CONOR KEARNEY'S goal at the end of the third quarter set Meath up for victory over 14-man Wicklow in Navan.
The sides were level, 1-9 to 2-6, when Kearney pounced after Alex Walsh's effort was blocked. Walsh had goaled on two minutes but quickfire goals from Sean Germaine and Tiernan Mellon put Wicklow 2-5 to 1-2 up, before Meath pulled back three points to trail 2-5 to 1-5 at the break.
The visitors had Enda O'Donoghue red-carded five minutes into the second half, and Meath took control.
Ross Ryan drew them level, Kearney put them ahead and Mark Slevin's green flag on 55 minutes sealed it.
SCORERS – Meath: J Wall 0-7 (7fs), M Slevin 1-1, A Walsh, C Kearney 1-0 each, Ross Ryan 0-3, C Bird 0-2 ( 1f, 1 '65'), Ronan Ryan, L Carey 0-1 each. Wicklow: P O'Brien 0-8 (8fs), P Doyle, T Mellon, S Germaine 1-0 each, B Moorehouse 0-1.
MEATH – S Quigley; N O'Sullivan, L Swaine, C Dempsey; D Brogan, C Bird, J Payne; L Moran, L Martyn; J Wall, Ronan Ryan, C Kearney; A Walsh, Ross Ryan, L Carey. Subs: J Bird for O'Sullivan (16), M Slevin for Moran (46).
WICKLOW – C Geraghty; A Kinsella, S Cruise, S Moloney; C McCrea, P Conroy, E McCormack; A Hughes, P Doyle; A Kavanagh, T Mellon, E O'Donoghue; P O'Brien, S Germaine, B Moorehouse. Subs: M Gimbert for Moloney (45), G O'Brien for Germaine (55).
REF – A Devine (Westmeath)