Westmeath have qualified for their second O'Byrne Cup final in succession following a very comfortable victory over Longford at The Downs.
Jack Cooney's charges will face either Dublin or Meath in the televised decider next Friday evening in Parnell Park after goals in either half from Sean Flanagan and Callum McCormack helped them to a facile win. Minus their Mullinalaghta contingent, Longford were well off the pace and failed to score from play. They only troubled the scoreboard operator once in the first half when Barry McKeon's free gave them an early lead.
With the wind behind them, the hosts hit back with a 10th minute goal from midfielder Sean Flanagan and a brace of Ger Egan frees to establish a 1-2 to 0-1 lead. Ronan O'Toole, Kieran Martin and Egan added points to extend their advantage to 1-5 to 0-1 at the break.
James Dolan pushed Westmeath further ahead on the restart before Longford briefly rallied with frees from Robbie Smyth and Darren Gallagher. But the result was never in doubt as the Lake County closed out the game with further points by O'Toole, Egan and McCormack, along with a second goal from the latter in the 54th minute.
Westmeath - E Carberry; B Sayeh, R Wallace, K Daly; N O’Reilly, N Mulligan, D Lynch; S Flanagan (1-0), S Duncan (0-1); R O’Toole (0-2), C McCormack (1-1), G Egan (0-4f); G Leech, K Martin (0-1), J Dolan (0-1). Subs: T McDaniel for G Leech, N Cully for R O’Toole, D Giles for S Flanagan, D Conway for N O’Reilly, M Rowden for E Carberry, S Pettit for K Martin, T Watts for G Egan, C Slevin for D Lynch, A McGivney for C McCormack.
Longford - P Collum; B O’Farrell, A Farrell, D Quinn; C P Smyth, M Quinn, D Mimnagh; D Gallagher (0-1f), P Hanley; S Donohoe, B McKeon (0-2f), P Lynn; L Connerton, R Smyth (0-1f), D Doherty. Subs: I O’Sullivan for S Donohoe, P Gill for P Hanley, C Shields for L Connerton, M Hughes for R Smyth, N Rabbitte for D Mimnagh, PJ Masterson for D Quinn.
Referee - B Cawley.