Cloughduv came out on top in the AIB Munster club junior hurling championship final in Mallow today. The better team throughout, the mid Cork club ran out comfortable six-point winners against Ballinameela.
They laid the foundation for victory while playing against the wind in the opening half. Ballinameela, meanwhile, were wasteful firing nine wides in that opening 30 minutes Playing a sweeper, Cloughduv drew level by the 20th minute, 0-5 apiece and were never led thereafter.
They gradually picked up the pace approaching half-time, and with Brian Verling superb (tally of nine points), his first-half return of five points helped Cloughduv move into a 0-8 to 0-6 lead at the interval. The Waterford champions were reliant on free-taker Brendan Phelan for half of their total.
Getting good ball up to their attack, the Cloughduv advantage increased after the restart. Within 10 minutes, their dominance told on the scoreboard outscoring Balllinameela four points to one. By the three-quarter stage, that five-point gap remained, 0-13 to 0-8.
Goal chances went abegging at both ends, but Cloughduv maintained the upper hand and regained the trophy last held by a Cork club (Mayfield) in 2016.
Scorers for Cloughduv: B Verling (0-9, 0-7 frees), M Walsh, M Verling and J Ryan (0-2 each), J Moynihan and A Cronin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Ballinameela: Brendan Phelan (0-6, 0-5 frees), P Curran (0-2), J Curran and Brian Phelan (0-1 each).
Cloughduv: J Buckley; P Buckley, E Clifford, S Curzon; G Ahern, B Ahern, D O’Leary; M Walsh, A Murphy; M Verling (Capt), A Cronin, D Corkery; B Verling, J Ryan, J Moynihan.
Subs: G Egan for D Corkery (34), D Sullivan for G Ahern (43), A Twomey for S Curzon (47), K Barry Murphy for A Cronin (53), K Walsh for D O’Leary (60).
Ballinameela: D Looby; R Shine (Capt), M Shine, K Looby; K Phelan, D Phelan, L Looby; P Curran, T Curran; L O’Brien, Brian Phelan, C Culloo; C Buckley, Brendan Phelan, J Curran.
Subs: M Culloo for C Buckley (40), E Walsh for C Culloo (42), M Phelan for J Curran (52).
Referee: Joe Mullins (Clare).