Despite hauling back a four point deficit to level the game at half time Monaghan champions Latton never really looked as if they would surprise a skillful but sometimes lethargic Ballinderry at Ballinascreen.
Ballinderry had shot into an early 0-5 to 0-1 lead and it all looked so easy for them but the tough Latton side had no intention of being blown away and led by centre forward Bernard O’Brien they had squared the game at 0-5 each by the interval.
After 30 minutes Latton half forward Barry McCabe was spotted having a punch at Ballinderry sub Michael Bell and was given a red card. Ten yellows were also dished out with Latton getting the majority.
With Eoin Lennon doing trojan work at midfield Latton kept on the fringes of proceedings and when corner back Hughie Lennon hit the score of the game eighteen minutes from the end there was just two points in it.
Enda Muldoon was now operating at midfield for the Derry men and gradual they began to get on top. Points from Gilligan and Muldoon twice between the 47th and 51st minutes put the game out of Latton’s reach and with a six point lead nine minutes from time they were as good as in the semi final.
Overall it was a disappointing game with too many fouls and too much off the ball niggles but Ballinderry won without being at their best.
But with a subs bench littered with county players of various grades they have a huge capacity to improve.
On the day it was diminutive corner forward Raymond Wilkinson who stole the show.