The biggest result in the history of westmeath hurling
Electric Ireland Leinster MHC: Westmeath 2-11, Wexford 0-15
Westmeath's minor hurlers gave the county a long-awaited shot in the arm at Innovate Wexford Park today, coming away from their Leinster MHC quarter-final with what manager Johnny Greville rightly called "the biggest result" in the history of Westmeath hurling.
Second half goals from Paddy Doody and Killian Doyle sealed a deserved victory for the Lake County against a Wexford side tipped by many to challenge for provincial honours this year.
Having lost out narrowly to the Yellowbellies away from home in the Leinster MHL semi-final recently, Westmeath were fancied to put it up to the hosts – and the young Maroons did that and more.
There was much cause for optimism at the short whistle, with 0-6 from Raharney twin Ciaran Doyle, and a further 0-2 from his brother Killian, giving the visitors a slender 0-8 to 0-7 lead at the break.
Castletown-Geoghegan man Doody struck shortly after the restart, and although Wexford chipped away at that lead, Killian Doyle found the net again to give Westmeath a 2-8 to 0-10 lead.
However, the Slaneysiders' response brought with it portents of doom, and by the closing minutes the hosts had levelled matters at 2-9 to 0-15.
But defeat was never on the cards for Westmeath, who looked effervescent in attack throughout, and steadfast in defence, with Lough Lene Gaels' Darragh Qamar putting in a man-of-the-match display at corner back, much to the frustration of Wexford's vanguard.
At the other end, the Doyles put the cherry on top with a free apiece to ensure Westmeath join Dublin, Kilkenny and Laois in the semi-final draw on Monday night.
The last four will be played on June 21, prior to which many players will have sat their Leaving Cert examinations. Westmeath will host their semi-final in Cusack Park.
"It's probably the biggest result, I'd say, in the history of hurling here in Westmeath for us," manager Johnny Greville said after the game.
“To come down to Wexford Park and beat Wexford is no mean feat. Every player performed, and the lads that came in, and it was great to get across the line because, to be honest with you, the players deserved it.
“We'll take it a game at a time. Every time we go out we'll give it our best. If we got into a Leinster final it would be great for Westmeath hurling.”
See a full report, reaction and analysis in Tuesday's new-look, compact Westmeath Examiner.
Westmeath: Aaron McHugh (Raharney); Darragh Qamar (Lough Lene Gaels), Kevin Regan (Cullion), Seanie Lancaster (Castlepollard); James Bermingham (Castletown-Geoghegan), Peadar Scally (capt., Clonkill), Darragh Egerton (Clonkill); Joe Rabbitte (Castlepollard), Jack O’Brien (Clonkill); Killian Doyle (Raharney), Niall Mitchell (Clonkill), Johnny McCarthy (Castlepollard); James Goonery (Raharney), Ciaran Doyle (Raharney), Paddy Doody (Castletown-Geoghegan). Subs: Sean Maher (Castletown-Geoghegan), Naoise McKenna (Castletown-Geoghegan), Warren Williams (Lough Lene Gaels), Jack Carton (Cullion), Dean Core (Raharney), Ciaran Fagan (Castlepollard), Ross Corroon (Éire Óg), Darragh Reilly (Castlepollard), Marcus Kennedy (Lough Lene Gaels), Conor Kane (Castletown-Geoghegan).