Jack Regan was the star of the show for Meath as he scored a remarkable 17 points to help the Royal County ensure McDonagh Cup hurling again next year, while Kildare return immediately to the Christy Ring Cup after winning that competition last year.

Regan was flawless in his shooting and incredibly didn't hit a wide while racking up such a huge tally.

David Herity’s Kildare started brightly and a 13th-minute goal from Jack Sheridan was fully deserved, in fact the Lilywhites probably should have hit the net before that from a couple of earlier chances.

They led 1-07 to 0-04 at the water break but as in previous Championship games this summer their performance levels dropped away after that.

Meath turned up the heat in the second quarter and gradually began to get on top.

Regan clipped over frees from every angle and distance and his personal tally stood at 10 points at the half time.

Nick Weir’s side got themselves back to within a point of Kildare in first half injury time before Jack Travers fired over from long range to leave Kildare 1-11 to 0-12 ahead at the break.

The game was won in the third quarter when Meath scored nine points without reply to turn that two-point half-time time deficit into a seven-point lead.

As well as Regan, first-half substitute Eamon Ó Donnchadha, James Toher and Stephen Morris also landed impressive scores.

Kildare finally got their first point of the second from Sheridan but he was sent off three minutes later for a late strike on Shane Whitty and any chance of a remarkable comeback went with him.

The final ten minutes were played out with Meath preventing any sniff of a Kildare goal while the kept the scoreboard ticking over at the far end.

Meath endured a difficult league season and opening round to the McDonagh Cup but they have finished with a flourish with a win last week against Kerry and now this crucial win over a Kildare side whose season was the reverse of that.

The Lilywhites won Division 2B and even when losing earlier Championship games to Carlow and Westmeath things looked promising but unfortunately for them they saved their worst performance for the most important game of the season.

Meath: Charlie Ennis; Ger Murphy, Shane Whitty, Sean Geraghty; James Kelly, Darragh Kelly, Keith Keoghan; Stephen Morris, James Toher 0-2; David Reilly, Jack Regan 0-17 (13 frees), Mark O'Sullivan 0-2; Adam Gannon 0-1, Alan Douglas, Paddy Conneely.

Subs: Pauric O'Hanrahan for Regan (blood sub, 17-19); Eamon Ó Donnchadha 0-4 for Reilly (29); Sean Quigley for Conneely (56); Pauric O'Hanrahan for Gannon (58); Mickey Burke for Geraghty (63).

Kildare: Paddy McKenna; Cathal Derivan, Rian Boran, Simon Leacy; Kevin Whelan, Declan Flaherty, Jack Travers 0-2; Paul Divilly 0-2, Brian Byrne 0-2 (65, 1 free); Cathal Dowling, Johnny Byrne 0-1, James Burke; Colm Chan, Jack Sheridan 1-5 (4 frees), David Slattery.

Subs: Gerry Keegan 0-1 for Chan (31); Shane Ryan 0-1 for Slattery (41); Caolan Smith for Byrne (52);Conor Dowling 0-1 for Cathal Dowling (56); Sean Christianseen for Flaherty (68).

Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim).