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Wexford stroll home to set date with Clare

Wexford 2-21 Westmeath 0-16

Wexford’s Diarmuid O’Keeffe gets away from Robbie Greville of Westmeath. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Wexford’s Diarmuid O’Keeffe gets away from Robbie Greville of Westmeath. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Independent.ie newsdesk

Davy Fitzgerald's Wexford will face his native 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 both sides were wasteful, sharing 11 wides in the first half, where Wexford took a 1-12 to 0-8 lead into the break.

A David Dunne goal eight minutes before half-time had 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 themselves late on but Allan Devine'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 Devine scored two early frees.

Eoin Price of Westmeath in action against Shaun Murphy of Wexford. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Eoin Price of Westmeath in action against Shaun Murphy of Wexford. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Rory O'Connor was rested after his midweek exploits with the Wexford U-21s, but McDonald and a 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 still got the crucial goal in the 27th minute when Aidan Nolan provided the assist.

Jack O'Connor scored the last point of the half to give an increasingly confident Wexford their seven point lead at half-time.

Diarmuid O'Keeffe of Wexford in action against Robbie Greville of Westmeath. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Diarmuid O'Keeffe of Wexford in action against Robbie Greville of Westmeath. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Westmeath had briefly threatened a 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 (6f, 1 '65), D Dunne, C McDonald 1-1 each, A Nolan 0-4, H Kehoe 0-2, P Morris, J O'Connor, D O'Keeffe, S Murphy, L Ryan and S Tomkins 0-1 each.

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

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).

Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).

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