By Patrick Sharkey,
A wide in the first minute made it hard for Meath. Donegal opened the scoring in the fourth minute through Susan White. Niamh O Sullivan then responded three minutes later with the opening point for the Royal ladies.
It went 10 minutes without any scores before Katie Long got a Donegal point. Aoife McColgan then made a big save for Donegal against a Byrne shot through on goal. Galloghy however then got herself a Meath point in the 23rd minute. Susan White then got her second point of the game. Stacey Grimes then got a point at the stroke of halftime for the royal to level it. The halftime score read Donegal 0-3 Meath 0-3. It was a low-scoring first half but if Susan White gets enough of the ball there is no doubt Donegal can trouble Meath a lot.
Meath began the second half on the front foot with Stacey Grimes and Niamh O Sullivan getting a point each.
It took until the midway point of the second half for Donegal to get going with a point from Ciara McGarvey.
Meath, however, was having none of it and Mary Kate Lynch got a 45th-minute goal to help the Royal pull.
Susan White however got back in gear in the 49th minute as she managed to get a point to help Donegal.
Meabh Byrne however showed her magic in the Meath shirt as she then managed to get a point to widen the gap between the Royal and the hills to four points. Meath made good use of their substitutes with Alva Leahy getting a point. The full-time score read Donegal 0-5 Meath 1-7. Meath proved all the doubters wrong today.
Donegal: Aoife McColgan, Katie Dowds (0-1), Evelyn McGinley, Emer Gallagher, Amy Boyle Carr, Jodie McFadden, Tara Hegarty, Shelly Twohig, Roisin Rodgers, Saskia Boyle, Kate Long (0-1), Louise Ryan, Susan White (0-3), Shannon McGroddy, Ciara McGarvey (0-1)Subs: Nicole McLaughlin for Jodie McFadden (43) Subs: Nicole McLaughlin, Ava Walsh, Niamh Carr, Connie Walsh, Shauna Higgins, Cait Gillespie.
Meath: M McGuirk, A Sheridan, MK Lynch, K Newe, N Gallogly (0-1), S Ennis, A Clearly, M O Shaughnessy, A Minogue, M Thynne, M Byrne(0-1), C Smyth, O Callan, S Grimes (0-2), N O Sullivan (0-2)Subs: Shelly Melia, Rachel Casserly, Alva Leahy