Carlow were competitive early on and led 0-3 to 0-2 after 21 minutes with Chris Blake popping over three frees from a variety of angles. Meath keeper Conor McHugh also made a fine save to deny Darragh O’Brien.
Instead, Meath powered towards half-time, with Graham Reilly picking off fine scores from play. Even though Mickey Newman skied his penalty over after Dalton McDonagh was dragged down.
Meath led 0-9 to 0-3 at the break, and it was one-way traffic on the resumption. After Battersby volleyed an early effort over the bar, he made no mistake with his second chance and palmed the ball to the net after a mazy run by Newman.
Carlow hit back with their only score from play, from wing back Benny Kavanagh, as he guided the ball past McHugh in the 48th minute to cut the gap to seven points.
It provided little respite and a flurry of frees from Newman set the Royals up for a showdown with UCD on Wednesday, while Carlow will have to regroup quickly for a meeting with Laois.
M Newman (0-7 (6 frees, 1 pen); M Battersby (1-2); G Reilly, D McDonagh (0-3 each); H Rooney , P Geraghty and S Tobin (0-1 each)
C Blake (0-4 frees), B Kavanagh (1-0)
C McHugh; B Tormey, D Keoghan, N Judge; J O’Reilly, C Finn, D Smyth; H Rooney, A Tormey; G Reilly, M Newman, P McKeever; S Tobin, D McDonagh, M Battersby.
C Downey for McKeever (8mins inj), D Lenihan for Tobin (ht), S McEntee for A Tormey (40mins), P Geraghty for O’Reilly (47mins), P Kinnelly for Judge (60mins), S Carty for Smyth (65mins).
C Kearney; BJ Molloy, D St Ledger, G Power; G Kelly, D Hayden, B Kavanagh; P O’Halloran, M Ware; E Finnegan, D O’Brien, A Kelly; C Blake, J Murphy, D Moran.
JJ Smith for Halloran, H Hegarty for Power and M fitzgerald for Hayden (all 54mins), J Kennedy for Murphy (61mins), P Broderick for O’Brien (66mins), G Dunne for Kavanagh (70 mins bc).