Two of Meath's 1999 All-Ireland winning heroes combined to save the Royals' blushes in Carrick-on-Shannon this afternoon as they needed extra-time to edge past Leitrim, finishing 1-12 to 1-8.
Dessie Dolan senior's Leitrim side were 0-8 to 1-4 in front going into the second minute of injury-time and on course for a first win over Meath since a league encounter back in 1950.
Daniel Beck had sent over what looked like the winning point for Leitrim in the first minute of injury-time.
Yet 1999 veterans Ollie Murphy, a second half replacement, and Graham Geraghty rescued a result for the Royals.
Murphy clipped over the levelling point in the final seconds of injury-time, and then a 1-1 burst from Geraghty in the first two minutes of extra-time's second half, sent Sean Boylan's charges through to the third round.
Boylan was left cursing a wides tally of 20 by the finish of normal time but when Murphy burst through to fire a goal shot off the crossbar in extra-time, '99 skipper Geraghty reacted quickest to finish the rebound past Leitrim goalkeeper Gareth Phelan and push the Royals 1-12 to 1-6 in front.
Michael Foley and substitute Donie Brennan immediately reduced the arrears with points, however Meath were too far in front.
Leitrim led 0-4 to 0-3 at the break in a dour battle, afflicted by some damp and dismal conditions.
It took Leitrim 20 minutes to open their account through Foley, but scores from Declan Maxwell, James Glancy and Foley again saw them into the lead.
Early second half overs from Peadar Byrne, Stephen Bray and sub Joe Sheridan pushed Meath back in front before Glancy raced in from the right-hand side to goal on 53 minutes and give the home side added hope of an upset.
Murphy provided the perfect reposte in injury-time and although Leitrim were still alive at 1-6 to 0-11 down at the break in extra-time, they could not make use of the second half wind as Meath's greater experience fitness pulled them through.