Substitute Barry Dardis' emphatic injury-time penalty secured a narrow 1-9 to 1-8 win for Meath over Kildare in the Allianz Football League Division 2 at Pairc Tailteann this afternoon.
The award was made for a foul on Conor McGill and the Summerhill man was up to the task that followed. Kildare lost Keith Cribbin to a black card for conceding the penalty.
Another sub - Niall Kane - was prominent as Meath survived over five minutes of added time to claim both points on offer in Navan.
Kildare led for most of the way in this round five clash. Stronger and less wasteful in front of goal, Cian O'Neill's men led by five points on three occasions in the first-half.
Having established a five-point interval lead, Kildare managed just one point thereafter as snow fell and the temperature plummeted.
Neil Flynn's 50th minute free left Kildare four points clear, 1-8 to 0-7. As the table toppers wasted chances Kildare looked good to improve in their bid for league honours.
Meath, who went in as division leaders, trailed for all bar the opening minutes until added time.
Kildare 'keeper Mark Donnellan did well to stop Ronan Ryan's 51st minute goal attempt. In the deteriorating conditions, some poor handling saw another goal chance for the home side go to waste.
Cillian O'Sullivan's 60th minute score left Meath just two in arrears as the hitherto economical visitors missed a few chances to secure the win, in their bid to regain top flight league status at the first attempt.
Backed by the slight breeze, Kildare wasted little time in cancelling Mickey Newman first minute opener. Paddy Brophy's response levelled matters for the only time in the half.
Cian O'Neill's charges kicked-on. They were boosted by Ben McCormack's well-drilled seventh minute goal with Kevin Feely's assistance. That left it 1-3 to 0-1.
This was Kildare's best spell of the half and by half-time they had six different scorers and just two wides. They went down to 14 for in the second quarter when full-back Mick O'Grady was black-carded. The number three resumed just before the break,
Kildare outscored Meath by 0-2 to 0-1 during the 10 minutes that the visitors were down to 14 men. The Lilywhites were good value for their 1-7 to 0-5 interval lead.
Meath - A Colgan; S Lavin, C McGill, R Ryan; G McCoy, D Keogan, S Gallagher; B Menton, S McEntee; C O’Sullivan (0-1), B Brennan (0-4, 2f), D Campion (0-1); B McMahon, M Newman (0-2f), T O’Reilly. Subs: G Reilly for B McMahon, N Kane for G McCoy, B Dardis (1-1) for M Newman, P Harnan for D Campion, M Burke for B Brennan.
Kildare - M Donnellan; M Dempsey, M O’Grady, D Hyland; C O’Donoghue, E Doyle, P Kelly; K Feely, T Moolick (0-1); P Brophy (0-1), F Conway, K Cribbin (0-1); N Flynn (0-3, 1f), B McCormack (1-1), J Hyland (0-1). Subs: A Tyrrell for B McCormack, P Cribbin for P Brophy, J Murray for E Doyle, K O’Callaghan for F Conway, A O’Neill for M Donnellan.
Referee - D O’Mahoney.Tweet