While coach Ben O’Connor had departed, Claude Gough’s side still had a lot of talent but that would have to be illustrated in a potentially tricky group that also included Bandon, Fermoy and Mallow.
There was a quick turnaround as the second round of games took place the following week, with the Kilbrin the setting for the meeting of Charleville and Mallow.
While there was a slim chance that a heavy defeat to Fermoy in the final game in Kildorrery would eliminate Charleville if Bandon triumphed against Mallow in the other game, there was never any fear of them failing to complete the job.
O’Neills had the wind and took full advantage as they roared into a 1-5 to 0-0 lead, Dalton scoring a goal from a penalty while O’Driscoll had three points. A Darragh Fitzgibbon free finally opened the Charleville account in the 13th minute but by half-time the upper hand was still with Fr O’Neills, who led by 1-11 to 0-5.
There was time for one last twist as Dunne struck for a fourth O’Neills goal but Charleville were not to be denied on a scoreline of 1-23 to 4-13.