The difference between the two teams was quite evident from the start as Castletown set out their stall with some neat passing and their fast moving forward line had the Ballinlough defence in disarray from an early stage. Most of the creativity came from their half-forward line of Kevin Ross, Darren Finney and Alan Smyth.
It was Smith who did the damage early on, scoring two goals in the first eleven minutes and then in the 24th minute he made an opening for Kenny Smyth who planted the ball in the Ballinlough net to leave his team ahead; 3-3 to 0-3. Darren Finney added another point before the break as Castletown looked to have most of the hard work done as half time leading; 3-4 to 0-3.
Ballinlough’s Derek Muldoon got the first score of the second half but a fight back never looked likely as Gerard Farrelly led a rigid Castletown defence. Darren Finney netted from close range in the 40th minute and it effectively ended the game as a contest as they went ahead; 4-5 to 0-4.
Ballinlough kept plugging away and three of their substitutes; Niall Farrelly, Conor Briody and Seamus Byrne added points late on but the real problem for Ballinlough was their inability to create goal scoring opportunities and Benji Smith’s effort in the 52nd minute was the only time when they really threatened the Castletown net.
Ballinlough will be disappointed with this performance but they may point to the fact that 13 of the players they used during the course of the match were involved with Kilskyre in Intermediate Hurling Championship the previous night.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, Junior O’ Reilly, J. Byrne, K. Devine (0-2f) , Kevin Mallen, D. Muldoon (0-1), K. Rothwell, L. Maguire, T. Mc Cullen, Cian Mallen (0-1), Colm Mallen (0-2, 1f), R. Mc Guinness. Subs: J. O’ Higgins for Byrne, C. Briody (0-1) for Rothwell, S. Byrne (0-1) for K. Mallen, S. Deevy for Colm Mallen and Niall Farrelly (0-1) for Maguire.