The intermediate finalists of 2016 were the superior outfit from start to finish and 18 points was a healthy return as they stretched the Ballinlough defence on many occasions. However the North Meath men did show glimpses of their capability and with ten minutes remaining they narrowed the margin to three points; but the absence of a few key players prevented them from really making a push for victory.
Dunderry raced out of the blocks and scored freely in the opening half; county panellist Paddy Kenneally was prominent at centre half back and his probing runs were the catalyst for many of their scores. Ballinlough’s chances weren’t helped by the loss of midfielder Derek Muldoon to injury midway through the half. Mark Mc Cullen was Ballinlough’s best player and he scored a goal to keep Ballinlough in touch, but only just as they trailed; 0-11 to 1-2, at the break.
Ballinlough improved in the third quarter and a goal from Eoin Mc Cabe helped narrow the margin and with Lorcan Gibney doing well at the other end of the field the margin was down to three points with ten minutes remaining. However just when it looked like Ballinlough were going to get something out of the game it was Dunderry who upped their work rate and with Kenneally providing the inspiration they finished stronger for a six point win. Ballinlough: L. Gibney, P. Briody, E. Smith, R. Farrell, J. O’ Reilly, L. Maguire, B. Smith, D. Muldoon, T. Mc Cullen, J. Tunney, M. Mc Cullen, R. Mc Guinness, N. Farrelly, P. Byrne, K. Byrne. Subs: J. Baugh for Muldoon, J. O’ Higgins for Briody and Eoin Mc Cabe for O’ Reilly.