Cavan ace forward Aisling Gilsenan said that once the Breffni County settled they were always likely to secure their place in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship for 2023.

Geraldine Sheridan scored the vital goal in the second half, and despite 1-06 from the brilliant Sarah Dillon, Westmeath will return to Intermediate after this defeat at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

Westmeath were promoted last year and had held a 0-5 to 0-3 lead at half-time but they couldn't maintain their push in the second half and Gilsenan was delighted her team made amends after their last ditch defeat to Tipperary last time out.

"We made it hard for ourselves, probably, in the first half. We dug deep and thank God we got the win," said Gilsenan.

"We felt we should’ve got a win or maybe a draw at least (against Tipperary). Tipperary were just the better team on the day. We are happy with the win today.

"We were maybe forcing it and going for the goals (in the first half). The luck got us in the second half and it started going between the post, thank God.

"We start to panic and once you get the first score you get into it. Thankfully we did."

Both of these teams had lost all of their games in the group stages, with Westmeath suffering defeats to Kerry and Galway.

Cavan came out on the wrong sides of the results against Dublin, Mayo and Tipperary, with a late Emma Morrissey penalty dropping them into the relegation play-off.

And they were slow to get going with Westmeath running up a 0-4 to 0-0 advantage before Ciara Faulkner saved a penalty from Lauren McVeety.

Cavan had to wait 21 minutes for their first score which arrived courtesy of a Gilsenan free, and they only trailed by two at the interval.

Geraldine Sheridan got the all-important goal

By the fifth minute of the second half, Gilsenan and McVeety had scored to draw the sides level, and the momentum swung in Cavan’s favour.

Westmeath scored their goal in the 42nd minute when Dillon’s shot finished in the roof of the Cavan net.

But Cavan rallied again with Sheridan scoring her goal six minutes later sending Westmeath down to the Intermediate ranks.

"There had to be a winner, there had to be a loser," said Westmeath manager Michael Finneran.

"We are heartbroken; the girls are heartbroken. It’s going to be a tough dressing-room to go into. I’ve been beating the same drum all year. I’ll say the same thing again. I’m very proud of them.

"Any Westmeath supporter, all they can ask for is that they have a team that go out and give their best. Anyone here today would’ve seen they worked their socks off.

"They kicked 1-13 at the end of the day and probably deserving winners. We didn’t get enough attacks because we could hurt them when we got the ball up there.

"It’s a tough one to take, I’m devastated for the girls but they’ll bounce back."