AND then it got a whole lot worse for the reeling Royals.
After the seismic defeat to Westmeath in yesterday's Leinster SFC semi-final, Mick O'Dowd's Meath were hit with a powerful aftershock this morning when handed the All-Ireland qualifier 'draw from hell' - away to Tyrone.
Given the alternatives in the 2B qualifier draw (Wexford, Louth and Armagh) this qualifies as surely the nightmare scenario for Meath.
Only Armagh away would have come close, and instead that 'prize' has gone to Galway. Wexford's thrilling weekend ambush of Down has received a dubious enough award - a long trek to face Derry - while Tipperary will host Louth.
The four 2B qualifiers are pencilled in for Saturday week, July 11, with finalised details due to be announced by the CCCC later today, but Tyrone/Meath registers as the pick of the bunch.
The sides met in a Croke Park qualifier two years ago, Mickey Harte's men edging through by 0-17 to 2-9. This looks a more mammoth task for O'Dowd, however, as he attempts to revitalise a team traumatised by the loss of a ten-point lead en route to suffering their first ever championship defeat to Westmeath.
sfc qualifier draw