For the city club it was just that but for the Castlehaven supporters it was a joy to behold and a stark warning that the champions will take some stopping this campaign.
Such one-sided scorelines don’t often tell the full tale with the respect of the defeated team, their brave endeavours not adequately highlighted. At Macroom yesterday it was the reverse – the above scoreline an injustice to the Castlehaven men who can count themselves hugely unlucky not to have brought their goal tally to double figures.
For this was as the 20-point winning margin suggests: an onslaught. An unrelenting rout from first whistle to last.
Castlehaven’s Kelleher Shield performances had been but mediocre this spring, though as captain Seanie Cahalane pointed out last week those games were played without the services of their Cork trio – Damien Cahalane, Mark Collins and Brian Hurley – for which this team is moulded around.
The influence of the latter two yesterday cannot be emphasised enough, their scoreboard contribution amounting to 3-10; their impact in every other department worth probably double that. Time and again did Collins carry possession from midfield, providing the launch pad for several of his side’s scores.
It is with Hurley, however, we begin in breaking down this contest. The full-forward raising the first green flag 75 seconds in. Corner-forward Shane Nolan provided the pass and although Hurley’s initial effort struck the crossbar, the rebound fell kindly and the net shook accordingly.
Collins pointed subsequently and goal number two arrived on eight minutes. Michael Hurley teed up Nolan and he finished clinically beyond St Vincent’s goalkeeper Paddy O’Shea.
Keith Ricken’s men roused themselves from underneath Castlehaven’s shadow in the ensuing passages with Anthony Harte, Derek O’Connor and Gerry Kelleher splitting the posts in quick succession. But only brief respite it proved.
Collins tallied his third minor subsequently, and was also at the end of a sweeping move that yielded goal number three. One minute shy of the break the fist was again employed by a blue and white shirt – Nolan the provider on this occasion. Goal number four.
In first-half stoppage time and keenly aware that the scoreboard had already taken on an embarrassing complexion, St Vincent’s kicked an unanswered 1-2, Derek O’Connor successful in a rare penetration of the ‘Haven rearguard.
At the heart of said defensive operation was centre-back Damien Cahalane who commanded with authority and was ably flanked by Chris Hayes and James Davis.
In any event, the half-time score read 4-4 to 1-5 and within 20 seconds of the restart Finbarr Santry’s outfit boasted a greater number of goals than points — Brian Hurley capitalising on a Frank Murphy mistake.
The death knell had sounded. This contest was done and dusted. Brian Hurley demanded no let-up from his colleagues, however, and led the way with four unanswered minors entering the final quarter.
Thereafter, played out the move of the hour. Brian Hurley and Mark Collins twice swapped possession in driving at goal, Hurley floating a pass to Nolan who stung the crossbar. The leather broke to Michael Hurley, the dummy was sold and the green flag again hoisted. The champions were operating on a different level.
Indeed, the post and right boot of Paddy O’Shea saved St Vincent’s further humiliation at the death – Brian and Michael Hurley the pair denied.
Can they be matched is now the question. Statement of intent issued.
Scorers for Castlehaven: B Hurley (2-6, 0-1 free), S Nolan (2-1), M Collins (1-4, 0-1 free), M Hurley (1-0), P Hurley (45), C Hayes, S Hurley, S Cahalane (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Vincent’s: D O’Connor (1-3, 0-2 frees), A Harte, G Kelleher (0-2 each), D O’Regan, J Buckley, JP Murphy (0-1 each).
CASTLEHAVEN: P Hurley; J O’Regan, D Limrick, L Collins; C Hayes, D Cahalane, J Davis; S Dineen, D Hurley; M Collins, Stephen Hurley, S Cahalane; M Hurley, B Hurley, S Nolan.
Subs: T O’Leary for Collins (bc, 13), Shane Hurley for Dineen (half-time), P O’Brien for Limrick (39).
ST VINCENT’S: P O’Shea; D O’Regan, P Ahern, W Murphy; T O’Connell, K Goulding, P Cullinane; S Buckley, F Murphy; W Long, A Harte, S Duggan; D O’Connor, K Lynch, G Kelleher.
Subs: A O’Callaghan for Murphy (inj, 23), JP Murphy for Lynch (27), D Duggan for (36), J Buckley for O’Connell (41).
Referee: P O’Leary (Kilmurry).