Late burst gives Louth the edge
Louth 3-11 Westmeath 2-11
Louth recorded their first win in the round robin section of this year's Leinster MFC, inflicting a fourth successive defeat on Westmeath in a very lively contest in Mullingar.
Daire Nally opened the scoring for Louth in the second minute, but a brace of quick-fire points from Enda Gaffney and a great goal from Cian Cleary put the home team four points clear with seven minutes elapsed.
With Craig Shevlin prominent at centre half-back, the Wee County lads halved this deficit by the end of the first quarter but Gaffney pounced for a fine individual goal in the 24th minute as Westmeath led by 2-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
When Seán Healy was fouled just 30 seconds after the resumption of play, Ryan Walsh converted the ensuing penalty for Louth. Shevlin scored his side's second goal in style in the 39th minute, but Westmeath still led by a point (2-8 to 2-7) when Healy found the net in the 42nd minute.
Westmeath regained the lead with points from Jack Torpey, Jamie Coffey and Shane Fleming, but Louth hit four late points via Cathal Fleming (two frees), Healy and Conall McCaul to eke out a deserved win.
Scorers - Louth: C Shevlin 1-2, S Healy 1-1, R Walsh 1-0 (pen), C Fleming 0-3 (3f) D Nally, C McCaul 0-2 each, T Jackson 0-1. Westmeath: E Gaffney 1-2, C Cleary 1-0, J Torpey 0-3, S Fleming 0-2, J Coffey, J McDonnell, A Donoghue, B McGauran (f) 0-1 each.
Louth - J McGillick; F Lynch, C Callan, T Jackson; C Fleming, C Shevlin, G Bell; C McCaul, J Mee; B Butterly, D Nally, R Hanlon; S Healy, R Walsh, E Ryan. Subs: M Begley for Ryan (h-t), C Quigley for Callan (39), J Winters for Butterly (60 + 1).
Westmeath - C McCourt; C Drumm, C Daly, C Cleary; J Gahan, C Gibney, D Seery; J Coffey, K O'Sullivan; J McDonnell, J Torpey, S Fleming; A Donoghue, B McGauran, E Gaffney. Subs: E Martin for Donoghue (h-t), O Raleigh for Cleary (46), D Keegan for Coffey (57).
Ref - C Dwyer (Offaly)