Kildare maintained their Division 2 Allianz Football League safety with a five-point victory over Westmeath at St Conleth's Park.

The home side were never really threatened and while they never found top gear, Jack O’Connor’s men were comfortable 0-16 to 0-11 victors in the end.

Despite the loss Westmeath will also take their place in Division 2 in 2021.

Kildare needed a win to fend off relegation worries and they started on top with two quick-fire points from the boots of Jimmy Hyland and Aaron Masterson.

It was a margin that should have been far greater for the Lilywhites as they kicked four wides during that early period, and Westmeath soon made them pay with John Heslin and Jack Smith bringing the sides level before a fine effort from Ronan O'Toole had the Lakesiders ahead at the first water break.

Full-back Mick O’Grady got forward to kick Kildare level a couple of minutes later and from that point on O’Connor’s side really kicked on with Hyland, Ben McCormack, Kevin Feely and Darragh Kirwan all finding the target.

Westmeath responded via O’Toole and Heslin as the home side went in 0-08 to 0-05 ahead at the break.

The second half never really came to life and after Westmeath’s Luke Loughlin and Ger Egan swapped efforts with O’Grady and Hyland, Kildare practically settled the result with well-worked scores from Hyland and sub Neil Flynn.

Kildare led 0-12 to 0-07 as a result, but with ten minutes to go on the clock Westmeath were very much in the hunt again with Heslin and Egan reducing the deficit to just two points.

Kildare's Ben McCormack takes a mark ay St Conleth's Park

Kildare would have had flashbacks to a week previous when Cavan almost caught them late on, but unlike on that occasion the Lilywhites rallied with Flynn, Hyland and Paul Cribbin all scoring.

Sam Duncan kicked a late consolation score in stoppage time for Westmeath but by that stage everything was already settled as Kildare claimed victory on a 0-16 to 0-11 scoreline.

Kildare: Mark Donnellan, Eoin Doyle, Mick O’Grady (0-02), Mark Dempsey, Shea Ryan, Con Kavanagh, Kevin Flynn, Kevin Feely (0-01, 0-01m), Aaron Masterson (0-01), Fergal Conway, Paddy Brophy, David Hyland, Ben McCormack (0-01), Darragh Kirwan (0-02, 0-01m), Jimmy Hyland (0-05, 0-02fs).

Subs: Darragh Malone for E Doyle (16mins), Paul Cribbin (0-01) for F Conway (50mins), Neil Flynn (0-03, 0-03fs) for B McCormack (50mins), Liam Power for K Flynn (51mins), Luke Flynn for P Brophy (65mins).

Westmeath: Jason Daly, Jack Smith (0-01), Ronan Wallace, Boidu Sayeh, Jamie Gonoud, Kevin Maguire, James Dolan, Ray Connellan, Sam Duncan (0-01), Luke Loughlin (0-01), Ronan O’Toole (0-02), Paddy Holloway, Ger Egan (0-02), John Heslin (0-04, 0-02fs), Kieran Martin.

Subs: Killian Daly for P Holloway (32mins), Brandon Kelly for K Daly (65mins), Lorcan Dolan for G Egan (71mins), Alex Gardiner for R O’Toole (71mins).

Referee: Ciaran Brannigan (Down).