Both sides had won their opening matches, Westmeath defeating Carlow, and Antrim beating Laois, but it was the Lake County who sailed to a surprising 17-point victory on this occasion.
Antrim were not helped by an early injury to corner back Arron McGraffin but Westmeath played with great determination, tenacity and spirit and led by 0-10 to 0-2 after 30 minutes.
A fine goal by Alan Devine helped Westmeath to a 1-13 to 0-2 half time lead. A very disappointing Antrim side had very little to offer and never threatened a comeback, and Westmeath, with Niall O’Brien, Derek McNicholas, Robbie Greville and Alan Devine all impressing in attack, and Aonghus Clarke and Shane Power excelling in defence, cruised to a surprisingly easy victory.
Westmeath face Laois in their final group game hoping to advance to the Championship proper.
N O’Brien 0-8 (0-5 frees), A. Devine 1-3, R. Greville 0-4, D. McNicholas 0-3 (0-1 sideline ball), C. Boyle 0-2, B. Murtagh 0-1.
P. Shiels 0-2 (0-1 free), C. Clarke 0-2 frees, Ciaran Johnson 0-2, E. Campbell 0-1.
S. McGovern; S. Power, T. Doyle, A. McGrath; A. Craig, A. Clarke, G. Greville; C. Boyle, R. Greville; N. O’Brien, D. McNicholas, E. Price; A. Devine, B. Murtagh, D. Clinton.
E. Corrigan for D. Clinton (54 ), J. Clarke for A. McGrath (55 ), J. Boyle for D. McNicholas (58 ), L. Varley for G. Greville (61 ), M. Daly for B. Murtagh (63 ).
C. O’Connell; R. Cambridge, N. McAuley, A. Graffin; J. Dillon, C. McKinley, S. McCrory; N. McManus, M. Bradley; O. McFadden, P. Shiels, E. Campbell; C. Clarke, D. McClean, C. Johnson.
D. McKiernan for A. Graffin (injured, 4), C. Carson for D. McClean (23), Ciaran Johnson for E. Campbell (half time), T. McCann for N. McManus (51), M. Donnelly for C. Clarke (60 ).
Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).