Westmeath look likely to join Wexford in Division 3 next year after seeing off the Wicklow challenge at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar yesterday. John Heslin, was the star of the first-half, kicking seven points, including four scores from play. The St Lomans man is maturing in to one of the best footballers in the country and was a real handful for the Wicklow back-line all through this game.
The beaten Leinster finalists of the last two years dominated most of the first-half exchanges as Wicklow who tried hard struggled with the movement of the Westmeath men going forward with Paul Sharry also on song. Tom Cribben has certainly changed the mood in Westmeath football in the last couple of years but they will hope for longer stays in higher Divisions when they do get there.
Seanie Furlong was having a shoot-out with Heslin all game and Ger Egan took over some of the scoring lot in the second half kicking four points of his own for the hosts.
Wicklow have definitely improved on earlier league showings and have a visit from Carlow to come on Sunday next. Johnny Magee would have been relatively satisfied with some aspects of yesterdays display and will hope for a win over Carlow which would boost preparations for the championship game with Louth who themselves suffered defeat at the hands of Armagh yesterday.
Wicklow: Seanie Furlong 0-8 (6f), Anto McLoughlin 0-2, Ross O’Brien, Darren Hayden, Paddy Byrne, Tommy Kelly 0-1 each.
Wicklow: Robert Lambert; Eoin Murtagh, Ross O’Brien, Jamie Snell; Darren Hayden, Dean Healy, John Crowe; Rory Finn, Anto McLoughlin; Conor Ffrench, Stephen Kelly, John McGrath; Paddy Byrne, Seanie Furlong, Tommy Kelly.
Subs: Gary Allen for Byrne (51), Mark Kenny for McGrath (51), David Boothman for Murtagh (66), Padraig Byrne for Ffrench (66), Ciaran Hyland for Finn (66), Caolon O’Gorman for Crowe (70).