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Down and Westmeath draw in Mullingar

Monday 18th March 2024

Report BBC Sport - Photo Louis McNally 


Westmeath and Down played out a pulsating 0-13 to 1-10 draw in their Division Three game at Cusack Park.

Down led 0-4 to 0-3 at the break after a low scoring first half, before the second half exploded into life after Daniel McGuinness's goal.

It was nip-and-tuck right up to the closing stages, with Ryan McEvoy's late point rescuing a draw for Down.

Both teams remain unbeaten, with promotion to Division Two to be decided on the final weekend of fixtures.

Down need to avoid defeat against third-placed Clare next weekend to go up, whilst Clare need a win in Newry to seal promotion which would condemn the Mourne County to another season of Division Three football if Westmeath win in Sligo.

In the top of the table clash at Cusack Park, Westmeath made the better start to the game and registered the first point of the game on eight minutes, with Jonathan Lynam curling home from the right hand side.

Robbie Forde clipped over their second point, before Pat Havern's free got Down on the scoreboard for the first time after 18 minutes.

The Mourne County's sluggish opening to the game was epitomised by a number of wides they hit from good positions with the likes of Havern, Caolan Mooney and Odhran Murdock culpable.

They drew level when James McGuinness curled over their second point of the game, 10 minutes after the first.

A minute later, Danny Magill fisted over a third to edge them in front when he could have gone for goal.

James Dolan levelled for Westmeath, before a point from Havern from a tight angle gave the away side a narrow lead at the interval.

End-to-end second half


Whist the first 35 minutes was cagey, the second half was much more open at each end.

An early free from Havern stretched Down's lead to two points, before Forde pointed to bring the hosts back to within one.

Guinness' well-taken goal on 43 minutes nudged the visitors further ahead, before the points at each end started to flow.

Westmeath claimed the next three through Ryan O'Toole, Forde and Luke Loughlin from a free, to keep them in touch, before Ceilum Doherty re-established Down's advantage.

Kieran Martin and Havern exchanged points, with Mattie Whittaker and Ray Connellan both splitting the posts to haul Westmeath level.

Murdock and Ryan Johnson pushed Down two points ahead again, before Loughlin and Forde replied for the hosts in this end-to-end encounter.

A great point from Loughlin looked to have snatched the victory for Westmeath, before an equally impressive effort from McEvoy late in the game snatched a draw for Laverty's men.


Down: J O’Hare; P Fegan, R McEvoy (0-1), C Doherty (0-1); M Rooney, P Laverty, D Guinness (1-0); N McParland, C Mooney; D Magill (0-1), L Kerr, R Johnston (0-1); O Murdoch (0-1), P Havern (0-4, 3f), J Guinness (0-1).

Subs: J Flynn for McParland (h-t), A Gilmore for Mooney (inj., 42), S Annett for J Guinness (46), C Francis for D Magill (58), R Mason for Johnston (69).

Westmeath: J Daly; D Scahill, K Maguire, J Dolan (0-1); A McCormack, D Lynch, N Harte; R Connellan (0-1), J Lynam (0-1); K Martin (0-1), R O’Toole (0-1), S McCartan; C Dillon, L Loughlin (0-3, 2f), D McCartan.