Stradbally 2-14; Ballinameela 0-7
Despite Ballinameela being first to score, there never was never any doubt that champions Stradbally wouldn’t come emerge this time around, with their dominance reflected on the scoreboard.
And once Shane Ahearne kicked a point on six minutes, it was evident that there was never going to be any disputing the outcome.
The same player pointed again from a free before Stephen Cunningham hit the target to give the champions a 0-3 to 0-1 lead with 10 minutes played.
At the midway point of the opening half, Ballinameela full-back Eamon Walsh was caught in procession by Robert Ahearne.
He unleashed a shot which was brilliantly saved by James McGrath in the Ballinameela goal and from the rebound Ger Power made no mistake to give Stradbally a 1-3 to 0-1 lead.
Points in quick succession followed from Robert and Shane Ahearne before Eoghan Walsh captured Ballinameela’s second point of the afternoon.
An error from Trevor Costello with four minutes of the half remaining saw Jim Curran through on Oliver Costello but the Stradbally net minder made a good save.
From the rebound, John Stack pointed for Ballinameela for the last score of the half, which gave his side some confidence for the second half even though they trailed 1-6 to 0-4.
The second half was scarcely 20 seconds old when John Coffey hit another delightful point for Stradbally off his left leg.
Moments later Jim Curran again found himself through on the Stradbally goal but Oliver Costello once again made a good save and from the rebound Emmett Cummins saved Stradbally’s bacon when clearing off the line.
Eoghan Walsh and Michael Walsh swapped points inside a two minute spell before Ballinameela once again found themselves with yet another goal scoring opportunity.
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