By Mike Fitzpatrick
Westmeath 4-12, Clare 2-10
Westmeath are making the rest of New York’s hurlers sit up and take notice following yet another stirring performance on Sunday last in the New York senior hurling championship.
Tom Nugent’s side did themselves proud with this victory where they held the lead for much of the game, and despite some spirited Clare fighting back, Westmeath always looked like clinching victory.
The always dependable and heavily experienced Brian Daly hit a fine personal tally of seven points which adds to his already impressive scoring so far this season. He’ll surely be up amongst the top scorers once more this season.
Clare did fight back, with veteran John Kennedy hitting five over the bar for the Banner county, a goal from Barney Breen and another from Joe Egan, but Westmeath’s scoring machine could not be stopped.
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Sean McLoughlin, having a great day up front for Westmeath, hit a hat trick past Aidan O’Connor in the Clare goal, and these three goals proved vital towards Westmeath’s cause.
Having already come up trumps this season in the Brendan Keane Cup on opening day, Westmeath will be a tough side to beat this year. It’s still early in the season, and there are tougher games coming up, though if they can put together another couple of performances like this one, they’ll surely go a long way.
The teams to beat this year are still the likes of Limerick and Tipperary, though I feel Westmeath can throw their names into the hat if they continue in this rich scoring vein.
Clare: Aidan O’Connor, Brian Adams, Lawrence Kennedy, Colm Walsh, Seamus Pender, Marty McGlade (0-1), John Kennedy (0-5), Gary Dowd, Eddie Flynn, Robbie Quinlivan, Darren Doherty (0-3), Barney Breen (1-1), Joe Egan (1-0)
Westmeath: Darren Fitzpatrick, Barry Smith, Jimmy Hughes, Cathal O’Shaughnessy, Peter Dalton, Colm Reilly, Dermot Kenny, Kenneth Barry (0-1), Alan Barry (0-1), Sean McLoughlin (3-0), Brian Daly (0-7), Lorcan Coll (0-1), Brian McCabe (1-2) Man of the match: Barry Smith (Westmeath).