Westmeath comfortably past Carlow at Cusack Park
Two goals from Kieran Martin help set up Leinster quarter-final date with Dublin
Westmeath’s Dessie Dolan is tackled by Shane Mernagh of Carlow at Cusack Park. Photograph Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Westmeath: 3-15; Carlow: 1-10: Westmeath have set up a Leinster quarter-final date with Dublin after easing past Carlow at Cusack Park in Mullinger, their 11-point winning margin hardly conveying their overall superiority.
Both teams made an anxious start, but Westmeath soon found their feet; going 2-8 to 1-3 in front in the first half, they never looked back after that.
Kieran Martin claimed their two first half goals, while Carlow banked one after 10 minutes after a rare goalkeeping error from Gary Connaughton, who allowed Sean Gannon under a high ball for a the decisive touch.
Two points from Brendan Murphy early in the second half gave Carlow supporters some hope, but that was short lived, as James Dolan claimed Westmeath’s third goal on 45 minutes to push them 3-10 to 1-5 on front, and that was as good as game over.
Both Dessie Dolan, who hit 0-5, and Ger Egan, were called in early as Westmeath had done more than enough to book their date with Dublin in Croke Park on June 1st, where a bigger challenge surely lies in wait.
Westmeath: G Connaughton; M McCallon, K Gavin (capt), K Maguire (0-1); D Harte, P Sharry (0-1), J Gaffey; D Duffy, J Heslin (0-5, all frees); K Martin (2-0), C McCormack, J Dolan (1-1); G Egan (0-1), D Glennon (0-1), D Dolan (0-5).
Subs: D Cooroon for Egan, C Curley for D Dolan (both 54 mins), D Daly for D Duffy (62 mins), L Smith for Martin, Damian Dolan for Harte (both 65 mins). Yellow-carded: K Gavin (56 mins), Red-carded: None
Carlow: Trevor O’Reilly; S Mernagh, C Lawlor, BJ Molloy; K Nolan, S Redmond, B Kavanagh; D Foley (0-2, both frees), J Murphy; Brian Murphy (0-2, one free), P Reid, E Ruth (0-1); S Gannon (1-0), Brendan Murphy (0-5, one 45), D Hayden.
Subs: J Kennedy for Reid (56 mins), M Doyle for Molloy (60 mins), A Kelly for J Murphy (66 mins), T Bolger Hayden (68 mins), C Moran for Ruth (69 mins). Yellow-carded: P Reid (27 mins), Brian Murphy (29 mins), S Gannon (49 mins), K Nolan (71 mins). Red-carded: None
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).