By Sean Wall
A goal from Stuart Lowndes on 54 minutes proved decisive as Dunboyne captured the Meath SFC for the first time since 2005 at Páirc Tailteann this afternoon.
The brother of Dublin All-Ireland star Eric crashed the ball to the net after a high delivery from Donal Lenihan bounced around the goalmouth before falling kindly into his path.
That score propelled Dunboyne into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead and there was no way back for a disappointing Summerhill who were tasting defeat at the ultimate stage for the second successive year.
Overall Dunboyne deserved their success as they upped the tempo significantly following an indifferent opening half display. Corner-forward Robbie McCarthy, who represented Dublin at senior level a number of years back, top scored for the winners with seven points, five of which came from placed balls.
Summerhill who had scored 20 goals in their seven matches to get to this stage threatened to add to that goal tally in the early stages but after that they were well contained by a well-organised winners defence.
The opening half proved a dour enough affair with Dunboyne enjoying an abundance of possession but unable to make it count on the scoreboard as they trailed 0-4 to 0-5 at the break.
Dunboyne registered the opening three points inside 13 minutes from McCarthy (free), Liam Byrne and David McEntee. However they failed to build on that promising start and only added one further point for the remainder of the half from a McCarthy free.
A promising run from Kevin Ryan ended with his shot being blocked on two minutes and then Barry Dardis flashed an effort wide of the posts when he should have done better.
Dardis eventually got the ‘Hill off the mark from a free and they enjoyed their best spell in the second quarter with David Larkin’s point leaving the sides level on 20 minutes.
Sean Dalton pointed them ahead a minute later and it was a pointed free from Dardis which eventually separated the sides at the break.
Dunboyne were much more prolific in front of the posts at the start of the second half and with McCarthy (two) and Lenihan on the mark they went 0-7 to 0-5 clear by the 35th minute.
They were still two points clear heading into the final quarter but points from Padraig Geraghty and Dardis had the sides level on 49 minutes.
Substitute Cathal Lacey edged Dunboyne ahead before Lowndes struck for that goal to eventually put daylight between the sides.
McCarthy then fisted over to leave his side five clear and give Dunboyne only their third ever senior title.