Ballydurn 2-14; Butlerstown 2-6
Two goals from wing-forward Bobby Byrne set Ballydurn on their way to the Eastern Final when they proved too good for Butlerstown in Dunhill last Saturday afternoon.
It was the performances of veterans, Peter Queally and Michael Hubbard which also proved crucial for the mid-county men who will play the winners of this weekend’s clash between Kill and Fenor in the Eastern decider.
The sides proved well matched in the early stages of this encounter before Byrne struck for his first goal in the 14th minute, pouncing on the rebound after Mark Crowley had saved well from Hubbard.
The goal inspired Ballydurn and at the change of ends, they held a rather comfortable six-point lead on a scoreline of 1-8 to 0-5.
Butlerstown did improve for a period after the break but despite the best efforts of star forward, John Power, they could not make any inroads on the Ballydurn lead.
With Hubbard, Queally and diminutive corner-forward Tommy Dunphy picking off points, Ballydurn sustained their lead.
The game was finished as a contest in the 54th minute when Bobby Byrne was left unmarked and he made no mistake from close range to leave Ballydurn 13 points ahead.
However, Ballydurn appeared to switch off then and Butlertown ran in two quick goals to take the embarrassing look off the scoreline.
Firstly, John Power scored a goal which his efforts deserved before substitute David Hayes ran in at the far post to finish a Hugh Kavanagh centre to the net.
But it was too little too late for Butlerstown and the far superior Ballydurn side had their place in the final a couple of minutes later, when the final whistle blew.
To compound matters for Butlerstown, substitute Tommy Connell received a straight red card in injury time for a stamp on a Ballydurn player.
Ballydurn: R Kirwan; K Mulcahy, T Kirwan, P Cummins; S Cummins, P Dunphy, R Queally; P Cummins, G Dunphy; B Byrne, P Queally, K Mulhall; T Dunphy, M Hubbard, T Sullivan.
Subs: M Power for T Sullivan, N Flynn for K Mulhall, M Kiely for B Byrne.
Scorers: B Byrne (2-0), P Queally (0-5; 0-4f), T Dunphy (0-3; 0-2f), M Hubbard (0-3), T Sullivan, K Mulhall and N Flynn (0-1 each)
Butlerstown: M Crowley; P Lavery, E Horgan, V Codd; Jim Power, K Cheasty, P Power; S Nolan, C Breheny; J Cantwell, S Kavanagh, H Kavanagh; D Grace, J Kirwan, John Power.
Subs: T Connell for S Kavanagh, D Hayes for J Cantwell, S Power for J Kirwan, D Power for V Codd.
Scorers: John Power (1-4; 0-2f), D Hayes (1-0), H Kavanagh (0-1f), S Kavanagh (0-1).
Referee: Alan Kissane (Dunhill).