Meath secured their Leinster MFC quarter-final berth with an emphatic win over Wexford at Pairc Tailteann on Wednesday evening.
Meath ....... 6-13
Wexford ...... 0-7
However, the evening was overshadowed by the long second-half delay following an injury to Wexford defender Leigh Newport in the 38th minute.
A 13-minute stoppage followed while the corner-back was tended having suffered the injury in accidental circumstances.
The board read 1-8 to 0-6 at the time after Meath cancelled out two Wexford points posted within two minutes of resumption to cut the gap to a goal.
When the game resumed Meath tagged on three goals inside two minutes with Shane Smyth, Niall Finnerty and Eoghan Frayne netting.
That left it 4-9 to 0-6 with 55 minutes on the clock a pointed Jack O'Leary free was the sole remaining score for Wexford who had lost their first two outings in the group. A win here might have revived their campaign
David Bell and sub Barry Thompson completed the goal tally for the holders who are set to be in quarter-final action on Saturday week (June 1).
Wexford went man-to-man for second-half and started well until Newport's injury change matters.
The scores were tied once in the opening-half when Wexford's Rory O'Connor replied to Eoghan Frayne opener. Both scores posted in the fourth minute.
Meath tagged on four points without reply in the next 20 minutes before Liam Doyle added Wexford's second score.
Either side of Jack O'Leary's first point for Wexford, David Bell pointed a close range free for Meath.
Then with three minutes added time beckoning Evan Corrigan goaled at the town end. That score was central to Meath's five-point interval advantage, 1-6 to 0-4.
For long spells in the opening half, team captain Jack O'Leary was an isolated figure at full-forward for Wexford, though he posted half of his side's first-half tally.
Meath looked the better team, but the 24-point margin of victory was influenced by the circumstances
Meath - Dean Pluck; Jamie Fagan, James McGovern, Harry Corscadden; Sean O'Donoghue, Aaron Chinchilla (0-1), Ciaran Caulfield; Josh Carolan (C) (0-1), Endi Ehichoya; Evan Corrigan (1-0), Cillian Hegarty, Shane Smyth (1-1); David Bell (1-4, 0-4fs), Niall Finnerty (1-2, 0-1f), Eoghan Frayne (1-3). Subs - Aitzol King (0-1) for Ehichoya (56), Barry Thompson (1-0) for Finnerty (57), Brian Cassidy for Caulfield (60), Adam McDonnell for Fagan (68), Harry Ryan for O'Donoghue (68), Jamie O'Shea for Corrigan (71).
Wexford - Tommy Kennedy; Leigh Newport, Brian Cushe, Eamon Doyle; Paddy Darcy, Jason Bolger, Leigh Whelan; Tom Kavanagh, Paul Deeney (0-1); Ryan Connolly, Ciaran Reagan, Joe Curtis; Liam Doyle (0-2), Jack O'Leary (C) (0-3, 2fs), Rory O'Connor (0-1). Subs - Shane Kehoe for Cushe (ht), Liam Crowley for Curtis (ht), Jason Murphy for Newport (50), Tiarnan Malone for Connolly (60), Oisin Watters for Darcy (bc 67).
Referee - Keith O'Brien (Westmeath).