Strong finish from Westmeath secures victory over Laois

Visitors were down to 13 men at end of game as Egan led his county to vital opening win

A strong finish enabled Westmeath to open their Division 2 campaign with what may prove to be a precious victory against Laois in Mullingar yesterday afternoon, the visitors finishing the game with 13 men.

The sides were tied on five occasions in the first half, but Westmeath struck for a crucial goal in the first minute of injury-time when captain Ger Egan teed up James Dolan who finished calmly to the back of the net. The latter was then fouled, allowing Ray Connellan to tap over his third free, leaving Westmeath ahead by 1-6 to 0-5 at the break. Westmeath lost two players to black cards in the first half – Callum McCormack in the 13th minute and John Heslin in the last of normal time.

Level terms

Laois had the better of the exchanges throughout the third quarter and were on level terms (0-10 to 1-7) when they converted their third 45 in the 58th minute, Evan O’Carroll dissecting the posts after

Darren Strong


had missed two earlier kicks.

However, Pádraig McMahon picked up a second yellow card three minutes later and Westmeath made the most of their numerical superiority. They scored five unanswered points in the closing stages via Connellan (two frees), substitute David Lynch and a brace from Egan (including the last score of the game from a free). Laois lost Brendan Quigley to a straight red card in the 68th minute.