Bell blast sends Royals into semi-final
Meath 1-13 Offaly 1-12
David Bell struck a decisive goal two minutes from the end to secure Meath's place in the Leinster MFC semi-final following a ding-dong battle at Páirc Tailteann.
The Royals, who lost midfielder Cian McBride to a second yellow card on 52 minutes, led by six points in the second half but were facing their first defeat of the campaign after Morgan Tynan put Offaly ahead for the first time on 53 minutes.
Earlier, Mikey Cunningham had netted for the Faithful to reduce the deficit to the minimum. Meath hit back to level but Jack Bryant restored the visitors' lead three minutes from the end. However Bell settled the issue, blasting high to the net after taking a pass from Luke Mitchell.
Bell accounted for four points in a five-minute spell in the opening half as Meath led 0-9 to 0-4 at the break.
Offaly shot seven wides before Aaron Kellaghan opened their account on 17 minutes. They added three further points but Meath scored the last five points of the half.
Scorers - Meath: D Bell 1-5 (1f), L Mitchell 0-5 (1f), B McCormack 0-2, C Farrelly 0-1. Offaly: S Courtney 0-4 (1f), A Kellaghan 0-3 (1f), M Cunningham 1-0, J Bryant 0-3, E Coughlan, M Tynan 0-1.
Meath - E Griffin; J O'Hare, H O'Higgins, C Farrelly; C Hickey, C Harford, S Coffey; A Reilly, C McBride; L Kelly, D Swaine, B McCormack; B O'Hanlon, L Mitchell, D Bell. Subs: A Treanor for Kelly, C Hawdon for Swaine, N Bennett for Reilly (all 44 ), O McCloskey for McCormack (58), J Moore for Hawdon (BC 62).
Offaly - S O'Toole; A Brazil, K Dolan, B Nolan; E Cullen, R Egan, H Balsiger; C Donoghue, M Tynan; P Bennett, D Lowry, M Cunningham; S Courtney, E Coughlan, A Kellaghan. Subs: C Flynn for Lowry (h-t), L Egan for Bennett (37), J Bryant for Coughlan (44), L Pearson for Cunningham (60).
Ref - N Ward (Westmeath)