Devlin the star turn as Ballinderry deny Clonoe
Ballinderry 0-14 Clonoe 0-10
Ballinderry's ability to take their chances proved decisive as they carved out a deserved four-point victory over a battling, but wasteful, Clonoe side.
With Aaron Devlin and Ryan Bell in superb scoring form for the Derry outfit, Martin McKinless' side saw off the challenge of the Tyrone champions, who struggled to turn possession into points.
The Derry champions started at great pace and they opened the scoring on the 20-second mark when Aaron Devlin pointed from 40 metres. Further scores from Ryan Bell and Darren Lawn saw the Shamrocks lead by three.
Clonoe got off the mark through Daniel McNulty's point on nine minutes, but Ballinderry quickly replied through Conor Nevin.
Clonoe looked to have settled as Conor McAliskey kicked their second point from a free, but Ballinderry again took control with Coilin Devlin, Aaron Devlin and Darren McKinless kicking three points to lead 0-7 to 0-2 after 23 minutes.
Clonoe kept themselves in the match as PJ Lavery put over a neat score and Conor McAliskey kicked a 13-metre free, but Ballinderry led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval as Conleith Gilligan pointed from a tough angle.
Ballinderry could have put the game to bed from the first attack of the second half, but Daniel McKinless blazed wide with the goal at his mercy. Clonoe took advantage of that let-off and with Colm Doris providing a platform at midfield, scores from Lavery and another McAliskey free saw them close the gap to two by the 37th minute.
The Tyrone side were missing too many chances, while Ballinderry were ruthless in attack as Bell kicked two scores to make it 0-10 to 0-6. Every time Clonoe closed the margin, Ballinderry responded, with Gilligan pointing to cancel out Ryan T O'Neill's point.
Clonoe did get within touching distance when two frees from McNulty closed the gap to 0-11 to 0-9, but Ballinderry responded in style as man of the match Aaron Devlin pointed on the run, Ryan Bell kicked a 60-yard free and Coilin Devlin added a close-in free to seal the deal.
McNulty did manage one more injury-time free for Clonoe, but it was too little, too late.
Scorers – Ballinderry: R Bell 0-4 (1f), A Devlin 0-3, C Gilligan 0-2, D McKinless, D McGuckin, C Devlin , C Nevin, D Lawn 0-1 each. Clone: D McNulty 0-4 (1f), C McAlickey 0-3 (3fs), PJ Lavery 0-2, RT O'Neill 0-1.
Ballinderry – M Conlan; R Scott, C Nevin, M McIver; R Wilson, G McKinless, D Lawn; K McGuckin, J Conway; D McKinless, A Devlin, D McGuckin; C Devlin, R Bell, C Gilligan. Subs: E Muldoon for Lawn (42), D Conway for D McKinless (56), M Harney for Wilson (60), Kevin M McGuckin for J Conway (62).
Clonoe – M O'Neill; D Quinn, A Brady, C O'Neill; J McClure, S McCann, PJ Lavery; S McNulty, S O'Hagan; R T O'Neill, C Doris, P Doris; P Coney, D McNulty, C McAliskey. Subs: G Coney for S McCann (13), R R O'Neill for P Doris (44), D McClure for C McAliskey (52), S Hughes for J McClure (58).
REF – M Higgins (Fermanagh)