Joe McDonagh Cup: Westmeath too strong for neighbours

May 13, 2018

Meath's Cathal McCabe with Niall Mitchell Westmeath during the McDonagh Cup clash at Cusack park Mullingar

Westmeath 4-24

Meath 2-17

Allan Devine netted twice as Westmeath made it two wins from two in the Joe McDonagh by comfortably accounting for Meath at TEG Cusack Park.

Robbie Greville and Niall Mitchell also raised green flags to keep the Lake County on course for a place in the final. By contrast, Meath's hopes of reaching the final are all but over after they were also well beaten by Antrim in the first round.

Westmeath had only a point to spare over their neighbours when they met in the Allianz League back in February and another close contest looked to be on the cards when an early Jack Regan goal was followed by points from Regan (two frees), James Kelly and Sean Quigley to give Meath an early advantage. But Westmeath, who had opened the scoring through Aonghus Clarke, had regained parity by the end of the first quarter, 0-8 to 1-5, before Greville's 21st minute goal turned the game on its head.

Devine added another goal and Ciaran Doyle, Niall O'Brien, Clarke and Eoin Price added points to leave Michael Ryan's charges perched on a 2-17 to 1-6 lead at the interval. 

The Royals reduced the deficit on the restart through points from Darragh Kelly (two) and substitute Mark O'Sullivan before Mitchell struck for Westmeath's third goal. Alan Douglas kept Meath in it with their second goal before Kelly had a penalty saved by Paddy Carroll with 15 minutes to go.

The visitors were extremely wasteful - firing 17 wides - and their misery was complete when Devine brought his tally to 2-1 when he scored the Lake County's fourth goal in the 65th minute.

Westmeath - P Carroll; S Power, T Doyle, G Greville; L Varley, P Greville, D McNicholas (0-1); E Price (0-5), C Boyle; C Doyle (0-3), A Clarke (0-7), A Devine (2-2, 0-2f); N O'Brien (0-5, 2f), N Mitchell (1-0), R Greville (1-1). Subs: A Craig for L Varley, J Gilligan for D McNicholas, D Clinton for C Boyle, J Boyle for C Doyle, P Maxwell for E Price.

Meath - S McGann; N Weir, S Geraghty, D Kelly (0-3, 2f); J Keena, D Healy, K Keoghan; S Quigley (0-1), S Morris; C McCabe (0-2), J Kelly (0-3), P Conneely (0-2, 1f); A Douglas (1-1), C O'Mealoid, J Regan (1-3, 0-2f). Subs: A Gannon for S Quigley, S Brennan for D Healy, M O'Sullivan (0-2) for C O'Mealoid, P Kelly for J Regan, E O'Donnchadha for S Morris.

Referee - C Cunning.

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