Meath put wasteful Westmeath to the sword
Royals started the second half with 2-2 in a seven minute spell
Meath goalkeeper Patrick O’Rourke celebrates after the win over Westmeath. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Tabletoppers Westmeath were brought back down to earth with a bang on their visit to Pairc Tailteann for this Allianz Division Two tie with near-neighbours Meath.
The Royals had won 21 of the 28 previous league meetings between the two counties and they continued their winning ways as they went on a goal rampage in an emphatic victory.
With the advantage of the stiff breeze in the opening half Westmeath recovered from the concession of an early goal to lead 0-8 to 1-3 at the break.
Full forward Stephen Bray notched the Meath goal after Andrew Tormey pounced on an intended cross field pass from Wesmeath’s Paul Sharry on eight minutes.
Graham Reilly added a quick point but it was Tom Cribbin’s men who enjoyed the edge in the exchanges after that.
Four successive points left them level before Jamie Gonoud put the midlanders in front.
Meath hit the ground running at the start of the second half with 2-2 in a seven minute spell at the start of the second half.
Padraic Harnan and Mickey Newman accounted the goals in that spell to leave the Royals leading 3-5 to 0-9.
The goal of the game arrived on 50 minutes when Graham Reilly darted through and cheekily chipped keeper Gary Connaughton with an exquisite finish.
That left Meath out of sight at that stage as the Westmeath challenge faded dramatically.
All of the visitors second half scores came from John Heslin frees as they squandered a number of scoring opportunities.
Meath: P O’Rourke (0-1 ‘45); D Tobin, C McGill, M Burke; D Dalton, D Keogan, B Power; B Menton, A Flanagan; G Reilly (1-5), P Harnan (1-0), A Tormey (0-1); D Carroll, S Bray (1-1, one free) M Newman (1-2). Subs: M O’Sullivan for Flanagan (55), E Wallace for Carroll (58), S Tobin for Power (60), N Judge for Dalton (60), D Bray for Menton (65), B McMahon for Newman (65)
Westmeath: G Connaughton; M McCallon, K Maguire, K Daly; J Gonoud (0-1), K Martin, P Holloway; P Sharry, J Heslin (0-6, six frees); D Daly, G Egan (0-2), R Connellan; L Smyth, C McCormack, D Glennon 0-2. Subs: S Dempsey for McCormack (h-t), D McCormack for D Daly (55), J Gilligan for Smyth (55), J Connellan for Glennon (60), J Egan for K Daly (60), D Lynch for R Connellan (65).
S Dempsey for McCormack (h-t)
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)