O'Brien shows class to crush Derry
After a tentative opening half, Westmeath eventually eased to their first victory in this year's league with a 10-point win over a disappointing Derry side in Cusack Park, Mullingar.
The visitors had the aid of a very strong wind in the first half but still only led by the narrowest of margins at the interval, 0-6 to 0-5.
Just over a minute into the second half, the best player on view, Niall O'Brien, flicked the ball to the net at the end of a Derek McNicholas delivery, and the home team always looked the likely winners from that moment on.
Veteran corner-forward John Shaw scored Westmeath's second goal from a tight angle in the 58th minute to wrap up the points.
Man of the match: N O'Brien (Westmeath)
Scorers – Westmeath: N O'Brien 1-9 (0-5f), J Shaw 1-1, M Keegan, J Clarke and D McNicholas ('65') 0-1 each. Derry: R Convery 0-5 (4f), P Henry 0-2, P Cleary, O McCloskey 0-1 each.
Westmeath – P Collins 6; T Gallagher 6, A McGrath 7, M Keegan 6; P Gilsenan 7, C Jordan 6, E Price 6; R Greville 7, S Power 7; B Lahart 5, J Clarke 6, A Clarke 5; D McNicholas 7, N O'Brien 8, J Shaw 7. Subs: J Boyle 6 for Lahart (22), D Fennell 6 for A Clarke (37), G Greville 6 for J Clarke (60), B O'Mara for Gallagher (63), C Dermody for Power (69).
Derry – D McDermott 6; M Warnock 6, C Quinn 5, J McCloskey 5; P Kelly 6, L Hinphey 6, P Henry 7; C Convery 5, R McCloskey 6; B Rodgers 5, R Convery 7, A Grant 5; P Cleary 6, O McCloskey 6, N Ferris 5. Subs: D Donnelly 6 for Ferris (47), K Hinphey 6 for C Convery (51), T McCloskey for Grant (66), D McCloskey for J McCloskey (69).
Ref – F Horgan (Tipperary).