GALWAY ENCOUNTERED LITTLE difficulty in advancing to their Leinster SHC semi-finals as they saw off the challenge of a Westmeath side who never got a foothold in the game.
Westmeath, buoyed by their U21 win over Kilkenny, went into the contest with a lot of hope and the game was delayed by 10 minutes to allow the crowd of 5,263 get into the ground for a match punctuated by a couple of downpours.
Galway got on top from the outset with four points in the opening five minutes and by the interval pulled 0-17 to 0-5 in front.
Any hopes of a Westmeath revival disappeared five minutes after the restart when corner-back Shane Power was sent off for an off-the-ball challenge on Joe Canning.
Canning had to go off, having scored 0-8 prior to that from play, frees, a sideline and a 65.
Jason Flynn blasted home Galway’s first goal after 44 minutes before Joseph Cooney became the last of the starting six forwards to score when he soloed through and fired to the net after 48 minutes.
Conor Whelan got Galway’s third goal with sub Conor Cooney landing four points from play when introduced on his return from injury.
Niall O’Brien did most to keep Westmeath in touch, shooting 0-12 but on the day they never looked like troubling the Tribesmen as manager Micheal Donoghue got his maiden championship campaign off to an impressive start.
Westmeath: N O’Brien 0-12 (8f), A Devine 0-2, B Murtagh 0-2 (1f), N Mitchell 0-2, K Doyle 0-1.
Galway: J Canning (0-8, 3f, 1 sideline, 1 ’65), J Flynn 1-3 (0-1f), C Whelan 1-1, C Cooney 0-4, J Cooney 1-0, C Mannion 0-2, David Burke 0-3, D Glennon 0-3, S Moloney 0-1, P Brehony 0-1, N Burke 0-1,
1 Paddy Maloney (Castletown Geoghegan)
2 Shane Power (Clonkill)
3 Tommy Doyle (Lough Lene Gaels)
4 Tommy Gallagher (Castlepollard)
5 Aaron Craig (St Oliver Plunketts)
7 Aonghus Clarke (Castletown Geoghegan)
6 Gary Greville (Raherney)
8 Cormac Boyle (Raharney)
12 Robbie Greville (Raharney)
13 Liam Varley (Castletown Geoghegan)
9 Eoin Price (Clonkill)
15 Niall O’Brien (Castletown Geoghegan)
10 Allan Devine (Castlepollard)
11 Derek McNicholas (Lough Lene Gaels)
18 Darragh Egerton (Southern Gaels)
14. Brendan Murtagh (Clonkill) for Egerton (36)
21. Niall Mitchell (Clonkill) for Boyle (51)
17. Alan McGrath (Clonkill) for Varley (55)
20. Killian Doyle (Raharney) for Price (58)
23. Darragh Clinton (Devlin) for McNicholas (59)
1 Colm Callanan (Kinvara)
2 Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
3 John Hanbury (Rahoon Newcastle)
4 Fergal Moore (Turloughmore)
5 Padraic Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh)
6 Daithi Burke (Turloughmore)
7 Aidan Harte (Gort)
8 David Burke (St Thomas)
9 Davy Glennon (Mullagh)
10 Shane Moloney (Tynagh-Abbey/Duniry)
12 Joe Canning (Portumna)
11 Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
13 Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
14 Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh)
15 Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)
24. Conor Cooney (St Thomas) for Canning (40)
19. Kevin Hussey (Turloughmore) for Moore (52)
18. Adrian Tuohy (Beagh) for P Mannion (52)
23. Niall Burke (Oranmore Maree) for Flynn (56)
21. Padraig Brehony (Tynagh-Abbey/Duniry) for Coen (63)
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).
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