Having overcome Gaelcoláiste Mhuire with 15-points to spare in their opening bout three-weeks ago, last year’s defeated finalists were ever so comfortable when picking up their second victory at Carrigtwohill yesterday afternoon.
Such was the ease at which they disposed of Pobalscoil na Tríonóide that the Rochestown management were able to rest talisman Shane Kingston for the full hour. And with the contest well and truly wrapped up by half-time, St Francis College ahead by 2-15 to 0-5, top-scorer Séan Powter was called ashore eight minutes into the second period.
Stiffer examinations, of course, lie in wait, but in terms of setting out their stall and issuing notice of their intent, the Rochestown students have been mightily impressive.
Pobalscoil na Tríonóide pair, Paddy Prendergast and Jack O’Rourke, clipped two of the game’s opening three points in what was a lively start to proceedings. Perhaps the Youghal students would offer greater resistance than had been anticipated. Foolish thinking.
Come the 12th minute, the scoreline read 1-6 to 0-2 in St Francis’ favour. Eoghan O’Brien struck the opening goal on three-minutes, with James Holland, John O’Sullivan, O’Brien and Ciarán Cormack splitting the posts. Most noticeable was the difference in conditioning between the two teams, the Rochestown players out-muscling their opponents in every facet of play.
Pobalscoil na Tríonóide’s third score of the contest, a Darragh O’Connell free after 14-minutes, was washed away by five on the bounce from Rochestown - midfielder John O’Sullivan and half-forwards Eoghan O’Brien and James Holland again inflicting the damage.
There followed a Séan Powter goal, the full-forward batting the sliotar into the net to avoid being hooked by the three red and blue shirts close on his heels. Powter, Brian Turnbull and Cormack closed out the half with a string of scorers, 16-points in the clear were the favourites. Game over.
Powter bagged his second goal shortly before being substituted, the gap stretching to 21-points midway through the second period. In a rare breach of the Rochestown defence, Keane Kelly Budds rattled the net on 46 minutes; the corner-forward reacted quickest to a Darragh O’Connell free which was saved on the line.
Rochestown sub Séan Hillard and Paddy Prendergast swapped late goals as the fixture petered out to its inevitable conclusion.
S Powter (2-2); E O’Brien (1-2); C Cormack (0-1, free, 0-1 ’65), J Holland (0-5 each); J O’Sullivan (0-4); S Hillard (1-0); B Turnbull (0-2, 0-1 free); D O’Flaherty (0-1).
P Prendergast (1-2); D O’Connell (0-4, 0-4 frees); K Kelly Budds (1-0); K Murphy (0-1 ’65), J O’Rourke (0-1 each).
D O’Mahony (Blackrock); R Ó Colmáin (Blackrock), N Walsh (Douglas), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers); M MacAuliffe (Douglas), J Cashman (Blackrock), D Murphy (Douglas); D O’Flaherty (Tracton), J O’Sullivan (Blackrock); J Holland (Douglas), C Cormack (Blackrock), E O’Brien (Douglas); B Turnbull (Douglas), S Powter (Douglas), D Andrews (Shamrocks).
D Stack (Carrigaline) for Powter (38 mins), S McGrath (Douglas) for Ó Colmáin (41), L Dunlea (Ballygarvan) for Murphy (41), J Murray (Douglas) for O’Mahony (41), S Hillard (Cobh) for O’Brien (46).
B Lynch (Clashmore); K Cantillon (Killeagh/St Ita’s), C Deane (Killeagh/St Ita’s), L Coady (Youghal); Ó Murphy (Fr O’Neill’s), K Murphy (Killeagh/St Ita’s), P Delaney (Killeagh/St Ita’s); D O’Connell (Youghal), E Hynes (Cois Bride); D Ogbebor (Killeagh/St Ita’s), J O’Rourke (Killeagh/St Ita’s), S Walsh (Killeagh/St Ita’s); K Kelly Budds (Killeagh/St Ita’s), P Prendergast (Clashmore), A O’Sullivan (Clashmore).
K Roche (Clashmore) for Walsh (HT), K Brown (Killeagh/St Ita’s) for Delaney (40 mins), K Cullinane (Fr O’Neill’s) for Ó Murphy (48).