For the first time since 2009, when Kerry beat Meath by 2-19 to 0-10 in a knockout tie, the two counties will lock horns in a Senior Championship tie.
There is recent Croke Park history, however, as Meath defeated Kerry in the 2021 Lidl National League Division 2 Final at GAA HQ.
Meath, as Division 2 champions, went on to claim the TG4 All-Ireland Senior title in sensational fashion.
Less than a calendar year after landing the Intermediate crown, Meath stormed to Senior glory, defeating Dublin to deny the Sky Blues five-in-a-row.
Meath are also Lidl National League Division 1 champion now but Kerry is the Division 2 holders, having seen off Armagh at Croke Park in April.
It’s the clash of the League champions on the biggest day of the year – and only one can prevail.
Remarkably, this is a fifth successive All-Ireland Final appearance for Meath. They contested three successive Intermediate deciders, finally cracking the code in 2020 against Westmeath, and are now back for a second Senior Final in a row.
For Kerry, this is the first All-Ireland Senior Final since 2012 and if they can complete the job they’ve started, the Kingdom will be crowned champions for a record 12th time.
The presence of Meath, Donegal, Kerry and Mayo in the last four brought a ‘wide-open feel to the conclusion of the Championship.
Now that Kerry and Meath are here, they’ll be looking to their proven matchwinners to produce the goods.
These are also two sides that have bounced back from provincial Final heartbreak to successfully navigate their way to the All-Ireland decider.
Meath lost out to Dublin in the Leinster Final, as Cork got the better of Kerry.
Since then, Meath and Kerry are both undefeated. In Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Kerry has the leading scorer in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship. Four games for the Corca Dhuibhne wizard have produced 3-22, a total of 31 points and that’s 13 clear of Meath’s leading scorer, Stacey Grimes, who’s collected 0-18.
Emma Duggan’s total of 1-11 to date for Meath shouldn’t be underestimated either. That late, late winner in the quarter-final against Galway will live long in the memory, and she was sensational in the semi-final victory over Donegal, scoring four points and earning the Player of the Match award. In clutch moments, Duggan’s a clutch player.
There’s been a feeling that Meath has been doing just enough in their recent games but there’s a resilience about them and when their backs are against the wall, they don’t do panic.
Kerry won’t fear them, though, because they know what Meath did to Dublin last year when the Royals went into the Final as underdogs. If Meath could do that in 2021, Kerry will surely feel ‘why not us?’
Kerry has come through some big games to get here. Galway, Armagh and Mayo are notable scalps but Meath is the acid test
The gut feeling is Kerry needs goals to win and that they will find it hard to get enough of them.
Meath to edge it.