Kildare got off to a flying start and led by 0-4 to nil after 11 minutes. However, the home side rallied and drew level by the 28th minute, before going in at the break leading by 0-6 to 0-4.
The sides were level at 0-8 each with 10 minutes remaining, in what was a disappointing game for the approximate attendance of 2,000.
Then in the final 10 minutes, Kildare’s chief scorer Fionn Dowling scored three points, the third of these from a debatable penalty, harshly awarded in the 67th minute.
A fine point by substitute Emmet Bolton sealed the victory for Kildare, who now progress to face Louth in the final.
Scorers for Kildare: F Dowling 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 pen), D Whyte (0-3, 0-1, 0-1 ‘45), A Smith, M Foley, E Bolton (0-1) each.
Scorers for Westmeath: D Glennon (0-5f), A Giles, P Tormey (0-1f), G Egan (0-1) each.
KILDARE: S Connolly; H McGrillen, C Fitzpatrick, M Scanlon; E Callaghan, T O’Neill, D Whyte; M Foley, P O’Neill; T Moolick, A Smith, F Dowling; R Walsh, W Heffernan, M O’Sullivan.
Subs: K Cribbin for M O’Sullivan (33), E Bolton for R Walsh (half-time), B Flanagan for M Scanlon (half-time), K Ennis for W Heffernan (43), H Lynch for T Moolick (57).
WESTMEATH: D Quinn; R Doyle, R English, J Gaffey; M Curley, A Finnan, D Harte; B Murtagh, N Kilcoyne; A Giles, David Glennon, G Egan; P Tormey, Denis Glennon, S Quinn.
Subs: D Dolan for P Tormey (46), J Dolan for M Curley (57), F Wilson for A Giles (63), J Connellan for David Glennon (63), D Daly for N Kilcoyne (67).
Referee: Brian Ó Sé (Dublin).