Harry Murphy admitted his team were bullied and could not respond to Meath’s physicality in the second-half.
Wicklow made hay with the wind, pumping ball after ball into the full-forward line in the first-half.
But on the turnaround, the elements conspired against the tactic and they were found wanting in the close passing exchanges.
“We started quite well then Meath’s power came into it,” said Murphy. “They’re big all over the place.
“When they started coming at us we didn’t have much in defence. They took over midfield, Graham Reilly killed us coming at us all day.
“We just didn’t have the strength. Meath were the better side. We couldn’t have asked for any better but when they came at us we had no answer.
“They bullied us in the second-half. We had a few chances near the end but realistically Meath were the better side.
“Coming into the game they were performing well all year. They weren’t just midfielders they had — they had big men all over the field. We just hadn’t the physique.”
Murphy insisted he didn’t buy into the theory that Meath were set up for a fall in this encounter.
“Meath are Meath in Championship. Those lads are all being knocked there. It wasn’t their fault what was going on.
“They were always going to come out and perform. We just weren’t up to them today. They are a fair lump of a team, big men all over the place.
“They could have a lot to say in this championship. Unfortunately for us we have to wait five weeks.”
Murphy reckons Meath are in with a shout of challenging for Leinster SFC honours.
“You have to look at the size and the power that they have, they had a few injuries. If they get (Stephen) Bray and these boys back who is to say?
“It’s only a few years ago that they put five past Dublin. They’re going to be contenders and now that they have this out of the way.
“This was a potential banana skin for them.”
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