Meath eased past Antrim, 5-12 to 0-13, in their All-Ireland SFC qualifer at Caement Park this afternoon.

Antrim's hopes were dashed early in the encounter as four first-half goals ensured they had little more their pride to protect for the majority of the tie.

The home side opened brightly with two points from Ciaran Close but in the fifth minute a long ball from midfield by Anthony Moyles dropped behind the Antrim defence for Stephen Bray to ghost in and fire home.

On 12 minutes, Bray snatched a second goal with a carbon-copy finish after a centre from the left broke in front of goal. Goal number three could be described as an 'own-goal' but should be credited to Peadar Byrne.

The ball came off an upright with full-back Andrew McClean and Byrne reached for it. Both players seemed to touch the ball before it fell to the net to sent Meath into a 3-3 to 0-3 lead on 21 minutes.

The fourth goal was another disaster for Antrim. A back-pass by a defender was pushed on to the post by Graham Geraghty who side-footed the rebound home a minute from the break to leave the visitors in a commanding 4-4 to 0-7 lead.

Meath continued to dominate during the second half, with a flow of points and a fifth goal by Joe Sheridan five minutes from time sealing the Royal men’s comprehensive victory.