A goal from Jack O'Connor after just nine seconds set Meath on their way to a comfortable Leinster SFC quarter-final win in Navan, securing their spot in this evening's draw for the last four.

O'Connor's goal may yet go down as the quickest of this year's championship and team-mates James McEntee, Mathew Costello and Jack Flynn followed his lead by subsequently striking to the net in the 10-point win.

The Royals were good value for the win though manager Andy McEntee was quick to point out afterwards that there's plenty more in the tank as they await this evening's draw for the provincial semi-finals.

There was a late consolation goal for Wicklow scored by Oisin McGraynor and the Division 4 side jointly managed by Alan Costello and Gary Duffy will head now to the inaugural Tailteann Cup competition.

Dean Rock may have hit the net for Dublin after 13 seconds of the 2020 All-Ireland final but O'Connor went even better by registering his major just nine seconds into this contest.

Bryan Menton, who had a powerful game and scored 0-04, won the ball from referee Paul Faloon's throw-in and fed midfield partner Ronan Jones who picked out the onrushing O'Connor for a well worked solo goal, sliding the ball low past stunned goalkeeper Mark Jackson.

Padraig O'Toole and Kevin Quinn responded with Wicklow points before the visitors were suckered by another Meath goal, this time from McEntee.

James McEntee of Meath in action against Rory Stokes

Wicklow were surely fuming about the concession as Menton's initial point attempt was a poor one and dropped short but McEntee was quickest to intervene, beating Jackson in an aerial battle and directing the ball to the net.

With just six minutes on the clock and two goals already scored, Meath supporters in the estimated 5,000 crowd must have been thinking about a possible goalfest similar to the 2020 provincial clash in Aughrim when the Royals chalked up 7-14.

What actually occurred was that the teams went toe to toe from there on until half-time, splitting 10 points equally between them to leave Meath 2-05 to 0-07 ahead at the interval.

Jackson strode forward to convert two placed balls for Wicklow, one of those a 26th minute '45 after Meath defender Robin Clarke had cleared a dangerous ball off his own goalline.

Jordan Morris, who scored 3-04 on his Championship debut in that 2020 game, opened his account with a converted free for Meath in the 29th minute but O'Connor, Meath's new free-taker from the left side of the field, wasted two great opportunities.

It was all a little underwhelming from Meath's perspective but they were better after the restart and went a long way towards killing the contest with a series of third quarter scores.

In the 10 minutes after half-time, Meath outscored Wicklow by 1-03 to 0-01 with Costello's 45th minute goal a beauty, the Dunshaughlin man playing a clever one-two with Jason Scully before slipping the ball to the net.

That left 10 points between the teams and the gap was out to 13 late on following Flynn's goal after a sumptuous ball in from Morris before McGraynor beat Meath 'keeper Harry Hogan in the air in stoppage time to palm in Wicklow's only goal.

Meath: Harry Hogan; Robin Clarke, Conor McGill, Eoin Harkin; James McEntee (1-00), Donal Keogan, Cathal Hickey; Bryan Menton (0-04), Ronan Jones; Jason Scully, Thomas O'Reilly (0-02), Jack O'Connor (1-03, 0-02f); Jordan Morris (0-04, 0-02f), Cillian O'Sullivan, Joey Wallace.

Subs: Ronan Ryan for Hickey h/t, Mathew Costello (1-00) for Wallace 38, Jack Flynn (1-00) for Jones 60, Shane Walsh for Scully 62, Jordan Muldoon for Harkin 64.

Wicklow: Mark Jackson (0-04, 0-03f, 0-01 45); Malachy Stone, Patrick O'Keane, Tom Moran; Nicky Devereaux, Andy Maher, Zach Cullen; Padraig O'Toole (0-02), JP Hurley; Rory Stokes (0-01), Dean Healy, Darragh Fitzgerald; Mark Kenny, Kevin Quinn (0-01), Eoin Darcy (0-04, 0-04f).

Subs: Oisin McGraynor (1-00) for Hurley 47, Oisin Cullen for Stokes 53, Arran Murphy for Devereaux 64, Jack Kirwan for Darcy 68, Matthew Traynor for O'Toole 72.

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down).