Wides prove costly for London against Westmeath
Home side waste too many chances as Westmeath progress in qualifiers
London manager Eamonn Phelan announced he was stepping down as manager to return to Ireland after the game.
London 0-11 Westmeath 1-15: A goal from Brendan Murtagh on 50 minutes proved the decisive score for Westmeath who defeated a wasteful London in Ruislip.
The Exiles squandered 11 first-half scoring opportunities through 35 minutes where the visitors were far more efficient working off far less possession.
Martin Finn corrected London’s wayward shooting with three quick frees before the interval. This left the Exiles leading by 0-7 to 0-6 at the break, but turning against the stiff breeze one point was never going to be enough and there was a strong suspicion those missed opportunities would come back to haunt London.
The Exiles were solid immediately after the restart but their first touch was lacking throughout and Westmeath were just slicker, steadier and more accurate. Significantly, they had the outstanding player on the pitch in Derek McNicholas, who hit 0-10 in total, seven of those strikes coming from placed balls.
He chipped away at London and by the time the game entered the last quarter those frees had put a big chuck between the teams.
After the game London manager Eamonn Phelan announced he was stepping down as manager to return to Ireland, a decision he had planned ahead of this contest, but the championship continues for Brian Hanley and Westmeath.
“We were very aware of what happened to Sligo in the football,” he said. “We were happy to come here, get the win and get out.”
London: D Russell; C McAlinden, B Costelloe, D Healy; B Healy, B Regan, J Walsh (0-1); PJ Rowe (0-1) (Martin Duggan 0-1 62mins), H Vaughan (E Cooney 69mins); S Lambert (0-1), J Maher, D Maher (Luke Hands 39mins); M Finn (0-5, 3f), Tony Dunne (Stephen Frawley half time), D Reale (0-2).
Westmeath: P Collins; L Varley (T Egan 42), T Gallagher, P Fennell; D Fennell, A McGrath, A Price; E Price, J Clarke (Shane Power 67); B Murtagh (1-1), A Craig (A Clarke 45) , D McNicholas (0-10, 7f); N O’Brien, R Greville (0-3, 1f), J Shaw (0-1) (B O’Mara 69mins).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork)