First-half goals from Michael Newman and Padraic Harnan in Portlaoise set Meath on their way to back-to-back wins in the Leinster SFC.

The Royal County duo netted in the 30th and 32nd minutes as Meath wrapped up victory and a June 9 semi-final shot at Westmeath or Laois well before full-time.

Both goals came during a glut of Meath scoring before the interval that left the favourites nine points clear at the break and they were comfortable from there on out.

Full-forward Newman top scored with 1-06 for the 2010 provincial champions who cantered to victory after Carlow lost midfielder Sean Murphy to a 49th minute red card.

Murphy was shown a straight red for a tangle that left Donal Keogan grounded while Carlow's other midfielder, Eoghan Ruth, was dismissed 10 minutes later for a black card offence.

It wasn't vintage football from Meath but it was an improved showing on their narrow first-round win over Offaly while Carlow will hope to rebuild their campaign in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

It was a tough afternoon for depleted Carlow who were without three key figures in their camp; boss Turlough O'Brien, coach Steven Poacher and experienced midfielder Brendan Murphy.

All three failed with appeals against suspensions arising from an incident during their Allianz league game against Down.

It got even worse for Carlow when they lost Paul Broderick, arguably their best forward, within 15 minutes following an injury.

They trailed by 0-04 to 0-01 at that stage after a slow start though impressively battled back to level terms in the 25th minute.

Darragh Foley stood up to the plate with three points in a row to offer some hope of another giant-killing act after taking out Kildare last year.

But it was all downhill from there for the Barrowsiders who didn't score again in the first-half as the Royals hit them for 2-03 before the interval.

Ben Brennan clipped back to back points before Meath's goals which arrived in a two-minute spell.

Joint captain Keogan was involved in both, taking Bryan McMahon's pass and playing it to Newman for Meath's first in the 30th minute.

Two minutes later Keogan fed fellow defender Harnan who palmed in beyond the advancing Carlow keeper Robert Sansom after another sweet move.

Newman added a converted free as the favourites romped 2-07 to 0-04 ahead at half-time.

Carlow needed a huge second-half performance to make up the deficit but were unable to provide it and ultimately slipped to a 15-point defeat.

It was a chastening experience for the side that lit up 2018 under O'Brien as Meath went through the motions with a professional display.

Bryan Menton, Newman and Shane Gallagher all picked off points at their ease while subs Graham Reilly and James Conlon added 0-5 between them.

Newcomer Conlon impressed with three points late on to give boss Andy McEntee food for thought ahead of their semi-final clash at Croke Park.

Poor Carlow will hope for a vast improvement in their next outing with just five second-half points and only two of those coming from play.

Meath: Andrew Colgan; Shane Gallagher (0-01), Conor McGill, Seamus Lavin; Donal Keogan, Padraic Harnan (1-00), Gavin McCoy; Bryan Menton (0-02), Adam Flanagan; Cillian O'Sullivan (0-01), Bryan McMahon, Ben Brennan (0-02, 0-01f); Sean Tobin, Michael Newman (1-06, 0-04f), Thomas O'Reilly (0-01).

Subs: Barry Dardis for O'Reilly (34), Graham Reilly (0-02) for Tobin (51), Ronan Ryan for McCoy (55), Darragh Campion for O'Sullivan (60), James Conlon (0-03) for Brennan (65), Ethan Devine for Menton (70).

Carlow: Robert Sansom; Liam Roberts, Shane Redmond, Conor Lawlor; Jordan Morrissey, Daniel St Ledger, Ciaran Moran; Sean Murphy (0-01), Eoghan Ruth (0-01); Sean Gannon, Darragh Foley (0-03, 0-01f), Conor Doyle; Paul Broderick, Darragh O'Brien, John Murphy (Grange) (0-01).

Subs: Diarmuid Walshe (0-03, 0-02f, 0-01 45) for Broderick (15), Conor Crowley for O'Brien (h/t), Brendan Kavanagh for Lawlor (h/t), Jamie Clarke for Gannon (38-40), Danny Moran for St Ledger (54, black card), John Murphy (Tinryland) for Ruth (60, black card), Darren Lunney for Murphy (Grange) (62).

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).