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The game at a glance

Man of the match

Paul Greville (Westmeath)

The dual star has committed himself to hurling this year, but didn't have a great league as a forward. However, he was back to his swashbuckling best on Saturday in the Westmeath rearguard.

Turning point

Antrim could well have been awarded a long-range free seconds before Westmeath took the lead for the first time in the 63rd minute.

Talking point

Antrim, despite being the away team, had the bigger proportion of the 604 supporters in attendance and most expected a comfortable win. However, Westmeath improved significantly on their Division 2A final display.

Magic moment

Brendan Murtagh had a quiet game by his standards, but he availed of great play by Adam Price to draw his county level in the 59th minute.

Ref watch

Anthony Stapleton looked set for a torrid time when an early skirmish led to cautions for a mentor from both sides. Not everybody agreed with Conor Jordan's second yellow, but Stapleton got most decisions correct.

What they said

Brian Hanley (Westmeath):

"It's probably the best 70 minutes I've had in my few years in management."

Jerry Wallace (Antrim):

"Westmeath had a lot more fight than our lads, particularly in second half."

Match statistics

Wides: Westmeath 9 (5); Antrim 11 (7).

Frees: Westmeath 19 (8); Antrim 17 (7).

Yellow cards: Westmeath 4 (2): C Jordan (16), C Jordan (30), J Shaw (38), E Price (49); Antrim 2 (1): L Watson (16), E McCloskey (35 + 4).

Red cards: Westmeath 1 (1): C Jordan (30); Antrim 0 (0).

What next?

Westmeath at home to Galway in quarter-finals; back door for Antrim.

Irish Independent