The home side started brightly, James Doyle winning a free which was converted by wing-forward Luke Doyle. Laois failed to build on that, however, and Westmeath punished them with three points on the trot, all from placed balls, with Conor Lynam (2) and Ian Coffey on target.
Laois grabbed a point from Kieran Lillis, but Westmeath built up a three-point lead before winning a penalty when wing-back James Dolan was fouled. Coffey tucked away the resulting spot kick. Westmeath led 1-6 to 0-3 at the break.
Kieran Lillis tried to inspire his side with a point after a charging run from the throw-in, but Westmeath points from James Dolan, Tommy McDaniel and Kieran Sheridan meant a late goal from Barry Kelly was merely a consolation.
Scorers for Laois: Barry Kelly 1-0, Kieran Lillis 0-2, Ciaran Farrell, Luke Doyle (f), Gary Walsh (f) 0-1 each. Scorers for Westmeath: Conor Lynam 0-5 (3f), Ian Coffey 1-1 (1-0pen, 0-1f), Tommy McDaniel 0-3, Adam Corroon, James Dolan 0-2 each, Kieran Sheridan, Callum McCormack 0-1 each
J Dunphy; A Whelan, C Booth, S George; S Murphy, C Farrell, J Nerney; D Kingston, K Lillis; L Doyle, S Nerney, B Kelly; J Doyle, D Hayden, G Walsh. Subs: K Campion for George (20), B Mitchell for J Nerney (25), J Farrell for S Nerney (ht), R O’Connor for J Doyle (ht), J Finn for Hayden(42)
E Carberry; B Moran, K Sheridan, K Maguire; M McCallum, K Martin, J Dolan; D Keenan, D Daly; A Corroon, C Lynam, G Egan; I Coffey, C McCormack, T McDaniel. Subs: D Malynn for Corroon (50), S Flanagan for Keenan (52), J Gilligan for Daly (58), D Gavin for Martin (60)
Ref: Brian O’Shea (Dublin)