Derry men are outclassed after relentless Meath weave magic
Meath 3-15 Derry 0-9
Derry were blown away in a wave of Meath brilliance at Pairc Tailteann as the Royal County recorded their first win of the 2017 league.
Despite playing for the last quarter with 14 men after the dismissal of Alan Forde for a black card following an earlier yellow, the home side ran in 1-6 without reply and later 2-3 to record a comprehensive and hugely impressive win over the Oakleaf men.
Derry played with the wind in the first half but could only manage a two-point lead at the short whistle.
Were it not for centre half forward Cillian O'Sullivan lacking composure on two occasions, the home side probably would have been in control long before they stamped their authority. Meath restricted the Derry attack to efforts from distance and only Benny Heron really stood up to the challenge, the Ballinascreen man getting two sublime points.
Brian Sheridan caused the Derry full back line insurmountable problems and his link-up play with O'Sullivan in particular left Derry chasing shadows.
The first Royal goal came shortly after the restart, O'Sullivan with his first of two majors to give Meath the lead and instigate the Royal charge.
By the time substitute Bryan McMahon scored Meath's second the writing was already on the wall for the visitors, his goal coming in the 65th minute.
Meath were relentless in the closing stages and it was the brilliant Cillian O'Sullivan who had the final say, scoring the third goal with the last kick of the ball.
Derry will have to go back to the drawing board now as they prepare to face an unbeaten Kildare side up next in two weeks' time at Celtic Park.
Scorers: Derry: Benny Heron 0-2; Enda Lynn 0-2; James Kielt 0-2; Niall Loughlin 0-1 (1 free); Emmett McGuckin 0-1; Conor McAtamney 0-1
Meath: Cillian O'Sullivan 2-2; Bryan McMahon 1-1 (1 free); Bryan Menton 0-4; Ruairi O'Coileain 0-2; Shane McEntee 0-1; James Toher 0-1 (1 '45); Alan Forde 0-1; Cian O'Brien 0-1; Joey Wallace 0-1; Brian Sheridan 0-1