A fine point deep into added-time from Paddy Fagan - the best player on show - earned Westmeath a deserved draw against Offaly in an entertaining encounter at St Loman's Lakepoint Park, Mullingar.
The lead changed hands regularly and both management teams took the opportunity to field a mixture of some tried and tested players alongside inexperienced newcomers.
The experimental rules had no huge impact on the game, with both teams adapting well and making particularly good use of the altered 'mark' rule.
The teams shared just three wides (two of them by the home side) in a hard-fought first-half. Fagan's incisive running helped him to kick two lovely points from play for the Lake County, but with Bernard Allen and Shane Tierney both accurate from placed balls, the Faithful County men deserved their interval lead of 0-6 to 0-4.
Both of the Westmeath subs introduced on the change of ends - Ger Egan and Ronan O'Toole - had very influential roles in the second-half, with O'Toole kicking three points, including two from open play.
However, it looked like Tierney's fourth successful free of the afternoon in the 68th minute had nudged Offaly over the line until the energetic Egan teed up Fagan for a last-gasp equaliser.
Scorers: Westmeath: P Fagan 0-4, R O'Toole 0-3 (1f), K Martin 0-2 (1f), J Maxwell, G Egan (f) 0-1 each. Offaly: B Allen 0-5 (3f), S Tierney 0-4 (4f), N Darby, A Sullivan 0-1 each.
Westmeath - E Carberry; N O'Reilly, R Wallace, K Daly; S Duncan, K Martin, D Lynch; S Flanagan, N Mulligan; A McGivney, C McCormack, P Fagan; J Maxwell, J Halligan, T McDaniel. Subs: G Egan for McGivney (h-t), R O'Toole for McDaniel (h-t), G Leech for McCormack (44), D Giles for Maxwell (45), S Pettit for Flanagan (51), B Sayeh for Daly (69), N Cully for Mulligan (70).
Offaly - B Rohan; D Hogan, D Dempsey, E Rigney; C Donohoe, P McConway, J O'Connor; C Mangan, A Leavy; N Bracken, A Sullivan, N Darby; B Allen, J Moloney, S Tierney. Subs: M Abbott for Bracken (51), C Horan for Mangan (51), K Higgins for Leavy (60), C Carroll for Sullivan (70).
Ref - D Fedigan (Louth).