These local rivals met at the same stage of the championship in Parnell Park last season, and in the intervening 12 months both have continued on an upward curve.
Recent form resulted in Meath ending third in Division 2, when a late burst for promotion just fell short. Meanwhile, Louth gained successive promotions and will also compete in the second tier in 2018.
A first round victory over Wicklow was beneficial for Louth, not only to have a win under their belts before facing Meath but because that fixture also took place at Parnell Park.
Meath won last year’s quarter-final between the counties by 0-20 to 1-13, having enjoyed a five point cushion at the break.
Louth have struggled to overcome their neighbours in championship action – the last five duels over the past 17 years have all been won by Meath, and everyone remembers the controversial conclusion to the 2010 Leinster final.
Colin Kelly’s side maybe weren’t at their best against Wicklow in the first round last Sunday week. But they still came through by five points, thanks to a late flourish with scores from Jim McEneaney, Gerard McSorley, Declan Byrne and Bevin Duffy – the impact of some subs giving the management plenty of food for thought.
The powerful Eoin O’Connor hit 1-2, while Padraig Rath in defence and midfielder Tommy Durnin were among their most consistent performers.
Under new boss Andy McEntee and captain Graham Reilly, Meath will have their sights set on a Leinster final place, at least. But they are aware from last year that there’s not much between them and Louth and this could yet prove to be the tie of the round at Parnell Park.