Greville steals stoppage-time win against below-par Dubs

ON a night you wouldn’t have put a dog out in never mind two makeshift inter-county football teams, nobody expected thrills in this rearranged O’Byrne Cup opener.

Dublin scored one point in the first half, Westmeath notched up two in second and that’s where we’d like to leave it. But in a game which was akin to a navy war of attrition, Paul Greville settled matters with the last kick of the game.

Greville’s point bridged a 36-minute gap to his team’s previous score and sent Westmeath into a quarter-final against DIT in the same venue, St Loman’s Park, next Sunday.

Beforehand, a minute’s silence was heard for Michaela McAreavey and the dreadful weather in Mullingar couldn’t have reflected the mood of the GAA fraternity after Monday’s tragic news in Mauritius.

Denis Glennon was deployed at centre-forward and, ably assisted by the wind in the first half, performed the playmaker role with relative ease. He picked off five frees for himself too.

His and Westmeath’s cause was also helped by a below-par Dublin half-back line while the midfield duo of Colm Murray and Bastick looked sluggish and suffered numerous turnovers.

After only 11 minutes, Westmeath kicked three consecutive wides and Kevin McManamon found their net which made it 1-1 to 0-1 but it was Dublin’s last score of the half as Westmeath, with Glennon orchestrating affairs, came to life.

Six points in seven minutes set them on their way, three coming from play.

Glennon finished the half with a brace of frees to give the home team a seemingly comfortable six-point cushion, 0-10 to 1-1, and when Greville shaved the crossbar to add another it appeared the Lake County might be able to do enough to keep out Dublin.

Most teams, though, especially in January were going to struggle against these elements and Dublin inevitably returned fire.

Even if Quinn was continuing to miss free kicks, McManamon was doing enough in open play to make a game of it, kicking over scores in the 39th and 54th minutes. In between them came scores from Denis Bastick and Declan Lally and with 15 minutes left there was three points between the sides.

Quinn bagged his second free with six minutes to go and then hooked over before substitute Padraig Lee equalised but Greville turned saviour.

Scorers for Westmeath: D Glennon 0-5 (five frees); P Greville 0-4; B Murtagh, A Giles, J Connellan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: K McManamon 1-2; T Quinn 0-3 (two frees); D Bastick, D Lally, P Lee 0-1 each.

WESTMEATH: D Quinn; K Maguire, R English, G Quinn; M Curley, A Finnan, C Jordan; B Murtagh, N Kilcoyne; A Giles, D Glennon, G Egan; P Tormey, J Connellan, P Greville.

Subs: F Boyle for Quinn (h-t); S Quinn for Giles (43); J Dolan for Curley (54); P Sharry for Kilcoyne (59); David Glennon for Connellan (63)

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; C McKiernan, S Murray, D Nelson; P Casey, G Brennan, D Daly; C Murray, D Bastick; A Hubbard, K Bonner, T Quinn; K McManamon, E O’Gara, D Kelly.

Subs: D Lally for Hubbard (30); MD McAuley for Murray, P Lee for McKiernan (h-t); G Cullen for Bonner (49); Bonner for Kelly (63)

Referee: F Kelly (Longford)

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