Sarsfields 2-28 Na Piarsaigh 2-12
HELPED by a 14-point contribution from Aaron Myers, this was basically a stroll in Páirc Uí Rinn for Sarsfields as they blitzed Na Piarsaigh in the Co-Op Superstores Premier SHC opener.
The Riverstown side were never troubled by their northside opponents, who now face the reality of exiting the championship next weekend if they cannot avoid a defeat to Midleton.
The opening exchanges were a comedy of errors with both sides amassing two wides in the opening two minutes.
Suddenly Sars got into gear and Cork star Jack O’Connor struck over their first point in the third minute that was quickly followed by four consecutive white flags as they raced into a five-point lead in the sixth minute.
Na Piarsaigh looked in serious trouble but they were given a ray of hope a minute later when some dreadful Sars defending allowed Kelvin Forde get in to bat the ball past the bewildered keeper.
A minute later Padraig Guest struck over a classy point and suddenly Na Piarsaigh looked a different side.
Sars to their credit didn’t panic and four more unanswered points before Shane Forde responded before the water break ensured the Riverstown side commanded a 0-9 to 1-2 lead in the 16th minute.
Craig Hanafin got Na Piarsaigh up and running with a well-struck point but on the next possession, Sars punished them with a clinical goal.
A stunning Daniel Kearney run saw him place an inch-perfect assist to Daniel Hogan who billowed the back of the net from close range.
The Farranree side were hanging on for dear life as Sars looked very dangerous going forward and they should have scored a second goal in the 23rd minute.
Once again, the pace of the Sars forwards had Na Piarsaigh’s defence mesmerised as Jack O’Connor made a telling burst before passing it to Daniel Hogan but his thunderous shot was splendidly saved by Luke O’Donovan.
In the closing minutes, Sars looked in total control and Jack O’Connor finished the half with an opportunist point that saw them go in at the break commanding a 1-16 to 1-7 lead.
On the restart, Evan Sheehan struck over the opening point on their first possession and three minutes later he was on the end of an excellent move that yielded a crucial goal.
A high ball was caught by Padraig Guest who played in Sheehan who had little trouble guiding the ball to the empty net.
Just when it looked as if Na Piarsaigh would get back in the game Sars punished them with a second goal.
Not for the first time in the game did the pace of the Sars forwards bamboozle Na Piarsaigh with the energetic James Sweeney finishing a good move.
Just before the water break, the outstanding Myers chipped in with his 11th point that ensured his team looked home and hosed with 14 minutes remaining.
Coming down the stretch it was a case of Sarsfields taking their foot off the gas as they never looked likely to lose control.
Next up for Sars is a clash next weekend against Carrigtwohill as Na Piarsaigh will have improve immensely to have any chance of upsetting Midleton.