WESTMEATH 0-13 KERRY 2-15

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Relegation for Westmeath at hands of Kerry

WESTMEATH 0-13 KERRY 2-15

Relegation for Westmeath at hands of Kerry

WESTMEATH 0-13 KERRY 2-15

Westmeath fell away in the second half as they were relegated from Division 1 of the Allianz Football League on the back of this 2-15 to 0-13 loss to Kerry.

Paul Bealin's charges, who had lost all five of their previous league games, ended the first half on level terms - 0-9 to 1-6 - thanks to three Denis Glennon points.

Kerry had seized the initiative at Cusack Park when Kieran O'Leary fisted home their opening goal in the 23rd minute.

Ger Egan did well in the sweeper role for the midlanders, but they certainly missed the injured John Heslin and with former All-Star Dessie Dolan unavailable to find the target, they were reliant on the likes of Glennon, Kieran Martin and Callum McCormack for scores.

The sight of McCormack edging Westmeath in front early in the second period gave most of the 2,700-strong crowd renewed hope.

But the Kingdom slammed the door shut in ruthless fashion with a burst of 1-4 without reply, with Paul Geaney firing past Westmeath goalkeeper Stephen Gallagher from a James O'Donoghue set-up.

Westmeath had a couple of opportunities to clear the ball before Kerry conjured up their second goal and with half-time substitute Daithi Casey curbing Paul Sharry's runs forward from centre-back, the Lakesiders suddenly looked resigned to their fate.

Geaney's 45th-minute major was the key score of the game as Eamonn Fitzmaurice's charges got the result to guarantee themselves Division 1 football for next season, with Derry's defeat of Kildare relegating the Lilywhites.

Fitzmaurice brought on the fresh legs of Darran O'Sullivan and Donnchadh Walsh up front and they closed out the victory with final points from Walsh, O'Donoghue, Stephen O'Brien and David Moran.

Geaney finished with a handsome 1-4 haul and All-Star O'Donoghue was prominent during Kerry's best attacking spurts as he racked up five points.

WESTMEATH: S Gallagher; K Maguire, K Gavin, S Gilmore; Damien Dolan, P Sharry (0-1, 0-1 '45'), D Harte; D Duffy, R Connellan (0-2, 0-2f); C McCormack (0-3), G Egan (0-2, 0-2f), K Martin (0-2); J Dolan, Dessie Dolan, D Glennon (0-3).

Subs used: J Egan for Damien Dolan (49 mins), D McCormack for Martin, A Giles for D Glennon (both 56), R Foley for Harte (60), K Daly for Duffy (70).

KERRY: B Kelly; P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley (0-1), F Fitzgerald, M O Se; J Buckley, D Moran (0-1); J Lyne, B Sheehan (0-2, 0-2f), K O'Leary (1-0); S O'Brien (0-1), P Geaney (1-4, 0-2f), J O'Donoghue (0-5, 0-3f).

Subs used: D Walsh (0-1) for Lyne (32 mins), D Casey for Sheehan (half-time), A Maher for Buckley, Darran O'Sullivan for O'Leary (all 51), A O'Mahony for Crowley, J Sherwood for O Se (both 62).

Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)

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