Wolfe Tones 1-09 St Peter's, Dunboyne 0-09

A first Meath SFC title success since 2006, and just a second ever, came the hard way for Wolfe Tones who had to dig deep in Navan to record a surprise win.

Powered on by former Meath star Cian Ward, part of the Tones team that won that breakthrough title 15 years ago, the Kilberry men led virtually from pillar to post though were never quite out of the woods either.

Saran O Fionnagain's seventh minute goal ultimately separated the teams though it was a war of attrition that contained more perspiration than inspiration despite the good conditions at Pairc Tailteann.

Shane Glynn, who lifted the cup jointly afterwards with Ward, took the Man of the Match award following a commanding display at centre-back while county man Thomas O'Reilly weighed in with a brace of points like Ward.

Conor O'Donoghue's Dunboyne were favourites beforehand with Meath captain Shane McEntee among a number of county players in their ranks but they failed badly to deliver, registering just 0-04 from open play.

Tones arrived at the final stage armed with an arsenal of attacking talent and high on motivation after dethroning back to back champions Ratoath in the semi-finals.

They finished that game strongly to take out the holders and began this decider with similar gusto, doing all the early running and piling on the pressure.

Ward signalled his intent to do serious damage by going for goal with an early free in, dragging his effort just wide, though O Fionnagain hit the mark for real in the seventh minute.

Pádraic Diamond and Jack Donnelly contest possession

Ex-county man Stephen Sheppard did the donkey work by winning a 50-50 contest and racing clear, eventually laying off to the unmarked O Fionnagain to round the 'keeper and slam home.

Dunboyne's response was impressive as they cancelled out the major with points from Stuart Lowndes, Donal Lenihan and Craig Lowndes.

But the 2018 winners couldn't push ahead and were rocked again by a succession of Tones scores from O Fionnagain, Ward, O'Reilly and Padraic Diamond.

Based just a few miles north of Navan, Tones were pumped up and primed for a famous win with O Fionnagain punching the air in delight after each of his scores.

They led 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time and while Dunboyne were better in the third quarter, they needed more than the mere four points they accumulated in that period.

St Peter's badly required a goal to rescue something from the afternoon but they couldn't deliver and late Tones points from the Ward brothers, Cian and substitute Caolan, sealed a landmark win for the club.

Wolfe Tones: Cian Farnan; Robert White, Shane Glynn, Adam O'Neill; Niall O'Reilly (0-01), Daniel O'Neill, Conor Sheppard; Padraic Diamond (0-01), Alan Callaghan; Stephen Sheppard, Cian Ward (0-02, 2f), Thomas O'Reilly (0-02); Oisin Martin, Saran O Fionnagain (1-02), Cian O'Neill.

Subs: Caolan Ward (0-01, 1f) for Martin 46, Fiachra Ward for C O'Neill 51, Brughach O Fionnagain for D O'Neill 57, Eanna O'Kelly-Lynch for White 61.

St Peter's, Dunboyne: Cian Flynn; Sean Ryan, Seamus Lavin, Jordan McLoughlin; Gavin McCoy, Craig Lowndes (0-01), Conor Doran (0-01); Shane McEntee, Jack Donnelly; Stuart Lowndes (0-01), Cathal Finn, Ronan Jones; Conor Bradley, Donal Lenihan (0-06, 4f), David McEntee.

Subs: Liam Byrne for Donnelly 29, Cathal Lacey for Finn h/t, Michael Murphy for David McEntee 45, Jack Scannell for Ryan 46, Niall Jones for Bradley 54.

Referee: Patrick Coyle (Curraha).