Playing into the wind, the East Cork side stormed into a 2-2 to 0-1 lead after five minutes. Ballyhea had no answer to the strike force of Conor Lehane, Paul Haughney and three-goal scorer Patrick White as Midleton did as they pleased.
Ballyhea were totally dependent on full forward Ryan Hanley for scores. He accounted for five of his side’s eight first-half points as his side trailed 2-9 to 0-8 a the break.
Midleton took up where they left off on the restart adding further points and only the butt of the upright denied Conor Lehane a goal after a great run.
The North Cork side badly needed a goal to get back into the game, but while they applied a lot of pressure on the Midleton defence, through the efforts of Pa O’Callaghan and John Morrissey, the East Cork backs gave nothing away due to the excellence of keeper Tommy Wallace and full-back Patrick O’Mahony.
Midleton’s superior abilities kept the Ballyhea defence under enormous pressure for most of the second half. A third goal was inevitable and it eventually came courtesy of White to complete his hat-trick. A semi-final against the winners of the Bandon/Duhallow tie now awaits Midleton.
Scorers for Midleton: P. White 3-0; C. Lehane 0-7 (0-3 frees); P. Haughney 0-6; C. Walsh 0-2 (0-1 65); P. Nagle, N. Madden 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballyhea: R. Hanley 0-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 65); P. O’Callaghan 0-4 (0-1 free); K. Morrissey J. Morrissey 0-1 each.
MIDLETON: T. Wallace; P. Farrell, P. O’Mahony, L. Coughlan; E. Mulcahy, K. Burke, N. O’Regan; C. Walsh, P. Nagle; C. Lehane, I. Kennefick, N. Madden; P. White, P. Haughney, B. O’Sullivan.
Subs: B. O’Shea for E. Mulcahy (50); G. Hurley for C. Walsh (50); C. Swayne for T. Wallace (55); S. O’Barrell for P. White (55); D. Quirke for P. Nagle (55).
BALLYHEA: M. Browne; J. Harty, J. Hennessy, TJ Garvey; J. McCarthy, K. O’Donoghue, L. Hanley; K. Morrissey, D. Copps; J. Morrissey, P. O’Callaghan, L. O’Shea; D. O’Shaughnessy, R. Hanley, D. Relihan.
Subs: K. Copps for L. O’Shea (half time); L. O’Shea for D. O’Shaughnessy (50); F. O’Regan for D. Relihan (55).
Referee: K. Murphy (Nemo Rangers).