Minors no match for Meath
Meath 3-14 Westmeath 1-7
Westmeath’s minor footballers were no match for an impressive Meath outfit in the Leinster semi-final last Saturday. Hopes that Tom Carr’s side might become the first Westmeath team to contest the provincial decider since 2000 were well and truly quashed by half time as a dominant Royal outfit led 2-8 to 1-4 at that stage.
Barry Dardis who finished with 2-2 to his name got the visitors off to the perfect start with a goal in the opening minutes. Luke Loughlin goaled for the home side in the 14th minute but with the more mobile visitors dominating the midfield sector, Westmeath were already treading water.
Westmeath missed a penalty in the 48th minute and one or two goal chances in the closing stages but can have no complaints about the final result. There was a gulf in class between the sides.
Westmeath finished with 13 players with both Ray Connellan and Bryan O’Donoghue seeing red before the end.
The manner of this defeat draws further attention to our problems at underage football in the county. The drought continues and the future at senior level will remain bleak unless changes are brought about on a number of fronts. With five schools competing in the Leinster A colleges we are well positioned to be a force at minor level. Last Saturday’s result raises more questions than it answers but that is something I intend to address on another day. For now it is our neighbours who will meet Dublin in the Leinster minor decider.