/ GAA

Dublin 3-21 Westmeath 0-11

Updated: Monday, 26 May 2008 12:42

Dublin's double goalscorer John Kelly is closed down by Westmeath's Paul Greville
Dublin's double goalscorer John Kelly is closed down by Westmeath's Paul Greville

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After trailing by a point at half-time Dublin took command for the second half as they beat Westmeath by 19 points in Portlaoise to advance to a Leinster SHC semi-final meeting with Wexford.

There was no indication of a second half rout in the opening period which was fairly evenly contested. Both teams swapped points to leave the Lake County men with the narrowest of leads by the break, 0-08 to0-07.

Andrew Mitchell opened the scoring with a point from a free with Peadar Carton then first off the mark for Dublin. Three further Mitchell points from frees edged Johnny Dooley's team ahead at the break with all Dublin's first half points coming from open play.

The second half was one to forget for the losers who conceded three goals as Dublin punished some simple errors in the Maroons' backline.

The winners were clinical from open play as they fired over points at will. While Pat Clarke had an early goal chance for Westmeath, five unanswered points on the resumption of play had Dublin in front by four points by the 45th minute.

Westmeath could only raise the white flag on three occasions with well spaced out scores as their Leinster rivals took over in the scoring stakes.

The first goal arrived on the hour mark when goalkeeper Mark Briody's attempted clearance was blocked by Daithi O'Callaghan, who fired the sliothar to the net.

It got worse for the losers a minute later when Dublin again struck for a second goal.

Substitute David Curtin set up John Kelly and the full-forward made no mistake from close range as Westmeath had hardly time to recover from O'Callaghan's effort.

At this stage Dublin's lead was a massive 13 points but there was to be no let-up from Tommy Naughton's men, who punished further poor defending to net a third goal, a mix-up between goalkeeper and back enabling Kelly to score his second goal as the Westmeath challenge collapsed.

A point from substitute Brendan Murtagh with five minutes left ended the scoring for a disappointing Westmeath, who now head into the Christy Ring Cup competition. Two points from Ronan Fallon, a free and a 65', completed the scoring in a disappointingly one-sided second half, which was effectively ended by Dotsy O'Callaghan's late goal.

Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, S Hiney, T Brady; M Carton (0-01), R Fallon (0-03, 2 65s), J Boland; J McCaffrey (0-01), S Lambert (0-02); J Burke (1-01), D Qualter, K Flynn (0-02); D O'Callaghan (1-05, 1f), J Kelly (1-01), P Carton (0-01). Subs: R O'Carroll (0-03) for Qualter (30), D Curtin (0-01) for P Carton (46), S Mullen for O’Carroll (63), P O'Driscoll for Lambert (65), G Bennett for McCaffrey (66).

Westmeath: M Briody; G Gavin, P Greville, A Price; D Curley, D McCormack, C Jordan; B Connaughton, E Loughlin; A Mitchell (0-04 4f), L Smith, P Clarke (0-02); J Shaw, P Dowdall, D McNicholas (0-02). Subs: B Murtagh (0-03) for Connaughton (21), E Price for Smith (53), J Clarke for Mitchell (58), B Smith for Jordan (65).

Referee: C McAlister (Cork).

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