The East Kerry club lost by three points to South Kerry in their championship opener but were never in danger of bowing out to Mid Kerry who themselves were comprehensively beaten by Legion a week previously.
Rathmore dominated this encounter in every sector and the only surprising thing about the result was that their winning margin was not greater. Mid Kerry toiled admirably, but were never at the races against a well-drilled and determined Rathmore outfit.
Rathmore signalled their intent right from the start of the game and with John Moynihan in sublime form in attack, they registered their first score within two minutes of the throw-in. Moynihan, easily the star performer on view until unfortunately having to retire injured after 35 minutes, opened the scoring after two minutes before feeding Paul Reen who doubled Rathmore’s lead after four.
Mid Kerry responded with a score from midfielder Colin McGillycuddy, however Moynihan, who led Aaron Cahillane a merry dance until his enforced retirement, restored Rathmore’s two-point lead just eight minutes in.
From here on, it was all Rathmore and with George O’Keeffe, Aidan O’Mahony, Tom O’Sullivan and Donal O’Sullivan dominating, the writing was on the wall for Mid Kerry from a long way out.
Further scores from John Moynihan (two), Michael O’Riordan, Marc Reen, James O’Sullivan and George O’Keeffe, in response to points from Darran O’Sullivan and Gary Sayers, left Rathmore in command at half-time, leading 0-9 to 0-3.
Mid Kerry, to their credit, made more of a fight of it in the second half, and they exerted considerable pressure in the opening exchanges.
Their evening, however, was summed up by their failure to turn this domination into scores and it was Rathmore who broke downfield to score after a period of sustained pressure. Impressive half-back John Moynihan once again did the scoring honours.
By the 51st minute, Rathmore had eked out a 0-12 to 0-4 lead, and though Mid Kerry, through Gary Sayers and sub Terry O’Sullivan, had reduced the deficit to six points by the time referee Padraig O’Sullivan called for time, the East Kerry club had done more than enough to comfortably advance.
Scorers for Rathmore: J Moynihan, D O’Sullivan 0-3 each, P Reen, M O’Riordan, M Reen, J O’Sullivan, G O’Keeffe, B O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mid Kerry: G Sayers 0-2 (2fs), C McGillycuddy, Darran O’Sullivan, F Courtney (1f), T O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
RATHMORE: J Hughes; J O’Sullivan, T O’Sullivan, P Murphy; B O’Leary; C O’Sullivan, Donal O’Sullivan; A O’Mahony, G O’Keeffe; M Reen, M O’Riordan, E Lawlor; P Reen, J Buckley, J Moynihan.
Subs: B O’Keeffe for J Moynihan (37), S Reen for P Reen (39), S O’Riordan for, Daniel O’Sullivan for J Buckley (60).
MID KERRY: M Moriarty; A Cahillane, G Hartnett, E Ashe; MJ O’Connor, T Ladden, J Reilly; C McGillycuddy, M Hallissey; G Sayers, Darran O’Sullivan, S O’Sullivan, Danny O’Sullivan, F Courtney, L Sheehan.
Subs: J Hoare for J Reilly (12), T O’Sullivan for A Cahillane (55), S Walsh for L Sheehan, D O’Flaherty for Danny O’Sullivan (59).
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Firies).