All Ireland SFC R1: Westmeath too strong for Waterford
All-Ireland SFC Round 1 Qualifier
WESTMEATH 1-22 WATERFORD 0-7
By Conor McKenna at TEG Cusack Park
Westmeath defeated Waterford in their first game of the 2019 football qualifiers.
The midlanders' were dominant from start to finish, while Waterford failed to replicate their performance against Clare in the Munster Championship, as they were defensively solid on that occasion, while they were open at the back throughout this match.
Westmeath had not won a qualifier game since 2012, but they were never in danger of losing this and Jack Cooney will be pleased with this performance and his side bounced back superbly from their defeat to Laois.
Waterford opted to go with Michael Curry as an extra defender and were intent on flooding their defence whenever possible, however it did not work as they conceded 1-22 over the course of the game.
It was the home side who opened the scoring in the ninth minute courtesy of Ronan O’Toole, before Ger Egan doubled his side's advantage.
Scores from Joe Halligan and Egan followed as Westmeath held a 0-4 to 0-0 lead with 15 minutes played.
Westmeath registered the next two points with Egan and Tommy McDaniel finding the target before Tommy Prendergast finally opened his sides account with a point in the 24th minute.
Westmeath responded well scoring the last three points of the first half, as Westmeath held a 0-9 to 0-1 lead at the interval.
Waterford needed a strong start to the second half and it was forthcoming, as Benji Whelan’s side registered the first three scores of the half to reduce the deficit to five points.
All their good work was effectively cancelled out, however, as the home team responded with three points of their own to restore their eight point advantage.
Denis Corroon added a further score for Westmeath, as his side led by nine points heading into the final quarter and Waterford were very much up against it at this stage and a fisted score from Joe Halligan stretched the lead to 10.
The game was dead as a contest when Ronan O’Toole found the net for the games first goal, with his 55th minute effort beating the goalkeeper at the end of an excellent attacking move from Westmeath.
Scorers for Westmeath: Ger Egan 0-8 (6fs), Ronan O’Toole 1-2 (1 45), Joe Halligan 0-4, Kieran Martin 0-2, Tommy McDaniel 0-1, Denis Corroon 0-1, David Lynch 0-1, James Dolan 0-1, Noel O’Reilly 0-1, Ronan Wallace 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: Tommy Prendergast 0-2, Conor Murray 0-2, Dessie Hutchinson 0-2, Donie Fitzgerald 0-1
WESTMEATH: Eoin Carberry; Frank Boyle, Kevin Maguire, B Sayeh; David Lynch, Ronan Wallace, Killian Daly; Denis Corroon, Kieran Martin; James Dolan, Ronan O’Toole, Callum McCormack; Tommy McDaniel, Joe Halligan, Ger Egan
Subs: Jack Smith for Frank Boyle (55), Noel Mulligan for Denis Corroon (57), Sean Pettit for Tommy McDaniel (61), Noel O’Reilly for Ger Egan (63), Conor Slevin for David Lynch (64), Sean Flanagan for Sean Pettit (69).
WATERFORD: Paudie Hunt; Sean O’Donovan, Ray O’Ceallaigh, James McGrath; Brian Looby, Shane Ryan, Tadhg O hUallachain; Shane Ahearne, Tommy Prendergast; JJ Hutchinson, Dylan Guiry, Conor Murray; Dessie Hutchinson, Fearghal O Cuirrin, Michael Curry.
Subs: Darragh Corcoran for Ray O’Ceallaigh (24), Sean Whelan-Barrett for Dylan Guiry (45), Jack Mullaney for Sean O’Donovan (50), Joe Allen for JJ Hutchinson (51), Jason Curry for Tommy Prendergast (64), Donie Fitzgerald for Fearghal O Cuirrin (67).
REFEREE: Jerome Henry (Mayo).