Meath produced an impressive display against Down at Croke Park to secure their second Christy Ring Cup crown in the space of four seasons.
Barry Slevin, Regan, Gannon and Damien Healy all found the target during the early exchanges to give Nick Fitzgerald’s outfit a powerful platform and this was supplemented by a superb Gannon goal on 13 minutes.
They subsequently stretched 10 points in front, before the Mournesiders announced their arrival with a stunning end to the opening period.
Five points without reply courtesy of Toner, Marc Fisher, Paul Sheehan (two) and Oisin McManus provided initial signs of encouragement and they sensationally wiped out their deficit with goals from Sheehan (penalty) and Daithi Sands.
Despite receiving these hammer blows, there was enough time for Meath to regain the lead (1-12 to 2-8) in time for the interval - Regan posting his fifth point of the half.
The introduction of Nicholas Potterton sparked fresh life into the Royals’ challenge and he rattled the Down net on the restart to reinforce their authority on the proceedings.
Gannon continued to cause havoc inside the Down full-back line and he claimed his second goal of the contest in the 45th-minute.
Down did respond with unanswered points by Sheehan (two) and Eoghan Sands, only for Potterton, Alan Douglas and Regan (two) to do likewise at the opposite end. The 69th-minute dismissal of Fisher left Ronan Sheehan’s side with too much ground to cover and Callum O’Sullivan’s stoppage-time goal capped off a resounding victory for Meath.
Scorers for Meath: J Regan 0-9 (0-4f, 0-3 ’65’), A Gannon 2-3, N Potterton 1-1, C O’Sullivan 1-0, B Slevin 0-2, S Brennan, D Healy, A Douglas, J Keena 0-1 each.
Scorers for Down: P Sheehan 1-8 (1-0 pen, 0-6f, 0-1 ’65’), D Sands 1-1, M Fisher, D Toner 0-2 each, E Sands, O McManus 0-1 each.
MEATH: S McGann; G Murphy, D Kelly, S Whitty; S Brennan, K Keoghan, J Kelly; S Geraghty, C McCabe; D Healy, B Slevin, J Regan; G McGowan, A Douglas, A Gannon.
Subs: N Potterton for Slevin (h-t), J Keena for McGowan, S Morris for Kelly (both 50), C O’Sullivan for Gannon (61). C O Mealoid for Douglas (70).
DOWN: S Keith; T Murray, C Taggart, D Mallon; M Fisher, J McManus, M Conlan; P Savage, L Savage; D Toner, P Sheehan, T Prenter; D Sands, E Sands, O McManus.
Subs: M Patterson for Murray (h-t), C O’Prey for Prenter (42), R Blair for McManus (61), R McCusker for Sheehan (65).
Referee: S Stack (Dublin).