Michael Ryan bemoans Westmeath's performance and "crazy" sending off

They were beaten by Kerry in the Leinster hurling championship round-robin series

Michael Ryan

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Dylan McIlwaine

Westmeath hurling manager Michael Ryan says he was stunned by his team's performance against Kerry during their Leinster hurling championship round-robin clash in Mullingar.

The visitors were two-point winners, but were aided by a disappointing performance from Westmeath, who were reduced to 14 men in the opening half of the game.

With just 15 minutes on the clock, forward Niall O’Brien picked up a second yellow and left Ryan's side with a mountain to climb. 

"We're very disappointed," he told Midlands Sport after the game.

"I don't know what to make of it. We came into this game with such high hopes, but at the end of the day the first thing we have to say is that we didn't play well enough.

"We made a number of mistakes over the course of the game and our hurling was disappointing. Then you had the huge point of the sending off in the first half. 

"That was a major setback. It was actually crazy what happened."

Ryan lamented the performance and said despite the sending off, his team didn't stick to the basics.

"Patches of the game were good. In the last 15 minutes we played well and could have snatched it. 

"We know what the boys are capable of, but they just didn't show it. In the first half we missed four or five gilt-edged chances for points. 

"We had the chance to be within three or four points in the first half and we missed it."

We added: "It can come down to decision-making. Some of our decision-making wasn't good enough and some of the basics, like a pick-up or touch, just wasn't good enough."