In Castletownroche on Saturday, Ballyclough drew first blood through Teddy O’Shea before Mitchelstown got on top at midfield, where Shane Cahill and Shane Beston did very well.
Mitchelstown struck for the next five points by the 18th minute and looked very impressive.
However, Ballyclough picked up their game and kicked the next five points to lead by one at the break.
Colm O’Neill and long-serving Jerdie Deady added points for Ballyclough but Mitchelstown continued to battle very hard
However, Ballyclough moved four points clear in the 48th minute when man of the match Paul O’Flynn and Peter Carroll combined well to feed Colm O’Neill, who was fouled. O’Neill pointed the free himself.
Mitchelstown, who had not scored since the 18th minute of the first half, finally broke their barren streak in the 50th minute when Dave Dineen fired over an excellent point.
They sensed victory was still within reach but were denied by a further series of very bad wides.
Despite this, Dave Dineen placed James Sheehan for a point.
However, they were unable to get any closer and the Ballyclough defence dug deep when the pressure came on, even stretching their lead in injury time when Colm O’Neill kicked a great point from long range that ensured victory.
In the final reckoning 18 wides was just too many for Mitchelstown while Ballyclough were far more economical with just seven efforts on goal drifting wide of the target.
Scorers for Ballyclough: C O’Neill 0-4 (0-3f) T O’Shea 0-3 (0-2f) P Carroll, J Deady, T Herlihy 0-1 each
Scorers for Mitchelstown: S Cahill, J Sheehan 0-2 each, L Keane, L O’Flynn, D Dineen 0-1 each.
BALLYCLOUGH : A O’Shea, S Walsh, B O’Leary, E Crowley, P Carroll, P O’Flynn (Capt), T O’Flynn, J O’Shea, B Morrissey, T Healy, C O’Neill, E O’Connor, M Heffernan, T O’Shea, T O’Neill.
Subs: D Herlihy for P Carroll (blood) P Carroll for D Herlihy, S Smyth for E O’Connor, T Herlihy for T O’Neill (inj) J Deady for T Healy, D Herlihy for T O’Flynn, N Finnegan for M Heffernan.
MITCHELSTOWN: L Hanna, S Coughlan, F Herlihy, D Lynch, O Burke, P Molloy, M Maher, S Cahill, S Beston, M Walsh, L Keane, D Dineen, J Cott, L O’Flynn, J Sheehan.
Subs: J Finn for P Molloy, A O’Brien for L O’Flynn, G Carroll for L Keane, S Fox for J Cott.
Referee: John O’Leary (Mallow).