Though minus county panellist Michael Gleeson, Sarsfields carried far too much firepower for their opponents. Goals by Pa Bourke and ‘Redser’ O’Grady in the 14th and 15th minutes had them firmly in control.
Captain Lar Corbett added a third in the 27th minute but a Johnny Ryan goal from a 20 metre free in injury-time gave Kickhams some hope as they trailed 3-10 to 1-8 at the break.
That hope was shortlived. Ritchie Ruth netted for Sarsfields three minutes after the restart and had his second goal soon after. Kickhams had no answer to a rampant Sars, with sub John Lawlor bagging their sixth goal ten minutes from time.
All Sarsfields’ big name players impressed with Lar Corbett (1-2), Pa Bourke (1-6), Ritchie Ruth (2-2), Redser O’Grady (1-3), Michael Cahill and Stephen Lillis leading by example.
Roscrea gave their best display of the year, defeating Boherlahan-Dualla 3-19 to 0-12.
A Tommy Fitzgerald goal after six minutes gave Roscrea perfect start and, with Davin Flynn excelling, in attack they led 1-10 to 0-7 at the interval. Joe Carroll’s goal for Roscrea at the end of the third quarter killed off any hopes of a Boherlahan rally and nine minutes from time, Jason Fitzpatrick added the third goal.
Coached by former Clare star, Ollie Baker, Roscrea were lively and impressive and if they can improve on their finishing, they could make progress. Former Tipp star, Diarmuid Fitzgerald had a fine game, with Tommy Fitzgerald, Liam England, Darren O’Connor and Davin Flynn also to the fore.
Daragh Hickey was Boherlahan’s top scorer with 0-7. AJ Maher, Aidan Maher and Ger Sullivan also worked very hard for them.
Meanwhile, county man, Seamus Hennessy was an absentee through injury but this did not stop Kilruane MacDonagh recording a comfortable 1-20 to 1-13 win over Borrisokane.
Liam Gibson’s late goal ensured a place in the second round for McDonaghs.
County goalkeeper Brendan Cummins could do little to prevent a rampant Portroe from seeing off the challenge of Ballybacon/Grange by 4-27 to 1-17.
The draw for the second round of the county senior hurling championship will be made tonight.