Saturday's O'Byrne Cup round-up
OFFALY 2-12 WEXFORD 1-7
WESTMEATH 1-13 LOUTH 0-11
WICKLOW 2-9 LONGFORD 0-14
KILDARE 1-10 CARLOW 0-10
By Paul Keane
Goalscorer Ronan Wallace helped propel Westmeath through to the O'Byrne Cup semi-finals, keeping the Lakes County on track to retain their pre-season title.
With three of the four semi-final places already secured by Dublin and Longford, who meet next Saturday, and Group 2 winners Offaly, it was a straight shoot-out between Louth and Westmeath in Round 3 to grab the last place.
Louth turned in a spirited display in Drogheda but conceded a 29th minute goal when Wallace pounced at the end of a flowing move that involved their top scorer John Heslin.
That helped the visitors to lead by four points at half-time and second-half scores from the likes of sub Callum McCormack, who hit 0-2, ensured a five-point win.
Westmeath will play Offaly in a midlands derby next weekend and the Faithful will go into that game as the form team after three wins from three in Group 2.
John Maughan's side secured their third consecutive win as they overcame Wexford 2-12 to 1-7 with both goals coming in the first-half from Cian Johnson and Conor McNamee.
There was drama in Carlow where Kildare had to come from six points down to secure their win, reeling off 1-6 without reply in the final quarter of the game.
They trailed by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time and were six back with 15 minutes to play but upped the ante to sign off on the group stage of the competition in style.
Points from Adam Tyrrell, David Hyland and Jimmy Hyland left just one it at 0-10 to 0-9 before John Treacy levelled it.
Chris Byrne then stole the plaudits with a 71st minute match-winning goal for Kildare to make it two wins from three in the competition under new boss Jack O'Connor.