Both teams were without their main scoring threat as Peadar Byrne and Brian Farrell were on county duty, but it was Ballinlough that adjusted better and were more potent in attack during the first half.
The Intermediate side were bolstered by two early goals, Cian Mallen did well to disposess the Nobber goalkeeper and he had the simple task of finishing the ball to an empty net as they forged ahead 1-1 to 0-0 after 7 minutes. Nobber had the advantage of a strong wind and an Andrew O’ Brien goal along with a couple of pointed frees from Niall Farrell had them ahead, 1-3 to 1-1, midway through the half.
But Ballinlough regained the initiative and started to dominate at midfield, Kevin Mallen came deep to win possession and he rejoined the move moments later before unleashing a powerful shot from 25 meters and the ball nestled in the top corner as Ballinlough regained the lead in spectacular fashion, 2-1 to 1-3.
The remainder of the half belonged to Ballinlough as they hit 1-4 without reply before the break. Derek Muldoon and Ricky Mc Dermott were on target before Sean Geraghty finished to the net in the last action of the half to give them a commanding lead; 3-5 to 1-3, at half-time.
Nobber faired much better during the second half as Niall Farrell and Philip Mc Entee moved to midfield where they became more competitive, but despite reducing the Ballinlough lead they never really looked like coming back into contention. The ‘Lough were wasteful during the third quarter as kicked a few wides and failed to add to their first-half tally but a great point from Kevin Mallen got the scoreboard ticking again as they secured a four point win.
Best for Ballinlough were: Benji Smith, Ronan Mc Guinness, Gary Reilly and Kevin Mallen.
Ballinlough: K. McGuiness, B. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, R. Mc Guinness, D. Muldoon, M. Geraghty, C. Mallen, G. Reilly, T. Mc Cullen , R. Mc Guinness, S. Geraghty, C. Mallen, K Mallen, R Mc Dermott. Subs: K. Devine for O’ Reilly, M. Mc Cullen for T. Mc Cullen, E. Smith for R. Farrell, J. Reilly for R. McGuiness.