A wasteful Westmeath side have it all to do to gain promotion from Division 3 after unnecessarily dropping a point to Fermanagh in ideal conditions for football at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar.

The sides' respective marquee forwards – John Heslin (a free) and Sean Quigley traded early points.

Ronan O’Toole's point and another free Heslin free nudged Westmeath 0-03 to 0-01 ahead before Ryan Lyons halved the deficit with a fabulous point with the outside of his boot in the 12th minute.

Westmeath pounced for a well-taken goal two minutes later, David Lynch finding the net via the post after good approach work by Ray Connellan and Jonathan Lynam.

Sam McCartan increased the home team’s lead, but Fermanagh went on to score three unanswered points from the boots of Ciaran Corrigan, after which Westmeath’s Ronan O’Toole was black-carded, and Quigley. David Giles spurned a great goal chance at the other end.

Alex Gardiner and Quigley traded points, the latter from a free before the break, leaving Jack Cooney’s men ahead by 1-05 to 0-06 at half-time.

Gardiner was denied what looked a certain goal by Sean McNally seven minutes after play resumed, but the same player soon increased Westmeath’s lead with a well-taken point.

However, the home team only added one more point during the ensuing 22 minutes – Luke Loughlin’s score in the 55th minute – whereas Fermanagh tagged on five points to go ahead by 0-11 to 1-07.

These scores included a Quigley '45 and a Corrigan mark, and they also seemed to be denied another point from Quigley, which incensed their manager Kieran Donnelly so much that he picked up a yellow card.

A great free from Heslin and a fine score from play by O’Toole edged Westmeath in front by the 67th minute, but Quigley equalised on the 70-minute mark from a 45-metre free.

The same player missed from closer to the target, but the miss of the match came with time almost up when Heslin picked out Lynch, but he somehow fired the ball wide with the net gaping.

The referee was busy in the closing stages, issuing a second yellow as Ryan Jones saw red, and black cards to Sam McCartan and Richard O’Callaghan.

Westmeath: J Daly; J Smith, K Maguire, N Harte; D Giles, D Lynch (1-00), J Gonoud; S Duncan, J Lynam; R Connellan, R O’Toole (0-02), S McCartan (0-01); L Loughlin (0-01), J Heslin (0-03, all frees), A Gardiner (0-02). Subs: R Wallace for Giles (42), L Dolan for Gardiner (50), F Ayorinde for Duncan (55), K Martin for Lynam (63), TJ Cox for Loughlin (67).

Fermanagh: S McNally; R O’Callaghan, J Cassidy, L Flanagan; A Breen, J McMahon, R Lyons (0-01); R Jones, B Horan; C Corrigan (0-03, one ‘mark’), D McGurn (0-01), J Largo Ellis; G Jones (0-01), C Jones, S Quigley (0-06, three frees, one ‘45’). Subs: G McKenna for C Jones (58), D Leonard for G Jones (58).

Ref: T Murphy (Galway).