An eventful Bord Na Mona O'Byrne Cup final eventually ended in a 4-13 to 1-13 win for Meath over Westmeath at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar.
Meath proved to be too strong following an entertaining encounter between the neighbours. A Donal Keogan goal ensured Meath hit the front, with the scores at 1-3 to 0-4 in the 20th minute, before man of the match Donal Lenihan added a second Meath goal moments later.
Meath were dealt a blow when Paddy Kennelly was dismissed for a second yellow card. Before the break, Callum McCormack did register a goal for Colin Kelly's team, but Meath still led at the turnaround by 2-7 to 1-7.
In the 41st minute, the excellent Lenihan, who finished with 2-8, clipped his second goal for the Royals. Eamon Wallace was also sent off for Meath with 10 minutes remaining, but Westmeath just could not land enough scores against the visitors, who grafted until the end.
Late on, substitute Daniel O'Neill fisted a fourth Meath goal to earn silverware and give them a pre championship boost ahead of their Leinster quarter-final meeting with Longford.
Last weekend, Westmeath found out their opponents for their own game at that stage, as Laois produced a wonderful revival to beat Wexford at Innovate Wexford Park.
That action packed encounter showed that Allianz Football League Division Four winners, Laois, have made good strides under John Sugrue.
The May 26 tussle in Bord Na Mona O'Connor Park between Laois and Westmeath should be a lively clash. While Westmeath were beaten by Meath, it did serve as good preparation ahead of that vital fixture for the Midlanders, who had offered signs of encouragement in Division Three during the spring.