Dublin stay up with convincing win against Westmeath

Dublin 5-22 Westmeath 0-10

Dublin maintained their NFL Division 1 status on the final day of the campaign as they demolished an already relegated Westmeath side at Parnell Park today.

Goals from top-scorer Conal Keaney, Pat Burke (2), Ciaran Whelan and Darren Magee helped the Dubs stave off relegation, with Donegal, beaten by Derry, joining Westmeath for the drop.

Pat Gilroy's men were all over the visitors in the opening quarter-hour, moving 1-7 to 0-2 in that time.

Blaine Kelly got the ball rolling with a point after only 20 seconds, quickly followed by another from former captain Alan Brogan.

Dublin did not have it all their own way and they lost Kevin Bonner to a yellow card early on, for a poorly-timed tackle on Derek Heavin. Pat Burke came on in his place.

Niall Kilcoyne and Denis Glennon stemmed the flow of Dublin scores briefly, but efforts from Mark Davoren, Kelly, Brogan and Keaney had the Dubs coasting.

Their first goal arrived shortly afterwards when Burke passed for Keaney to net past Westmeath stopper Cathal Mullen.

A brace of points each from Keaney and Kelly extended Dublin's lead out to 1-11 to 0-4, with Glennon registering the visitors' third and fourth points.

The midlanders had influential wing-back Doran Harte yellow carded for pulling back Brogan as he ran through on goal, and Willie Murtagh replaced him.

In an incident-packed final, few minutes, Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton saved a penalty with his foot, blocking an effort from Glennon.

Gilroy's charges finished the half on a high with Keaney turning provider for Burke's first goal.

Keaney hit 1-5 in all as the Leinster champions turned around with a 2-15 to 0-4 advantage.

As expected, the intensity dropped after the break and points from Brogan (his third), Kelly (his sixth) and Keaney kept Dublin on course for only their second league win.

Glennon and substitute Paul Bannon replied for Westmeath but it turned into a rout for Dublin when Whelan, put in at full-forward, Magee and Burke all claimed second half goals.

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