Colin Fennelly’s 26th-minute goal gave the Kilkenny club a 1-7 to 0-4 interval lead, and they moved up the gears in the second half to impose their class on proceedings.
TJ Reid played a captain’s role for his side, contributing six points, but his influence went beyond the scoreboard as he covered virtually every second of the pitch in winning ball and utilising its.
To their credit, Kilmallock kept going right to the death, with substitute Robbie Hanley firing a late goal, but the Limerick and Munster champions’ cause was a lost one from a long way off.
Henry Shefflin embodied Ballyhale’s spirit early in that second period when flicking the sliotar from the base of Mark O’Loughlin’s hurley and sending it over for the opening score of the half.
It set the tone for Ballyhale’s supremacy and the Kilkenny kingpins at one stage recorded an unanswered sequence of five points as Kilmallock failed to rise to the challenge.
When push came to shove, Ballyhale made the most of the opportunities which came their way, and there were more decisive than their 26th-minute goal.
At that stage, Ballyhale were narrowly ahead – 0-6 to 0-4 – when a long clearance was flicked on by Shefflin to Fennelly, and he unleashed a powerful strike that flew by Barry Hennessy before he could react.
Up to that goal, Kilmallock had given as good as they had taken, except on the scoreboard. They had a goal ruled out on three minutes due to an infringement in the small square as goalkeeper Richie Reid attempted to play the ball.
Reid was required to make a good save from Graeme Mulcahy on 13 minutes, but for the most part the Ballyhale defence held firm.
Ballyhale Shamrocks: C Fennelly 1-3, TJ Reid 0-6 (4f), E Reid 0-3, H Shefflin, M Aylward 0-2 each, A Cuddihy, B Aylward 0-1 each.
Kilmallock: E Ryan 0-3 (3f), R Hanley 1-0, P O’Brien, R Egan, G Mulcahy 0-1 each.