Sarsfields 3-21 Douglas 2-9
SARS were far too slick and experienced for Douglas in this Co Op Superstores IHC battle of two second teams at sun-kissed Blarney.
The Riverstown side were led impressively by the lethal Cormac Duggan in attack, who had plundered a hat-trick by the second-half water-break and ended his afternoon with a tally of 3-9.
There was a good blend in their starting 15 of graduates from their underage production line like Killian Murphy and Pa O'Driscoll, as well as hurlers battle-hardened from the senior ranks, including Niall Fitzpatrick, Garry Grey, Darren Kenneally and Eoin O'Sullivan, introduced at the break.
Their reward is a county quarter-final against Cloughduv, with Éire Óg awaiting the winners in the semi-final. The other side of the draw sees Kildorrery face Mayfield or Aghabullogue, while the relegation series, with two dropping down, features Glen Rovers, Meelin and Argideen Rangers.
Having been beaten by Éire Óg in their opener, Sars regrouped against Meelin and looked sharper from the off here. They led by 0-4 to no score early on until Douglas burst to life, driven on by Mark Dolan, Richard Murphy, Joe Harte, Ian Lucey and James Moylan.
Two points from Murphy and a Moylan goal gave them a 1-2 to 0-4 lead. By the first-half water-break, it was 0-7 to 1-2, Pa O'Driscoll and Duggan constant threats inside.
Yet by half-time, the margin was nine points, Duggan scrambling home his first goal before Jim McEvoy blew the whistle.
The second half was tit-for-tat in the early stages until Duggan pounced for a second goal after 39 minutes and then a brilliant third soon after.
Sars cruised through the last quarter, introducing a number of subs including young Danny Allen, who nabbed two scores, and Ross Hogan.
Douglas minor Alan O'Hare clipped over a sweet point on his debut while Luke O'Keeffe buried a lovely goal, even if the game was long gone from the city outfit at that stage.
With coach Kieran 'Fraggie' Murphy and manager Tadhg Murphy on the line, Sars have the nous to be in the mix for silverware, but their path to the final is demanding.
Scorers for Sars: C Duggan 3-9 (0-6 f), P O'Driscoll, K Murphy 0-3 each, E O'Sullivan, D Allen 0-2 each, R Hogan, T Murphy 0-1 each.
Douglas: L O'Keeffe 1-1, R Murphy 0-4 (0-3 f), J Moylan 1-0, M Dolan 0-2, A O'Hare J Harte 0-1 each.
SARSFIELDS: C Looney; N Fitzpatrick (c), E Gaffey, K Walsh; K Crowley, G Grey, D Barry; D Kenneally, T Murphy; J O'Leary, K Murphy, S O'Driscoll; P O'Driscoll, C Duggan, A Hackett.
Subs: E O'Sullivan for P O'Driscoll (h-t inj), D Allen for S O'Driscoll (45), C English for D Barry (45), R Hogan for Hackett (52), S Higgins for J O'Leary (54).
DOUGLAS: A Cotter; S O'Donoghue, S Henry Squires, D O'Regan; J O'Mahony, I Lucey, D Murphy; M Dolan, J Harte; R Murphy, D O'Mahony, L O'Keeffe; B Maher, J Moylan, F Ó Loinsigh.
Sub: A O'Hare for Ó Loinsigh (h-t).
Referee: Jim McEvoy (Blarney).