Westmeath 2-12 London 1-12
Alan Devine was the hero for Westmeath as he struck for two goals in the closing seven minutes to seal victory in this Leinster SHC round robin series.
The net result is that London will play in the Christy Ring Cup next year while Westmeath will now meet this year’s winners of that competition to decide which side features in the Leinster SHC next season.
Both teams finished at Cusack Park in Mullingar with 13 men, with four red cards and eleven yellows dished out by Derry referee Eamonn Hassan in a game which was not particularly unruly.
London midfielder Darren Moore was the first to go when he was harshly penalised for a second yellow just before the break when they turned around leading by 0-7 to 0-4 having played with the wind.
The exiles might have been behind had Westmeath not missed three good goal chances in a five minute spell.
Westmeath drew level by the 46th minute before Eoin Kelly from Offaly pushed London back in from with another couple of frees.
Westmeath lost midfielder Ciaran Curley to a straight red for awhat was deemed a high challenge but points from Devine, Liam Varley and Niall O’Brien edged Westmeath in front for the first time eleven minutes from the end.
London then lost corner-back Conor Hickey for a foul on O’Brien and after Eoin Price had a shot saved, Devine followed through to make it 1-12 to 0-11 seven minutes from time.
A long delivery from Price yielded another big dividend when Devine grabbed his second goal but there was still time for more drama when Kelly, who finished with 1-8, blasted a 25 yards free to the net and Westmeath were reduced to 13 men when O’Brien was sent off for a second yellow card picked up for dissent.
Scorers: Westmeath: A Devine 2-3, N O’Brien 0-4 (0-3f), A Clarke 0-3, L Varley 0-1, P Gilsenan 0-1.
London: E Kelly 1-8 (1-7f), H Vaughan 0-2, M Duggan 0-1, D Egan 0-1.
Westmeath: P Collins; K Duncan, T Doyle, L Varley; P Reilly, A Craig, G Greville; P Gilsenan, C Curley; R Greville, E Price, A Clarke; A Devine, D McNicholas (T Gallagher 53), N O’Brien.
London: J Barrett; C Hickey, R Fox, C McAlinden; E Cooney, PJ Rowe, S Frawley; D Moore, D Egan; M Lynch (B Regan 50), M Duggan, K Killilea (M Holohan 68); H Vaughan (P Barry 67), E Kelly, P Cocoman (L Hands 47).
Referee: E Hassan (Derry).