David Cashman and Kevin O’Keeffe led the line superbly for the Rockies, finishing with 2-10 between them, while Shane O’Keeffe was a powerful ball-winner at wing-forward.
The game was effectively settled in the 50th minute when Kevin O’Keeffe set up Cashman for a goal to put the city side 1-16 to 1-8 in front.
The Rockies trailed 0-4 to 0-3 early on in bitterly cold conditions, before nudging ahead 0-9 to 1-5 at the break, despite a clever Newtown goal by Tim O’Mahony, first-timed to the net from a Jamie Coughlan assist.
Blackrock, with their production line of U21 talent, had looked the better side in the opening 30 minutes and when Stephen Murphy, Dylan Stokes, and Niall Cashman got a grip down the centre, they had the platform to supply their lively forward unit.
They franked their dominance with Cashman’s second goal in the 57th minute, the full-forward profiting from a David O’Farrell run from midfield, and were comfortable enough to empty the bench in the end. Coughlan buried a free deep in injury-time for Newtown, who never looked like defeating a Blackrock side eager to atone for losing last year’s league final to Midleton.
D Cashman 2-3, K O’Keeffe 0-7 (0-2 f, 0-1 65), J O’Sullivan, S Murphy 0-2 each, A O’Callaghan, S O’Keeffe, M O’Halloran, E O’Farrell 0-1 each.
J Coughlan 1-4 f, T O’Mahony 1-1, M Ryan 0-2 65, M Thompson, C Naughton 0-1 each.
D O’Mahony; J Cashman, D Stokes, J Ryan; A O’Callaghan, N Cashman, D Meaney; D O’Farrell, S Murphy; S O’Keeffe, M O’Halloran, E O’Farrell; J O’Sullivan, D Cashman, K O’Keeffe.
B Ahern for D Meaney (3 inj), E Smith for Stokes (50), P Deasy and G Norberg for K O’Keeffe and J Ryan (52), T Deasy for J O’Sullivan (54), C O’Leary for D Cashman (56), A Hogan, A Hayes and C O’Brien for J Cashman, N Cashman and S O’Keeffe (60).
S Coughlan; J O’Mahony, R Fallon, D Guiney; J Herlihy, M Ryan, M Thompson; C Naughton, D Lane; J Lane, C Twomey, J Coughlan; M Bowles, T O’Mahony, R Clifford.
J Bowles for D Lane (h-t), S Griffin for M Bowles (44), D Hawe for J O’Mahony (54), E Coughlan for Naughton (57).
Diarmuid Kirwan (Éire Óg).