Dolan brace the difference
James Dolan's brace of goals from wing-back made the difference as Westmeath overcame spirited 14-man at Netwatch Cullen Park.
Westmeath 2-15 Carlow 1-15
Dolan struck early and late, his first goal arriving in the fifth minute and his second in the dying minutes when he pounced on a defensive slip.
The accuracy of Paul Broderick kept Carlow in the game, along with Darragh Foley's fine five-point haul.
Carlow lost star midfielder Brendan Murphy to a second yellow card just before the break - when Westmeath led 1-8 to 0-9, but Broderick goaled in the 39th minute to cut the gap to 1-9 to 1-8.
Carlow took the lead with a superb Alan Kelly point on 53 minutes
Westmeath, mainly through free-takers Luke Loughlin and Ger Egan, got back in front. The game remained on a knife-edge until Dolan's second goal gave Westmeath a four-point lead.
Scorers - Westmeath: J Dolan 2-0, L Loughlin 0-5 (4f)s, G Egan 0-4 (3fs), T McDaniel 0-2, D McNicholas, C McCormack, J Egan, S Corcoran 0-1 each. Carlow: P Broderick 1-5 (0-4fs), D Foley 0-5 (2fs), E Ruth, A Kelly 0-2 each, D O'Brien 0-1.
Westmeath - D Quinn; J Rock, K Maguire, J Gonoud; J Dolan, K Martin, J Marshment; A Gaughan, D McNicholas; D Lynch, D Glennon, J Egan; L Loughlin, T McDaniel, G Egan. Subs: P Holloway for McNicholas (20); S Corcoran for Marshment (h/t); K Reilly for Martin (46); D Coroon for Holloway (55); S Dempsey for McDaniel (60); B Sayeh for J Egan (64); A Stone for Loughlin (69); K Smullen for Rock (70); N Mulligan for Dolan (70).
Carlow - C Kearney; C Crowley, H Gahan, K Nolan; S Murphy, J Murphy, G Kelly; B Murphy, E Ruth; A Kelly, D Foley, S O'Neill; D O'Brien, P Broderick, G Power. Subs: D Moran for J Murphy (h-t); M Ware for O'Neill (h/t); M Rennick for S Murphy (h-t); S Clarke for O'Brien (60); C McCabe for Power (60); J Clarke for Crowley (65); D Lunney for A Kelly (65).
Ref - D Moore (Laois).