By Paul O’Donovan
All that Westmeath hurling supporters were hoping for last Saturday was a good performance against a star studded Kilkenny side. That is what they got, and perhaps a bit more.
Kilkenny eventually ran out 16 point winners from the Leinster Championship first round game played in TEG Cusack Park, 5-23 to 1-19, but the Leinster champions going for three in a row of titles, knew they had been in a battle.
Westmeath, although trailing were still in the game after 50 minutes. Then Kilkenny began to pull away, and pull away they did. The intensity Westmeathåbrought to the first half was brilliant, but it was eventually going to prove costly and so it proved.