Displaying a wealth of talent and totally dominating all the key sectors down the centre, Midleton led from start to finish and were never unduly troubled by their outclassed opponents.
Early scores from Finbarr Day, Evan O’Keeffe and Robert White gave Midleton a three-point lead before midfielder John Sheehan hit over Rice College’s first score, a point from a free near the end of the first quarter.
But with Páidi O’Sullivan master of all he surveyed at centre-back, Brian Lawton and Cian Fogarty forming an unbeatable midfield partnership and White in irrepressible form at centre-forward, Midleton never gave the Ennis lads a look-in for the remainder of the half.
O’Keeffe scored five points from frees, while Fogarty and White each hit beauties from play as Midleton, with a slight wind advantage, made the lead 0-9 to 0-1 at the break. But for some wayward shooting, that lead would have been far greater.
Because of the brilliance of O’Sullivan, Lawton, Fogarty and White, there was never any likelihood of an Ennis comeback after the break even though they defended quite well and had an outstanding full-back in Tom Hanrahan. Rice College simply did not possess the necessary firepower to make an impression.
Two stars of the show for Midleton, Lawton and White, stretched their side’s lead to 10 points immediately after the resumption before Sheehan had Rice College’s only score from play in the 34th minute.
Less than 90 seconds later, however, Midleton rocked their CBS rivals when corner-forward Dara Aherne, grabbing a high lob from White, squeezed the ball into the left corner of the net for a goal that put the game way beyond the reach of Rice College.
The only other score from Rice College was another pointed free from Sheehan - his team’s lone scorer over the hour - while Midleton, with O’Sullivan, Lawton, Fogarty and White going from strength to strength, copper-fastened the win with a succession of points in the closing quarter.
The victory means that Midleton top their group and go through undefeated to the quarter-final in the New Year. The only disappointing feature of the Cork school’s performance yesterday was a lack of goalscoring power.
: Midleton CBS: D. Aherne 1-0; E. O’Keeffe 0-5 (0-5 from frees); R. White 0-4; B. Lawton 0-3; C. Fogarty and F. Day 0-1 each. Rice College: J. Sheehan 0-3 (0-2 from frees).
: C. Cronin; A. Walsh, A. Kearney, S. Donnelly; S. Murphy, P. O’Sullivan, P. O’Shea; B. Lawton, C. Fogarty; E. O’Keeffe, R. White, J. Keane; D. Aherne, E. Walsh, F. Day.
: E. Kennedy for Fogarty; E. Clifford for O’Keeffe; J. O’Donnell for Murphy.
: R. McCormack; M. Halloran, T. Hanrahan, N. White; H. O’Loughlin, J. Brennan, M. McNamara; J. Sheehan, C. O’Connor; A. Bell, A. Halpin, R. Gallagher; C. Hanraghan, J. Casey, E. Hanrahan.
: B. Culligan for E. Hanrahan; A. Forde for O’Connor; F. Keane for C. Hanrahan; K. Hally for Bell.
: M. Meade (Ballylanders).