Westmeath ease past Longford to reach O’Byrne Cup final
Longford did not manage a score from play in surprising mismatch in pre-season clash
Westmeath’s Ronan O’Toole celebrates one of his team’s goals against Longford on Saturday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Westmeath 2-10 Longford 0-4
Westmeath had a surprisingly facile win over neighbours Longford in Saturday’s O’Byrne Cup semi-final at The Downs, thereby qualifying for next Friday night’s final in Parnell Park.
Longford opened the scoring from a Barry McKeon free in the third minute but they failed to score again for the remainder of the first half which was dominated by the wind-assisted hosts. Indeed, the fact that all of their meagre total of four points came from frees was a measure of Longford’s poverty throughout the entire match.
Sean Flanagan availed of fine approach work by Sam Duncan to rifle the ball to the Longford net in the 10th minute. With Kieran Martin prominent in attack and Ger Egan accurate from frees, Westmeath went on to lead by 1-5 to 0-1 at the break.
The expected Longford comeback on the change of ends never materialised as the home team continued to dominate. They led by 1-7 to 0-3 when Callum McCormack scored a great goal in the 53rd minute at the end of a fine move in which he was twice involved.
The final quarter was lacklustre with Longford spurning several good chances. Hard-working midfielder Duncan capped a fine display with the last point of the match late in the contest.
Westmeath: E Carberry; B Sayeh, R Wallace, K Daly; J Dolan (0-1), N Mulligan, D Lynch; S Flanagan (1-0), S Duncan (0-1); G Egan (0-4, four frees), C McCormack (1-1), R O’Toole (0-2); G Leech, K Martin (0-1), N O’Reilly. Subs: T McDaniel for Leech (47 mins), N Cully for O’Toole (58 mins), D Giles for Flanagan (63 mins), D Conway for O’Reilly (65 mins), M Rowden for Carberry (65 mins), S Pettit for Martin (66 mins), T Watts for Egan (66 mins), A McGivney for McCormack (69 mins), C Slevin for Lynch (69 mins).
Longford: P Collum; D Quinn, A Farrell, B O’Farrell; CP Smyth, M Quinn, D Mimnagh; D Gallagher (0-1, free), P Hanley; P Lynn, B McKeon (0-1, free), S Donohoe; D Doherty, R Smyth (0-2, two frees), L Connerton. Subs: I O’Sullivan for Donohoe (50 mins), P Gill for Hanley (50 mins), C Shields for C Smyth (66 mins), M Hughes for Doherty (66 mins), N Rabbitte for Mimnagh (67 mins), PJ Masterson for D Quinn (68 mins).
Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).