Stephen Clynch in action for Meath during Saturday's Christy Ring Cup quarter-final victory against Kildare at Páirc Táilteann where the Kilmessan man gave an outstanding performance.
Meath 1-16, Kildare 0-16
Finally the Lilywhite jinx is broken. After a series of defeats Meath got the better of Kildare in the Christy Ring Cup at Páirc Táilteann on Saturday - when it was least expected.
Having defeated holders Kerry the previous week Kildare and their hardy band of travelling supporters had every right to be optimistic going into this game.
Meath, who couldn't buy a win over Kildare in recent times, simply had to win after letting a nine-point lead slip against Down.
Yet they had to plan without a number of regulars because of injuries and suspensions.
Stephen Clynch showed the way for the home side slotting over five textbook pointed frees and two more from play to apply the finishing touches to a fine afternoon's work.
Clynch's experience was invaluable in the closing stages although he was not the only Meath hero.
Damien Healy did particularly well at centre-back while James Kelly (pictured), Paddy Conneely and Colm O Mealoid were others to make an impression with their willingness to graft.
As well as Clynch, James Toher, with a fine first-half effort, Stephen Morris, Kelly, Noel Kirby and Peter Durnin also contributed to the hefty scoreline.
Then there was the only goal of the game that, in the end, was to prove so crucial. It arrived on 26 minutes with Conneely displaying a sharp awareness to hold off two opponents and off-load to Kelly.
The young Kiltale player set off on a pacy run that brought him within 20 metres of the Kildare goals. A safer option would have been a point, it certainly wasn't a clear-cut goal opportunity.
He went for broke and came up trumps firing the ball to the corner of the net for a score that provoked a big cheer from the home support in the attendance of about 300.
The score was a welcome boost to the home cause as Kildare, sustained by the free-taking of Paul Divilly, Conor Kenny, David Harney and John Enright, were in the midst of a purple patch.
The most that was between the sides at any stage was five points with the home side enjoying a 1-11 to 0-9 advantage early in the second-half.
As well as a strong mental attitude the Meath players refused to be pushed aside by a bigger, more physically imposing Kildare outfit, as has happened in the recent past.
No doubt irritated by that defeat by Down a clearly fired up Meath were ahead by 1-8 to 0-7 at the interval and they continued to keep their noses in front throughout a very entertaining second-half.
Those looking for a turning point in this game could reflect back to the 38th minute when Kildare launched one of those dangerous attacks they were all too capable of stitching together.
Divilly slipped past Meath full-back Enda Fitzgerald and looked destined to score a goal. His low drive was hit with plenty of conviction with the ball heading for the far corner of the net. It was blocked on the line by Willie Mahady and cleared.
A goal at that stage would have injected real momentum into Kidare's cause and left Meath with a very slender lead.
On such incidents are games decided and while Meath players showed a ferocious workrate and great hunger for victory they also got that little bit of good fortune that can mean the difference between joy and despair.
Throughout the afternoon Meath also displayed a defensive stubbornness that was one of the cornerstones of their success. Closing down, working hard, determined not to give an inch.
Not that it was all plain sailing for Meath. Too often the first touch of some of the players let them down allowing their markers to get a block or regain possession. Some also displayed tendency to try and pick the ball up with one hand on the stick. It's a skill even the most accomplished hurlers find difficult to execute correctly.
Far too often, particularly in the first-half, Meath gave the ball away cheaply with a high percentage of passes intercepted. On this occasion Kildare just couldn't take full advantage.
Against that was the series of incisive moves Meath put together over the course of the afternoon. They managed to get a goal from one and almost found the net from another.
With 41 minutes on the clock Enda Keogh and Kirby combined to create an opening for Durnin, who found himself unmarked in front of the Kildare goals with only the goalkeeper to beat.
He appeared to be put off by the way the Lilywhite netminder Paul Dermody quickly rushed off his line. Durnin's low shot whizzed inches wide and a good chance was gone.
It was one of those missed opportunities that have proved costly in the past.
This time around Meath showed the cool heads and confidence to hold onto their lead - and break the Kildare jinx.
Meath - S Clynch 0-7 five frees; J Kelly 1-2; N Kirby 0-4 frees; S Morris 0-1; J Toher 0-1; P Durnin 0-1.
Kildare - P Divilly 0-6 five frees; C Kenny 0-3; J Enright 0-2 one free; M Moloney 0-2; D Harney 0-2; T Murphy 0-1 free.
Meath - S McGann; C Reilly, E Fitzgerald, W Mahady; J Toher, D Healy, E Keogh; S Morris, S Clynch; J Kelly, S Donoghue, C O Mealóid; P Conneely, N Kirby, P Durnin. Subs - S Brennan for Toher 21 mins, D Doran for Kelly 52m, N Horan for Donoghue 56m, P Fagan for Fitzgerald 63m.
Kildare - P Dermody; P Reidy, F O Muineacháin, J Doran; P Curtin, R Hoban, N O Muincheáin; D Butler, M Moloney; C Kenny, P Divilly, D Harney; J Enright, T Murphy, M Fitzgerald. Subs - K Divilly for Curtin 40 mins, R Kelly for N O Muineacháin 46m, G Keegan for Fitzgerald 56m, D Kennedy for Butler 69m.
Owen Elliott (Antrim).