The Kingdom used the wind well in the opening half to build a seven point half time lead (1-12 to 1-5). The Royals had a dream start when a Jack Fagan strike deceived Kerry keeper Stephen Murphy for a freak goal. But Murphy made amends in the second-half when his side were under the cosh.
But the winners bounced back in style: Fionan O’Sullivan had the Kerry goal, Lucid landed six points while O’Leary hit two and was a constant thorn in the Meath defence.
Meath needed a good start to the second-half, but instead it was Kerry who again dominated the third quarter adding four unanswered points, from O’Leary, Lucid, Paudie O’Connor and Aaron Murphy, as they moved 12 points clear with just over 10 minutes remaining. Then despite outstanding defending by man of the match Keith Carmody, Meath struck for two late goals by Jack Regan, one from a penalty in the 49th minutes and another from a close in free in the 53rd. But Kerry then posted O’Leary at the edge of their square and time and again, he and Carmody, denied Meath with a series of stunning interceptions and catches.
A late Kevin Bowler point sealed a deserved All-Ireland win for the Pat Ryan coached Kerry boys.
Scorers for Kerry: P Lucid (0-7, 4f), F O’Sullivan (1-0), M O’Leary and P O’Connor (0-3 each), K Bowler, D O’Carroll and A Murphy (0-2 each).
Scorers for Meath: J Regan (2-3, 1-0 pen, 1-1f), J Fagan (1-1), G McGowan (0-2), L Ferguson and C Bird (0-1 each)
KERRY: S Murphy, D Shanahan, C Kearney, J Barrett, M Lynch, K Carmody, S O’Sullivan, P Lucid, P O’Connor, D O’Carroll, J Brick, a Murphy, F O’Sullivan, M O’Leary, J Wallace
Subs: P O’Shea for J Barrett (44), K Bowler for J Brick (45), C Doncel for F O’Sullivan (55)
MEATH: N O’Sullivan, L Ferguson, L Ricard, C Shirren, D Reilly, C Bird, L Swayne, S Kelly, J Fagan, K Dixon, J Regan, R Raleigh, M Healy, G McGowan, S Doyle.
Subs: S Quigley for K Dixon (h/t), M Healy for S Doyle (45), K Ryan for S Kelly (46) .
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford).