The game was delicately poised at half-time, with Cloyne a mere point in arrears, but Youghal’s greater return from open play, plus sturdy defending, saw them through with a bit to spare.
Cloyne were wind-assisted in the first-half but wasted far too many opportunities, their wide tally growing to double figures. Youghal were more economical, shooting five early points. Leigh Desmond and Ollie Dempsey were prominent in attack as they moved 0-6 to 0-2 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Cloyne then received a major boost when Diarmuid O’Sullivan blasted a 20 metre free to the net on 26 minutes followed by a point from the same player to level the game, 1-4 to 0-7.
However, with half-time looming, Youghal hit back. Donal Óg Cusack batted the ball to safety after a shot on goal but the ball eventually fell to Brendan Ring, who found the net from close range.
Cloyne came back again though with two points to leave them trailing 1-6 to 1-7 as they headed to the dressing room.
They were put on the backfoot straight on the resumption, however, when Bill Cooper goaled following a marvellous free-flowing move initiated by James O’Mahony. They were in trouble when O’Mahony, Dempsey and Damien Ring rifled over points to put Youghal 2-10 to 1-7 clear.
Youghal were giving very little away in defence, especially John Grace at full-back, and with 10 minutes remaining they had maintained their six point advantage after Desmond landed a huge free from his own half-back line.
Cloyne were forced to go for goals but each time they were driven back. They did however succeed when Keith Dennehy netted but the game was then in stoppage time.
Brendan Ring had the last say with a fine point from play.
Scorers for Youghal: Brendan Ring (1-4, three frees), B Cooper (1-0), O Dempsey and L Desmond (0-3 each), J O’Mahony (0-2), D Ring and A Frahill O’Connor (0-1 each).
Scorers for Cloyne: Diarmuid O’Sullivan (1-5, 1-3 frees, two 65s), K Dennehy (1-0), A Walsh, P O’Sullivan, D Cahill and L Cahill (0-1 each).
YOUGHAL: R Cunningham; B O’Sullivan, J Grace, K Walsh; M Cronin, C Spillane, Barry Ring; B Cooper (Capt), D Ring; J O’Mahony, A Frahill-O’Connor, O Dempsey; Brendan Ring, B Maloney, L Desmond.
Subs: N Roche for B O’Sullivan (45), C O’Mahony for J O’Mahony (59).
CLOYNE: D Óg Cusack; B Fleming, K Cronin, D Dinneen; B McCarthy, E O’Sullivan, J Nyhan; A Walsh, Domhnall O’Sullivan (Capt); Paul O’Sullivan, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, L Cahill; C O’Sullivan, K Dennehy, D Cahill.
Subs: S Beausang for D Dinneen (38).
Referee: David Daly (Brian Dillons).