Racing into a commanding position when skipper Ger Egan converted a penalty on the quarter-hour, they were never in any serious danger despite Limerick mounting brave rallies.
With two defeats out of two, the home side have it all to do if they’re to make an immediate return to Division Three as they struggled once again to contain physically superior opponents.
Westmeath made early use of the wind as Egan, Paul Sharry and David Lynch’s ‘45’ put them ahead before Brian Fanning got Limerick off the mark.
However, the home side were struggling to cope with Westmeath’s running game which led Egan to convert a penalty after James Dolan was pulled down before John Egan stretched the gap to six.
Limerick picked it up as the pressure on their defence eased off and, following Ger Egan’s reply to Darragh Tracey, pulled themselves back into contention as Jamie Lee sent over frees either side of Danny Neville.
However, they weren’t getting the shot in quick enough and, after David Bryan saved off Lee, the Midlanders hit back through Sharry, Ger Egan and Kieran Martin before Lee’s third free left his side trailing 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time.
Egan and John Heslin’s free increased Westmeath’s lead on the restart as did another Heslin free. However, Limerick again found a second wind with Lee’s free and Brian Donovan’s follow-up and, after Heslin responded, the gap was back to four as Seán McSweeney’s free was followed by a pair from Séamus O’Carroll.
That was as close as they got. As Kelvin Reilly stuck the post, Johnny McCarthy picked up a second yellow and efforts from Heslin, Luke Loughlin, Shane Dempsey and Denis Glennon sealed the win for Westmeath.
G Egan1-4 (1-0 p), J Heslin 0-5 (3f), P Sharry (1 ‘45’), K Martin 0-2 each, D Lynch (‘45’), J Egan, L Loughlin, S Dempsey, D Glennon 0-1 each
J Lee 0-4 (4f), D Tracey, S O’Carroll 0-2 each, B Fanning, D Neville, B Donovan, S McSweeney (f) 0-1 each.
D Bryan; J Gonoud, K Maguire, M McCallon; J Dolan, F Boyle, D Lynch; P Holloway, G Egan; J Egan, P Sharry, D Corroon; K Martin, J Heslin, K Reilly.
A Gaughan for D Corroon (30m), S Corcoran for K Maguire (ht), L Loughlin for J Egan (46m), D Glennon for A Gaughan (58m), C Boyle for K Reilly (67m), S Dempsey for L Loughlin.
D O’Sullivan; G Noonan, J McCarthy, S O’Dea; P White, I Corbett, C Fahy; D Tracey, B Fanning; S McSweeney, G Collins, D Neville; B Donovan, S O’Carroll, J Lee.
P Nash for S McSweeney (50m), C Sheehan for G Collins (50m), ), J Naughton for J Lee (61m), P Quinn for G Noonan (67m), P Scanlon for D Neville (69m).
J Bermingham (Cork).
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