An injury-time penalty from Meath's Kevin Ross helped the Royals to advance to the last four of the O'Byrne Cup on Saturday night.
The penalty was controversially awarded by referee Fergal Smyth after he spotted Kieran Lillis commit a foul off the ball, with Laois two points up at the time. Ross made no mistake from the spot-kick, and even though Colm Begley kicked a late equaliser, Meath advanced on scoring difference.
This game also saw the return of Joe Sheridan to the Meath jersey, between the posts, and his dreams of a clean sheet were dashed by Donie Kingston's 38th-minute strike. Meath had dominated much of the first half and opened up an eight-point lead by the 30th minute, 1-9 to 0-4. Cillian O'Sullivan provided the goal, his effort deflecting in off Laois' Alan Farrell.
Laois hadn't shown much up to then, but sub Sean Ramsbottom led the comeback, as he kicked two excellent points as the hosts rallied before the break to trail 1-10 to 0-10 at the interval.
Laois carried that good form into the second half, as Kingston thumped home a goal from close range. He added three more points as Laois looked to be on course for the semi-finals, until Ross struck late on.
SCORERS - Laois: D Kingston 1-4 (1f), G Walsh 0-4 (2f), S Ramsbottom, C Begley 0-2 each, K Meaney, N Donoher, C Murphy, D Conway 0-1 each. Meath: K Ross 1-3 (3f), C O'Sullivan 1-1, G Reilly 0-3, C O'Brien 0-2, B McMahon, S Tobin (f), B O'Brien, D Lenihan (f) 0-1 each.
LAOIS - G Brody; D Strong, D Booth, K Lillis; S Attride, A Farrell, C Begley; K Meaney, J O'Loughlin; C Murphy, P Kingston, G Walsh; R O'Connor, D Kingston, N Donoher. Subs: D Conway for O'Connor (19, inj), S Ramsbottom for O'Loughlin (27-29, Blood Sub), S Ramsbottom for Murphy (29, inj), J Farrell for Ramsbottom (49, inj), R Munnelly for P Kingston (54), C Lennon for Meaney (58), S Nurney for Booth (60, inj), S Moore for Walsh (63), D Luttrell for Donoher (67, BC).
MEATH - J Sheridan; D Keogan, D McQuillan, M Burke; C Downey, B Power, S Curran; B Menton, C O'Brien; C O'Sullivan, G Reilly, P Kennelly; B McMahon, K Ross, D Lenihan. Subs: S Tobin for Ross (15-17, Blood Sub), A Forde for Power (ht), A Flanagan for McQuillan (41), B O'Brien for Kennelly (45), S Tobin for McMahon (52), F Ward for Lenihan (58), D Toner for O'Sullivan (58), D Smyth for Downey (70)
Ref - F Smyth (Offaly)