Sport Hurling

Monday 22 January 2018

Goals prove Devine for Westmeath

Westmeath 2-12 London 1-12 LEINSTER SHC ROUND-ROBIN

Niall O'Brien, Westmeath, in action against Enda Cooney, London. GAA Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Group, Round 5, Westmeath v London, Cusack Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Niall O'Brien, Westmeath, in action against Enda Cooney, London. GAA Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Group, Round 5, Westmeath v London, Cusack Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Alan Devine, Westmeath, in action against Conor Hickey, London. GAA Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Group, Round 5, Westmeath v London, Cusack Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Conor Hickey, centre, London, is shown the red card and sent off by referee Eamonn Hassan. GAA Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Group, Round 5, Westmeath v London, Cusack Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
James Barrett, London, in action against Niall O'Brien, Westmeath. GAA Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Group, Round 5, Westmeath v London, Cusack Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Westmeath's bowed out of this year's competition despite edging out London in a tense clash in Mullingar on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams finished with 13 players, as two late goals from corner-forward Alan Devine ensured Westmeath can retain top-tier status.

The first half produced scrappy play from both sides, with Eoin Kelly's accuracy from placed balls helping the Exiles to a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead. In first-half injury-time, London midfielder Darren Moore was sent off, having picked up a second yellow card.

Ten minutes into the second half, the sides were tied at 0-9 apiece. Westmeath's Ciaran Curley was red-carded in the 49th minute, either side of a brace of converted frees from Kelly for London.

An inspirational point from Westmeath corner-back Liam Varley had the teams on level terms with 10 minutes to go. Westmeath took the lead for the first time (0-12 to 0-11) from a Niall O'Brien free.

Two minutes later, London's Conor Hickey became the third player to be dismissed after an off-the-ball incident. In the 64th minute, Devine scooped the ball to the net and, in the last minute of normal time, he neatly flicked home for his second goal.

In added time, Kelly blasted a 20-metre free to the net, but the Exiles were unable to find the last-gasp equaliser to save them from relegation, as O'Brien was shown a second yellow.

SCORERS – Westmeath: A Devine 2-3, N O'Brien 0-4 (3fs), A Clarke 0-3, L Varley, P Gilsenan 0-1 each. London: E Kelly 1-8 (1-7fs), H Vaughan 0-2, D Egan, M Duggan 0-1 each.

WESTMEATH – P Collins 6; K Duncan 6, T Doyle 8, L Varley 7; G Greville 6, A Craig 6, P Reilly 6; P Gilsenan 7, C Curley 5; R Greville 6, E Price 7, A Clarke 7; A Devine 8, D McNicholas 5, N O'Brien 5. Sub: T Gallagher 6 for McNicholas (53).

LONDON – J Barrett 6; C McAlinden 6, R Foy 6, C Hickey 5; E Cooney 6, PJ Rowe 6, S Frawley 6; D Moore 5, D Egan 7; M Lynch 6, E Kelly 8, K Killilea 6; H Vaughan 7, M Duggan 6, P Cocoman 5. Subs: L Hands 6 for Cocoman (48), B Regan 6 for Lynch (50), P Barry for Vaughan (67), M Holohan for Killilea (69).

REF – E Hassan (Derry).

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