They led by six points at the break, and while De La Salle mounted a spirited second-half revival, the title holders were never in any danger of being overtaken. They top Group C, their remaining tie will be against Hamilton High School, Bandon.
With a fair share of the names from last season to call upon, they showed that extra bit of class up front where victorious Kerry minors Dara Moynihan and David Shaw, along with Donnchadh O’Sullivan stood out.
Billy Courtney — who also featured for the county minors as goalkeeper — was the focal point for their kick-outs at midfield. They had five points on the scoreboard, before Mark Corrigan opened the De La Salle scoring with a point in the 20th minute.
The Cork school steadied the ship somewhat, adding another brace before the break, at which stage they were 1-6 to 0-3 in arrears. Mark Harnett’s goal three minutes before the short whistle was a tonic for the Killarney side, the Dr Crokes corner-forward combining excellently with O’Sullivan and Ciaran Flynn.
St Brendan’s maintained their dominance, kicking five points to De La Salle’s two during a productive third quarter. Shaw (2), O’Sullivan (2) and Sean O’Leary finishing fine moves, wing-back John O’Mullane the sole provider for De La Salle.
However, the Macroom team, who face IS Killorglin in a crucial final group game, will be buoyed by a strong and competitive finish. Although trailing 1-13 to 0-8 with two minutes remaining and leaving themselves with too much to do, Corrigan goaled with a blistering shot. An initial save by Robert Osborne was rebounded to the net by the wing-forward to close the gap to five points.
O’Sullivan though was on the mark once more for St Brendan’s, his two white flags closing out proceedings.
D O’Sullivan (0-5, 0-3 frees), M Harnett (1-0), C Flynn and D Shaw (0-3 each), B Courtney (0-2 frees), S O’Leary and M Devlin (0-1 each).
M Corrigan (1-1), C Óg Jones (0-3, 0-2 frees), L Wall (0-2 frees), James O’Mullane and John O’Mullane (0-1 each).
R Osborne; C Callaghan, C O’Donoghue, S O’Leary; E Cosgrave, M Potts, J Griffin; B Courtney, C Gammell; M O’Shea, D O’Sullivan, D Moynihan; M Harnett, D Shaw, C Flynn.
N McCarthy for M Harnett (43), J Flynn for M O’Shea (51), M Devlin for C Flynn (52), B Slattery for E Cosgrave (53), O O’Donoghue for C Callaghan (57).
T Quinn; B Hinchion, K Kelleher, R Creed; L O’Leary, L Wall, John O’Mullane; L O’Sullivan, E O’Gorman; M Corrigan, C Óg Jones, C O’Riordan; S Desmond, James O’Mullane, L Twohig.
S McMahon for C O’Riordan (40), J Kelleher for L Twohig (45), J Pickering for L O’Leary (50), G Fitton for Ethan O’Gorman (52). Referee: Paul Hayes (Kerins O’Rahilly’s).