Meath manager Eamonn Murray says his players kept the best until last as they defended their TG4 All-Ireland senior football crown.

The Royals recovered from a slow start to burn off Kerry at Croke Park, winning by nine points in the end.

After much talk from Murray in the build up that the women from the Kingdom would bring a massive goal threat, they proved him correct quickly as Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh scored a superb goal with eight minutes on the clock.

But Meath are well capable of rattling the net themselves, and they showed it with majors from Emma Troy, Niamh O'Sullivan and Bridgetta Lynch turning the game and seeing the Royals home in a much more comfortable fashion than their victory last year.

"It takes a special bunch to do two-in-a-row," Murray told the press after the game.

"We showed Kerry, and a few other teams, that it can be done. Kerry know all about our system, and how we play. Dublin thought the same last year but when you hit this system you know all about it. Kerry were held to 1-07 for a long time."

'It takes a special bunch to do two-in-a-row' - Murray savours Meath's historic day

Even when Kerry made that lighting start, to move 1-02 clear inside the opening 10 minutes, Murray says it didn't rattle his players.

"You'd never be worried with this bunch, and I mean that," he continued.

"The response was brilliant, three different players scoring goals. Bridgetta came off the bench and she was magic, played the best game of her life.

"All our subs did very well today. We were told during the week that we didn't have subs, but I think we proved today that we have.

"You'd have to win it for that crowd. The lift they gave us. A turnover, a wide for them, it was just magic. We probably had as many supporters there as the other five teams put together, but you wouldn't expect anything different from Meath.

"It was good that they gave us a handy day out, and that we weren't sweating at the end," Murray joked.

"To perfection," he added when asked the timing of getting his players in top shape for the biggest game in the sport.

"We knew that so we weren't worried during the week. It's strange times to be a Meath football manager, and it can only help for the future. That crowd we had there today was amazing, my God.

"It's worthwhile doing it for them alone."

Kerry couldn't capitalise on an ideal start

For Kerry joint manager Darragh Long, it was a case of squandering a dream start which allowed Meath to get a foothold in the game.

"It's very disappointing," he said afterwards.

"We came up here full of belief and confidence that we could come away with a victory. We got a fantastic start.

"[Then] we gave away a silly goal; Emma Troy seems to be our nemesis. We competed really well in the first half, and started the second half quickly

"Sloppy mistakes in the first half and second half, stupid turnover ball. Fair play to Meath, they timed their run to perfection. They kicked 3-10 and they're All-Ireland champions for a reason.

"I'm hugely proud of our girls. We've come an awful long way in 12 months, from Mallow last year and a relegation battle.

"Some of our defender has quite good games. We had to work really hard for our scores but we weren't under any illusions that that was going to be the case today the way Meath set up.

"We got some nice turnovers high up the field and we caused them problems when we broke quickly. We weren't clinical enough in front of goals, which has been a real plus for us over the last five or six games."