Saturday's inter-county football round-up
Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup results
Westmeath 1-13 Laois 1-12
Longford 2-13 Louth 1-10
Offaly 3-16 Wexford 0-9
Carlow 3-8 Wicklow 0-6
McGrath Cup result
Clare 2-18 Waterford 1-9
There were wins for Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, and Carlow in the first round of the Bord na Móna O’Byrne Cup today.
The most competitive of the four matches played was the clash of Westmeath and Laois, with the Lake County eventually prevailing by the minimum on a score-line of 1-13 to 1-12.
They laid the platform for their victory in the first half when they established a six-point lead, 1-7 to 0-4, by the break with their goal coming from attacking wing-back James Dolan.
It looked like Westmeath would coast to a convincing win for most of the second-half, but the game suddenly swung on the 60-minute mark when Paul Kingston goaled for Laois.
The Midlanders cut what had been a seven-point gap at one stage to just a single point, but the final whistle came just in time for Westmeath as Colin Kelly got his managerial reign off to a winning start.
Longford were convincing six-point victors over Louth on a final score-line of 2-13 to 1-10.
A Pauric Gill goal helped them into an early lead and he was ably assisted in attack by the likes of Sean McCormack and Ronan McEntire as Longford dominated the first half.
Louth came roaring back into the contest in the second half though and drew level with six minutes to go, but an Andrew Farrell goal for Longford gave them a late winning surge.
Offaly were far too good for Wexford in their first-round clash as they coasted to a 3-16 to 0-9 victory with the goals coming from Jordan Hayes (2) and Cian Johnson in the first half.
Carlow also had a convincing 3-8 to 0-6 win over Wicklow with their goals scored by John Murphy (2) and Sean Gannon.
Meanwhile, in today’s solitary McGrath Cup fixture, the Clare footballers swept to a 2-18 to 1-9 victory over Waterford.