Eimhin Walsh was the stand-out performer in Martin Savage Park last Friday afternoon, as St Declan's College, Cabra secured their place in the semi-final of the Dublin Schools Senior Hurling 'A' Championship with a comprehensive victory over Templeogue College.
Walsh (who contributed a personal haul of 2-6 over the course of the hour) broke the deadlock from a '65' five minutes into the play, and subsequent points by Pierce O'Brien, Glenn Dodrill and centre-forward Conor Bresnan helped to increase the Declan's lead early on.
Templeogue had struggled to come out of the blocks during the early exchanges, but they gave themselves a much-needed boost 12 minutes into the contest, when Darragh Corcoran drove a loose ball beyond the reach of Declan's netminder Dylan O'Reilly after a Ciarán Brady free dropped short.
This injected fresh life into the proceedings, but despite some wayward shooting, Declan's re-asserted themselves with unanswered contributions from Dublin minor of this year Donal Burke (two), Seán Bugler and Walsh.
Ryan Wallace and Colm Hayes (two) did add to Templeogue's total before the half's conclusion, but with Walsh and midfielder Brian McDonnell registering goals in the 23rd and 27th minutes respectively, the north Dublin school had developed an 11-point platform (2-11 to 1-3) by the midway point.
It was difficult to see a way back into the reckoning for Templeogue, but the strength of the wind could not be underestimated.
With Declan's failing to add to their considerable tally in the ten minutes after the restart, Templeogue hit their first major purple patch of the game. Consecutive points from Aaron Coffey, John Carthy (free), Conor Power and Stephen Dowling cut into the Declan's cushion.
Yet, Declan's had the ability to turn on the style when required, and after Walsh was successful from two dead-ball opportunities, his second goal on the third-quarter mark placed the tie beyond doubt. Energetic substitute Shola Adodo added a close-range point for Templeogue 46 minutes in, which proved to be their final score of the action.
Declan's did ease off to a degree as the final whistle approached, but with McDonnell, Walsh, O'Brien and Bugler all adding to their earlier scores, they kept the scoreboard ticking away nevertheless.
Scorers - St Declan's College: E Walsh 2-6 (0-3f, 0-1 '65'), B McDonnell 1-1, D Burke 0-4 (1f), P O'Brien, S Bugler 0-2 each, C Bresnan, G Dodrill 0-1 each.Templeogue College: D Corcoran 1-0, C Hayes 0-2, J Carthy (f), C Power, S Dowling, A Coffey, R Wallace, S Adodo 0-1 each.
St Declan's College: D O'Reilly; J Fitzsimons, C Carberry, D Curley; T Hynes, G Longmore, B Cullen; D Burke, B McDonnell; P O'Brien, C Bresnan, E Walsh; S Bugler, M Jordan, G Dodrill. Subs: C O'Brien for Dodrill (ht), D Foy for C O'Brien (53), B McCabe for Jordan (58).
Templeogue College: P Caulfield; E Mulligan, S Colgan, N Bennett; C Kennedy, C Brady, C O'Neill; C Power, S Dowling; J Carthy, C Hayes, E Carney; A Coffey, R Wallace, D Corcoran. Subs: S Adodo for O'Neill (33), R Fitzgerald for Coffey (51), C Kelly for Carney (51), D Costello for Power (55).
Referee: E Walker (O'Toole's).