Derry safe as Down face play-off
Derry hurlers retained their Division 2A status as they defeated Kerry as relegation threatened Down were beaten by Westmeath at Newry.
The Oak Leafers led 0-9 to 1-2 at half-time at Celtic Park and with Kevin Hinphey and Paddy Henry among the scorers, held on to win 0-15 to 1-7.
Danny Toner and Conor Mageean scored Down's goals as they were edged out 3-21 to 2-20 by Westmeath at Newry.
Even victory would have not prevented Down from facing a relegation play-off.
The Mourne County will play Wicklow in the play-off in a game which is expected to take place in two weeks.
Paul Braniff's impressive display in open play after his move from full-forward to centre half-forward will give manager Gerard Monan hope for the game against Wicklow.
Braniff also produced some accurate free-taking for the Mourne county.
Down struggled early on as Westmeath moved into a 0-8 to 0-3 lead.
However, Toner's goal helped Down draw level at 1-9 to 0-12 by the interval.
Westmeath regained the lead when Dan Carthy smashed in a goal just after the break but Down responded with four unanswered points to lead 1-15 to 1-14.
Down moved ahead again as a brilliant catch by Donal Hughes set up a goal for Conal Mageean only for Niall O'Brien to rattle the net at the other end a minute later.
The sides were level at 2-19 apiece with a couple of minutes left but Eoin Price's goal helped Westmeath edge the verdict.