Tyrone 2-11 Westmeath 0-8
It was all too easy for Tyrone at Healy Park, where they handed out a footballing lesson to an outclassed Westmeath side.
The Red Hands are now odds-on for promotion after taking full points from their first four games in Division Two.
For Pat Flanagan’s men, however, the outlook is bleak, and they face a real battle to avoid relegation after picking up just two points from a possible eight.
Kyle Coney provided a timely reminder of his star quality with four classy points, while Peter Harte continues to be the heartbeat of this new-look Red Hand side.
He netted a penalty, with the other goal coming from Martin Penrose, while Westmeath needed to spring Denis Glennon from the bench early on to give them a much-needed cutting edge up front.
Owen Mulligan got Tyrone’s opening score after just 20 seconds, and it was excellent wing back Damian McCaul who combined with Mark Donnelly to set up Coney for a wonderful score.
Coney followed up with an even more spectacular effort, sliced over from distance off the outside of his left boot, before curling another over off his right.
McCaul, an attacking threat throughout, got his name on the scoresheet as well.
Pat Flanagan finally decided to spring Denis Glennon from the bench, and he got on the end of John Heslin’s long ball to kick Westmeath’s first score in the 28th minute.
Full back Kieran Gavin did manage to get the measure of Mulligan, but the point of attack was changing constantly, and when Paddy McNeice was fouled when sent clear by Harte’s superb pass, the latter blasted home the spot kick.
John Heslin converted a free, but at the break, his side trailed by 1-6 to 0-2, and Tyrone struck for a second goal just 20 seconds after the restart, Penrose running on to Mark Donnelly’s pass to fire an unstoppable shot past Gary Connaughton.
Mulligan and Penrose tagged on points, and 12 points separated the sides by the time Denis Glennon hit his second score, but the Red Hands failed to keep the momentum going, and their performance level dipped.
The impressive Heslin carved the opening for Ger Egan to become the first of Westmeath’s starting forwards to score, and Ronan Foley added a point.
Tyrone had gone 10 minutes without scoring when Coney produced another flash of magic with his fourth point, another memorable effort.
Sean Cavanagh and Johnny Lafferty were both on target after coming off the bench as the home side put the Westmeath challenge to bed.
The Leinster men finished the game with 14 men following a second booking for substitute Mark Gorman.
Tyrone: P McConnell, A McCrory, Justin McMahon, PJ Quinn, C McCarron, P Harte, D McCaul (0-1), M Murphy, Joe McMahon, R McNabb, Mark Donnelly, P McNeice, K Coney (0-4), M Penrose (1-2, 0-2f), O Mulligan (0-2, 1f).
Subs: C Cavanagh for Joe McMahon (h-t), C Gormley for McCaul (43), S Cavanagh (0-1) for Penrose (49), J Lafferty (0-1) for Mulligan (51), S McNulty for Quinn (54)
Westmeath: G Connaughton, M Curley, K Gavin, K Maguire, D McDermott, M Ennis, A Finnan, J Heslin (0-1, f), P Bannon, K Martin (0-1), G Egan (0-1), P Sheridan, A Giles, David Glennon (0-1), P Sharry.
Subs: Denis Glennon (0-3) for Giles (23), R Foley (0-1) for Sheridan (25), M Gorman for Maguire (62), B Moran for Egan (62), J Egan for Ennis (67)
Referee: J Curley (Meath).