Westmeath’s place in the final was secured regardless of their result at the home of the Dolmen County but there was no lack of endeavour on their part, with Brendan Murtagh’s goal giving them a 1-9 to 0-8 interval lead. James Doyle and Marty Kavanagh were in superb form after half time however and it was the latter who equalised with a magnificent score after 57 minutes. The next four points were shared before Seamus Murphy and Marty Kavanagh pointed to give Carlow a 0-20 to 1-15 win.
It was a win they needed as London kept the pressure on with a 1-21 to 1-19 win over Antrim at Ruislip, ensuring that pre-season favourites Antrim ended the campaign in fourth.
Kildare were the other big winners in the division as first half goals from Jonathan Byrne and Martin Fitzgerald helped them to a 2-18 to 1-16 win over Derry at Newbridge, a result that condemns the Oak Leaf county to relegation.
Either Armagh or Down will replace their Ulster rivals in division 2A next year after they each secured wins to set up a promotion final next Saturday.
Armagh were always in control against Mayo but could only rest easy when Declan Coulter goaled with 15 minutes to play in a 1-17 to 1-10 victory, while Conor Mageean and Rian Brannigan goals powered Down to a 2-17 to 1-14 win over Meath at Ballycran.
Wicklow’s 2-27 to 0-17 win over Donegal sent out a strong signal in advance of a relegation final between the same two counties, while Roscommon’s 4-13 to 1-14 win over Tyrone at Athleague means that Roscommon and Monaghan will contest the 3A final.