All Ireland Gaelic Masters
By Larry Cooney
After their heroic one-point victory over Roscommon in Greenford on the previous weekend, hopes were high that the Exiles could even make it back-to-back victories against the Lake County.
But they were never in the hunt against the sharper and fitter hosts, powered by a number of former Westmeath stars including Martin Flanagan from Tyrrellspass, who were always in control from the throw-in.
London also lined out without their talisman playmaker Aidan Dillane but even the presence of the Kingdom Kerry Gaels clubman would hardly have made the necessary difference between the standard of the two teams in this generally one-sided contest.
And to make matters worse for the visitors they even had to face the elements in the first half as the hosts defended the town end of the Mullingar Shamrocks’ pitch.
Consequently Westmeath dominated possession in the opening period with a Shane Colleary point getting them off the mark after twenty seconds.
London were looking very shaky in defence in the opening exchanges and John Corcoran should have raised the first green flag in the third minute.
However Alan Gavin doubled Westmeath’s advantage a minute later and the inevitable first goal also was not long coming when corner forward David Martin applied the finish in the eight minute Westmeath could also afford to kick a number of wides during their opening quarter of domination before London wing back Neil O’Shea finally got the visitors off the mark after twelve minutes with a fine solo point.
Peter ‘Beano’ Behan added to the Exiles’ tally eight minutes later when he punched over before Westmeath responded through another David Martin point in the twenty-first minute.
Pick up a copy of this week’s Irish World to read the full match report
WESTMEATH: Pauric Connell; Ritchie Daly, Joe Coroon, Declan Feery; Philip Rainey, David O’Brien, Shane Arthur; Paddy Martin, David Gavin; Alan Gavin, John Corcoran, Amby Fogarty; Shane Collearey, Martin Flanagan, David Martin INTER-CHANGE PANEL: Robbie Boyle, Eddie Casey, Shane Donoghue, Patsy Sheehan, Joe Matthews.
LONDON: Ciaran McGann; Brendan Boyle, Paul Mullins, Eddie McGuigan; Neil O’Shea, Conor Mone, Ross Higgins; Chris Byrne, Bernie McManaman; Colm Lynott, Derek Farrell, Peter ‘Beano Behan; Andreas Redican, Kevin Killian, Noel Dunning. INTER-CHANGE PANEL: Tim Slattery, Finian O’Dowd, Paddy McHale, Alan Murray, David Igoe.