St Loman's Mullingar finished with a flourish against Tyrrellspass to retain the Westmeath SFC title at Cusack Park by a score of 1-13 to 0-10.
A gutsy Tyrrellspass team contributed to an interesting encounter on front of a healthy 5,772 crowd, but Loman's just had an extra bit of class in attack.
Shane Dempsey was the star of the show for Loman's, delivering a seven-point haul, while substitute Ciaran Kilmurray's late goal was another key score. It was a satisfying success for the Luke Dempsey-managed outfit, who will be anxious to make an impact in the Leinster Club Championship in the coming weeks.
Tyrrellspass led at the interval by 0-7 to 0-6, with Ger Egan a significant influence for the determined underdogs. In the closing stages Kilmurray sealed Loman's win with a splendid late goal as Tyrrellspass were eventually defeated.
Dempsey, who was brilliant in attack for Loman's, earned huge praise from boss Luke Dempsey: “I thought Shane Dempsey had a superb day, he was excellent. He was in America for the early stages of the summer and came back in great form. In him we had the difference because there was an awful lot of 50-50s around the middle third," Dempsey said in an interview with RTE Radio.
Dempsey was adamant that the two most accomplished teams in the county were competing for glory: "They missed a few easy chances and we got them at the other end," he reflected.
“With the nature of the physical match-ups, players were kicking under pressure. It was a really tense match, but you could sense we both knew we were the two best teams in the county and that brings its own tensions and stress.
“There was a lot of tension in the legs, you could see it in the first half, we were second to most things. We barely kept our heads above water in the second half and it was that goal by Ciaran Kilmurray who came on as a sub, allied to some brilliant points by Shane, that turned it in our favour."
Loman's will travel to Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford for a provinical quarter-final clash against Longford side St Columba's, Mullinalagtha, who defeated Stradbally from Laois last Sunday.
St Loman’s, Mullingar: S Gallagher; J O’Toole, S Flynn, G Grehan; G Glennon, P Dowdall, D Whelan; J Heslin (0-4, three frees ), P Sharry (0-1 ); D Windsor, K Reilly (0-1 ), C Reilly; R O’Toole, K Casey, S Dempsey (0-7 ). Subs: S Flanagan for Glennon (38 mins ), C Kilmurray (1-0 ) for R O’Toole (44 mins ), G Hickey for Casey (49 mins ), C O’Donoghue for C Reilly (60 mins, bc ).
Tyrrellspass: D Quinn; S Arthur, S Quinn, B Gavin; B Slevin, J Gonoud, N Harte; Denis Glennon, G Egan (0-7, five frees ); C Slevin, V Sizychas, G Hoey; David Glennon (0-1 ), D McNicholas, A O’Brien (0-2 ). Subs: E O’Neill for Gavin (13 mins ), P Sheridan for Harte (37 mins ), R Sheridan for O’Brien (49 mins ), D Gaye for Sizychas (58 mins ).