrim lost Matthew Donnelly and David Kearney to red cards in the second half but the visitors already had the game in the bag by the 58th and 75th-minute dismissals.
The sides were all square after seven minutes at 0-2 each, with Neil McManus and Doyle with a brace apiece. But with Doyle punishing Antrim's indiscretions from placed balls, the visitors opened up a 0-9 to 0-6 lead by the 24th minute, with Cormac Boyle and Robbie Greville adding points from play.
Derek McNicholas then stretched the lead, reacting first after the game’s first effort on goal from Joey Boyle was blocked by John Dillon. Doyle edged Westmeath further ahead with another brace of frees for a 0-12 to 0-7 lead on the half-hour mark.
McManus stopped the rot for the Saffrons and a Nigel Elliott point from play, sandwiched between two more Doyle frees, had Westmeath 0-15 to 0-9 ahead at the short whistle.
Westmeath continued their workmanlike performance after the break and led 0-22 to 0-13 by the 49th minute. Three unanswered Antrim points briefly brought the gap to six but with Doyle impeccable from placed balls, and subs Ciaran Doyle and Darragh Clinton adding to the list of Westmeath scorers, the Midlanders ran out worthy eight-point winners.
SCORERS – Antrim: N McManus 0-13, 0-12f, 0-1 65, J McNaughton 0-3, P Burke, K Molloy, N Elliott, E O’Neill N McKeague (65) 0-1 each. Westmeath: K Doyle 0-17, 0-10f 0-1 65, R Greville 0-3, C Doyle 0-2, C Boyle 0-2, P Greville, D McNicholas, J Boyle, A Devine & D Clinton 0-1 each.
TEAMS – Antrim: R Elliott; P Duffin, J Dillon, S Rooney; M Donnelly, P Burke, J Maskey; D Kearney, N McKeague; N McManus, R McCambridge, K Molloy; C Clarke, N Elliott, J McNaughton
Subs: E Campbell for P Duffin (29), C Boyd for J Maskey (47), D McCloskey for R McCambridge (51), E O’Neill for N Elliott (58), J O’Connell for C Clarke (68)
Westmeath: C Lynch; D Egerton, T Doyle, G Greville; L Varley, A Clarke, P Greville; S Clavin, J Gilligan; C Boyle, K Doyle, J Boyle; R Greville, D McNicholas, A Devine
Subs: C Doyle for D McNicholas (47), D Clinton for A Devine (68), S McGovern for C Boyle (70), C Shaw for J Boyle (70+5)
Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow)