Wicklow may have finished joint bottom of the league but Meath boss Mick O’Dowd says his side were never going to take their opponents lightly in Navan.
The Royals ran out four-point winners, 2-19 to 3-12, in their first home Leinster SFC tie in 20 years at Páirc Tailteann, to book a semi-final date with Westmeath on 28 June.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the game, O’Dowd said: “We knew that Wicklow would come with a strong challenge. We knew their league form wasn’t going to be replicated out there.
“It’s a good score line: 2-19 is good but we’re a little bit disappointed with what we conceded, to be honest, at crucial moments in the game so we’ve plenty to work on.
“We’ll take a lot from it, we’ve a lot of reviewing to do as well, because it wouldn’t be good enough the next day.
“I’m glad fellows stood up to the challenge and ran out [four-point] winners in the end.
“It was brilliant [to host a game here], even at the end of the game, it was brilliant for all the supporters to get on the pitch and meet the players.
"We’ve a lot of reviewing to do as well because it wouldn’t be good enough the next day"
“It was a fabulous day...it was real ‘championship football Sunday’, it was great to be back in Navan for it.”
Wicklow manager Johnny McGee hailed his players’ efforts as they got to within three points in the second half.
“[I’m] hugely proud of my players,” he said.
“They did extremely well today. Yes, we came up with a game plan but we also came to play football as well.
“In fairness to the lads they stood up. They left their hearts out on the field for me, that’s all I can ask for.”
The Garden County now face a trip to Armagh in the qualifiers on 27 June.
“We’ll go up and we’ll prepare as best we can for it. We’ll try and play [good] football,” added the former Dublin footballer.