Wallace goal vital as Westmeath record O’Byrne Cup win over Louth
A Ronan Wallace goal in the 28th minute helped Westmeath advance to the semi final of the O’Byrne Cup with a solid five-point win over Louth in the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda.
Wallace finished off an excellent counter-attacking move with John Heslin setting up the defender for the crucial goal after a mix up in the Louth forward line.
On the back of the major, Jack Cooney’s side ended the opening half much the brighter, adding three scores after Wallace’s goal to end the half 1-7 to 0-6. Heslin with a brace of scores in this period.
Wayne Kierans hosts were much the better side up until that point, with Gerry Garland and Emmet Carolan firing over well taken points after patient moves against Westmeath’s packed defensive system.
Louth welcomed back Ciaran Byrne after his spell of Australian Rules and a long period of injury in the second half, but it was his brother Declan who impressed the most as his sides top scorer on the wintry January afternoon.
The veteran forward Byrne made the most of the new playing rules with three advanced marks in total. Louth did narrow the gap when Dennis Coroon was sin binned midway through the second half through replacement Eoghan Duffy.
Westmeath kept the defining margin through Heslin free’s and a two point cameo from substitute Callum McCormack. They will play neighbours Offaly next Saturday.
SCORERS: Louth: D Byrne 0-5 (3m, 2f), E Duffy C Downey, G Garland,J Califf, E Carolan and T Durnin 0-1 each
Report: Dan Bannon