Sarsfields 2-24 Kanturk 0-11
SARSFIELDS prospered in the benign conditions to swat Kanturk aside in the opening round of the county senior hurling championship in Mallow last night.
They warmed to their task to expose the huge gulf between clubs at opposite ends of the Cork hurling spectrum.
Sars simply oozed class in everything they did, sweet first touch, intelligent use of the ball by picking out better-placed colleagues with razor-sharp passing.
And amid all the glamour, the Glanmire club’s work-rate had to be seen to be appreciated, notably in defence, where Craig Leahy led by example.
Sars made a bright start with a Daniel Kearney point inside 10 seconds and Aaron Myers set-up Luke Hackett for a fifth-minute goal. Hackett shortened the hurley before batting it past Anthony Nash high into the net.
And it was beginning to feel ominous for the Duhallow club, who fell 1-7 to 0-2 in arrears at the end of the opening quarter, their plight not helped by shooting five wides in the period.
Sars had no such issues as their neat inter-play regularly created opportunities for Jack O’Connor, Liam Healy, and Daniel Kearney who all the hit found scores.
Even defender Conor O’Sullivan got in on the act with a fine long-range effort to stretch the advantage to 1-8 to 0-2 by the 18th minute.
The onslaught continued to the break with Sars on top in all sectors. A couple of points from the Walshs, Ian and Aidan, only stemmed the tide a fraction because Sars swept to a staggering tally of 1-16 by the short-whistle for a 15-point advantage.
Sars were hounding opponents at the back to turn over possession before working the ball smartly through the lines. Daniel Kearney and O’Connor were just two of the beneficiaries with both striking impressive points from distance to help Sars to a commanding 1-16 to 0-4 half-time lead.
Kanturk returned with greater determination and fight in the second half as they disrupted Sars’ flowing style, but the high wide count testified to their weakness in the shooting stakes.
By the three-quarter mark they had accumulated 13 compared to three for their opponents, who added two points to their first-half tally, 1-18 to 0-8.
Hackett pounced for his second goal, five minutes from the end, pulling first-time following a neat Nash save, but at 2-22 to 0-11, it summed it all up.
Scorers for Sarsfields: E O’Sullivan 0-7 (0-4 f, 0-2 65), D Kearney 0-5, J O’Connor 0-5, L Hackett 2-0, A Myers 0-2, L Healy 0-2, C O’Sullivan 0-2 (0-1 f), W Kearney 0-1
Kanturk: I Walsh and D Kenneally 0-2 each, J Browne, L McLoughlin, D O’Connell, R Walsh, A Walsh, D O’Donoghue 0-1 each, L O’Keeffe 0-1 f.
SARSFIELDS: A Kennedy; D Kenneally, C Leahy, C O’Sullivan; K Crowley, P Leopold, D English; W Kearney, T Óg Murphy; E O’Sullivan, A Myers, D Kearney; J O’Connor, L Healy, L Hackett.
KANTURK: A Nash; L O’Neill, L Cashman, J Browne; A O’Keeffe, L McLoughlin, D Browne; J Browne, D O’Connell; D Kenneally, A Walsh, R Walsh; I Walsh, J Fitzpatrick, L O’Keeffe.
Sub: D O’Donoghue for O’Keeffe 52.
Referee: D Copps (Ballyhea).