Showing no ill-effects from their two inconclusive Limerick championship outings in the previous eight days, Cappamore were much the sharper side during an opening quarter in which they ran up 1-5 without reply and, despite being caught by a goal from the blue, had built a sizeable lead before the Decies men finally found their stride with 20 minutes to go.
Although Cappamore nerves wobbled as a barrage of 1-4 saw their advantage cut from 10 points to four, Andy Murphy’s second goal put the issue beyond doubt.
After three Tommie O’Donoghue points and another from Bill Creamer got the hosts off the mark, Murphy’s goal underlined their early superiority. Jim Curran, Ballinameela’s sole forward threat of the first-half, found the net to keep his side in contact. However, Conor Sheehan’s finish from Creamer’s pass left the Limerickmen leading 2-7 to 1-1 at the break.
Two O’Donoghue frees had widened the gap before Brian Phelan pulled straight to the net from a throw-in on the 21. It roused Ballinameela for a run of points but the rally was running out of steam by the time Murphy killed off their dreams.
CAPPAMORE: T Ryan; D Shanahan, S Lane, J Campbell; M Treacy (0-1), B Coffey, J Ryan; S Ryan (0-1), Declan Deere; Bill Creamer (0-1), Eamon Gleeson (0-1), Darragh O’Dwyer; Andy Murphy (2-0), Conor Sheehan (1-0), Tommie O’Donoghue (0-6, 4f).
Subs: J O’Donnell for D O’Dwyer, J Hayes for B Creamer.
BALLINAMEELA: J Maher; K Phelan, Eamon Walsh, A Browne; J Harrington, C Walsh, R McCarthy; T Curran, Brian Phelan (1-0); A Ahearne, C Buckley (0-1), Eoghan Walsh; J McGrath, Brendan Phelan (0-1), J Curran (1-3, 2f).
Subs: D Phelan for E Walsh, D O’Brien (0-1) for J McGrath.
Referee: J O’Brien (Tipperary).