McNicholas secures title
Westmeath overcame the 43rd-minute dismissal of Enda Loughlin to retain the Kehoe Cup in Newbridge on Saturday.
A goal in the opening minute by Derek McNicholas set Westmeath on their way and they had 1-4 on the scoreboard before David Harney registered Kildare's first score in the 14th minute.
Kildare rallied in the latter part of the half and went into the break five points behind, 1-9 to 0-7.
Early points after the restart from Harney and Tony Murphy seemed to have Kildare well placed and there were just three points between the teams when Loughlin saw red after he picked up a second yellow for a wild swipe on Eanna O'Neill.
However, despite Martin Fitzgerald's 57th-minute goal, Kildare couldn't make their advantage count, and late points from Dan Carthy and man-of-the-match McNicholas sealed Westmeath's sixth Kehoe Cup title.
Scorers -- Westmeath: D McNicholas 1-4; D Carthy 0-5 (4f); P Dowdall, A Mitchell (2f) 0-2 each; E Loughlin, A Dowdall 0-1 each. Kildare -- M Fitzgerald 1-1; D Harney 0-4 (3f); T Murphy 0-3; R Hoban 0-2f; E O'Neill 0-1
Westmeath -- P Burke; G Gavin, D McCormack, A Price; J Shaw, A Mitchell, E Price; P Dowdall, R Jackson; J Clarke, P Gilsenan, E Loughlin; A Dowdall, D McNicholas, D Carthy. Subs: C Curley for Gavin (inj, 8 mins), N Flanagan for Gilsenan (48), A Dermody for Carthy (70).
Kildare -- D Byrne; P Curtin, D Ryan, P Reidy; J Doran, R Hoban, N O Mineacháin; M Divilly, E O'Neill; T Murphy, D Kennedy, D Harney; P Moloney, M Moloney, M Fitzgerald. Subs: C Bonus for P Moloney (h/t), L Harney for M Moloney (53), K Divilly for O'Neill (58), D Moloney for Harney (66 mins).
Ref -- David O'Donovan (Dublin).