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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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First league title in 9 years for Westmeath footballers as they rout Wexford by 13 points

It was a good afternoon for the Lake County in the Division 4 decider at Croke Park.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Westmeath 2-24
Wexford 2-11

Jackie Cahill reports from Croke Park

WESTMEATH CLAIMED A first Allianz League title since 2008, storming to a 13-point victory over Wexford at Croke Park in today’s Division 4 decider.

Not since Division 2 victory over Dublin nine years ago have the Lake County lifted a League crown but there was no doubting their superiority at sun-splashed Croke Park this afternoon.

John Heslin led the way with eight points and there was a man-of-the-match performance from Kieran Martin, as Tom Cribbin’s men got the job done.

In the penultimate group game of the competition, Westmeath hammered Wexford by 3-24 to 0-9, and they recorded another big win today.

Westmeath were well in control at half-time, leading by 1-11 to 1-4.

The sides had been level at 0-3 each before Westmeath collected 1-4 without reply to put real daylight between the sides.

The goal arrived in the 16th minute, captain Ger Egan rolling home a penalty after James Dolan was taken down by Paul Curtis, who somehow managed to avoid sanction when it appeared to be a black card offence.

Soon after, Daithí Waters was booked, when referee Paul Fallon could have opted for red after the Wexford captain struck out at Kelvin Reilly.

Having been rocked back on their heels, Wexford responded well as Kevin O’Grady, one of their better players, slalomed through for a fine goal at the Hill 16 end, buried into the corner with his left boot.

The goal chances continued to come, Shane Roche keeping out Westmeath’s man-of-the-match Kieran Martin before Roche’s opposite number, Darren Quinn, denied PJ Banville.

Following the Wexford goal, Westmeath regained a firm grip on proceedings, outscoring their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 approaching the break.

Westmeath picked up where they had left off in the second half and from a long way out, the result of this game was never in doubt.

The lead increased as the second period wore on and Wexford would have to finish the game with 14 players when Conor Carty was black-carded with six minutes left, and all six substitutes used.

Both teams emptied the bench and replacements had big impacts as Shane Dempsey scored a bizarre late goal for Westmeath, his shot somehow creeping into the net past Roche at the goalkeeper’s near post.

There was a late consolation goal for Wexford sub Donal Shanley, scorer of 1-2 after coming on, but Westmeath had a 17-point lead approaching the finish before taking the foot off the pedal.

Scorers for Westmeath: John Heslin 0-8 (5f), Ger Egan 1-2 (1-0 pen), Shane Dempsey 1-1, Kieran Martin 0-4, Paul Sharry & Tommy McDaniels 0-3 each, John Connellan 0-2, Kelvin Reilly 0-1.

Scorers for Wexford: Kevin O’Grady 1-1, Ciarán Lyng 0-4 (3f), Donal Shanley 1-2 (0-1f, 0-1 45), PJ Banville 0-2, Michael Furlong & Daithí Waters 0-1 each.

Westmeath

1. Darren Quinn (Tyrrellspass)

6. Kevin Maguire (Caulry)
2. Mark McCallon (Garrycastle)
4. Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellpass)

7. James Dolan (Garrycastle)
17. Killian Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks)
5. Noel Mulligan (Athlone)

8. Alan Stone (Castledaly)
9. Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass)

10. Kelvin Reilly (St Lomans Mullingar)
11. Paul Sharry (St Lomans Mullingar)
12. David Lynch (St Malachys)

13. Kieran Martin (Maryland)
14. John Heslin (St Lomans Mullingar)
15. Tommy McDaniels (Ballinagore)

Subs

24. Denis Glennon (Tyrrellspass) for Daly (49)
26. Shane Dempsey (St Lomans Mullingar) for McDaniels (52)
21. Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks) for Stone (56)
22. John Egan (Athlone) for Mulligan (57)
23. John Connellan (Athlone) for Martin (62)
25. Callum McCormack (Maryland) for Lynch (66)

Wexford

1. Shane Roche (Geraldine O’Hanrahans)

7. Ronan Devereux (Crossabeg Ballymurn)
3. Jim Rossiter (St Fintan’s)
4. Michael Furlong (Adamstown)

2. Brian Malone (Shelmaliers)
5. Eoghan Nolan (Shelmaliers)
10. Kevin O’Grady (St James Ramsgrange)

8. Daithí Waters (St Martin’s)
9. Colm Kehoe (Cloughbawn)

6. John Leacy (Glynn-Barntown)
11. Ben Brosnan (Castletown)
12. Paul Curtis (Clongeen)

13. Ciarán Lyng (St Martin’s)
14. John Tubritt (Fethard)
15. PJ Banville (Horeswood)

Subs

22. Conor Carty (Castletown) for Curtis (30)
18. Adrian Flynn (Gusserane O’Rahillys) for Leacy (h.t.)
25. Michael O’Regan (Glynn Barntown) for Devereux (h.t.)
26. Donal Shanley (St Fintan’s) for Brosnan (43)
20. Joey Wadding (St Fintan’s) for Tubritt (51)
19. Tiarnan Rossiter (St Mary’s Rosslare) for Nolan (56)

Referee – Paul Fallon (Down)

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