By Mike Fitzpatrick
Westmeath 1-17, Offaly 3-8
Having been hammered by Tipperary recently, Westmeath claimed a little pride back by defeating rivals Offaly in this game which really could have gone either way.
It was Tom Nugent versus Sean Guinan in a battle of wits that neither man, both highly respected amongst the bastions of New York hurling, seemed capable of triumphing from.
A bad-tempered opening 30 minutes, in which the referee was forced to show a number of yellow cards, threatened to reduce the contest into something of an ugly battle. But the game settled somewhat, and both sides began to provide a little flowing play.
Westmeath, with Laois inter county players Paul and David Cuddy amongst their ranks, seemed the stronger of the two sides on paper, and with such reliable veterans as Brian McCabe and Brian Daly on their side, their team looked almost formidable.
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The game swung both ways, with David Cuddy scoring a tally of 11 points throughout the tie, and Donal Miller grabbing two goals and two points to bring Offaly right back into contention.
Damian Beatty added another four to give Guinan’s men a little more light at the end of their tunnel, but it was Cuddy and company who triumphed in the end.
McCabe and Daly both registered on the scoresheet for the maroons, and at the end of the day, it was Tom Nugent who walked from Gaelic Park with the smile on his face.
Guinan’s men, seem troubled, with a mere point from their endeavors so far, their season could well be coming to a premature end.
Westmeath, however, are clearly out to provide another couple of upsets, and the way things are going, who knows what could happen?
Westmeath: Jim Hughes, Barry Smith, Cathal O’Shaughnessy, Alan Barry, Paul Cuddy (0-2), Robbie Nolan, Peter Dalton, Ken Barry (1-1), Brian Daly (0-1), Paddy Corcoran, Dave Cuddy (0-11), Brian McCabe (0-2), Lorcan Coll. Sub: Dermot Kenny
Offaly: Paddy Donohue, Enda Condron, Ciaran Clavin, Pat Leamy, Colm Scanlon, Nigel Carney, Sean Nolan, Fintan O’Brien (0-1), David Murray (0-1), Sean O’Donoghue (1-0), Donal Miller (2-2), Noel Cunniffe, Damien Beatty (0-4). Subs: Paddy Hogan, Sean Guinan.