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Derry on up thanks to Kielt penalties

Derry secured promotion to Division One with a comprehensive win over a much-changed Westmeath side at Celtic Park.

After three years in Division Two victory ensured that Derry topped the league, an added boost at the end of a successful league campaign.

Two superbly taken penalties by James Kielt, one in either half, were the key scores for the Oak Leafers.

With the first half in stoppage time, sub Benny Heron was pulled down and Kielt dispatched the penalty to the top corner to send Derry in 1-6 to 0-3 ahead.

Hopes of a Westmeath revival came through a brilliant goal from centre-back Paul Sharry.

But no sooner had it nestled in the net than Derry were on the counter and Kielt was needlessly bundled over by keeper Eoin Carberry, resulting in a second penalty for the home side. Kielt went to the other side, and again Carberry guessed right, but the Kilrea man's spot-kick was inch-perfect into the top left hand corner.

The result saw Derry finish as the highest scorers in the country through the National League and sends them into the Croke Park decider as favourites, though Westmeath's side will look a lot different on April 28.

Derry: E McNicholl; A McAlynn (0-1), C McKaigue (0-1), M Bateson; C Kielt (0-1), G O'Kane, SL McGoldrick; P Bradley, R Bell (0-2); D Heavron, J Kielt (2-1, 2-0pens), E Lynn (0-1); R Wilkinson (0-1), E Bradley (0-5, 0-2f), L Kennedy (0-3, 0-1f). Subs: B Heron for Bateson (34), C Devlin (0-1) for Kennedy (48), E McGuckin for Wilkinson (60), G Mallon for P Bradley (61), B McCallion for O'Kane (64)

Westmeath: E Carberry; J Gaffey, M McCallon, K Maguire; D Dolan, P Sharry (1-0), D Harte; D Duffy, D Daly; D Mullan, P Bannon, D Corroon (0-1); R Foley, L Smyth, D Dolan (0-3, 0-2f). Subs: G Egan for Mullan (52), K Martin (0-1) for Bannon (52), C McCormack for Foley (52), P Sheridan for Corroon (61), C Curley for Dolan (66)

Referee: C Brannigan (Down).

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