Another Martin Kavanagh masterclass helped free-scoring Carlow get back to winning ways in Division 2A of the Allianz NHL as the Barrowsiders crushed Meath with five goals in Navan.

Kavanagh helped himself to 1-12 before being replaced with 10 minutes to go at Pairc Tailteann with the Round 4 contest long over at that stage.

Kevin McDonald opened and closed the goalscoring for Carlow while 2020 Fitzgibbon Cup finalist Chris Nolan, John Michael Nolan and Kavanagh also swooped for majors during the 26-point shellacking.

The landslide win allowed Carlow to turn the corner on a difficult period following defeats to Down and table toppers Offaly.

They'll conclude their campaign at home to Kerry next weekend before beginning their Joe McDonagh Cup campaign on 26 June against 2020 Christy Ring Cup winners Kildare.

Offaly's win elsewhere ended Carlow's faint promotion hopes and while Meath slumped to their third defeat in four outings, they at least can't finish bottom due to their superior head to head with luckless Wicklow.

This was a dead rubber contest then though Carlow attacked the game with gusto and led by 1-02 to no score after just five minutes, McDonald slamming in his first goal following great work in the buildup by Kavanagh and Ted Joyce.

With nine minutes played, Carlow led 1-06 to 0-01 and already it was looking ominous for Nick Weir's Meath who will wrap up their group campaign away to Down, the same opposition that they'll face in their McDonagh Cup group.

Chris Nolan struck Carlow's second goal in the 19th minute, a victory for perseverance after his initial shot was expertly blocked by Meath 'keeper Charlie Ennis.

Trailing by 10 points, Meath needed a miracle but only got another kick in the teeth as John Michael Nolan found himself in acres of space approaching half-time to slam to the net.

That left Carlow cruising at half-time, 3-15 to 0-09, with James Doyle's long range point from play closing out the first-half scoring.

Carlow restarted with five of the first six points in the second-half, sub Craig Wall getting on the scoresheet and impressing.

Both managers took the opportunity to run in their full allocation of seven substitutes with Carlow replacements Tony Lawlor and Paul Coady also grabbing points after their introductions.

Kavanagh combined with Wall for Carlow's fourth goal in the 49th minute and McDonald wrapped up the goalscoring six minutes later when he burst into space, controlled the sliotar on his hurl and volleyed to the net.

Carlow: Brian Treacy; Dion Wall, Paul Doyle, Michael Doyle; Ger Coady (0-01), James Doyle (0-01), Jack Kavanagh; David English, Richard Coady (0-01); Kevin McDonald (2-00), Chris Nolan (1-05), Jon Nolan (0-01); Martin Kavanagh (1-12, 0-08f, 0-02 65), John Michael Nolan (1-03), Ted Joyce (0-01).

Subs: Craig Wall (0-01) for Joyce (h/t); Tony Lawlor (0-01) for Jack Kavanagh and Paul Coady (0-01) for John Michael Nolan (both 53); Gary Lawlor for J Doyle and Ciaran Kavanagh for M Kavanagh (61); Aaron Amond for English and Gary Bennett for M Doyle (65).

Meath: Charlie Ennis; Shane Brennan, Shane Whitty, Sean Geraghty; James Kelly (0-01), James Toher, Keith Keoghan (0-02); Darragh Kelly, David Reilly; Daithi McGowan, Mark O'Sullivan (0-01), Jack Regan (0-05, 0-04f); Paddy Conneely, Alan Douglas (0-02), Adam Gannon (0-01).

Subs: Eamon O Donnchadha (0-01) for D McGowan and Padraic O'Hanrahan (0-04, 0-04f) for Reilly (h/t); Cian Rogers for Conneely, Stephen Morris for Keoghan and Ben McGowan for Geraghty (all 46); Ger Murphy for D Kelly and Ian Birmingham for Regan (54).

Referee: Richie Fitzsimons (Offaly).