Pair of Jacks break Wicklow hearts
Meath 1-21 Wicklow 1-5
Two Jacks came up trumps as Meath proved to be the real deal at Trim on Saturday.
Between them Jack Regan and Jack Fagan accounted for 1-15 as Meath repeated their Kehoe Cup final win over 13-man Wicklow.
The visitors lost captain John Henderson for a foul after just nine minutes, and Meath completely dominated the opening half - they were full value for their 1-12 to 0-2 interval lead.
Regan and Fagan were a constant menace, while duel star Mickey Burke controlled midfield and shot two points.
Meath missed three clear goal chances before they eventually found the net in added-time, when Fagan flicked home after good work from Charlie Bird.
A goal by Andy O'Brien on 41 minutes - their first score from play - gave Wicklow a glimmer of hope before Meath hit back with a brace of points from Regan.
Wicklow were unable to make any headway on the scoreboard and their cause was a lost one long before the dismissal of corner-back Eugene Dunne for a second yellow card on 58 minutes.
Scorers - Meath: J Regan 0-10 (4fs), J Fagan 1-5, M Burke 0-2, K Keoghan, A Douglas, C Bird, S Morris 0-1 each. Wicklow: A O'Brien 1-4 (0-3fs, 1 '65), A Byrne 0-1.
Meath - S McGann; C Reilly, S Brennan, S Whitty; K Keoghan, J Toher, S Heavey; M Burke, P Keogh; A Douglas, G Kelly, J Regan; W McGrath, C Bird, J Fagan. Subs: D Healy for Keogh (29), S Morris for McGrath (52), A Gannon for Bird (60), K Ennis for Douglas (69).
Wicklow - T Kennedy; P Keane, B Cuddihy, E Dunne; J Henderson, S Kelly, L Kennedy; D Masterson, T Doyle; D Staunton, E Kearns, J O'Neill; C Moorehouse, A O'Brien, L Glynn. Subs: M Lee for Masterson (34), J Connors for Kennedy (h-t), A Byrne for O'Neill (42), G Weir for Staunton (50), A Nugent for Moorehouse (61).
Ref - D Hughes (Carlow)