Ballinlough were without suspended duo Daniel Mc Cartan and Simon Deevy and their presence was badly missed in an attack that was out muscled by a much stronger Summerhill defence. The teams were level at half-time but Summerhill had enjoyed the majority of the possession and it was inevitable that they would eventually wear down an overworked Ballinlough defence.
After a slow start to the game Summerhill got the scoring underway with a Gary Mc Donnell point in the 11th minute and he added two more points within the next ten minutes as they opened up a 0-3 to 0-0 lead. After a difficult opening 20 minutes Ballinlough began to settle and Bryan Smith sailed over a ’45 to get them off the mark, 17 year old Mark Mc Cullen was starting to become more influential around midfield and he finished off a nice move to make it 0-4 to 0-2 after 26 minutes.
Summerhill missed some good scoring opportunities in the opening half and they paid a heavy price when Ballinlough took the lead with a goal from Christopher Gaughran in the 28th minute, it was James O’ Higgins who made the opening and he offloaded to Gaughran who finished to the net despite the best efforts of a couple of defenders. Despite the setback Summerhill conjured up a quick response when Brian Rispin fired over to leave it 1-2 to 0-5 at half time.
Summerhill made a couple of telling substitutions early in the second half and they started to use their possession more efficiently as they ran at the Ballinlough defence and won several frees close to goal, a point from Gary Mc Donnell was followed by three converted frees as Summerhill surged ahead 0-9 to 1-3 at the three quarters stage. With Summerhill dominating possession their looked to be no way back for Ballinlough, Junior O’ Reilly got their only score of the last quarter and despite some staunch defending from their corner backs Jonathon O’ Reilly and Shane Smyth they couldn’t prevent Summerhill building on their lead as they ran out comfortable winners.
Ballinlough: B. Balfe, Jonathon O’ Reilly, J. O’ Keffee, S. Smyth, E. Smith, G. Smith, P. Briody, M. Mc Cullen (0-1), Junior O’ Reilly(0-1), N. Farrelly, M. Reilly, J. O’ Higgins, B. Smith (0-2, ’45, 1f), D. Lynch, C. Caughran (1-0) Subs: P. Monaghan for Lynch, V.Ryan for Reilly, A. Kellett for Caughran and J. Farrelly for Farrelly.