Kirby goal inspires Westmeath
Westmeath 1-19 Laois 0-16
Westmeath made it two wins in as many years over Laois as they left O'Moore Park with a well deserved victory.
Despite the Lake County opening the scoring, it was Laois who enjoyed the better start, Stephen Maher hitting three points to help them into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead.
Westmeath were slow to settle but a goal from Neal Kirby midway through the half levelled the game, and the visitors had the advantage at the break, 1-9 to 0-9.
Maher hit the bar shortly after the restart but, having managed to survive that scare, the visitors went on to see out the game comfortably.
Every time Laois threatened to get close they pulled away, and some wonderful points from Aonghus Clarke, Robbie Greville and Kieran Glennon helped them to a deserved six-point win.
SCORERS -- Westmeath: A Clarke 0-4 (3f), N Kirby 1-0, D Higgins 0-3, C Scally (2f), P Fennell, N O'Brien, R Greville, K Glennon 0-2 each, D Lynch, D McCormack 0-1 each. Laois: S Maher 0-9 (4f), C Dwyer, J Campion 0-2 each, P Whelan, T Dowling, R Peacock 0-1 each.
WESTMEATH -- J Moore; T Gallagher, T Doyle, D McDermott; D Fennell, C Scally, L Varley; D Lynch, D McCormack; J Boyle, A Clarke, P Fennell; N O'Brien, D Higgins, N Kirby. Subs: R Greville for Boyle (18), G Greville for Gallgher (39), K Glennon for Kirby (51).
LAOIS -- E Rowland; P Bergin, P Lalor, D Palmer; M Collier, B Duggan, W Young; J Ryan, P Whelan; E Jones, G Burke, R Peacock; T Dowling, C Dwyer, S Maher. Subs: C Hyland for Young (h-t), J Campion for Ryan (33), K Lalor for Jones (50).
Ref -- G Quilty (Kilkenny)