Down's final charge is ended by heavy defeat in Meath
Meath 2-21 - 0-16 Down
Jack Regan went from villain to hero in the space of a week as Meath booked their place in the Division 2B final with a fine showing at Trim.
Regan was sent off in last week's defeat to Armagh but he turned in a sparkling display yesterday, contributing an invaluable 12 points as Meath squeezed out the Mournemen and the Orchard County on score difference.
They now progress to meet Kildare in the silverware decider.
Both sides finished with 13 men as tempers flared. Meath's Eoin Marsh and Down's Fintan Conway were dismissed after an incident approaching half time.
The hosts then had James Toher sent off on 50 minutes and Michael Ennis became the second Down player to see red late on.
Regan's nine first-half points and Michael Dunne's early goal helped Meath to a 1-15 to 0-3 interval lead.
Down rallied in the second period with three points but Willie McGrath's goal ended their slim comeback hopes.