SHARPSHOOTER Nicky Horan paved the way for victory as Meath overcame a strong challenge from Galway-Mayo IT in this semi-final at Trim.
Horan accounted for 11 points in his side's win, with all but one of the tally coming from placed balls.
The teams were level on eight occasions in the first half and were tied 0-9 apiece at the break. The highlight of that first period was a brilliant stop by Meath goalkeeper Shane McGann to deny Aidan Lynch.
Horan's accuracy ensured that the home side enjoyed a four-point lead at the three-quarter stage, 0-16 to 0-12.
They went five clear after Paudge Geoghegan pointed on 60 minutes but only managed a single point after that, from a Horan free, which ultimately proved the match-winner.
McGann made a second fine save from James Liddy on 63 minutes but was beaten by Colin Egan two minutes from the end, but Meath held on.
SCORERS -- Meath: N Horan 0-11 (7f, 3 '65'), G O'Neill, J Keena 0-3 each, P Geoghegan, P Durnin 0-1 each. GMIT: C Egan 1-2, G Mahon (2f), K Feeney (3f) 0-3 each, A Lynch, R Madden (1f, 1'65) 0-2 each, D Maher, N Mannion, L Hands 0-1 each.
MEATH -- S McGann; D Donoghue, P Fagan, W Mahedy; M Horan, S Clynch, M Lynch; J Boyle, G O'Neill; J Keena, N Horan, P Geoghegan; B Slevin, D Muldoon, P Durnin. Subs: M Cole for Boyle (31), D Kirby for Muldoon (58).
GMIT -- K Hanniffy; T Martin, C Flannery, G O'Halloran; D Maher, G Mahon, C Duggan; S Hynes, N Mannion; K Feeney, C Egan, A Lynch; L Hands, C O'Brien, R Madden. Subs: J Liddy for O'Brien (41), D Loughnane for Hands (50), B Hunt for Mannion (53), R Badger for Feeney (62), C Hands for Martin (62).
REF -- P Murphy (Carlow).