Last-gasp Dermody foils Kerry
Andrew Dermody broke Kerry hearts with a last-gasp point to seal the crown for Westmeath.
The Kingdom were on top during a close-fought opening half and after Dan Carthy had opened the scoring for Westmeath, Kerry took over.
Darragh O'Connell scored 0-5 and John Egan, John Griffin, James Flaherty and Shane Nolan also got on the scoresheet to leave Kerry 0-12 to 1-7 ahead at the break.
Westmeath showed a goal threat throughout, however, and Carthy finally took his chance two minutes before the interval with a fine finish on the run. A second goal from dual star Paul Greville gave them the momentum to run into a four-point lead going into the final quarter.
Kerry introduced Shane Brick and he found the net after his 21-metre free was initially saved by Pat Burke. Michael Boyle levelled and Mike Conway edged Kerry in front. But Brendan Murtagh levelled, before Dermody won it with almost the last puck of the game.
Scorers -- Westmeath: D Carthy 1-3, P Greville 1-1, B Murtagh 0-4 (0-1f), S Bardon 0-3, J Clarke 0-2, A Dermody, B Leharte, E Loughlin 0-1 each. Kerry: D O'Connell 0-8 (0-6f) , S Brick 1-0, J Egan 0-3, M Boyle, J Griffin 0-2 each, J Flaherty, M Conway, S Nolan 0-1 each.
Westmeath: P Burke; A Price, J Shaw, E Price; R Whelan, A Mitchell, D McCormack; J Clarke, L Smyth; S Bardon, B Murtagh, E Loughlin; P Greville, B Leharte, D Carthy. Subs: P Dowdall for Price (34), C Jordan for McCormack (h-t), A Dowdall for Loughlin (52), A Dermody for Bardon (66).
Kerry: B Rochford; C Harris, T Murnane, J Fitzgerald; J Godley, L Boyle, A Healy; M Conway, J Griffin; J Egan, M Boyle, D O'Connell; J Flaherty, G O'Brien, S Nolan. Subs: S Brick for Flaherty (48), J McCarthy for Fitzgerald (60)
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly).
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