Heslin's late free sends Westmeath SFC final to replay

November 14, 2021

St Lomans' John Heslin celebrates after scoring a late free. ©INPHO/James Crombie.

The Westmeath SFC final is heading to a replay next weekend after John Heslin's stoppage-time point earned holders St Loman's a 0-13 apiece draw with Garrycastle at TEG Cusack Park.

2019 champions Garrycastle deservedly led by four points at half-time, 0-9 to 0-5. Howveer, they were reeled in by Declan Kelly's strong-finishing charges after the break as Heslin (0-7, five frees) held his nerve from a 30-yard free to rescue a replay, with the date for that to be confirmed in due course.

Gary Dolan's side were hanging on to a one-point lead in the dying moments when they sprung his brother and 42-year-old former Westmeath forward Dessie Dolan from the bench. Dolan, who was making his first appearance in two years, was in the thick of the action upon his introduction when picking up a yellow card.

Longford native Peter Foy pointed St Loman's 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after seven minutes before Garrycastle found their groove to hit eight unanswered points with Alex Gardiner and Michael Monaghan causing the Blues' defence plenty of problems.

Gardiner's fourth point had Garrycastle three in front at the second water-break, but they were pegged back by Heslin at the death after a foul on Ronan O'Toole.


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