Cathal McNally's first-half goal put Kildare on their way to a surprisingly routine victory in Tullamore, securing a Leinster SFC final clash with Dublin or Westmeath next month.

Cian O'Neill's in-form side jumped onto the front foot early on, thanks to 1-03 from McNally inside just 20 minutes, and cruised from there to the July 16 final.

It will be Kildare's first appearance in the provincial decider since 2009 when they ran Dublin to within three points and a rematch of that final will be expected at Croke Park.

Full-forward Daniel Flynn was excellent for the Lilies also and finished with 1-04 including a late goal while ex-soccer professional Kevin Feely lorded it at midfield, making three 'Marks' and scoring five points overall.

There were several cameos in Kildare's defence too where full-back Mick O'Grady excelled in what was a generally slick performance from the side promoted to Division 1 during spring.

But Meath supporters in the 12,702 strong crowd could hardly believe what they were witnessing as their team slumped to a nine-point half-time deficit and must fear what's coming in the qualifiers.

Andy McEntee's Royals had hit Louth for 0-27 in the quarter-finals but looked flat footed and bereft of ideas going forward this time.

O'Grady and Tommy Moolick put their bodies on the line early on, summing up Kildare's greater desire, and took a couple big hits to keep Meath to restrict four first-half points.

Feely formed a formidable partnership again with Moolick at midfield and both players registered a 'Mark' which led to Kildare points.

Feely and ex-Aussie Rules player Paddy Brophy hit two first-half points each as Meath's defence was pulled this way and that.

McNally got Kildare on the front foot with his 13th minute goal when he latched onto David Hyland's long ball in, slipped away from Donnacha Tobin, and drove past Paddy O'Rourke.

By the 19th minute McNally had claimed 1-03 from play including a brilliant point from the left wing.

It told a tale of the lack of cut and thrust in the game that the game's first free-kick wasn't awarded until the 14th minute and Meath didn't force a free until the 23rd minute.

James Toher actually opened the scoring for Meath after just 12 seconds but they only added three more points, two of which came from Donal Lenihan, and trailed 1-10 to 0-04 at the break.

Meath responded with four points in a row after the restart to hint at a revival. Lenihan hit two of those and sub Ruairi O Coileain got the other two to cut Kildare's lead down to 1-10 to 0-8.

But that was as good as it got as Kildare pulled clear again with points from Feely and Flynn which extended their lead.

Eamonn Callaghan added a point after coming on and Flynn got the goal his excellent performance deserved when he flicked to the net in the 68th minute after David Slattery's ball in.

Kildare: M Donnellan; M O'Grady, O Lyons, D Hyland; K Cribbin, E Doyle, J Byrne; K Feely (0-05, 0-04f), T Moolick; F Conway, N Kelly, D Slattery; C McNally (1-03), D Flynn (1-04), P Brophy (0-02).

Subs: E Callaghan (0-01) for Brophy 49, F Dowling for Moolick 59, C Healy for McNally 61, P Kelly for Hyland 65, N Flynn (0-01, 0-01f) for Byrne 69, E Bolton for Doyle 69.

Meath: P O'Rourke; C McGill, D Keogan, D Tobin; P Harnan, M Burke (0-01), S McEntee (0-01); B Menton (0-02), R Jones; J Toher (0-01), C O'Sullivan, E Wallace; G Reilly, B McMahon, D Lenihan (0-05, 0-02f).

Subs: J McEntee for Toher 28, R O Coileain (0-03) for Wallace h/t, B Conlon for Jones 47, T O'Reilly for McMahon 51, S Tobin for Reilly 56, A Douglas for O'Sullivan 69.

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).