Westmeath boss Colin Kelly steps after defeat by Armagh

Armagh 3-16 Westmeath 1-11

Colin Kelly stepped down as Westmeath manager in the wake of the Lake County's 11-point loss to Armagh at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar in Round 1 of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers today.

Kelly cited family reasons for his decision to call time on his involvement with Westmeath, following a game where Armagh were superior throughout.

“It’s a massive commitment for me; I’ve a young family getting to the age now," he said.

"I’ve a young girl and boy playing soccer and Gaelic in Dublin. Today I was at soccer in Wicklow and I came straight to here. That’s not an excuse; I’ve enjoyed my time here.

"I’ve a great relationship with Billy Foley and Pat Reilly (Chairman and Secretary of the County Board) and I’ve made some great friends among the players.

“We’ve had some fun along the way and maybe it’s time for a Westmeath man to take it on.”

The Lake County who lost this year's O'Byrne Cup Final to Meath, grabbed a goal after four minutes in response to two early points from Ethan Rafferty and Andrew Murnin, but it didn't take long for the visitors to regain a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

By the 14th minute Armagh were 0-6 to 1-0 clear, with Westmeath only getting two scores on the board inside the opening 31 minutes - their point also coming from O'Toole.

The Orchard County pushed 0-11 to 1-4 in front by the interval, with Rory Grugan, Rafferty and Jemar Hall on target, and O'Toole, Luke Loughlin and substitute Finbar Coyne tried hard to keep Westmeath in touch.

On the restart, Armagh lost Rafferty to a serious injury with a long delay ensuing as a result.

This didn't dent the visitors who dug in with an Andrew Murnin shot deflected to the net soon after by Westmeath keeper Kevin Fagan and with 43 minutes on the clock Armagh moved 1-11 to 1-4 ahead.

An excellent score from Boidu Sayeh opened Westmeath's second-half tally.

Gregory McCabe and Kieran Martin swapped points, before a Denis Corroon score ensured a 1-12 to 1-7 score-line with 13 minutes of normal time remaining.

Westmeath fired their third point in succession, with Ger Egan on target from a free, but Armagh finished strongly.

Anthony Duffy's fisted effort came back off the post, before firing to the net from a rebound in the 64th minute, with Gavin McParland sealing the game as he completed his sides hat-trick in the first minute of injury-time.

Scorers for Westmeath: Ronan O’Toole 1-2, Luke Loughlin 0-3 (3f), Denis Corroon 0-2 (1f), Finbar Coyne, Boidu Sayeh, Kieran Martin and Ger Egan (1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Armagh: Rory Grugan 0-5 (5f), Anthony Duffy 1-1, Gavin McParland 1-0, Kevin Fagan own goal 1-0, Charlie Vernon 0-3 Ethan Rafferty and Jemar Hall 0-2 each, , Gregory McCabe, Ryan McShane and Andrew Murnin 0-1 each.

WESTMEATH: Kevin Fagan; Mark McCallon, Sam Duncan, Jamie Gonoud; John Egan, Noel Mulligan, Boidu Sayeh; Denis Corroon, Darragh Daly; Kieran Martin, Ronan O’Toole, Ger Egan; Luke Loughlin, John Connellan, Callum McCormack.

Subs: Finbar Coyne for Darragh Daly (26); Ronan Wallace for Sam Duncan (Blood 34-38); David Whelan for John Egan (50); Ronan Wallace for Denis Corroon (Blood 53-55); Conor Slevin for Boidu Sayeh (63); Ronan Wallace for Mark McCallon (66); Anthony McGivney for John Connellan (71); John Rock for Jamie Gonoud (74).

ARMAGH: Blaine Hughes; Patrick Burns, Charlie Vernon, Aaron McKay; Joe McElroy, Gregory McCabe, Mark Shields; Brendan Donaghy, Aaron Findon; Connaire Mackin, Aidan Forker, Ethan Rafferty; Jemar Hall, Andrew Murnin, Rory Grugan.

Subs: Niall Rowland for Aaron Findon (HT); Ryan McShane for Ethan Rafferty (43); Anthony Duffy for Connaire Mackin (58); Gavin McParland for Joe Mcllroy (65); Oisin Mac Iomhair for Jemar Hall (66).

REFEREE: David Gough (Meath).

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