National Hurling League Division 2A Round 428-02-2018
Westmeath travelled to Ruislip as league leaders in the driving seat for promotion, to face their opponents trying to kickstart their campaign and record their first league points. Two teams at opposite ends of the table you could be forgiven for thinking that this may have been somewhat of a dead rubber. However, this was not to be the case and a fresh look London squad infused with fresh faces from their extended panel set out to impress and stake a claim for a starting birth ahead of next weeks relegation battle with Kildare.
The impact of the new look starting team was immediate and Westmeath found themselves 3 points adrift of London midway through the first half. It was clear to all that London were working harder throughout the field. Westmeath’s Tommy Doyle was a rock at the heart of the Westmeath defence and came out with ball after ball from the Westmeath full-back line frustrating the London attack. Going in at halftime London still had their lead but it was down to two points and now stood at 0-7 to 0-5.
London now in unfamiliar territory, came into the second half with a slender lead but facing into a stiff breeze. This was a breeze they knew all too well about as with just 2 mins gone on the clock a long-range Westmeath effort dropped short, rebounded off the crossbar and was doubled on brilliantly by the ever-dangerous Niall Mitchell. This was the first of his two second half goals which saw Westmeath turn their 2-point half time deficit into a commanding lead. London found another gear and through some short passing movements from defence into attack they found their way back into the game with an unanswered 1-2, the goal coming through Michael Ivors. Westmeath were let off the hook only minutes from full time as another wonderful passing move by London created a 1v1 opportunity, yet the Westmeath keeper closed the angles and ensured the best the London attacker could do was throw the ball to the net which was soon overruled thanks to the referee and his umpires. The goal would have levelled the game but it was not to be and Westmeath had the composure to see out the game thanks to 3 late points from the hurl of Alan Devine.
This result means that London will be facing Kildare next week in a relegation winner takes all game against Kildare, after they themselves were swept aside by Carlow. This game takes place in McGovern Park Ruislip on March 4th. Come along and support the lads in their final league game which throws in at 1pm.