Ryan says Doyle goal was 'absolutely crucial'

May 14, 2017

Westmeath manager Michael Ryan.
©INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Michael Ryan cut a relieved figure after guiding Westmeath to the Leinster SHC quarter-finals for the third year-in-a-row.

The Waterford man cited Killian Doyle's second half goal as the crucial score as the Lake County overcame the sending off of Derek McNicholas just before half-time to beat neighbours Meath in TEG Cusack Park.

"I think we deserved the victory," the Westmeath manager told Midlands 103. 

"We were a man down before half-time and that's unfortunate - I'd like to see the incident again. We spoke at half-time of the importance of using the ball well in the second half and we put structures in place. We gave instructions to the players and I thought they played a very intelligent brand of hurling in the second half.

"We had some immense performances; Tommy Doyle at full back, Paul (Greville) at centre back was outstanding; Aonghus (Clarke) in midfield and Robbie (Greville), particularly in the second half when he moved up front. Killian Doyle's goal was absolutely crucial. I thought some of our score-taking was excellent."

Acknowledging that Laois had done Westmeath a huge favour by beating Kerry in Tralee, Ryan was already looking forward to a home quarter-final against neighbours Offaly on Saturday week.

"We'll enjoy tonight and starting preparing for that tomorrow," he added.

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