Wexford 1-24 Westmeath 0-15
Wexford laid on a feast of attacking football to brush aside Westmeath’s challenge and book their place in the Leinster SFC semi-final.
A virtuoso display by Ciaran Lyng, who hit 10 points, led the way as the resurgent Model men handed out a lesson to a totally outclassed Lake side.
Young talent Ben Brosnan also caused the Westmeath defence countless problems, helping himself to a seven points tally, with Redmond Barry hitting the only goal of the game.
Wexford got in for a goal after just 23 seconds, catching the Westmeath defence cold to strike a major blow through Redmond Barry.
He jinked past a series of missed tackles to beat Gary Connaughton with an angled shot from close range, giving his side a lead they ever lost that lead throughout the opening half.
Westmeath took some time to recover from that setback, and to establish some composure within their tanks, but Dessie Dolan and Denis Glennon did start to carry a threat up front.
They pulled back points, but with Rory Quinlivan and Daithi Waters shading the midfield battle, with was Jason Ryan’s side who continued to dominate.
And they had the scoring forwards to translate possession into scores at regular intervals. Ciran Lyng and Barry slotted over points, with Dolan and Glennon responding to keep the visitors in touch.
Westmeath had trimmed the deficit back to a single point by the midway point of the first half, but in the second quarter, they were outscored by eight points to three.
With half backs David Murphy and Aindreas Doyle making an immense contribution to the attacking effort, they added scores through Lyng, Ben Brosnan and Shane Roche.
Glennon and corner back Aidan Finnan responded at the other end, but by the halfway stage, Wexford had taken a hold, with Lyng’s seventh score sending them in with a 1-12 to 0-9 lead.
There was to be no let-up from a skilful and motivated Wexford side which finished the job off with another scoring blitz in the third quarter.
Eric Bradley and Barry hit the target, and when Brosnan knocked over four on the spin, three of them from frees, the home side led by 1-19 to 0-10.
They turned the screw with scores from Lyng and wing back Adrian Flynn, and when Westmeath did get some attacking rythmn going, they were halted by solid defending from David Murphy, Graham Molloy and Flynn.
Westmeath went 18 minutes without scoring, until substitute John Heslin grabbed a point, but it was clear even at that state, with almost 15 minutes left on the clock, that theirs was a lost cause.
Wexford eased off in the closing stages, allowing Dolan to bring his tally to seven, and Glennon and Paul Greville to tag on points, but their semi-final place was never in doubt.
Wexford: A Masterson, J Wadding, G Molloy, B Malone, A Flynn (0-1), D Murphy, A Doyle, R Quinlivan (0-1), D Waters, S Roche (0-1), C Lyng (0-10, 3f), B Brosnan (0-7, 5f), C Morris, E Bradley (0-1), R Barry (1-3).
Subs: N Murphy for Wadding (47), A Morrissey for Flynn (50), B Doyle for Bradley (54), P Byrne for Roche (57), L McGovern for Lyng
Westmeath: G Connaughton, F Boyle, K Gavin, A Finnan (0-1), G Egan, K Martin, D Harte, D Daly, D Corroon, P Sharry, David Glennon, C Lynam, P Greville (0-2, 2f), Denis Glennon (0-4), D Dolan (0-7, 2f).
Subs: J Dolan for Egan (26), J Heslin (0-1) for Sharry (h-t), J Gaffey for Gavin (38), B Murtagh for Corroon (50), M Curley for David Glennon (56)
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).