Shane O'Neill got his first Allianz Hurling League campaign in charge of Galway off to an expected winning start as they eased to a 1-24 to 0-10 win over Westmeath at Pearse Stadium.

The game was over as a contest by half-time as Galway built up a 1-12 to 0-08 lead after playing against the breeze, with Westmeath reduced to 14 men when centre-back Aonghus Clarke was sent off after 27 minutes.

Westmeath managed just one point from play with the breeze, with full-forward Darragh Clinton landing a good effort after 19 minutes.

Killian Doyle account for their other seven points from frees, with the Galway defence capably dealing with anything thrown their way.

Joe Canning, back for his first outing of the season, scored as much as Westmeath in the opening half, following up his opening point from play with seven frees from a variety of angles and distances.

Himself and Doyle exchanged points three times in the opening eight minutes but then Galway’s superiority took over and they picked off scores at ease.

The opening goal came after 17 minutes when vice-captain Conor Whelan flashed a superb shot into the top right corner after collecting a good pass from his skipper Padraic Whelan.

That put them 1-08 to 0-04 in front and after Clarke got his marching orders for a clumsy tackle on Canning, the Tribesmen pulled away with Tadhg Haran and Cathal Mannion picking off a couple of good points each.

The second-half struggled to come to life with Galway continuing their dominance and led by 1-16 to 0-09 at the end of the third quarter, with Westmeath goalkeeper Aaron McHugh doing well to deny Cathal Mannion with a good save after 52 minutes.

Westmeath only managed two points in the second half as Galway, with midfielder Haran taking his haul to six points from play, pulled away to a facile victory.

Galway: Eanna Murphy; Darren Morrissey, Gearóid McInerney, TJ Brennan; Johnny Coen, Padraic Mannion, Adrian Tuohey; Sean Linnane (0-01, Tadhg Haran (0-06); Diarmuid Kilcommins, Joe Canning (0-12, 0-09f, 0-01 '65), Cathal Mannion (0-03); Jason Flynn, Conor Whelan (1-00), Ja Mannion.

Subs: Aidan Harte for Coen (half-time), Sean Bleahane (0-01) for Ja Mannion (43 mins), Tom Monaghan (0-01) for Flynn (57 mins), Jack Grealish for Linnane (57 mins), Paul Killeen for (67 mins).

Westmeath: Aaron McHugh; Adam Ennis, Tommy Doyle, Johnny Bermingham; Shane Clavin, Aonghus Clarke, Aaron Craig; Cormac Boyle (0-01), Liam Varley; Killian Doyle (0-07, 0-07f), Joey Boyle, Robbie Greville; Darragh Clinton, Eoin Price (0-02, 0-01f), Niall Mitchell,

Subs: Brendan Doyle for Bermingham (19 mins), John Gilligan for Varley (half-time), Ciaran Doyle for Killian Doyle (41 mins), Alan Cox for Greville (51 mins), Jack Galvin for Price (62 mins).

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).