Antrim put on a strong display of finishing at Casement Park to end Westmeath’s interest in the 2011 All Ireland Championship.
The home side never looked back once Conor McCann scored the opening goal on 9 minutes and went in at half time 10 points up, Westmeath, led by the lively Brendan Murtagh who knocked over 10 points threatened a second half comeback but in the end the Saffron’s won out to seal a date with Carlow in the next round.
Antrim made a fast start to game opening up a three point lead through Neil McManus, Karl Stewart, Paul Shiels and Ciaran Herron before McCann’s goal and further points from McManus and Simon McCrory put the Ulster side eight points ahead.
Paul Greville dragged Westmeath back into the game with a 12th minute goal as the game started at a frantic pace.
McManus took his tally to 5 for the day with three successive frees as Antrim moved into a 1-10 to 1-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Westmeath were still rallying however without ever getting into contention however McCann’s second goal 5 minutes before half time took the wind out of their sails and with McManus punishing every Westmeath foul, Antrim went in at half time 2-16 to 1-9 ahead.
Westmeath came out in the second half all guns blazing scoring 5 points, three of which came from the hurl of Derek McNicholas however Antrim held firm and added second half scores from McManus, who ended the game with 11 points, McCann and substitute Colm McFall to seal a comfortable 2-25 to 1-19 win and send the Leinster side home empty handed.
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