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Kilkenny points way as senior footballers defeat Westmeath

Kilkenny points way as senior footballers defeat Westmeath

Sat, 7th November 2020



Dublin footballers launched their 2020 Championship with a solid display when overcoming Westmeath by 11 points in Saturday's Leinster SFC quarter-final at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

The Dubs advanced to face Laois (1-16 to 1-14 victors over Longford on Sunday) in their provincial semi-final next Sunday in Croke Park (3.30, live on RTE News Channel).

Dublin, for whom St Jude's Tom Lahiff put in a solid shift on his SFC debut, started with intent against a defensive Westmeath setup and dominated the opening quarter to lead 0-7 to 0-2 at the first water break.

Over the course of the contest Dublin had ten different scores with defence and attack combined to telling effect at times - some of the scorers were noteworthy as they came from players scoring off their less favoured side (Seán Bugler, Eoin Murchan and Niall Scully in the opening half and Robbie McDaid early in the second period).

Ciarán Kilkenny conducted the forward division to telling effect and chipped in with a personal tally of five points, three in the opening half.

As ever Dean Rock's deadball accuracy was to the fore and by the interval he had converted four frees as well as a point from play as Dessie Farrell's men led 0-15 to 0-6.

Dublin restarted on the front foot with Robbie McDaid and James McCarthy becoming their side's ninth and tenth scorers to move 11 points clear.

Just before the second half water break Paddy Small pointed his second score from play, following determined approach play from his club-mate James McCarthy and Dublin now held a 0-19 to 0-8 lead.

Fifteen minutes from time came Dublin's best goal-scoring opportunity. Subs Cormac Costello and Brian Howard combined for the Raheny man to make tracks on the Westmeath goal close to the endline, he found Dean Rock who didn't make the desired contact as he attempted to sweep the ball to the net first time.

Before the finish Skerries native, Jack Smith, a former Dublin U21, scored a point from Westmeath as Dublin cruised to victory.

In the final minutes Dublin defender Eoin Murchan had to be replaced with injury but it is believed to be nothing more serious than cramp.

Afterwards manager Dessie Farrell said: “You’re not going to get much time to practice. It’s about recovery and obviously we’ll review the performance and see who we’re going to play the next day and that will be it and we’ll be ready to go again.

“We’re happy with our performance. I thought Westmeath kicked some fantastic scores. We knew beforehand they had a bit of firepower and were capable of doing a bit of damage if we weren’t on the money but thankfully we were well focused and our heads were in the game and we got the result.

“Defensively, I think they were very well-organised. I think we did reasonably well to pick them apart for some of our scores. Goal opportunities weren’t going to be too plentiful with the way they set up and how well structured they were. We probably should have got one near the end and maybe should have been a little more clinical. We’re always looking for goals.” 

SCORERS - Dublin: D Rock 0-7 (0-6f), C Kilkenny 0-5, S Bugler, P Small 0-2 each, E Murchan, N Scully, J Cooper, C O’Callaghan, R McDaid, J McCarthy 0-1 each. Westmeath: J Heslin 0-3 (0-2f), R Connellan, K Martin (0-1m), L Loughlin 0-2 each, R O’Toole, J Smith 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; E Murchan, J Cooper, M Fitzsimons; J McCarthy, J Small, R McDaid; B Fenton, T Lahiff; S Bugler, C Kilkenny, N Scully; P Small, C O’Callaghan, D Rock. Subs: B Howard for Bugler (49), C Costello for P Small (51), D Byrne for Fitzsimons (55), A Byrne for Scully (60), E Lowndes for Murchan (66).

WESTMEATH: J Daly; J Smith, K Maguire, B Sayeh; J Gonoud, R Wallace, J Dolan; R Connellan, S Duncan; D Lynch, R O’Toole, K Daly; L Loughlin, J Heslin, K Martin. Subs: C Slevin for K Daly (50), C McCormack for Lynch (52), L Dolan for Martin (53), A McGivney for Loughlin (61), B Kelly for O'Toole (70).

REF: M McNally (Monaghan).

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