Responding to the early challenge of the Waterford champions, Barryroe, with two cracking goals from corner-forward Denis Harrington, and nine points from wing forward Kieran Griffin, safely secured their place in the provincial decider.
Barryroe hardly knew what hit them in the opening sequences when three points from corner-forward Christy Murphy, two from frees, propelled Ballysaggart into the lead. And with midfielder Eugene O’Brien excelling, the Cork champions found themselves with a battle on their hands.
In a rip-roaring opening quarter, Barryroe, with team captain Jason Fleming again majestic at centre-back, gradually came to grips with their game and a stunning strike from Harrington in the ninth minute got them on level terms.
Ballysaggart hit back four minutes later with a brilliant opportunist goal from corner-forward Ronan Walsh and again Barryroe appeared in troubled waters. But then the tide turned dramatically. Harrington pounced to score his second goal and Barryroe took the lead for the first time with a finely-executed point from full-forward Pádraig Collins after 15 minutes.
Now Ballysaggart were under pressure, but Barryroe’s left-half forward Kieran Griffin finally found his touch from placed ball situation.
In the twinkling of an eye, Griffin opened up daylight between the sides with a succession of scores from frees, 65s and one from play as Barryroe powered to a 2-7 to 1-3 interval lead.
Griffin continued his one man demolition act when he pointed another free after the resumption. Kieran Hurley, who had a fine game on the right wing, added another, and Ballysaggart, who had failed to score for 19 minutes, were left with an Everest to climb.
They never looked capable of knocking Barryroe out their stride.
Ballysaggart gained hope when corner-forward Walsh scored his second goal with a delightful first-time ground stroke in the 50th minute to leave seven points between the sides.
Things turned sour for Ballysaggart with the dismissal of midfielder Tom Landers. The Waterford side battled on, led by Eugene O’Brien. But Barryroe never looked like relinquishing their right to meet Tipperary representatives Moyle Rovers in the final.
Scorers — Barryroe: D. Harrington (2-1), K. Griffin (0-9, 0-6 frees, 0-2 65s, 0-1 play), K. Hurley (0-2), P. Collins (0-1).
Ballysaggart: R. Walsh (2-0), C. Murphy (0-5 frees), T. Landers, E. O’Brien (0-1 each).
G. Keohane; G. O’Leary, B. O’Brien, T. Carroll; T. Harrington, J. Fleming, A. White; J. Coleman, K. McCarthy; K. Hurley, A. Fleming, K. Griffin; J. O’Donovan, P. Collins, D. Harrington.
Subs: C. Cahalane for McCarthy, P. Fleming for O’Donovan.
M. Meagher; M. Kearney, F. Meagher, K. Fennessy; G. Fennessy, P. Carey, D. Devine; E. O’Brien, T. Landers; K. Cashell, B. Murphy, B. Kearney; R. Walsh, A. Meagher, C. Murphy.
Subs: B. Walsh for Cashell, S. Clancy for G. Fennessy, S. Kearney for A. Meagher, P. Hale for Walsh, D. Nugent for B. Kearney.
D. O’Driscoll (Limerick).