For most of a dour and error-ridden opening half, the Royals struggled to improve on the form that saw them go down to a 10-point defeat to Kildare in their opening encounter.
However, they were completely different on the restart and inspired by the brilliance of Cillian O’Sullivan, who ended with 2-2, they completely routed a poor Derry outfit.
The Oak Leaf County missed the injured Mark Lynch as well as the Slaughtneil contingent and even with the advantage of the strong breeze in the opening half they struggled for scores.
Benny Heron, Enda Glynn, Emmett McGuckin, Conor McAtamney and Niall Loughlin were all on target for the visitors in the opening half as they led 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Derry still led 0-8 to 0-6 following Enda Lynn’s 43rd-minute point, but O’Sullivan’s opening goal changed the complexion of the game.
The introduction of Joey Wallace, Ruairí Ó Coileáin and Bryan McMahon to the Meath attack also improved matters for the hosts who dominated from there to the finish.
By the time midfielder Bryan Menton had scored his fourth point, Meath had eased into a 1-9 to 0-8 lead.
Meath were six clear before McMahon produced a great finish for the second goal on 65 minutes. The hosts had earlier being reduced to 14 men after Alan Forde picked up a second yellow card.
Then in added time O’Sullivan rounded off a great individual display with his side’s third goal.
Derry had two players black-carded in the closing stages, keeper Ben McKinless and Enda Lynn, while Meath’s Eamonn Wallace was only on for six minutes when he too was shown a black card.
C O’Sullivan (2-2), B Menton (0-4), B McMahon (1-1, 1 free), R O Coileáin (0-2), W Carry, S McEntee, J Toher (‘45), A Forde, C O’Brien, B Sheridan (0-1 each).
J Kielt, B Heron, E Lynn (0-2 each); C McAtamney, N Loughlin, E McGuckin (0-1 each).
P O’Rourke; D Keogan, C McGill, M Burke; W Carry, B Power, S McEntee; J Toher, B Menton; A Forde, C O’Sullivan, C O’Brien; C Downey, B Sheridan, D Lenihan Subs: Subs: J Wallace for Downey (29), R O Coileáin for Burke (h-t), B McMahon for Lenihan (52), E Wallace for McEntee (58), K Ross for E Wallace (BC 64), S Tobin for Sheridan (68).
B McKinless; R Murphy, C Nevin, P Hagan; N Keenan, N Forester, M McEvoy; C McAtamney, J Kielt; E Lynn, N Loughlin, C McWilliams; B Heron, E McGuckin, D Tallon.
O Hegarty for Hagan (39), J Doherty for Nevin (46), G O’Neill for McAtamney (54), R Bell for Loughlin (60), T Mallon for McKinless ( BC 70).
L Devenney (Mayo)