The victors held the upper-hand throughout thanks to their watertight defence, superbly led by full-back Liam Boyle, while Paud Costello impressed at midfield
It was another afternoon of heartbreak for Lixnaw from whom the Corridan brothers, Pat and Maurice, along with Trevor McKenna, were central figures
Winning manager PJ O’Grady insisted talk of three in-a-row did not impact on their preparations: “We played well but we should have put Lixnaw away a lot earlier than we did. “We missed two goal chances in first half that normally we would have put away. We had some young players who did well, and our subs made an impact when they came in. We did not talk about the three in a row beforehand: they can talk about it tonight.”
Losing Lixnaw boss Thomas Fitzmaurice offered no excuses. “Ballyduff were the better team and we would be disappointed that we did not do ourselves justice.
The first-half proved to be a battle of the free-takers, with Bobby O’Sullivan converting three, scoring a point from play. And it was his free which was touched home in the 22nd minute by captain Aidan Boyle for the game’s opening goal. Meanwhile Ricky Heffernan got all Lixnaw’s first half total from frees, as Ballyduff led 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval.
Lixnaw’s only point from play during the hour was scored by James Flaherty in the 34th minute but Ballyduff were guilty of not putting their dominance into scores and the gap was just two points, (1-7 to 0-8) by the end three quarter. However, the introduction of Thomas O’Rourke saw Ballyduff up their performance and points from Bobby O’Sullivan (4), Thomas O’Rourke (2) and one each from Mikey and Pádraig Boyle saw Ballyduff put the game beyond Lixnaw’s reach. Mike Conway’s late goal for Lixnaw proved a mere consolation
Scorers for Ballyduff: B O’Sullivan 0-8 (0-5 frees. 0-1 ‘65), A Boyle 1-1, M Boyle 0-3, T O’Rourke 0-2, P Boyle 0-1.
Scorers for Lixnaw: R Heffernan 0-8 frees, M Conway 1-0, J Flaherty 0-1.
BALLYDUFF: P J O’Gorman, D O’Grady, L Boyle, J Bowler, A O’Connor, P O’Grady, D Goulding, M O’Connor, P Costello, M Boyle, G O’Brien, B O’Grady, P Boyle, A Boyle, B O’Sullivan.
Subs: T O’Rourke for M O’Connor (36), P J Connelly for G O’Brien (43).
LIXNAW: M Stackpoole, D McCarthy, P Corridan, M Corridan, R Galvin, T McKenna, C Fitzmaurice, J Griffin, F Fitzmaurice, R Heffernan, E Galvin, C O’Brien, C Fitzmaurice, S Power, J Flaherty.
Subs: M Conway for E Galvin (36), G Hogan for S Power (54).
Referee: S Hourigan (Limerick).