Except for the opening quarter and for a brief spell in the third, Macroom were outplayed, and had the city side taken more scoring chances this game would have been over long before they hit a tricky patch midway through that second period.
In the end they need not have worried, because after Patrick Lucey and Fintan Goold had threatened to upstage them, St Michael’s found further reserves of strength and stamina to coast home.
A 22 points total is respectable at any time, but St Michael’s still left 14 points behind them when they shot wide seven times in each half.
Were it not for some exceptional play from Patrick Lucey, Tony Dinneen and Cork star Goold, Macroom might well have been put to the sword earlier.
They certainly started well with points from Lucey and Dinneen and another from David Goold to one by Paul Cronin for a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes, and there was no real sign of what was to come until Eric Hegarty and Paul Cronin combined to crush the Mid Cork challenge with some exceptional scores.
The highly-rated Hegarty set the ball rolling with a couple of points before Cronin (3) and William Kennedy waded in as a response to a single point from Macroom’s Dinneen. Eoghan Buckley got a 28th minute point before Hegarty smashed home an injury time goal to give his side a 1-8 to 0-4 lead at the break.
It didn’t get much better for Macroom even though they did have the breeze at their backs in the second half. If anything, St Michael’s could have stretched their lead but missed three good opportunities before Lucey gave the losers the opening score of the half on 38 minutes.
They were never likely to pull clear, however, despite a brave attempt that yielded enough scores to reduce the deficit to three points with 12 minutes remaining.
That effort clearly took its toll, with St Michael’s responding to pull away with a further succession of points. And they sealed the win when Mark Ryan goaled as the game wound down to its conclusion.
Scorers for St Michael’s: E Hegarty 1-3 (0-2 from frees), M Ryan 1-1, P Cronin 0-5, E Buckley 0-3, W Kennedy 0-2, M Ryan and M Mulconry 0-1 each.
Scorers for Macroom: P Lucey 0-5 (0-2 from frees), T Dinneen 0-3, F Goold 0-2 (0-1 from free), C Murphy 0-1.
ST MICHAEL’S: B Kavanagh, C O’Shaughnessy, R Dineen (captain), D Crowley, A Murphy, A O’Driscoll, A Nolan, S O’Keeffe, W Kennedy, P Cronin, M Mulconry, M Drummond, E Buckley, M Ryan, E Hegarty.
Sub: N Cashman for A Murphy (59)
MACROOM: J O’Connell, R Buckley, E O’Mahony, M O’Donnell, R O’Dwyer, C Murphy (captain), B O’Donnell, P Corrigan, F Goold, T Dinneen, S Kiely, C O’Sullivan, S Casey, D Goold, P Lucey.
Subs: P Lynch for B O’Donnell, A Hegarty for O’Sullivan.
Referee: B Coniry.