Westmeath storm into O’Byrne Cup final with 12-point win as Longford fail to score from play

Westmeath 2-10
Longford 0-4

Kevin Egan reports from Glennon Brothers Pearse Park

WESTMEATH EASILY BRUSHED aside a feeble Longford challenge at the Downs GAA club this afternoon, holding their local rivals scoreless from play as they set up an O’Byrne cup final clash with either Dublin or Meath next weekend.

Longford drew first blood in the contest when Peter Hanley was pulled down and Barry McKeon swung over the resultant free from 20 metres, and with ten minutes gone they would have been the happier side as the tie was level at 0-1 apiece, with a strong wind favouring the home team at the well-appointed venue just outside Mullingar.

Sam Duncan broke two tackles to set up his midfield colleague Sean Flanagan for the game’s opening goal and that opened up the game for Westmeath, who accumulated a seven-point lead, 1-5 to 0-1, by half-time.

Kieran Martin and Ronan O’Toole kicked good scores for Jack Cooney’s side in that half, though six wides in the 35 minutes of play left the door slightly ajar for the visitors.

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Longford never raised a gallop after half time however and were completely shut down every time they got within 40 metres of the Westmeath goal. Barry McKeon and Darren Gallagher pointed from long range, but it wasn’t until the final minute when the result was well beyond doubt, that Darragh Doherty got their first good possession in the danger area, before getting dragged down for a final dead ball score.

A dejected Michael Quinn after Longford suffer defeat.

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

After the game Cooney expressed his satisfaction with his young midfield pairing of Flanagan and Duncan, the latter also playing a part in the second goal after 52 minutes.

He was dragged down just inside the 45m line but had the presence of mind to spring to his feet and quickly pick out Callum
McCormack, who exchanged passes with Ger Egan before slipping the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot from ten metres out.

Duncan, McCormack and O’Toole tacked on points form play in the second half as Westmeath made light of the wind disadvantage to keep piling on the scores.

Ronan O’Toole celebrates Westmeath’s goal.

Scorers for Westmeath: Ger Egan 0-4 (0-4f), Callum McCormack 1-1, Sean Flanagan 1-0, Ronan O’Toole 0-2, Kieran Martin, James Dolan and Sam Duncan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Longford: Robbie Smyth 0-2 (0-2f), Barry McKeon, Darren Gallagher 0-1 (0-1f) each.

Westmeath

1. Eoin Carberry (Rosemount)

2. Boidu Sayeh (Rosemount)
3. Ronan Wallace (Multyfarnham)
4. Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks)

6. James Dolan (Garrycastle)
5. Noel O’Reilly (Milltownpass)
9. Noel Mulligan (Athlone)

7. David Lynch (St. Malachy’s)
8. Seán Flanagan (St. Loman’s)

15. Sam Duncan (Milltownpass)
12. Ronan O’Toole (St. Loman’s)
11. Callum McCormack (Maryland)

10. Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass)
21. Ger Leech (Coralstown-Kinnegad)
14. Kieran Martin (Maryland)

Subs 

Tommy McDaniel (Castleknock, Dublin) for Leech (47)
Ned Cully (St. Mary’s) for O’Toole (58)
Darren Giles (Coralstown-Kinnegad) for Flanagan (62)
Daire Conway (Shandonagh) for O’Reilly (65)
Mattie Rowden (St. Mary’s) for Carberry (65)
Sean Pettit (Rosemount) for Martin (67)
Theo Watts (Rosemount) for Egan (67)
Conor Slevin (Tyrrellspass) for Lynch (69)
Anthony McGivney (Multyfarnham) for McCormack (69)

Longford

1. Paddy Collum (Fr. Manning Gaels)

4. Barry O’Farrell (Carrickedmond)
3. Andrew Farrell (Cashel)
2. Darren Quinn (Clonguish)

5. Colm P. Smyth (Abbeylara)
6. Michael Quinn (Emmet Óg)
7. Daniel Mimnagh (Emmet Óg)

8. Darren Gallagher (St. Mary’s)
9. Peter Hanley (Clonguish)

12. Shane Donohoe (Rathcline)
11. Barry McKeon (Colmcille)
10. Peter Lynn (Longford Slashers)

15. Liam Connerton (Rathcline)
14. Robbie Smyth (Abbeylara)
13. Darragh Doherty (Mostrim)

Subs

Iarla O’Sullivan (Rathcline) for Donohoe (49)
Pauric Gill for Hanley (49)
Connor Shields (Clonguish) for Connerton (67)
Mark Hughes (Emmet Óg) for Smyth (67)
Nigel Rabbitte (Abbeylara) for Mimnagh (67)
PJ Masterson (Abbeylara) for Quinn (69).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare)

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