Galway 3-18 Westmeath 0-17: Galway’s senior hurlers qualified for the semi-final of the Walsh Cup thanks to a 10-point victory over a hard-working Westmeath side in this final group game, played in Lakepoint Park, Mullingar, yesterday.
Two goals from Jason Flynn and one from Niall Burke, all inside the opening quarter, helped Galway into a commanding lead of 3-9 to 0-8 at half-time.
Westmeath had opened brightly and three points from Brendan Murtagh, along with points from Warren Casserly, Darren Kilcoyne, and Liam Cassidy, left Westmeath level at 0-6 to 1-3 in the 11th minute, after Flynn had drilled home Galway’s opening goal from close range in the third minute.
However, a penalty fired home by Flynn, after Andrew Smith was fouled in the 13th minute, was followed two minutes later by a low delivery by Niall Burke that ended up in the Westmeath net.
Late first-half points by Eanna Burke, Niall Burke, Andrew Smith, and Aidan Harte left Galway 10 points clear at half time, and left the home side with too much to do.
Westmeath battled bravely in the second half and points from Brendan Murtagh, Niall Dowdall, and Darren Kilcoyne kept them in the game, but Galway sub Shane Moloney made a big impact when introduced, firing over five points.
Galway manager Michael O’Donoghue acknowledged this was a patchy performance but praised Westmeath, saying they had given his young side their hardest game to date.
Scorers for Galway:
J Flynn (2-2, 1-0 penalty, 0-2 frees); N Burke (1-2); S Moloney (0-5, 2 frees); E Burke (0-4); G McInerney (0-2); D Glennon, A Smith, A Harte (0-1 each).
Scorers for Westmeath:
B Murtagh (0-9, 5 frees); D Kilcoyne (0-2); N Dowdall (0-2); L Cassidy, W Casserly, A Devine, L Varley (free) (0-1 each).
J Keane; P Hoban, D Burke, P Claffey; S Morrissey, D Collins, K Hussey; A Harte, A Smith; E Burke, N Burke, G McInerney; R Cummins, J Flynn, D Glennon.
S Moloney for R Cummins (28 minutes), P Brehony for K Hussey (48 minutes), Iarla Tannian for J Flynn (48 minutes), J Skehill for J Keane (61 minutes), R Burke for D Burke (64 minutes injured).
P Moloney; S Power, A McGrath, K Duncan; A Craig, G Greville, F Burke; L Varley, W Casserly; A Devine, B Murtagh, N Dowdall; L Cassidy, D Kilcoyne, P Lynam.
D Egerton for L Cassidy (45 minutes), A Clarke for F Burke (48 minutes), F Dowd for A Devine (58 minutes), C Shaw for S Power (injured, 69 minutes).
David Hughes (Carlow).
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