St Francis College Rochestown fired a warning shot across the bows of traditional Corn Ui Mhuirí big guns St Brendan's College Killarney and Tralee CBS that they might face a new force this season.
The Cork outfit brushed aside the debutants Presentation Milltown with consummate ease at the wonderful 3G pitch in Banteer, in this second round clash.
It was a powerful show of the strength by Rochestown who dominated throughout and despite six first-half wides they had posted a 2-5 to 0-2 lead at the break with the wind. On the turnaround against it, however, they played even better and they showed their class and power as they added 2-9 in the second period. Pres Milltown never had a chance in their first year up from the B grade to Corn Ui Mhuirí.
In mitigation to the Mid Kerry School, they were basically a Frewen Cup team with Liam Evans and Fionan Griffin the experienced midfield pairing who broke even with the Cork duo of Kevin Lyons and Barry Kelliher.
At the end of a scrappy opening quarter Rochestown led 0-3 to 0-1, with points from Evan O’Connor, Bryan Hayes (free) and Michéal O’Mahony while Pres Milltown, who were set up defensively, had a single Griffin point.
Rochestown had also kicked four first-quarter wides but once Fionnan Leahy, Callum O’Neill and Mark O’Rourke started to attack from the back, the Roco forwards began to click and a brace of goals in the 19th and 27th minutes from wing forward Michael O’Mahony ensured that this game was effectively over at half time as Rochestown led 2-5 to 0-2 with the skilful Dara Hogan getting the Kerry side's only other first-half score.
The second half was mere target practice for Roco as they added 1-4 in the opening 10 minutes on resumption with Harry Quilligan firing over a brace and one each from O’Connor and Billy Fraher before Sean Coakley of Douglas left a trail of defenders in his wake and then fired an unstoppable shot to the Milltown net and at 3-9 to 0-5 it was time for Rochestown to run their bench.
Points from Dara Hogan and their best player Darragh Clifford was all Milltown could muster despite the efforts of Shane Clifford, Tadgh Gosney and Liam Evans to stem the tide.
Coakley showed his class with two more points, one from the sideline and Bryan Hayes polished the Roco silver with a cracking fourth goal as the game drifted to its inevitable conclusion.
: B Hayes (1-5, 3f’s), M O’Mahony (2-1), S Coakley (1-2), E O’Connor and H Quilligan (0-2 each), B Fraher and C Yelland (0-1 each)
F Griffin and D Hogan (2f’s) 0-2 each, D Clifford, M Murphy and A O’Shea (0-1 each).
M O’Connell (St Michael’s); F Leahy (do), D Buckley (Douglas), T O’Brien (Nemo Rangers); C O’Neill (Nemo Rangers), L Dwane-Fogarty (Douglas), M O’Rourke (Cobh); K Lyons (Ballygarvan), B Kelleher (Carrigaline); B Fraher (Nemo Rangers), H Quilligan (Douglas), M O’Mahony (Ballygarvan); E O’Connor (do), B Hayes (Nemo Rangers), S Coakley (Douglas).
Subs: C Yelland (Nemo Rangers) for O’Rourke and C O’Keeffe (Douglas) for Fraher 40, J Burke (Douglas) for Kelleher 46, O McAdoo (St Michael’s) for O’Neill 47, C Reddington (Douglas) for O’Mahony 52.
D Kingston (Beaufort); D Quirke (Milltown/Castlemaine), S Clifford (Laune Rangers), M O’Callaghan (Keel); D Evans (Listry), D Corcoran (Keel), G Evans (Keel); L Evans (Keel), F Griffin (Keel); T Gosney (Listry), E McCarthy (Annascaul), C O’Brien (Milltown/Castlemaine); D Hogan (Milltown/Castlemaine), D Clifford (Laune Rangers), M Murphy (Keel).
Subs; A O’Sullivan (Firies) for E McCarthy (47), M Byrne (Keel) for M Murphy (47). E Ryan (Firies) for M O’Callaghan (47).
D Hickey (Tipperary)