O'Byrne Cup final: 13-man Royals belatedly take the silverware

May 13, 2018

Westmeath's Conor Slevin with Cillian O'Sullivan Meath during the O'Byrne Cup final at Cuasack Park Mullingar

Meath beat neighbours Westmeath by 4-13 to 1-13 in a dramatic O'Byrne Cup final at Mullingar.

The climax of the winter competition found an unlikely slot in mid-May and Andy McEntee's charges prevailed thanks to a match-winning haul from the exceptional Donal Lenihan.

Donal Keogan was the unlikely scorer of the game's opening goal on 20 minutes and the centre back's major made it 1-3 to 0-4. Lenihan plundered his first three-pointer two minutes later and the winners had midfielder Paddy Kennelly sent off for a second yellow card eleven minutes from the short whistle.

Callum McCormack supplied the hosts' goal on 26 minutes but a couple of Lenihan points and one from Cillian O'Sullivan ensured the 14-man Royals of a 2-7 to 1-7 interval lead.

Lenihan's second goal six minutes after the restart, following an exchange between Luke Loughlin and O'Sullivan, effectively finished the game as a contest and the victors struck their fourth goal deep into injury time via the palm of substitute Daniel O'Neill, despite having had Eamon Wallace dismissed for a straight red card offence on the hour.

Meath - A Colgan; S Lavin, C McGill, S Glynn; J McEntee, D Keogan (1-0), S McEntee; B Menton, P Kennelly (0-1); B McMahon, B Brennan (0-1), M Burke; C O'Sullivan (0-2), G Reilly, D Lenihan (2-8, 0-2f, 0-1'45). Subs: J Wallace for G Reilly, E Wallace for B Brennan, D O'Neill (1-0) for M Burke, T O'Reilly (0-1) for B McMahon, A Flanagan for B Menton, C O'Brien for J McEntee, S Curran for S Lavin.

Westmeath - S Gallagher; R Wallace, S Duncan, B Sayeh; C Slevin, J Gonoud, J Dolan; A Stone, D Daly; K Martin (0-3), C McCormack (1-0), J Egan; L Loughlin (0-2), F Coyne, J Connellan (0-6, 5f). Subs: N Mulligan for R Wallace, G Egan (0-2) for C Slevin, M McCallon for B Sayeh, R O'Toole for F Coyne, G Carr for A Stone, A McGivney for J Egan, A Loughlin for D Daly, J Rock for N Mulligan, N Scally for K Martin, J Moran for C McCormack.

Referee - F Smyth.

Most Read Stories