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Shane Bennett was the star for Waterford in a 3-18 to 1-15 win over Westmeath in Mullingar. Westmeath to their credit gave it their all but ultimately the quality on offer for Na Deise shown through.
Waterford had the aid of the wind in the opening period. However, it took Liam Cahill’s side a while to settle in. It took 8 minutes for a score to be marked off on the scoreboard. Iarlaith Daly knocking over a point, Eoin Price got Westmeath’s first score of the game and by the 11th minute it was 0-03 to 0-01 to the Deise. Waterford pushed on with Stephen Bennett to the fore with frees. The Ballysaggart man pounced for a goal just before the 20th minute. However Westmeath hit back and the gap was back down to five after 26 minutes, 1-08 to 0-06. Then came the Waterford purple patch, they hit 2-02 in the space of a few minutes. Jack Fagan tapping into an empty net, while Stephen Bennett also grabbing his second major of the day. Waterford ahead at the break 3-10 to 0-06.
Patrick Curran stretched the gap further on the resumption. However, Niall Mitchell and Ciaran Doyle made it 3-11 to 0-08. Bennett had the gap out to 13, before Mitchell got the Lake County’s only goal of the game on 54 minutes. Doyle, a scorer of four second half points added another white flag, as did Shane McGovern. Bennett replied for Waterford. Pauric Mahony and Patrick Curran knocked over scores in response to a Doyle effort from play. Waterford should have added two further goals to their tally. However, Waterford Stephen Bennett’s 64th minute penalty was saved by Aaron McHugh. He also had a goal disallowed for a square ball infringement. Westmeath scored the last three points of the game with Allan Devine (2) and Ciaran Doyle, Westmeath winning the second half 1-09 to 0-08. At least some hope for Westmeath going forward on their second half performance.