Dublin's stay in Division 2 of the Allianz League looks set to be brief with victory in Navan all but assuring Dessie Farrell's crew of top-flight football again in 2024.

In what was the first league game at Pairc Tailteann between the neighbouring counties since 1988, Dessie Farrell's visitors were nine points clear by half-time and ultimately cruised to an 11-point success - the same margin as on that occasion 35 years ago.

Killian O'Gara, making his first start of the campaign, struck Dublin's first-half goal and finished with an impressive 1-03 while Cormac Costello's late, late goal brought his tally to 1-04.

There were strong showings too from midfielder Brian Fenton and Con O'Callaghan who contributed 0-04 apiece.

Barring a disastrous run of results tomorrow, and in the final round of group games next weekend, Dublin will be promoted and will also have a Division 2 final to look forward to.

Cormac Costello tries to evade Cathal Hickey (R) and Donal Keogan

It's a fourth consecutive game without a win for Meath who look safe from relegation but not necessarily from the Tailteann Cup. They will play Kildare in Newbridge next weekend while Dublin are at home to Louth.

A bad day at the office for Colm O'Rourke and Meath was compounded by an apparent hamstring injury picked up by captain Donal Keogan in the final quarter.

Meath, with five changes from the side that drew with Limerick in Round 5, required the fast start but conceded the first three points of the game.

Already it was looking ominous for the hosts who were without key figures Shane Walsh and Cillian O'Sullivan in attack.

Cormac Costello, on the frees for Dublin in the absence of Dean Rock, was among those early scorers and back-to-back points from the Whitehall man in the 15th and 18th minutes left his side 0-06 to 0-01 ahead.

Dublin got the margin out to six points before Meath pinched a rapid fire 1-01 in a matter of seconds between the 20th and 21st minutes.

Jack Flynn boomed the point and Mathew Costello nailed the goal though the Dunshaughlin man would surely concede he was going for a point when his kick from the left of goals dropped in over the head of backpedaling Dubs stopper David O'Hanlon.

Suddenly, the deficit was down to just two points, 0-07 to 1-02, but Meath didn't score again until the 42nd minute as Dublin reasserted their dominance.

Fenton's second and third points of the half, along with a score from Ciaran Kilkenny, put Dublin well in the clear again before O'Gara cracked in a superb 35th minute goal.

James McCarthy and Jack Flynn compete for a kick-out

Meath had been on the attack themselves but when James McCarthy was fouled in defence, Eoin Murchan burst up the field and eventually played in O'Gara who hammered a left foot rocket across the goalkeeper to the far corner.

O'Gara, who contributed 1-08 across Dublin's two O'Byrne Cup games, took the opportunity of that first league start with both hands and closed out the first-half scoring with a neat point to leave the Leinster champions 1-11 to 1-02 up.

Even with the wind behind them in the second-half, Meath couldn't muster anything like a revival and five Dublin points in a row between the 53rd and 60th minutes - three of those from O'Callaghan - all but killed the contest.

Aaron Lynch did chip in with two points for Meath after coming on but Dublin, fittingly, had the final say when Cormac Costello palmed in a 75th-minute goal to take the winning margin into double digits.

Dublin: David O'Hanlon; Michael Fitzsimons, Daire Newcombe, David Byrne; John Small, Eoin Murchan, Lee Gannon (0-02); James McCarthy, Brian Fenton (0-04, 1f); Niall Scully, Ciaran Kilkenny (0-01), Tom Lahiff; Killian O'Gara (1-03), Con O'Callaghan (0-04), Cormac Costello (1-04, 0-01f, 0-01 45).

Subs: Sean Bugler (0-01) for Scully 28, Brian Howard for Lahiff 55, Colm Basquel for O'Gara 62, Ryan Basquel for O'Callaghan 67, Cian Murphy for Gannon 70.

Meath: Harry Hogan; Adam O'Neill, Michael Flood, Harry O'Higgins; Donal Keogan, Padraic Harnan, Cathal Hickey (0-01); Ronan Jones, Jack Flynn (0-03, 1 '45); Jack O'Connor, Jason Scully, Shane Crosby; Jordan Morris, Mathew Costello (1-02, 0-01f), Diarmuid Moriarty (0-02, 1f).

Subs: Cillian O'Sullivan for O'Connor h/t, Daithi McGowan for Crosby h/t, Aaron Lynch (0-02) for Morris h/t, Donal Lenihan (0-01) for Scully 55, Eoin Harkin for Keogan 61.

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).