Westmeath hurlers fail to do themselves justice against Galway

Galway manager Michael Donoghue (left) with Westmeath manager Michael Ryan after the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship quarter-final in Cusack Park, Mullingar. Photo: Piaras O’Midheach/Sportsfile

Galway manager Michael Donoghue (left) with Westmeath manager Michael Ryan after the Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship quarter-final in Cusack Park, Mullingar. Photo: Piaras O’Midheach/Sportsfile

Westmeath manager Michael Ryan was ‘disappointed’ with Sunday’s 3-27 to 0-19 Leinster SHC quarter-final defeat against Galway at Cusack Park.

Trailing 0-17 to 0-5 at the interval, Westmeath responded after the restart with Niall O’Brien hugely effective.

Galway, though, were never in any serious danger as the Midlanders were comprehensively beaten.

“We’re very disappointed with our performance,” Ryan said. “We didn’t play to our potential. A lot of that is down to Galway. They’re a fine side; they’ve a big physical presence in their team.

“We gave them chances, and when you give a good hurling team like Galway chances, inevitably, they’ll punish you. This Galway side will be there or thereabouts when the Liam McCarthy is being handed out. They’re a good side, but I’m disappointed we didn’t put it up to them.”

Galway manager Micheal Donoghue acknowledged that the Tribesmen gave Westmeath significant respect ahead of the contest: “We absolutely respected them,” Donoghue reflected. “They had a great win with their U21s just recently and they had three wins in the round robin.

“Coming in, we had to make sure we were in the right frame of mind and in fairness the lads worked very hard for the last two weeks and came well prepared. We’re up and running now, we put up a decent score.

“On reflection, we probably got a lot more from the first half in terms of what we were looking for from the team. There was a lot of the second half that we’ll feel we need to improve on. But in fairness, it’s nice to go away with a win.”

Shane Power was red-carded during the defeat, but Westmeath will now hope to make an impact in the all-Ireland qualifiers.

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