Kildare 1-10 Meath 0-09
Kildare retained the Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup thanks to a four-point win over a large home crowd at St. Conleth's Park in Newbridge.
12 months ago the Lilywhites needed extra-time to account for Dublin in the decider, but on Sunday they failed to trail this game, with a goal from Thomas Moolick getting them off to a positive start.
The Leixlip clubman netted the only goal after four and a half minutes, in a game where just one black card was shown, with Meath midfielder Andrew Tormey exiting nine minutes from the end.
Moolick's goal, coupled with a Padraig Fogarty point handed Kildare a 1-1 to 0-0 lead after eight minutes.
Meath rallied with a trio of points, as Stephen Bray, Eamon Wallace and Michael Newman cut the gap to a point by the 15th minute.
Scores from Darroch Mulhall and Cathal McNally ensured Kildare led by 1-3 to 0-3 in the 21st minute, but Meath worked hard.
The Royals drew level at 0-6 to 1-3 after 33 minutes, following scores from David Larkin, Bray and Wallace, but they were also forced to work hard at the opposite end, with Meath goalkeeper Conor McHugh blocking a goal shot from Mulhall in the 26th minute.
In injury-time Newman had a goal chance stopped on the line by Kildare full-back Michael Foley, while at the opposite end Mulhall popped over a late free to hand Jason Ryan's side a slender 1-4 to 0-6 interval advantage.
The hosts wouldn't relinquish their lead, despite Meath's best efforts to register a score on the restart.
Wing-back David Dalton had a goal shot blocked by Kildare goalkeeper Mark Donnellan two minutes into the half, while Newman misfired from the resulting 45 metre free.
Kildare also were guilty of misses in the opening minutes of the half, registering three wides inside four minutes of the restart.
Man of the Match Paul Cribbin scored two second half points for the hosts, including the opening score of the second half, with Mulhall, Paddy Brophy and Sean Hurley also on target for the eventual winners.
A pointed 45 metre free from Newman cut the gap to three points with less than five minutes remaining, but Kildare finished strongly with Cribbin's second point ensuring a four-point victory.
KILDARE: M Donnellan; M O'Grady, M Foley, H McGrillen; K Murnaghan, E Bolton, P Cribbin (0-2); T Moolick (1-0), G White; C McNally (0-1), E O'Flaherty, S Hurley (0-1); P Brophy (0-1), D Mulhall (0-4, 2f), P Fogarty (0-1). Subs: O Lyons for McGrillen (50); J Gately for McNally (57); F Dowling for Mulhall (68); F Conway for O'Flaherty (71).
MEATH: C McHugh; D Keogan, M Burke, C Young; D Dalton, E Harrington, P Gilsenan; C Gillespie, A Tormey; P McKeever, D McDonagh, D Larkin (0-1); E Wallace (0-2), S Bray (0-2), M Newman (0-4, 3f 1 45). Subs: K Reilly for Gillespie (19); G Reilly for McKeever (45); D Bray for Wallace (45); D Carroll for McDonagh (45); S O'Rourke for Carroll (Blood (50-52); S O'Rourke for Young (53); K O'Sullivan for Tormey (61-Black).
REFEREE: Fergal Kelly (Longford)