Westmeath finished with 12 men but still managed to hold on for victory over Limerick at Newcastlewest yesterday.
Brendan Murtagh, Paul Greville and Dessie Dolan were all sent off on two yellow cards, but with all three receiving their marching orders in the closing stages, the dismissals did not affect the result.
Midfielder Murtagh was sent off in the 62nd minute, Greville was dismissed with a few minutes of normal time left, while Dolan was given a second yellow in the fifth minute of injury-time.
The victory keeps Westmeath's promotion hopes alive, although their remaining game is a tough assignment against midland rivals Offaly, who are joint top of the table. On the other hand, this defeat leaves Limerick in real danger of dropping back to Division 4.
Aided by a strong wind in the first half, Westmeath led 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time. Limerick had plenty of possession in the opening period, but they were very wasteful in front of goal, hitting eight wides.
With Dessie Dolan influential, Westmeath opened up a four-point lead with just over 15 minutes left. And despite substitutes Eoghan O'Connor and James Kelly giving Limerick a lift, a more economical Westmeath side did enough.
Man of the Match: Dessie Dolan
SCORERS -- Westmeath: D Dolan 0-6 (5f), C Lynam, P Sharry, D Corroon 0-2 each, D Glennon, P Greville (f) 0-1 each. Limerick: G Collins 0-8 (7f), T Lee, S Buckley, J Kelly, J Riordan 0-1 each.
WESTMEATH -- G Connaughton 7; F Boyle 7, K Gavin 6, J Gaffey 7; G Egan 7, A Finnan 6, D Harte 8; B Murtagh 7, D Corroon 7; P Sharry 7, David Glennon 6, C Lynam 7; P Greville 6, D Dolan 8, Denis Glennon 6. Subs: D Daly for David Glennon (66), S Quinn for Lynam (69).
LIMERICK -- B Scanlon 7; M Riordan 6, S Gallagher 7, S Lavin 6; J Riordan 6, J McCarthy 8, P Ranahan 6; T Lee 7, J Galvin 7; S Kelly 7, E Joy 6, S Buckley 7; I Ryan 6, J Mullane 6, G Collins 7. Subs: E O'Connor 7 for Mullane (45), S Lucey 6 for J Riordan (51), J Kelly 7 for Joy (54).
REF -- B Tyrell (Tipperary).