All-Ireland SFC: Armagh overpower Westmeath
All-Ireland SFC Round 1 Qualifier
ARMAGH 3-16 WESTMEATH 1-11
By Conor McKenna at TEG Cusack Park
Armagh overcame an under-strength Westmeath outfit by 11 points to advance to the second round of the football qualifiers.
Armagh were far superior to the Midlands County, who were always playing second fiddle throughout the game.
Westmeath got the game's first goal courtesy of Ronan O’Toole and that was as good as it got for the Lake County with Armagh dominant from that point onwards.
Armagh led by 0-11 to 1-4 at the interval and were full value for their four point lead.
Armagh forward Ethan Rafferty then got what seemed to be a serious injury with the game delayed for a long period as a result, but the Orchard County got what was a very lucky break when Andrew Murnin’s effort was deflected into the net by Westmeath goalkeeper Kevin Fagan in what will be deemed an own goal.
Westmeath did manage to bring the gap back to four points, but were dealt a killer blow when Anthony Duffy’s fisted effort cannoned back off the post and Duffy made no mistake with the rebound to give his side an eight point lead with time almost up.
A third goal from Gavin McParland sealed the deal as the Orchard County cruised to a fully deserved 11 point victory.
Westmeath manager Colin Kelly confirmed he was stepping down from the position when speaking after the game.
Scorers for Westmeath: Ronan O’Toole 1-2, Luke Loughlin 0-3 (3f), Denis Corroon 0-2 (1f), Finbar Coyne, Boidu Sayeh , Kieran Martin and Ger Egan (1f) 0-1 each.
*Scorers for Armagh: *Rory Grugan 0-5 (5f), Anthony Duffy 1-1, Gavin McParland 1-0, Kevin Fagan own goal 1-0, Charlie Vernon 0-3 Ethan Rafferty and Jemar Hall 0-2 each, , Gregory McCabe, Ryan McShane and Andrew Murnin 0-1 each.
WESTMEATH: Kevin Fagan; Mark McCallon, Sam Duncan, Jamie Gonoud; John Egan, Noel Mulligan, Boidu Sayeh; Denis Corroon, Darragh Daly; Kieran Martin, Ronan O’Toole, Ger Egan; Luke Loughlin, John Connellan, Callum McCormack. *Subs: *Finbar Coyne for Darragh Daly (26), Ronan Wallace for Sam Duncan (blood, 34), Sam Duncan for Ronan Wallace (blood reversal, 38), David Whelan for John Egan (50), Ronan Wallace for Denis Corroon (53, blood), Denis Corroon for Ronan Wallace (55, blood reversal), Conor Slevin for Boidu Sayeh (63), Ronan Wallace for Mark McCallon (66), Anthony McGivney for John Connellan (71), John Rock for Jamie Gonoud (74).
ARMAGH: *Blaine Hughes; Patrick Burns, Charlie Vernon, Aaron McKay; Joe McElroy, Gregory McCabe, Mark Shields; Brendan Donaghy, Aaron Findon; Connaire Mackin, Aidan Forker, Ethan Rafferty; Jemar Hall, Andrew Murnin, Rory Grugan. *Subs: Niall Rowland for Aaron Findon (h-t), Ryan McShane for Ethan Rafferty (43), Anthony Duffy for Connaire Mackin (58), Gavin McParland for Joe Mcllroy (65), Oisin Mac Iomhair for Jemar Hall (66).
Referee: David Gough (Meath).