Manager Tom McLean is proud as Derry go down fighting
Westmeath 2-11 Derry 0-13
Derry succumbed to their second defeat of the season as they lost 2-11 to 0-13 to Westmeath at a windswept Cusack Stadium.
Facing a fierce wind for most of the first-half, the visitors excelled defensively to restrict their hosts to just six points.
However, two crucial goals, both of which came from quick counters, proved decisive for the Lake County who now boast two wins from two games at the top of Division 2A.
Oak Leafs manager Tom McLean was proud of his side's effort but said: "It's really disappointing. When you come down to Westmeath and work as hard as we did and kept their score down in the first-half, you think that you're in with a chance.
"We all worked really hard to get ourselves back into the game but the two goals killed us off."
The Oak Leafs were 0-6 to 0-2 down at the break and that was a testament to a superb first-half display of athleticism and heart, particularly at the back.
Jonny O'Dwyer smashed over Derry's first point from close to the sidelines into that treacherous wind in the 11th minute.
Westmeath enjoyed a confident opening and were 0-4 to no score by the eighth minute and stretched their lead to 0-6 to a point by the 31st minute.
However, Derry had the last say of the opening half when Ruairi Convery's free left the OakLeafers four behind. With that relentless wind now in their favour, Derry reduced the deficit to two by the 43rd minute through Mark McGuigan and Convery.
However, Westmeath countered clinically and scored the first goal when Alan Devine drilled home from close range.
That gave Westmeath a five-point lead in the 47th minute.
Derry hit five unanswered points in play, with Mark McGuigan, O'Dwyer, Paddy Kelly and Gareth O'Kane all dissecting the posts. All that hard work was undone, however, by Westmeath's second goal in the 55th minute.
Points from Convery and Paul Cleary left Derry just two behind, but the home side proved a tough nut to crack at the back.
Another quality free from Convery left Derry trailing 2-09 to 0-13 in the 63rd minute.
But as the visitors went for broke, they left huge areas of space at the back which saw the home side take advantage.
Scorers: Westmeath: Alan Devine 1-1, Derek McNicholas 1-1, Killian Doyle 0-2, Liam Vardy 0-2, Brendan Murtagh 0-2f, Cormac Boyle 0-1, Aonghus Clarke 0-1, Eoin Price 0-1. Derry: Ruairi Convery 0-6f, Johnny O'Dwyer 0-2, Mark McGuigan 0-2, Gareth O'Kane 0-1, Paul Cleary 0-1, Paddy Kelly 0-1
Westmeath: Paddy Maloney, Shane Power, Tommy Doyle, Kieran Duncan, Aaron Craig, Gary Greville, Alan McGrath, Aonghus Clarke , Cormac Boyle, Liam Varley, Brendan Murtagh, Derek McNicholas, Alan Devine, Robbie Greville, Niall Dowdall. Subs: Ciaran Doyle for B Murtagh (48), Tommy Gallagher for K Duncan (68)
Derry: Darrell McDermott, Eugene McGuckin, Conor McSorley, Sean McCullagh, Darragh McCloskey, Paddy Kelly, Meehaul McGrath, Oisin McCloskey, Tiernan McCloskey, Jonathan O'Dwyer, Mark McGuigan, Gareth O'Kane, Shane Farren, Ruairi Convery, Alan Grant. Subs: Paul Cleary for D McCloskey (8), Thomas Magee for G O'Kane (58), Niall Farren for C McSorley (63), Micky Conway for A Grant 67), Deaglan Foley for M McGuigan (68)
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)