Murtagh strikes to make wasteful London pay
A goal from Brendan Murtagh on 50 minutes proved the decisive score for Westmeath who defeated a wasteful London in Ruislip in this preliminary hurling qualifier.
London squandered 11 scoring opportunities in the first half while the visitors were far more clinical on far less possession. Martin Finn corrected London's wayward ways with three quick frees before the interval, which left the Exiles surprisingly leading by 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.
But London were poor value for it, their first touch was lacking throughout and Westmeath were slicker and steadier.
Westmeath turned with the wind at their backs and Derek McNicholas and Robbie Greville began to dominate the London defence in the second half.
Then on 50 minutes came Murtagh with the goal and it was all over for the Exiles a long way out.
Scorers – Westmeath: D McNicholas 0-10 (7f), B Murtagh 1-1, R Greville 0-2 (f), J Shaw 0-1. London: M Finn 0-5 (3f), D Reale 0-2, J Walsh, PJ Rowe, M Duggan, S Lambert 0-1 each.
Westmeath: P Collins; L Varley, T Gallagher, P Fennell; D Fennell, A McGrath, A Price; E Price, J Clarke; B Murtagh, A Craig, D McNicholas; N O'Brien, R Greville, J Shaw. Subs: T Egan for Varley (42), S Power for Clarke (67), A Clarke for Craig (45), B O'Mara for Shaw (69).
London: D Russell; C McAlinden, B Costelloe, D Healy; B Healy, B Regan, J Walsh; PJ Rowe, H Vaughan; S Lambert, J Maher, D Maher; M Finn, T Dunne, D Reale (0-2). Subs: M Duggan for Rowe (62), E Cooney for Vaughan (69), L Hands for D Maher (39), S Frawley for Dunne (h-t).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork).