SPORT — 18 February 2014

London 0-13, Westmeath 0-13 By Damian Dolan.

Corner back Conor Hickey was London’s unlikely hero at Ruislip on Sunday, breaking forward deep into added time to fire over an equalising point, and deny Westmeath a winning start in Division 2A.

But it was no less than the Exiles deserved for a spirited second half display, which saw them recover from a three-point deficit with just five minutes remaining to salvage an unlikely, but potentially hugely significant, draw.

It’s no secret that London’s preparations have been far from ideal, and that’s putting it politely, but selectors Tommy Harrell and Matthew Fitzsimon can be sure of one thing after Sunday’s 70-minute offering, the players at their disposal are certainly not lacking in spirit.

Still no official manager, five players still waiting to qualify for the county team – Galway’s All Ireland hurling captain Rory Foy among them – and a painfully late start to training. The list goes on, but none of that showed on Sunday.

True, London were second best for most of the first half and the signs looked ominous when Westmeath led 0-6 to 0-1 after 20 minutes. Noel Conaty punished London at every opportunity from placed balls, and the home side gave him plenty of practice.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World

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