Leanne Slevin hit the net twice as Westmeath’s ability to score goals at crucial stages proved crucial as they defeated Tipperary by a flattering ten-point margin in their Lidl Division 1 clash at Kinnegad.
The win was Westmeath’s second in the competition and sees them jump ahead of Tipperary into sixth position in the final standings.
Aisling Moloney put wind-assisted Tipperary in front with a point directly from the throw-in and Orla O’Dwyer added another within a minute.
However, Westmeath settled and an unanswered 1-02 – the goal from a Slevin penalty in the seventh minute – put them three points to the good.
A great goal by Roisin Howard levelled the scoring at 1-03 apiece in the 12th minute and there was little to choose between the teams for the remainder of the first-half.
An opportunist goal by Kelly Boyce Jordan in added-time helped the home team to a 2-05 to 1-06 lead at the break.
A goal from O’Dwyer within two minutes of the resumption of play edged the visitors in front.
Westmeath regained the lead with a point each from Anna Jones and Slevin before O’Dywer pounced again for her side’s third goal.
However, a rapid-fire brace of goals from Slevin and Vicky Carr respectively put the Lake County girls firmly in control by the end of the third quarter.
Westmeath lost influential midfielder Jo-Hanna Maher to the sin bin in the 43rd minute, but their fifth goal – a classy finish from close range by substitute Annie Dolan in the 53rd minute – removed any lingering doubt about the outcome.
Scorers – Westmeath: L Slevin 2-4 (1-0 pen, 3f), A Dolan 1-2, V Carr 1-1, K Boyce Jordan 1-0, S Dolan 0-2 (1f), K Hegarty 0-1, A Jones 0-1, J Maher 0-1.
Tipperary: O O’Dwyer 2-2, R Howard 1-0, A Moloney 0-3 (1f), R Daly 0-2, S Everard 0-1.
Westmeath: L McCormack; R Dillon, J Rogers, F Coyle; L Brennan, F Claffey, K McDermott; A Jones, J Maher; N Feery, L Slevin, K Boyce Jordan; K Hegarty, V Carr, M Brick.
Subs: MA Foley for Hegarty (38), A Dolan for Brick (44), S Dolan for Feery (53), C Kelly for Slevin (56), J Hennessy for Carr (58).
Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; R McGrath, M Curley, E Cronin; R Daly, S Lambert, C Maher; O O’Dwyer, E Fitzpatrick; C Lonergan, A Moloney, L Dillon; R Howard, A Carey, S Everard.
Subs: E Buckley for Lambert (h-t), K Cunningham for Everard (h-t), B Condon for Maher (33), C Condon for Dillon (38), R O’Donnell for Curley (46), G Condon for McGrath (49), J Everard for Lonergan (49), M Lloyd for Fitzpatrick (49).
Referee: Gerry Carmody (Roscommon).