Leinster SHC: Saffrons see off Lake men

April 27, 2014

Westmeath's Kieran Duncan in action against Antrim.
Antrim came from behind to beat 13-man Westmeath by 0-23 to 2-11 at Ballycastle.

Westmeath were quickest to settle as they clipped over the first four points through Niall O'Brien and captain Eoin Price but - with the game's outstanding performer Paul Shiels on fire from frees - the hosts eventually found their rhythm to lead by 0-12 to 1-8 at the break. Shiels finished the 70 minutes with an impressive match-winning tally of 0-12, ten of those from frees.

As well as Shiels, Ciaran Clarke and PJ O'Connell were also on the mark for the Glensmen in the first half, while Chrissy O'Connell gave the midlanders hope with a fine brace before the short whistle.

Derek McNicholas registered a goal in either half for the valiant visitors, who had half backs Aaron Craig and Tommy Gallagher both sent off during the second period for second yellow card offences.

In the first-ever Leinster senior hurling championship match to be staged in Ulster, the visitors held a five-point lead at the three-quarters mark, by which stage Craig had already left the fray. McNicholas' second major gave the 14 men renewed hope but the home side held on to claim both points on offer.

Victory leaves Kevin Ryan's charges top of the round-robin section following the first series of matches, as Carlow and London drew the day's early throw-in at Ruislip.

Antrim are on the road to face the Barrowsiders next Sunday, while Brian Hanley's Lake County men will realistically have to win their tricky home clash with Laois to retain any genuine interest in the competition.

Antrim - C O'Connell; O McFadden, C McKinley, C Johnson; E Campbell (0-2), N McAuley, N McManus (0-1); D Hamill (0-1), B McFall; C Carson, P Shiels (0-12, 10f), S Beatty; C Clarke (0-3), M Donnelly, PJ O Connell (0-3). Subs: A Graffin for S Beatty, C McCann for M Donnelly, S McCrory for B McFall, S McAfee for C Carson, N McKenna (0-1) for D Hamill.

Westmeath - P Collins; K Duncan, T Doyle, L Varley; G Greville, A Craig, T Gallagher; C Curley (0-2), E Price (0-3, 2f); R Greville, A Devine, D Gavin; N Conaty, D McNicholas (2-1), N O'Brien (0-5, 4f). Subs: A Clarke for N Conaty, D Lynch for D Gavin.

Referee - F Horgan.

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