Conway shoots the lights out in battle of the sharpest Joe McDonagh shooters 3 months ago

Conway shoots the lights out in battle of the sharpest Joe McDonagh shooters

Try stopping Shane Conway.

Underdogs Kerry have gone to Cusack Park and beaten Westmeath to keep themselves right in the Joe McDonagh mix for 2019.

Having lost to Antrim on the road first time out, the Kingdom's backs were against the wall in Mullingar but with the pressure on they came out swinging.

Lixnaw gem Shane Conway as he so often does, led the way. In many ways, this second round group game was billed as a showdown between Conway and his fellow sharpshooter, Westmeath's Killian Doyle.

And that was exactly what it turned out to be.

The Kerryman drew first blood, slinging a gorgeous one from open play open the scoring and the Raharney gem, the powerful half forward responded for the Lake county. The two talented forwards traded blows from frees and from open play right through the game with both sides heavily reliant.

In between this explosive duel there were big contributions from Robbie Greville for Westmeath and from Kerry centre back Patrick Kelly. Greville is a lively forward who would be a weapon for any team in the country and he caused problems aplenty for the Kerry backline.

Jack Goulding of Kerry on the attack being chased by Westmeath's Gary Greville

On the whole though, it was that Kingdom back-line who were on top in the first half. This was best reflected by manager Joe Quaid's decision to withdraw his whole inside forward line at the break, Ciaran Doyle, Derek McNicholas and Niall Mitchell all being replaced.

And having gone into the break level at 0-8 apiece, those changes made an instant impact for the home side who would be against a stiff breeze for the second half.

Sub Allan Devine didn't delay in making an impact, his 36th minute goal handing Westmeath the initiative. And from there, the game took off.

But it was all about Conway and Doyle. Conway was unerring from the frees while hitting three from open play in that first half. Doyle was just as prominent.

Conway responded immediately for Kerry and this was followed by points from Padraig Boyle and James O'Connor. It was tit-for-tat by this stage, blow for blow until a crucial period of the game took place in the third quarter.

From the 47th to the 60th minute, Kerry outscored Westmeath by six points to no score with substitute Jordan Conway on fire. Killian Doyle goalled to keep Westmeath alive but Colum Boyle went down and did the exact same thing on the other end.

Level going into injury time, fittingly it was that man Shane Conway who decided it. The diminutive forward hit the last two points of the game, one a 65 and one a boomer from play as Kerry reversed two league losses to turn the tables on Westmeath.

He ended his day with 0-13, 0-4 from play.

Now, there are three teams on two points in the Joe McDonagh Cup as the brilliant GAA League Tables account shows. Now, the Joe McDonagh Cup is wide open.