The sides were level five times in the first half before James Kelly fired the all-important goal on 26 minutes and followed up with two points to leave Meath 1-8 to 0-7 ahead at the break.
Meath controlled the second half with Stephen Clynch and Noel Kirby’s free-taking crucial. Royals’ defender Willie Mahady brought off a crucial goal-line stop from Paul Divilly but, although Mark Moloney impressed at midfield, Kildare were thwarted. Meath advance to meet Wicklow.
Meath scorers: S Clynch 0-7 (5fs), J Kelly 1-2, N Kirby 0-4fs, J Toher, P Durnin, S Morris 0-1.
Kildare scorers : P Divilly 0-6 (5fs), C Kenny, J Enright (1f) 0-3 each, D Harney, M Moloney 0-2.
MEATH: S McGann; C Reilly, E Fitzgerald, W Mahady; J Toher, D Healy, E Keogh; SS Morris, S Clynch; J Kelly, S Donoghue, C Ó Mealoid; P Conneely, N Kirby, P Durnin. Subs: S Brennan for Toher (21), D Doran for Kelly (52), N Horan for Donoghue (56), P Fagan for Fitzgerald (68), C Fitzsimons for Morris (70).
KILDARE: P Dermody; P Reidy, F Ó Muineacháin, J Doran; P Curtin, R Hoban, N Ó Muineacháin; D Butler, M Moloney; C Kenny, P Divilly, D Harney; J Enright, T Murphy, M Fitzgerald. Subs: K Divilly for Curtin (41), R Kelly for N Ó Muineacháin (46), G Keegan for Fitzgerald (57).
Referee: O Elliott (Antrim).