Too many points were dropped along the way to leave them in contention for a qualifying place, but a win is crucial if they are to keep their place in the top flight.
And Derry need a victory if they are to have a chance of advancing.
As experienced forward Daithí Regan points out, the game gives Meath players the chance to impress management ahead of their opening Leinster championship game with Louth on May 14.
Regan, brought into the squad originally by Sean Boylan, is one of those with something to prove.
His credentials are not in question, but after missing part of last season with a back injury and suffering a hamstring injury in the O'Byrne Cup, he has to win the confidence of new manager Eamonn Barry.
Limited to a brief appearance against Wexford, he is back in the frame after having regained full fitness. And he's hopeful of making an appearance tomorrow.
"After a couple of bad results, this is a massive game for us. We will not only have to win but depend on other results to be sure of staying up. Hopefully, we will do our job.''
He agrees it's too early to pass judgment on the new manager, pointing out that apart from introducing a "different" style of training, he has had to get to know all the players "really well".
"We got off to a flying start, but after we won the O'Byrne Cup final (against Offaly) our form has been up and down since. Hopefully, everything will fall into place for the championship.
"We can't look beyond the first round. Louth have been flying in Division Two. We will have to be in top form if we are to get the better of them.''
He views the return of Graham Geraghty - involved in an embarrassing (for him) public spat with the manager - as a huge boost, allied to the availability of the McKeigue brothers and Stephen McGovern. And with Ollie Murphy is also back training after recovering from a groin operation, the outlook all round is promising.