St Peter's, Dunboyne 1-11 Summerhill 0-9
Former Dublin attacker Stuart Lowndes hit the crucial goal five minutes from time to secure just a third Meath SFC title for St Peter's, Dunboyne.
The wing-forward and sibling of Dublin star Eric was quickest to a loose ball in the Summerhill defence and capitalised with a blistering drive to the net.
It turned a one-point lead for the 1998 and 2005 winners into a four-point advantage, and a Robert McCarthy effort shortly after - his seventh point of the game - secured the win.
The five-point margin flattered Dunboyne who were tied after 52 minutes but reeled off with 1-02 without reply when it counted most.
Lowndes, who intriguingly played for Dublin in 2015 and Meath in 2017, will progress with the club now to a Leinster first-round tie against the Wexford champions in a fortnight.
It was tough on Summerhill who were chasing a third title this decade following wins in 2011 and 2013, though they only led briefly in the encounter and were largely playing catchup.
The first-half was a forgettable affair with just nine points registered between the teams and only five of those coming from open play.
Summerhill, crucially, held a narrow 0-05 to 0-04 lead at the interval though it didn't look good for them initially.
They didn't score until the 15th minute and conceded the opening three points as McCarthy, Liam Byrne and David McEntee all scored for Dunboyne.
Ex-Meath underage attacker Barry Dardis was the man who broke the deadlock for the 'Hill and they finished the half strong, outscoring Dunboyne by 0-05 to 0-01.
Michael Byrne, David Larkin and Sean Dalton got the other Summerhill scores in that period but, in truth, it wasn't a classic encounter.
In fact, there were the same amount of wides hit as scores in the first-half, nine, with Dunboyne the guiltier of the two, blazing six shots off target.
It was all Dunboyne after the restart and, like the opening half, they kicked three points in a row to take control of proceedings again.
They dominated the Summerhill kick-out for a period and pressed up high, forcing a number of frees that McCarthy and county man Donal Lenihan dispatched.
Dunboyne twice led by two points though Summerhill drew on their experience to level it at 0-09 apiece entering the closing minutes.
There was still just one in it when Lowndes pounced, gathering up a bouncing ball after Lenihan's miscued point attempt and dispatching it to the net.
It was an emotional afternoon for Dunboyne midfielder and former Meath goalkeeper David Gallagher, 38, who picked up his third medal having been involved in their first triumph 20 years ago.
St Peter's, Dunboyne: Cian Flynn; Cian O'Dwyer, Seamus Lavin, Gavin McCoy; Cathal Finn, Shane McEntee, Sean Ryan; David Gallagher, Niall Jones; Stuart Lowndes (1-00), Ronan Jones, Liam Byrne (0-01); David McEntee (0-01), Robert McCarthy (0-07, 0-05f), Donal Lenihan (0-01, 0-01f).
Subs: Craig Lowndes for Ryan 44, Cathal Lacey (0-01) for David McEntee 44, Conor Doran for Byrne 47, Shane Comiskey for Gallagher 52, Jack Donnelly for Niall Jones 58, Jack Scannell for O'Dwyer 63.
Summerhill: Tony McDonnell; Iarla Hughes, Caolan Young, John Lavelle; Padraig Geraghty (0-01), Willie Ryan, Ross Ryan; Michael Byrne (0-01), John Keane; Kevin Ryan, David Larkin (0-02), Cian Devlin; Sean Dalton (0-01), Barry Dardis (0-04, 0-04f), Davy Dalton.
Subs: Ronan Ryan for Lavelle 37, Ciaran Gillespie for Keane 44, Stephen Husband for Devlin 50, Paul Larkin for Sean Dalton 55, Liam Shaw for Kevin Ryan 56.
Referee: Colm McManus (Gaeil Colmcille).