The Lake County had not tasted a league victory since the 2008 Division 2 decider against Dublin and Pat Flanagan’s charges did it the hard way too, coming from five points down to secure this win with a last minute goal from Paul Greville.
Tipp led 2-9 to 0-10 after 56 minutes and appeared on course for a second win from three outings. But Westmeath clawed their way back when Tipp goalscorer George Hannigan turned villain with a foul on visiting corner-back John Gaffey. David Glennon slotted home the penalty before further points from Westmeath’s Francis Boyle and Glennon tied the scores at 1-12 to 2-9.
And in the 69th minute, Westmeath claimed victory when subs Denis Glennon and Conor Lynam set up Greville for a simple finish.
Goalkeeper Gary Connaughton also deserves a huge slice of credit for keeping Tipp at bay. He did concede a 22nd minute penalty for a foul on Barry Grogan, which the Tipp forward scored from, but he denied Brian Jones with a flying save in the first half.
And five minutes after the restart, Connaughton did well to keep out Timmy Dalton.
At half-time, the sides were level at 0-6 to 1-3.
Scorers for Tipperary: B Grogan 1-5 (1-0 pen, 3f, 1 45), G Hannigan 1-0, T Dalton, P Austin, B Fox & B Mulvihill 0-1 each.
Scorers for Westmeath: P Greville 1-3 (0-2f), David Glennon 1-1 (1-0 pen), D Dolan 0-3 (2f), F Wilson 0-2, F Boyle, S Quinn & D Corroon 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald; C McDonald, P Codd, A Morrissey; C Aylward, L Egan, N Curran; S Grogan, B Jones; B Fox, G Hannigan, B Mulvihill; T Dalton, P Austin, B Grogan.
Subs: C Sweeney for Dalton (42), C McGrath for Codd (55), P Acheson for Mulvihill (57), B Coen for Hannigan (63).
WESTMEATH: G Connaughton; F Boyle, K Gavin, J Gaffey; M Curley, A Finnan, D Harte; D Duffy, B Murtagh; F Wilson, D Corroon, S Quinn; D Dolan, David Glennon, P Greville.
Subs: G Egan for Quinn (46), P Sharry for Wilson (46), Denis Glennon for Dolan (50), C Lynam for Murtagh (56), K Martin for Finnan (65).
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry).