Substitute Jordan Morris capped an incredible cameo with a 75th-minute equalising point for Meath to secure a dramatic Allianz League Division 1 draw with Monaghan in Clones.

The already-relegated Royals trailed by six points after a horror start and looked set to slip to their seventh consecutive loss against a Monaghan side who only required a draw to retain their top-flight status.

Conor McManus was terrific for Monaghan and blasted 1-08 though Morris would have the final say with the last three points of a highly entertaining game.

It took the Nobber man's personal tally to 0-07 and his last was a beauty as he powered over the levelling point despite being under pressure from a number of defenders, and with time almost up.

It was a fitting result for both teams as it allowed Meath, who lost to Dublin by four points last weekend, to generate badly-needed momentum ahead of their Leinster Championship clash with Wexford or Wicklow on 8 November.

As for Seamus McEnaney's Monaghan, they know they'll play in Division 1 for another season and will be optimistic ahead of their return to Clones next weekend to face Cavan in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship.

Monaghan approached this game requiring at least the draw following back-to-back defeats in Division 1, most recently against Kerry last weekend.

They started like the team more in need of a result, displaying greater urgency and cutting Meath asunder initially to run up a 1-03 to 0-01 lead after just eight minutes.

Evergreen McManus was heavily influential in this period with an assist for Conor McCarthy's opening point before stroking over a beauty himself in the fifth minute.

Rory Beggan nailed a long-range free to stretch Monaghan's lead before their goal arrived through Michael Bannigan in the eighth minute.

McManus played a clever ball in over the Meath defence that Ryan McAnespie latched onto before hand-passing across the goals for Bannigan, a Sigerson Cup winner earlier this year, to stretch a leg out and direct the ball home.

Monaghan didn't score again for 10 minutes but when they did it was McManus who typically converted under pressure from 30 metres out in a central position.

Faced with a potential rout and trailing by 1-04 to 0-01, Meath finally regrouped and outscored Monaghan by 0-06 to 0-03 from the 19th minute until half-time to pull themselves back into the game.

The Royals had to do so without Cillian O'Sullivan, who'd hit an early point for them, after a huge collision with Darren Hughes that required the corner-forward to be replaced.

Powerful midfielder Ronan Jones was at the hub of Meath's revival with two points, one off each foot, while Jason Scully and Shane Walsh tapped over also.

Monaghan were still in control with a 1-07 to 0-07 lead and knew that if they could remain in front they'd stay in the top flight.

But they were dominated for all of the third quarter as Meath maintained their momentum and pushed on for back-to-back points from sub Morris who had replaced O'Sullivan.

That left a point in it and Meath barged their way into pole position with a 47th-minute goal from joint captain Bryan Menton.

It was a clever hand-passing move begun by Donal Keogan down the right that ended with the ball being played across for Menton to palm home.

Suddenly Meath led 1-09 to 1-07 and should have moved five clear moments later but butchered a great goal opportunity when Morris' ball across was just too far ahead of the onrushing Shane Walsh.

Monaghan dug in from there and levelled the game three times before McManus slammed in a 61st-minute goal which set the Farney 2-12 to 1-11 ahead.

It looked like Monaghan would finally push on and seal victory but it was all about Meath in the closing stages with sub Joey Wallace and Thomas O'Reilly both pointing before Morris took over with those three late points in a row to secure the draw.

Monaghan: Rory Beggan (0-01, 0-01f); Kieran Duffy (0-01), Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie; Ryan McAnespie, Fintan Kelly (0-01), Karl O'Connell; Darren Hughes, Andrew Woods; Dessie Ward, Michael Bannigan (1-00), Stephen O'Hanlon; David Garland, Conor McCarthy (0-02, 0-01f), Conor McManus (1-08, 0-03f)

Subs: Killian Lavelle for D Hughes 24-29 blood, Christopher McGuinness for Garland 41, Shane Carey and Dermot Malone for O'Hanlon and Bannigan 47, Kieran Hughes for McCarthy 56

Meath: Andrew Colgan; Seamus Lavin, Conor McGill, David Toner; Cathal Hickey, Shane McEntee, Donal Keogan; Bryan Menton (1-00), Ronan Jones (0-02); Jason Scully (0-01), Bryan McMahon, Ronan Ryan; Cillian O'Sullivan (0-01), Shane Walsh (0-01), Thomas O'Reilly (0-04, 0-03f)

Subs: Jordan Morris (0-07, 0-03f, 0-01m) for O'Sullivan 24-f/t blood, Mathew Costello for Scully h/t, Joey Wallace (0-01) for McMahon 49, Eoin Harkin for Toner 53, Jack O'Connor for Hickey 63, Ethan Devine for Walsh 68

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)