Meath turfed Kildare out of the Bord na Mona Walsh Cup in Navan today when they recorded a 1-19 to 1-18 victory with substitute Peter Farrell sending over the all-important winning point a minute from time.
Meath survived a tenacious effort from Kildare to get back into the game in two minutes of added time and will now prepare for a midweek assignment against IT Carlow at Dunganny on Wednesday night.
In today's encounter James Toher had Meath in front by 0-3 to 0-2 from a free, play and a '65' after nine minutes with points from Michael Purcell and David Reidy sustaining the Kildare challenge.
Then Kildare made the most of an uncharacteristic Shane McGann fumble for a goal. McGann saved brilliantly from Jack Sheridan's drive, but the sliotar bobbled out of his hands and Brian Byrne capitalised.
Mark Delaney's pointed '65' increased Kildare's advantage before Toher and Anthony Forde split the posts to get the Royal challenge back on track.
Byrne hit the target from play as Kildare remained in the ascendancy, but points from Sean Quigley and James Kelly left it level at 0-7 to 1-4 at the end of the opening quarter.
It was all square at the interval also at 1-9 apiece as Meath showed plenty of battling qualities against the wind. Mark O'Sullivan's determination fashioned a 19th minute goal while Toher added a brace of points.
Kildare were accurate from long-range and added points from Delaney (two), Purcell, Gary Johnson and Jack Sheridan.
Delaney added a brace of pointed frees for Kildare soon after the resumption as Meath tallied three wides before a brace of pointed Toher frees restored parity for the fifth time.
Toher and substitute Kevin Keena traded points with Delaney and substitute Chris Bonus as parity remained (1-13 each) briefly before Paul Divilly and Bonus were on the mark for Kildare.
Consistency was the norm with Joey Keena and Toher hauling Meath back to parity which remained (1-16 each) when Delaney and Meath substitute David Reilly traded points.
Meath upped the performamce sufficiently in the closing minutes to grab the victory with late points from Peter Farrell, Toher and Farrell again for the narrow victory.
Meath - Shane McGann (Kiltale); Sean Geraghty (Kilskyre/Moylagh), Shane Whitty (Blackhall Gaels), Cormac Reilly (Navan O'Mahonys); Keith Keoghan (Killyon), Darragh Kelly (Ratoath), Shane Brennan (Kilmessan); Joey Kenna (Kilmessan 0-1), Anthony Forde (Kiltale 0-1); Sean Quigley (Dunboyne 0-1), Cathal McCabe (Kiltale), James Kelly (Kiltale 0-1); Mark O'Sullivan (Kiltale 1-0), Neil Heffernan (Trim), James Toher (Trim 0-11).
Subs - Kevin Keena (Kilmessan 0-1) for Heffernan 28 mins, David Reilly (Drumree 0-1) for Forde 44m, Jack Walsh (Navan O'Mahonys) for D Kelly 55m, Peter Farrell (Trim 0-2) for McCabe 59m, Heffernan for O'Sullivan 64m, Luke Martyn (Dunderry) for Quigley 67m, Niall Weir (Boardsmill) for J Kelly 68m.
Referee - Michael Murtagh (Westmeath).