Derry Tom Markham hopes were dashed by Meath in the All-Ireland MFC Quarter-Final at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday.
A 31st minute goal by Meath's top-scorer Luke Mitchell, seconds after goalkeeper Seán Brennan denied Ethan Doherty, helped Meath into a 1-10 to 0-4 interval lead.
Mitchell scored on the restart but Derry would go on to hold the Royals scoreless for 25 minutes as Niall Doyle bossed the midfield sector, with the help of PJ McAleese.
With eight minutes to go an up and under from Conleth McGuckian was won by Enda Downey who was fouled in the box. Up stepped McGuckian with the penalty to cut the margin to a single point (1-11 to 1-10).
Derry failed to get level and points from Mitchell and Matthew Costello edged Meath into a three point win on their way to a semi-final clash with the winners of Sunday's clash between Monaghan and Kildare.
DERRY: Aidan Gillen, Eoin McKeever, Aidan McCluskey, Ronan McFaul, Jamie Duggan, Johnny McErlain, Adam Canavan, Niall Doyle (0-1), Iarlaith Donaghy, Eunan McElhennon, Conleth McGuckian (1-4, 3f, 1 pen), Ethan Doherty, Eoghan Hawe, Enda Downey (0-5, 1f, 1 ‘45’), Conan Milne.
SUBS: PJ McAleese, Sean Kearney, Conor McAteer, Dara Mooney, Ronan Lee.
MEATH: Seán Brennan, James O’Hare, Harry O’Higgins, Cathal Hickey, Connor Farrelly, Seán Coffey, Oisín McCloskey, Adam Reilly (0-1), Cian McBride (0-1), Darragh Swaine (0-2), Matthew Costello (0-1), Bryan McCormack (0-1), David Bell (0-1), Luke Kelly (0-2), Luke Mitchell (1-6, 5f).
SUBS: Adam Treanor, Killian Price, Niall Bennett, Joseph Moore.
More coverage in Monday's Derry News and Tuesday's County Derry Post.
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