Westmeath 0-22 Carlow 2-15
Westmeath hurlers, already through to a Leinster SHC quarter-final meeting with Galway, were pushed all the way by a spirited Carlow side, before completing their Leinster SHC Round Robin series with a third successive victory at Netwatch Cullen Park yesterday.
Pat English's side made a storming start, full forward Seamus Murphy carving through the Westmeath defence to crash home a 2nd minute goal, which was quickly supplemented by a brace points from right corner forward Denis Murphy.
Niall O'Brien, Westmeath's left full forward, was their main man during the half, doing highly effective work outfield and picking off scores, as the Lake County trailed 1-9 to 0-10 at the break.
It took Westmeath until the 54th minute to draw level through a Niall O'Brien point. Shortly after impressive substitute Killian Doyle put his side in front for the first time with a point from play (0-16 to 1-12).
With centre back Aonghus Clarke inspiring his men, Westmeath took control to establish a four point lead due primarily to a flurry of late points from Brendan Murtagh, before Conor Lawlor had a late consolation goal for Carlow.
In the final minutes Carlow centre back Richard Coady was sent off on a second yellow card.
Scorers for Westmeath: N O'Brien 0-8 (0-5 frees), D McNicholas and B Murtagh 0-3 each, A Clarke, K Doyle, R Greville 0-2 each, N Mitchell, L Varley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carlow: D Murphy 0-6 (0-3 frees), Seamus Murphy, C Lawlor 1-1 each, Seán Murphy 0-3, J M Nolan, J Doyle 0-2 each.
Westmeath: S McGovern; S Power, A McGrath, M Heeney; A Craig, A Clarke, G Greville; D Egerton, A Devine; N Mitchel, D McNicholas, R Greville; L Varley 6, B Murtagh, N O'Brien.
Subs: K Doyle for McNicholas (h/t); W Casserly for Heeney (47); J Galvin for Devin (51).
Carlow: D Grennan; G Coady, M Ryan, A Corcoran; R Kelly, R Coady, S Whelan; J Doyle, C Lawlor; Seán Murphy, K McDonald, J M Nolan; D Murphy, Seamus Murphy, R Smithers.
Referee: J Owens (Wexford).