Evoking memories of his display against Dublin at Croke Park last summer, Ward hit nine points from frees, a 45, sideline kick and play.
The result eases the Royals’ relegation worries while in contrast, Cavan are odds for the drop, though their supporter had cause for optimism at the break after seeing the Ulster side race into a 0-11 to 0-4 lead with Seanie Johnston kicking seven points.
Admitted Coyle: “Cavan kicked some amazing points in that first half. After missing some good scoring chances against Dublin, they missed very little before the break tonight and I was not happy at half-time. We had a big hill to climb but the lads kept plugging away.
“They had the belief, they were brave and they had to be to come back they way they did. There was hard work all over the pitch.”
Cavan could only add two more points from Johnston frees in the second half as Meath chipped away and pulled level with a mighty 45-metre sideline ball from Ward on 58 minutes. The visitors soon regained the lead but it was advantage Meath from then to the winning post with Ward (two), the hard-working Alan Nestor and substitute Alan Nestor completing their total.
Scorers for Meath: C Ward 0-9, 6 frees, 1 45, 1 sideline, A Nestor 0-2, P Byrne, G Geraghty, S Bray, G Reilly 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cavan: S Johnston 0-7, 4 frees, D McCabe, G Pearson, M Reilly 0-2 each.
MEATH: B Murphy; N McKeigue, D Fay, C McGill; E Harrington, K Reilly, C King; N Crawford, M Ward; P Byrne, A Moyles, A Nestor; S Bray, G Geraghty, C Ward.
Sub: G Reilly for Moyles (44).
CAVAN: J Reilly; M Hannon, P Reilly, M Brides; K Fannin, A Forde, D Sheridan; D McCabe, R Galligan; M Reilly, M Lyng, M McKeever; C Mackey, S Johnston, G Pearson.
Subs: F O’Reilly for Galligan (33), R Dunne for Hannon (47), D Gaffney for Lyng (57), B Watters for Fannin (61).
Referee: J McKee (Armagh).