John Purcell’s 39th minute goal proved the crucial score in the end, but the second half was a closely fought affair, with the teams level on four occasions.
Rathdowney-Errill had the aid of a stiff breeze in the first half and were ahead within seconds thanks to John Purcell. Further efforts from James Corrigan and Ross King found just one response from Clonkill, and Rathdowney had pulled 0-7 to 0-2 ahead after 27 minutes. Clonkill managed two late points but they still had it all to do.
It took the Westmeath champions just seven minutes to turn a three point deficit into a one point lead, but Purcell’s goal put Rathdowney-Errill back in front.
Clonkill got back level again, but three late points from Ross King helped Rathdowney-Errill to record a historic win for the club.
Scorers for Rathdowney-Errill: R King 0-8 (6f), J Purcell 1-1, E Meagher 0-2, J Corrigan 0-1
Clonkill: B Murtagh 0-5 (4f), A Mitcehll 0-3 (f), E Price 0-2, M Keegan, S Power 0-1 each
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: N Brennan; B Campion, L Mahon, A Delaney; P Mahon, J Fitzpatrick, J Corrigan; P Purcell, S Dollard; E Meagher, O Houlihan, J Purcell; J Phelan, R King, L Tynan.
Subs: J Ryan for Houlihan (45)
CLONKILL: S Nulty; T Egan, J Fagan, K Reilly; A Price, A Mitchell, M Keegan; P Dowdall, S Power; A Dowdall, A McGrath, B Murtagh; C Reilly, C Scally, E Price.
Subs: L Folan for P Dowdall (ht), S Cleary for Egan (ht), L Loughlin for C Reilly (52), N Dowdall for McGrath (56), E Loughlin for A Dowdall (59)
Referee: David Hughes (Carlow).