On a day when flowers everywhere cried out for water there were green shoots of revival in Croke Park as Meath ran the Dubs closer than they had done in years.

And had referee Conor Lane not, inexplicably, failed to award the Royals a clearcut penalty in the early stages who knows but there might have been the mother of all shocks.

And at a crucial stage in the second half Ronan Jones shot straight at Dublin ‘keeper Evan Comerford when had he placed the ball either side of him he scored a goal which would have left a point between the sides.

Comerford had earlier done well to deny Jordan Morris a goal, while Meath goalie Harry Hogan, a late replacement for Andy Colgan pulled off a superb stop to deny Brian Menton.

Really though the story of the day was Meath’s second half revival.

Eleven points down at the break, Dublin goals from a Cormac Costello penalty and a Con O’Callaghan screamer leaving the winners 2-11 to 0-6 clear.

But an early Matthew Costelloe goal kick started a Royal revival that ultimately fell short due in the main to two things, some woeful wides and the serious experience at shutting a game out gained by Dublin in their recent years of dominance.

Their cause wasn’t helped by some or kick outs or perhaps that is unkind to Hogan as it was more a case of the kick outs being reasonable but Meath lacking ability to win them.

Still this was the performance Meath supporters envisaged twelve months ago and it is always better late than never.

Ultimately what the game proved is that performing out of your skin for thirty five matches rarely wins a  tie that lasts seventy plus.