Though the sides were level three times in the early stages with Cork’s Brian Hurley on target twice for the students, the county side then began to stamp their authority.
Points from David Bray and Cillian O’Sullivan (free) for the home side left two between them near the end of the first quarter but they enjoyed a better scoring return approaching the break, by which time they led by 0-10 to 0-7.
The students continued their improvement with a Darragh White point narrowing the deficit but Meath regained the initiative — Brian Lenihan kicking four points.
MEATH: C McHugh; C Young, S Curran, D McQuillan; S Kenny, B Power, P Gilsenan (0-1); C Sheridan (0-1), S O’Rourke (0-2); C O’Sullivan (0-3, 1 free), D McDonagh (0-1), P McKeever; D Bray (0-2), S Bray (0-2), D Lenihan (0-4, 2 frees).
Subs: M Burke (0-1) for Young, E Harrington for Curran, D Larkin for S Bray (all half-time), G Reilly (0-1) for McKeever (48), D Dalton for Kenny (61), D Tobin for Sheridan (64).
IT CARLOW: R Sansom; A Nolan, C Lawlor, P Crowley; E Lynch, M Mangan, K McGrath; B Kinahan, D White (0-2); E Walsh, C Reynolds, B Hurley (0-5, 2 frees); L Boland (0-3, 3frees), T Durnin (0-1), K Mulvany (0-1).
Subs: T Shiel for McGrath, J King for Lawlor (both 24), J Dillon for Boland (59), S Carty for Lynch, N Kane for Kinahan (both 66), M Gunning for Reynolds (68).
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow).