Louth v Westmeath as it happened
With Conor Hogan
The second half was exciting, but all in all it was a desperate game. Louth were much the better team, and deserved their win, but they should have been absolutely out of sight. The way they let a poor Westmeath team back into the game will be concern. Louth will be in their first Leinster final for 50 years, where they will face rivals Meath. It will be the first Louth v Meath final for 58 years.
Thanks very much for joining us in a marathon day of trackers.
Goodbye and good luck.
Paul Bannon blasts one high and wide. A total waste. Louth have pretty much won now.
John Smyth gives the ball away in a good position for Westmeath. Doran Harte fouls and gets booked for his effort. Brian White puts the ball wide from the free, which is almost as good as a point as we enter the first minute of injury time.
Padraigh Smith gets Louth's eight wide of the day, before Colm Judge pops one over to make it slightly more comfortable for the 'Wee County'. Westmeath need another goal.
Long ball down the pitch, is won by Flanagan who puts it under Neil Gallagher for a great goal. Game on suddenly.
After a couple of points for each team, Westmeath have a free in, which Paul Greville pops over for his fifth point of the game.
Louth counter, Derek Maguire and Colm Judge combine beautifully for a goal. It's turning into a bit of a hammering.
Glennon is fouled but the ref plays advantage. He loses the ball and Louth counter-attack. Glennon is furious. He is even angrier when . . .
Louth have constant pocession of the ball. The penalty hasn't helped Westmeath one bit whatsoever, although the did hit the post in a rare attack.
Normality is resumed. White and Maquire score for Louth. In between those scores though Colm Judge for throwing the ball. Good decision.
Just as I write them off, Westmeath get a penalty which was converted by Paul Bannon. Gallagher dives the wrong way. He could've stopped it. It wasn't a great penalty.
Substitute Smith knocks one over to increase their lead. Then Brian Smith pops over another free to put Louth four points ahead. It's been fifty years since Louth last got to a Leinster final. I would be astonished if they don't break that duck today.
Shane Lennon is down injured after colliding with Padraig Smith (who came on at half time for Andy McDonnell) but the ref lets the game continue. In the meantime Westmeath get a point. The game should've been stopped, it looked like a head injury. Lennon's fine now.
Brian White scores once again for Louth. Do all their points come from midfield?
Good start for Westmeath in the second half, as Paul Greville pops one over from 35 yards.
There was nearly five minutes of injury time because of the horrific injury to Derek Heavin. Louth have completely dominated but haven't made enough of that domination, and are only a goal ahead. Poor game. "It's a jedward game. There's an awful lot of naivety on display, but very little in the way of quality." Either of these teams could be in for a hammering against Meath in the final.
Ray Finnegan made a great run, and laid it off to Shane Lennon who had the ball taken off him. "It's an interesting game," said Marty Morrissey. Interesting being a code word for 'crap'.
So far it has been very poor. Its extremely ant-climatic after the excitement we got in the Meath-Dublin match. Empty stadium doesn't help, well done GAA. Louth have been the better team but should be more than three ahead.
Shane Lennon is tormenting Donal O'Donoghue here. He's won almost every ball that's come near him. This one ends with a point. A goal looked on, but the point was the safer option and Louth lead by two again.
Dessie Dolan hits Westmeath's first wide of the game. We had gone eight minutes without a point, until Denis Glennon put the ball over the bar.
It has been confrimed that the injury is "very very serious, and he'll be out for a long time." Not a nice thing to see.
Derek Heavin suffers an knee injury, and will have to be replaced by John Smyth. Very long delay, he looks like a serious one. He has to be brought off on a buggy.
Adrian Reid makes a great run, before popping the ball over for Louth's sixth point.
It makes sense for the stadium to be almost empty. The entire population of Westmeath (79,000) would fit into Croke Park. The population of Louth isn't too much larger (110,000).
Louth get their third wide of the match. For all of their domination in the first quarter of an hour, there is only two points between the two sides. The last Westmeath point was scored by Ger Egan.
Louth hit the post for the second time of the match. Shane Lennon this time.
Dessie Dolan gets a couple of nice point to reduce the deficit. You feel a lot will depend on him, if Westmeath are to do well. They missed him during the league when they lost every game. Paddy Keenan puts the ball over for Louth. A goal was on.
Another exceptional point for a free by Brian White. Westmeath would want to get their finger out.
Omens look bad for Westmeath. They are three points down after only six minutes. Latest Louth scorer was Shane Lennon.
Paddy Keenan adds a second for Louth. The two midfielders are at it already.
Game kicks off. Weird atmosphere in the almost-empty stadium. Point by Brian White from a free.
Both Pat Spillane and Joe Brolly are going for Louth. Everyone at JOE is too. Sixteen years since they've last met in the Leinster Championship strangely.
Westmeath, who lost every game in Division 2 of the League this year, are marginal favourites, so the bookmakers clearly believe Louth's exceptional performance against Kildare a few weeks back was a flash in the pan.
Here's a look at the teams.
Louth: N Gallagher; E McAuley, D Finnegan, R Greene; R Finnegan, M Fanning, J O'Brien; P Keenan, B White; A McDonnell, M Brennan, A Reid; C Judge, S Lennon, JP Rooney.
Westmeath: G Connaughton; F Boyle, D O'Donoghue, K Maguire; M Ennis, K Martin, D Harte; P Bannon, D Duffy; D Heavin, C Lynam, G Egan; P Greville, D Dolan, D Glennon.