Goals from Mark Lavin and Lorcan O’Dell in the space of a minute early in the second half proved crucial as holders Dublin stumbled to victory in this U20 FC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann.
That brace of goals boosted the visitors to a 3-5 to 0-4 lead and at that stage the visitors seemed to be strolling to an easy win.
However tenacious Meath gradually clawed their way back into contention and with Diarmuid Moriarty and Luke Mitchell impressing had reduced the deficit to a goal entering the closing stages.
Dublin were fortunate that Meath were so wasteful in attack before midfielder Adam Fearon sealed the win with their fourth goal in added time.
An early goal from Luke Swan boosted the Dubs to a 1-5 to 0-2 interval lead.
M Lavin (1-3, 0-1 free), L Swan, L O’Dell, A Fearon (1-0 each), L O’M Murray (0-3, 2 ’45), L Murphy-Guinane (0-1).
L Mitchell (0-6, 5 frees), D Moriarty (0-4), J Flynn (0-2, 2 ’45), N Finnerty (0-1).
J Turley; C Tyrrell, A Rafter, B Millist; R Dwyer, A Waddick, M Lestrange; M O’Leary, A Fearon; M Lavin, L O’Dell, L Murphy-Guinane; F Murray, L Swan, L Ward.
S Forker for O’Leary (h-t), C Chawke for Murphy-Guinane (37), C Walsh for Ward (48), S O’Driscoll for Lestrange (54), D O’Dowd for Murray (60).
S Brennan; J O’Hare, H O’Higgins, C Farrelly; A Chinchilla, C Harford, O McCloskey; S Coffey, J Flynn; N Smullen, N Finnerty, L Kelly; B O’Hanlon, P Sheridan, D Moriarty.
L Mitchell for O’Hanlon (22), E Frayne for Smullen, C Hawdon for Kelly (both h-t), C Quigley for McCloskey (45), C Caulfield for Harford (54).
F Smyth (Offaly)
In the other last four tie Offaly overcame neighbours Westmeath 1-11 to 1-9. They led 1-5 to 1-3 at half-time thanks to an early goal from Cormac Egan.