Ballinsacreen 3-16, Eoghan Rua 0-05
Ballinascreen cruised to an overdue Derry hurling championship title in with a second half dismantling of Eoghan Rua in the Intermediate final at Owenbeg on Sunday.
Cathal McDaid's men started slowly with a fancied Eoghan Rua team racing into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 11 minutes but thereafter managed only one further point, that in the 26th minute, as 'Screen took total control, keeping a second half clean sheet and cruising across the line with plenty to spare.
It was a scenario that looked unlikely when Leo Passmore's point made it 0-5 to 1-4 with four minutes left of the opening half, but there the contest ended. Ballinascreen, so long the championship bridesmaids, were well worth their day in the sun and can look forward to an Ulster tie against Donegal's Setanta. Play like this on the provincial stage and they'll be hard be hard to stop!
By half-time they had established a 1-07 to 0-5 lead courtesy of Ronan O'Kane's 21st minute goal that owed everything to the work of the impressive Marty Bradley, who was also responsible for teeing up Cormac Gough for 'Screen's second major on 35 minutes.
The opener saw Bradley take a brilliant high catch, shake off his marker and race away down the right before squaring to O'Kane who held off another defender and smashed home.
The second half was exhibition stuff from a 'Screen side who grew in confidence with every minute. And no more was that confidence evident than with Bradley whose brilliant solo run five minutes after the break allowed Gough the easy task for finding the net for his team's second goal.
'Screen third goal arrived on 41 minutes when EogahnRua keep Paddy Mullen was caught in possession by Ronan O'Kane. O'Kane looked certain to score until Mullan dragged him down and a penalty was certain but credit should go to referee Owen Elliott who had the presence of mind to allow play to run on for Ciaran Doyle to smash home the breaking ball.
At 3-10 to 0-05 it was only ever about the margin of Ballinascreen victory and both teams ran their benches and the the St. Colm's waited to celebrate. The final whistle arrived to scenes of 'Screen celebration which looked worth their wait. Don't bet on them dying down any time soon!
Eoghan Rua scorers: Leo Passmore (0-3, 2f), Lorcan McMullan (0-2)
Ballinascreen scorers: Cormac Gough (1-4, 4f), Ciaran Doyle (1-2), Ronan O'Kane (1-0), Eamon Conway (0-3, 1f), Marty Bradley (0-1), Aaron Kelly (0-1), Niall Doyle (0-2), Noel Rafferty (0-2), Jamie Lee McGlade (0-1).
Eoghan Rua: Paddy Mullan; Ciaran Lagan, Barry McGoldrick, Pearse Dallas; Aodhan Mullan, Colm McGoldrick, Anton Rafferty; Ruairi Mooney, Lorcan McMullen; Thomas Magee, Dara Mooney, Kosta Papachristopoulos, Leo Passmore, Niall Holly, Sean Leo McGoldrick. (Subs) Michael Costello for L McMullan (inj), 27mins; Lorcan McMullan for A Rafferty, 36mins; Emmett Donnelly for SL McGoldrick, 44mins; Ruairi Devine for C McGoldrick, 45mins; Ciaran Lenehen for C McGoldrick (inj), 53mins.