Jerome Johnstone’s last-gasp free from a mark saw Down to a one point victory, 0-10 to 0-9 over Westmeath in Newry.
The hosts were reduced to 14-men when full-forward Pat Tavern was shown red following an incident with visiting goalkeeper Eoin Carberry 12 minutes from the break.
Down goalkeeper Rory Burns having denied Ger Egan from the penalty spot in the 16th minute.
Ryan Johnston and Egan scored the only two points of the opening quarter with Westmeath leading 0-4 to 0-5 at half-time thanks to Ronan O’Toole’s injury-time strike.
Egan and Sam Duncan took turns to cancel out Ryan Johnston points when the action resumed. Egan restored Westmeath’s lead with six minutes left.
However late frees from Donal O’Hare and half-time replacement Jerome Johnston in the 68th and 73rd minutes saw Paddy Tally’s Down over the line.
Down: Rory Burns. Darren O’Hagan, Ruairi Wells, Gerard Collins. Stephen Fegan (C Maginn HT), Colm Flanagan, Johnny Flynn (Conor McGrady HT). Caolan Cooney, Conor Poland, Conor Francis (Daniel Guinness 35), Paul Devlin (Connaire Harrision HT (Jerome Johnstone 65)), Kevin McKernan, Ryan Johnston, Pat Havern, Donal O’Hare
Scorers: Donal O’Hare (0-04, 3f), Ryan Johnston (0-03), Kevin McKernan (0-01), Jerome Johnstone (0-01, 1m)
Westmeath: Eoin Carberry. James Dolan, Ronan Wallace, Boidu Sayeh, Noel Mulligan, Frank Boyle (David Lynch 65), Killian Daly. Denis Corroon (Joe Halligan 72), Sam Duncan (Finbar Coyne 54), Jamie Gonoud, Kieran Martin, Ronan O’Toole, Luke Loughlin, Tommy McDaniels (Callum McCormack 37), Ger Egan
Scorers: Ger Egan (0-03, 3f,), Sam Duncan (0-02), James Dolan Boidu Sayeh, Ronan O’Toole, Luke Loughlin all 0-01
Referee: David Gough (Meath)
Other Allianz League Results:
Mayo 1-13 0-11 Cavan
Kerry 1-18 2-14 Dublin
Fermanagh 0-08 0-06 Kildare