Westmeath led from start to finish as they defeated Wexford 2-15 to 1-14 in Croke Park to advance to a Leinster Senior Football Championship decider against Laois.
Dessie Dolan was once again Westmeath's top marksman, scoring 1-8 in total. Five of those points had helped his side on their way to 0-9 to 0-4 half-time lead.
Westmeath raced into an early three-point lead, but were guilty of profligacy on occasions as they missed gilt-edged opportunities to leave Wexford further adrift.
The Model County were in serious trouble. Star-man Mattie Forde was well marshalled by the Westmeath defence (although he still managed to rack up a personal tally of 0-08, four of which came from frees) and Páidí Ó Sé’s men looked likely to cruise through this match to the final.
However, Wexford emerged rejuvenated after the break and Mattie Forde's sharp-shooting (he totalled 0-08) brought them back into contention.
But Wexford could get only narrow the gap to three points and in a frenetic final quarter Shane Colleary and Dolan scored a goal each for Westmeath in the 57th and 64th minutes respectively.
Jason Lawlor notched a goal for the Model men in the 67th minute, however, by then the game was over as a contest. Forde completed Wexford's miserable day when he saw red in the last minute of normal time for his second bookable offense.
For the draw for round two of the football qualifiers, click on link below: