Maher and Dwyer send Meath packing
Having led by 19 points early in the second half at Pairc Tailteann, Laois could afford the concession of four goals in the last 10 minutes as they cruised to victory.
Meath struggled for most of a one-sided game, and the visitors were well on their way to victory when they led by 2-6 to 0-1 after 14 minutes.
Charles Dwyer netted the first goal and the second was a very soft concession as Stephen Maher applied the finishing touch.
It was 2-12 to 0-5 at the break and Meath did not register from play until Jack Regan's 39th-minute point.
Laois hit the first six points after the restart before James Toher's goal from a free sparked off a revival. Further green-flag efforts followed from Conor Murray, Ciaran Fitzsimons and Regan, but Laois had done more than enough to advance.
Scorers -- Laois: S Maher 1-10 (0-7f), C Dwyer 1-6 (0-1f), R Peacock 0-4, C Hyland 0-1. Meath: C Fitzsimons 1-7 (0-6f), J Regan 1-1, JToher (1-0f), C Murray 1-0 each.
Laois -- E Rowland; P Bergin, W Young, D Palmer; M Collier, B Duggan, C Gleeson; P Whelan, K Lalor; R Peacock, C Hyland, S Maher; PJ Scully, C Dwyer, G Burke. Subs: D Lynch for Bergin (46), MJ Lalor for Burke (46), E Fleming for Rowland (48), MJ Lalor for Maher (59), C Lewis for Palmer (59).
Meath -- C Flynn; G Foley, A Ennis, A Fagan; S McGee, J Kelly, C O'Shea; C Fitzsimons, B Wright; C McCabe, J Toher, V Moore; K O'Brien, C Murray, J Regan. Subs: D Keenan for Fagan (h-t), D Harmon for O'Shea (40), J Reilly for Ennis (42), S Coogan for O'Brien (45).
Ref -- B Brady (Louth).