It has been a thrilling Liberty Insurance All Ireland Premier Junior adventure for Westmeath, who secured glory at Croke Park on Sunday.
A hard earned 1-10 to 1-6 win over Dublin capped a brilliant campaign for Westmeath, who battled bravely throughout.
Even when Dublin were causing Westmeath problems, the midlanders remained strong eventually emerging four point victors.
Dublin made a smart start as Aoife Bulger struck two frees in the opening four minutes, but Westmeath responded impressively. A splendid scoring burst from Johnny Greville’s improving outfit saw Westmeath register 1-8 without reply.
That was when the serious damage was done as Dublin were in severe bother following Westmeath’s exploits.Denise McGrath’s delightful goal came during that spell of sustained pressure from Westmeath, who accumulated a healthy 1-8 to 0-2 interval advantage.
Sheila McGrath and Dinah Loughlin were sharp for Westmeath, but Dublin came thundering back when the action recommenced. Roisin Baker’s goal 37 seconds after the restart offered Dublin hope, while Bugler was effective from frees.
But Westmeath, inspired by Caoimhe McCrossan and Fiona Leavy, defended with admirable determination. Late on Pamela Greville’s 55th minute point sealed the deal with a critical score for Westmeath.
Westmeath: F Keating, S King, E McCormack, J McLoughlin, E Finn, F Leavy, L Doherty, J McCormack, M McCormack, C Mccrossan, D McGrath (1-0 ), D Loughlin (0-4, 2fs ), H Core (0-2 ), P Greville (0-1 ), S McGrath (0-2 ).Subs: A Higgins (0-1 ) for D McGrath (51 ), M Scally for M McCormack (58 ).
Dublin: A Spillane, R MacLoughlin, N Gleeson, C Buchanan, G Free, D Johnstone, E Barron, G Power, R Drohan, A Dooley, R Baker (1-1 ), E Twomey, L Quinn, A Bugler (0-5, 4fs ), E Keenan.Subs: S Nolan for Power (HT ), S Wylde for Quinn (ht ), C Carolan for Twomey (49 ), E O’Riordan for Gleeson (56 ).Referee: P McDonald (Cavan ).