Westmeath’s Jekyll-and-Hyde streak persists following up a brilliant success last week against Monaghan with this abject display. Mind you, Denis Glennon must be excused from any criticism, as he scored five points from play while being shadowed by Peter Kelly before the former All Star was relieved of the marking duties. From the time James Kavanagh netted in the 18th minute for Kildare though, the Lakesiders were finished.
“It is a good way to win a game” said Kieran McGeeney. “Obviously Westmeath were a bit weak. They lost two or three of their players [Gary Connaughton, Kieran Gavin and Michael Ennis] before the game as did we with Leper [Eamonn Callaghan] and Daryl [Flynn].
“People wouldn’t have expected us to beat a team that beat a team [Monaghan] that beat us well. But that is just the way the year has been going. In fairness to the fellas I thought they moved the ball quite sharply today.
The onlooking Seanie Johnston must have been impressed. When quizzed on the latest news with regard to that situation, McGeeney revealed he will be respecting the wishes of his county board by making no more comments.
Westmeath were actually pretty competitive early on, Ronan Foley getting them a second minute lead. Within seconds, Mikey Conway had a shot at goal deflected for a 45, which Eoghan O’Flaherty converted.
Glennon fired over a couple of points but with Mick Foley a dominant figure at midfield, Westmeath could not get enough ball. From a position in which they led by a point after eight minutes, Westmeath found themselves falling 1-13 to 1-4 ehind.
Emmet Bolton took a lay-off from O’Connor to grab goal number two in the 44th minute, before Alan Smith weighted his pass to Kavanagh brilliantly eight minutes later for the Ballymore man to grab his second major in clinical style.
Scorers for Kildare: J Kavanagh 2-2, M Conway 0-6 (3fs), E O’Flaherty 0-5 (3fs, 2 45s), E Bolton 1-1, A Smith 0-3, P O’Neill 0-2, B Flanagan, T O’Connor, P Fogarty, J Doyle 0-1 each.
Scorers for Westmeath: Denis Glennon 0-7 (5fs), J Heslin 0-3fs, David Glennon 1-0pen, R Foley, K Martin 0-1 each
KILDARE: S Connolly; O Lyons, P Kelly, M O’Flaherty; E Bolton, H McGrillen, B Flanagan; M Foley, P O’Neill; J Doyle, M Conway, E O’Flaherty; A Smith, T O’Connor, J Kavanagh.
Subs: R Sweeney for O’Neill (53), P Fogarty for Doyle (55), D Earley for Foley (55), G White for M O’Flaherty (60), K Ennis for Bolton (64).
WESTMEATH: D Quinn; K Maguire, M Curley, P Sharry; D McDermott, A Finnan, B Moran; P Bannon, J Heslin; R Foley, G Egan, C McCormack; K Martin, Denis Glennon, David Glennon.
Subs: D Gavin for McDermott (49), K Sheridan for Moran (55), M Gorman for McCormack (59), A Giles for Egan (67).
Referee: D Brazil (Offaly).