Dead-eye Regan points Royals towards decider
Meath 1-21 Kerry 1-12
Published 22/08/2016 | 02:30
Captain Jack Regan again led the charge in Trim as Meath made it back to another decider.
Regan contributed 12 points of his side's tally as last year's beaten finalists produced an outstanding second-half display to see off the plucky Kingdom challenge.
The sides were level on six occasions throughout the opening period before Kerry finished the half in style with three frees from Philip Lucid and a goal from corner forward Jordan Conway to lead 1-9 to 0-8 at the break.
That advantage should have been greater but Meath goalkeeper Charlie Bird denied Fionán O'Sullivan a clear-cut goal chance at the end of the opening quarter.
With Regan continuing to knock over scores Meath started the second half in impressive style and were back level, 0-14 to 1-11, by the 40th minute.
They went ahead when full-forward Luke Martyn fielded a long delivery and shot to the net from close range on 44 minutes.
The Royals then took complete control of proceedings and conceded just a single point after that.
Ross and Kevin Ryan and Gavin McGowan all shot crucial scores as the hosts closed out the game to book an eagerly-awaited final date with Mayo next month.
SCORERS - Meath: J Regan 0-12 (10fs), L Martyn 1-1, Ross Ryan, S Kelly 0-2 each, D Reilly, S McGrath, G McGowan, K Ryan 0-1 each. Kerry: P Lucid 0-6 (4fs, 2 '65s'), J Conway 1-0, C Hussey 0-2, J Goulding, J Buckley, F O'Sullivan, D O'Carroll 0-1 each.
MEATH - C Bird; C Dempsey, I Hughes, L Ferguson; S Coloe, Ronan Ryan, D Reilly; S Quigley, S McGrath; J Regan, E Mac Donnachada, S Kelly; R Moore, L Martyn, Ross Ryan.
Subs: G McGowan for Moore (36), C Kearney for Kelly (38), K Ryan for MacDonnachada (51), S Doyle for Quigley (59)..
KERRY - S Murphy; F Horgan, D Shanahan, B Lyons; J Buckley, J Diggins, C Kearney; P Lucid, P O'Connor; J Goulding, D O'Carroll, J Brick; C Hussey, F O'Sullivan, J Conway. Subs: J Hussey for O'Sullivan (35), J Wallace for O'Carroll (51), R Collins for Brick (55), M Flaherty for Conway (60).
REF - M Murtagh (Westmeath).