On This Day: Westmeath U21 hurlers send shockwaves through the GAA world

May 25, 2020

Westmeath manager Adrian Moran and goalkeeper Sean Maher celebrate a famous victory over Kilkenny in the Leinster U21HC quarter-final at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

On this day, Westmeath produced a seismic shock in the quarter-final of the Leinster U21 hurling championship - Eddie Brennan's Kilkenny were left stunned as the 14/1 outsiders sealed a famous victory in the most dramatic of finishes in Mullingar.

The score? Westmeath 1-11 Kilkenny 0-12

May 25, 2016

Leinster U21 HC: huge upset as Lake County stun Cats!

An astonishing scoreline from Mullingar tonight, where Westmeath have eliminated Kilkenny from this year's Leinster U21 HC - 1-11 to 0-12.

Darragh Clinton lofted over all but three of the winners' points and midfielder Warren Casserly registered the only goal of the game shortly after the resumption as the Lake County booked a semi-final meeting with either Dublin or Wexford next month.

While this is a magnificent victory for Adrian Moran's team, there will be inquests on the banks of the Nore as Kilkenny are out of both the minor and U21 hurling championships before the end of May.

Westmeath manager Adrian Moran celebrates with goalscorer Warren Casserly afterwards.

Seven Clinton frees allied to points from Killian Doyle and centre back Liam Varley (free) assured the breeze-assisted hosts of a shock half-time lead, 0-9 to 0-8. Even though the Eddie Brennan-managed Cats put over the first two scores of the night, there was never anything between the sides during the opening half-hour and Adrian Moran's underdogs asked some serious questions of their more illustrious opponents during the second quarter in particular, as a couple of Clinton strikes had them two to the good with the break imminent.

Unsurprisingly, the Noresiders rallied to draw level through Billy Ryan (0-3) within two minutes of the restart but Casserly placed a sharp-toothed cat amongst the pigeons when he netted in th 34th minute to give the midlanders a three-point cushion, 1-9 to 0-9. Even though the Black & Ambers hit two of the next three points, they still trailed by two going into the decisive last quarter…

Scores dried up as the tension mounted and the home side closed in on a historic result… Over the course of the match, there were just eight scores fom open play, three of those notched by the home team. John Walsh sent over six converted frees for the visitors.

Westmeath goalkeeper Sean Maher watches as Kilkenny's late penalty goes wide.

Leading by 1-11 to 0-11 at the end of normal time, the home camp must have had knots in their stomachs when word filtered around Cusack Park that there would be six minutes of injury time. It looked for all the world as though the visitors would get out of jail when they were awarded a last-gasp penalty but - in most un-Kilkenny-like fashion - the sliothar flew wide off substitute Andrew Gaffney's hurl as Westmeath held on for a sensational victory.

Westmeath - S Maher; A Cox, C Shaw, M Heeney; J Rabbitte, L Varley (0-1f), R Gillen; W Casserly (1-0), K Doyle (0-1); N Mitchell, L Cassidy, D Egerton; J Galvin, C Doyle (0-1), D Clinton (0-8f). Subs: D Giles for M Heeney, P Lynam for W Casserly.

Kilkenny - D Brennan; E Cody, C Delaney, H Lalor; P Lyng, J Cleere, P Deegan; C Browne, E Kenny; L Blanchfield, S Morrissey (0-2), N Mullins; B Ryan (0-3), A Murphy, J Walsh (0-6f). Subs: A Gaffney (0-1'65) for E Kenny, K Blanchfield for A Murphy, T Phelan for N Mullins.

Referee - B O'Leary.

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