The debutants, after winning the intermediate championship last season when beating Charleville in a thrilling decider, and though minus a few names from that famous win through injury, including captain and centre-back Brian O’Sullivan, still had plenty of firepower with their fast paced forward line.
Valley Rovers, who came through the back door in 2014 and were knocked out by Newcestown in the quarter-final, were also shorn of a couple of players to exams and injury, will now have to play fellow divisional side Carrigaline in round two. On this occasion, they had no answer to the all-round strength of the north Cork outfit.
Fermoy’s victory was built on a rock-solid defensive display coupled with quality scores from sharpshooter Liam Coleman — the wing-forward finished the hour with a magnificent 1-11.
And while Kevin Canty, when switched into corner forward, struck 1-1 early in the new half to bring the Rovers to within a point, Fermoy finished the tie with six unanswered white flags.
In a game that didn’t come to life until the second half, Valley Rovers will rue 11 wides whereas Fermoy were far more economical although they were guilty of poor decision making in good scoring positions.
Three points on the trot from Coleman had Fermoy up and running after a quarter of an hour and this was playing against a strong wind. Richard Butler was the chief scorer for the Rovers levelling matters after a sweeping three man move involving Eoghan Delaney and Canty.
Valleys were finding it difficult to make decent headway against a tight Fermoy back six as Coleman (2) and David Geary pushed the Avondhu men ahead by double scores, 0-6 to 0-3. A goal before the break gave Fermoy the perfect platform to build on as they took a 1-6 to 0-5 lead to the dressing-room. The goal was expertly finished by Coleman after being picked out by Paudie Shanahan.
While Darragh Crowley registered the first score after the changeover, significantly Coleman replied from a free. And his score was followed by a peach of a point from Geary showing real skill with a fabulous pick-up on the run. Valley Rovers then hit a purple patch with Canty getting two great scores — a goal and a point within a two minute spell.
But, Fermoy had the perfect response. Jack Hutchings, part of a busy full forward line, recovered well to shoot Fermoy’s second goal following good approach work again by Shanahan. While Valley Rovers clipped over the next couple of points from Crowley and John Cottrell, Fermoy were able to build on their existing lead of 2-9 to 1-9.
A succession of points arrived between the 46th and 63rd minute to enable them finish out with much to spare. Coleman closed with four white flags (two sublime efforts from play) while Geary and Hutchings rowed in with one each as Fermoy cruised to a comfortable victory.
L Coleman (1-11, eight frees, one 65m), J Hutchings (1-1), D Geary (0-3).
K Canty (1-1), R Butler (0-3), D Crowley (0-2), C O’Leary (free), D Looney and J Cottrell (0-1 each).
C Quinn; E Clancy, J Daly, A Baragry; R O’Callaghan, D O’Carroll, P Murphy; K Morrisson, M Brennan; P de Roiste, T Clancy, L Coleman; P Shanahan, D Geary, J Hutchings.
R O’Hagan for A Baragry (32 inj).
W Burke; N O’Donovan, D Lynch, F Coughlan; J Walsh, J Lynch, T O’Brien; E Delaney, C O’Leary; R Butler, K Canty, D Crowley; D Looney, J Cottrell, G Farrell.
J Hurley for E Delaney (half-time), C Desmond for J Cottrell (58).
David Daly (Brian Dillon’s).