Returning to the championship for the first time since 2010, Carrigdhoun surged into a commanding 14 point advantage in the opening half. Though Duhallow battled tooth and nail to come within four points at the three-quarter stage, Carrigdhoun pulled clear again.
The look of satisfaction on manager Pat Desmond’s face told its own story afterwards.
“There is a good pick of clubs available to us and we enjoyed reasonable preparation. After a three-year lapse, there is an appetite to field a divisional side, players drawn from premier and intermediate clubs, well capable of playing senior hurling,” he said.
Carrigdhoun, backed by the elements, put down a clear marker straight from the off, availing of a raft of points, the highlight coming from a delightful Stephen White sideline cut. Looking far more the efficient side, defensively, keeper Martin Coleman, Michael Desmond, Noel O’Donovan and David Lynch led by example.
Elsewhere, White, Fintan O’Leary and Kevin Canty foraged positively. And their supremacy was rewarded when a Desmond delivery allowed Mark Kennefick place Eamon Collins for a goal. The one-way traffic continued , Carrigdhoun adding on point after point and looking well placed for a comprehensive win.
Trailing by a massive 14 points, Duhallow had to waituntil the 24th minute to open their account from a Donal Hannon pointed free. They follow up with further white flags to cut the deficit 1-11 to 0-3 at the break.
With the light fading, Duhallow picked up where they had left off, Benjy Sheehy at the end of an Anthony Nash free to flick to the net soon after the restart.
Carrigdhoun hit back and a trio of prompt points from Kennefick and Ronan Walsh cancelled out the green flag. However, the pattern of the game changed dramatically, Duhallow raising their level of performance to new heights.
Storming forward, Nash, Lorcan McLoughlin and Hannon found the target with seven consecutive points to narrow the arrears to 1-14 to 1-10 at the threequarter stage. Crucially, Carrigdhoun readjusted their focus and stood up to the challenge, thanks to the accuracy of Kennefick and Walsh.
Again Duhallow fought courageously to mount a comeback yet Carrigdhoun underlined their class to ride out the storm and rubberstamp a round two clash against Carbery or Imokilly.
Scorers for Carrigdhoun: M Kennefick 0-7(0-4f), E Collins 1-0, R Walsh 0-3(0-1f), K Canty 0-3, F O’Leary 0-2, S White 0-2(0-1 sideline), M O’Riordan and D O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Duhallow: B Sheehy 1-1, L McLoughlin 0-4(0-3f), A Nash 0-3f, D Hannon 0-2(0-1f), K Sheahan and S Crowley 0-1 each.
CARRIGDHOUN: M Coleman (Ballincollig); M Desmond (do), E Finn (do), N O’Donovan (Valley Rovers); D O’Donovan (Ballinhassig), D Lynch (Valley Rovers), C Hurley (Carrigaline); S McCarthy (Ballihassig), S White (Ballygarvan); M O’Riordan (do), F O’Leary (Ballinhassig), K Canty (Valley Rovers); E Collins (Valley Rovers), M Kenneffick (Ballygarvan), R Walsh (Tracton).
Subs: T McGuinness (Tracton) for O’Riordan (44), K Corrigan (Tracton) for Hurley, R Butler (Valley Rovers) for Collins (55).
DUHALLOW: A Nash (Kanturk); Jerry Forrest (Meelin), D Sheahan (Kilbrin), S Hehir (Tullylease); B Weathers (Banteer), A Sheehy (Tullylease), L O’Neill (Kanturk); L McLoughlin (Kanturk), P Egan (Kilbrin); W Murphy (Meelin), John Forrest (do), K Sheahan (Kilbrin); A O’Flynn (Freemount), D Hannon (Newmarket), S Crowley (Kilbrin).
Subs: B Sheehy (Tullylease) for O’Flynn (24), M O’Riordan (Kilbrin) for John Forrest (56).
Referee: M Moynihan (Grenagh).