Westmeath bury Dublin in the O'Byrne Cup
Westmeath have won the 2019 O'Byrne Cup with a decisive 1-12 to 0-10 win over Dublin at Parnell Park.
Dublin edged their way past Meath in the semi-finals with a free taking competition win over the Royals last weekend but came up short against Westmeath with half-forward Ger Egan smashing home the game deciding goal after initially appearing to blow the opportunity.
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Westmeath have won the O'Byrne Cup just three times - 1959, 1980, 1988 - in the 65-year history of the competition with their 2019 win serving as a strong start to their year.
Westmeath manager Jack Cooney told the Herald before the game that his side wer eusing the competition as preparation for the league but that it's been great to see the support at O'Byrne Cup games this year, particularly among those of younger ages.
"If we win it'll be great, it'll be just straight down to focus on the start of the league the following week," he said.
"If we lose, it'll be straight down to focus on the league the following week. The O'Byrne Cup has been good to us this year. We've got the maximum number of games out of it that we can get, and that's where the value is in it.
"For sure it would be brilliant - I was up at the game last weekend between Dublin and Meath, and it was great to see the pitch full at half-time, kids out kicking ball.
"And that's an opportunity for the Westmeath supporters, to bring up their kids and let them out onto Parnell Park, because we don't get an opportunity like that."