Meath's last game in the Leinster Senior Hurling championship was in 2004 and Laois provided the opposition at O'Moore Park Portlaoise.
The home county won on the day 1-13 to 0-8 but the then Meath manager John Hunt remarked that Meath had enough chances to win not only one but two games.
Laois led at the break 1-9 to 0-4. Meath were reduced to 14 men on the 27th minute with the dismissal of Thomas Reilly.
Hunt had taken over at the beginning of the year from Offaly's Michael Duignan and got his term off to a great start by winning the Kehoe Cup. Wicklow were beaten in that final 1-15 to 0-11 at Pairc Tailteann in front of 200 supporters. Cathal Sheridan captained the Royals to their first title since 1997.
A report in Royal County Meath Yearbook stated that after that win 'hurling is still losing the battle to attract decent attendances to inter county matches in Meath and that day more people travelled to Wexford for the National Football League game than to the Navan venue'.
After a disappointing run in the Division 2 of the National Hurling League the Royals turned their attentions to the SHC with the hope a repeating the 2002 win over Laois. Meath stormed to victory that day over the midlanders 2-16 to 1-18 at Pairc Tailteann.
The Meath team for the Laois game. Front l-r: P. Roche, S. White, S. Moran, S. Reilly, T. Fox (Capt), N. Reilly. Back l-r: M. Burke, S. Clynch, D. Brennan, M. Brennan, T. Reilly, M. Gannon, D. Donnelly, J. Canty, E. Lynam.
It was not to be though in O'Moore Park as Laois ran out comfortable winners with eight points to spare.
The Kilmessan duo of Steven Clynch and Joey Keena are the only links to the present squad. Both will be expected to play major roles against Kerry on Sunday.
The Meath team and scorers from their last venture in to the Leinster SHC was Mark Brennan 0-1, Sean White, Pat Roche, Sean Moran, Diarmuid Brennan, Thomas Reilly, Sean Reilly 0-1, Jimmy Canty, David Donnelly, Eibhin Lynam 0-2, Steven Clynch 0-1, Michael Burke, Neville Reilly, Mark Gannon, Tony Fox. Subs: Mickey Cole 0-3, Joey Keena, Padraig Donoghue and Ger O'Neill.
The game against Kerry gets underway in Pairc Tailteann this Sunday at 3.00pm and Meath manager Martin Ennis has urged supporters to come out in large numbers and get behind his team as they compete at the top level for the first time in 13 years.