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Burns fires Louth past Westmeath

Teenage star Ryan Burns was the hero for Louth as they 
secured themselves a Leinster 
senior football championship quarter-final spot at the ­expense of Westmeath.

Substitute Burns bagged a goal in the 58th minute with his first ever touch in senior inter-county football to give the visiters a lead they never relinquished in Mullingar.

It finished 1-14 to 1-9 in Louth’s favour win at Cusack Park.

Burns (pictured), a minor and under-21 for the Wee County this year, was only added to the panel by boss Aidan O’Rourke in recent weeks.

His major put Louth two points in front and further scores from Derek Maguire and Declan Byrne effectively settled the contest.

The opening half was 
tit-for-tat as Louth’s defensive plan frustrated Paul Bealin’s Lakemen, although the hosts still raced into a 0-3 to 0-0 with John Heslin to the fore.

But Louth came back into it as Maguire began to increase his influence on affairs.

Eleven first-half wides hampered the Wee County, however, and they failed to make use of a wind advantage, going in just 0-8 o 0-5 ahead at the break.

An exciting final furlong looked destined when Kieran Martin goaled for the hosts on 47 minutes but with Louth adapting well to playing against the breeze, Burns’ goal sent O’Rourke’s men on their way to a Leinster quarter-final with Kildare in Croke Park on June 8.


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