BANK of Ireland dominated from start to finish as they deservedly claimed the Parson Cup following a comfortable ten point victory over Garda at Sean Moore Park last Sunday morning.
Bank of Ireland 1-15 Garda 0-8
The winners took full advantage of a healthy breeze at their backs in the opening half and their seven point interval lead never looked likely to be overtaken, given the defensive control they exerted on affairs.
The depth in their panel was another bonus that Bank of Ireland enjoyed over their opponents with the introduction of captain Gerard Doogan in the second-half strengthening their hand to a large degree.
For Garda, it was a frustrating morning's work as they rarely showed their full potential over the hour, apart from a brief purple patch towards the end of the first half when they struck three points in quick succession.
However, the goal required to reignite their challenge proved elusive in the second-half as Bank of Ireland pulled clear to reinforce their dominance in the final quarter.
Bank of Ireland were quick out of the blocks and it wasn't long before their enterprising play was rewarded with scores as Patrick Lonergan converted a long-distance free to open their account in the third minute.
A second free arrived within a minute, this time from the boot of Enda Corcoran and that lead was extended to three points by the 9th minute when a free-flowing move culminated in an excellent score by the impressive Paul Conlon.
Garda were struggling to make any headway into the strong wind with bank of Ireland forcing numerous turnovers with their defence superbly marshalled by both Bernard Smith and Gary Clarke.
Most of the play was concentrated in the Gard half and after Derek Gallahue had increased his side's lead with a tidy score in the 10th minute, wing-back Tim Lonergan joined the attack to telling effect with a sublime point off his left to leave five points between the sides after 11 minutes.
From limited possession, Garda finally began to threaten their opponent's goal and a sharp turn by David Connolly resulted in a fisted point by the corner-forward in the 13th minute.
Any potential confidence derived from that score was nullified in an instant as Bank of Ireland struck for the game's solitary goal a minute later with a glorious ball by Tim Lonergan allowing Corcoran to race clear and fire an emphatic finish high to Niall Cahalan's right from ten metres.
A second goal almost arrived three minutes later with Corcoran lacking the composure of his earlier effort as he blazed wide from close range with just Cahalan to beat.
However, the centre-forward made partial amends when landing a long-distance point soon after and two more scores from Corcoran ensured his side enjoyed a heartening 1-8 to 0-1 lead after 23 minutes.
Bank of Ireland's intensity dropped for the closing stages of the half and Garda took advantage as they closed out the half through points from Mick Morris, Ronan Cogavin and John McGweeney to trim their arrears to 1-8 to 0-4 by half-time.
An early free by Morris upon the restart offered added hope to Garda but their opponents regrouped impressively with Doogan's running from deep a troubling development for Garda.
Doogan and midfielder Tadhg Lyne added points to stem the Garda challenge and another free from Patrick Lonergan left Bank of Ireland 1-11 to 0-5 ahead by the end of the third quarter.
To their credit, Garda continued their efforts with centre-back Dave Howard working tirelessly on his side's behalf and they showed sufficient character to trim their arrears thanks to points from Morris and Brendan Flynn.
However, these scores never looked likely to alter the complexion of the game as Doogan stamped his class on proceedings with another well-taken score before substitute Mark Conroy took advantage of a flagging Garda defence to make an instant impression on the game and Conlon's late point was a fitting conclusion to events.
Scorers - Bank of Ireland: E Corcoran 1-4 (0-2f), P Lonergan 0-3 (3f), P Conlon, G Doogan 0-2 each, T Lonergan, T Lyne, P Gallahue, M Conroy 0-1 each. Garda: M Morris 0-4 (4f), D Connolly, R Cogavin, J McGweeney, B Flynn 0-1 each.
Bank of Ireland: D Gilmartin; G Clarke, B Smith, G Smith; J Haverty, S Casey, T Lonergan; T Lyne, T Matthews; D Walsh, E Corcoran, P Conlon; P Lonergan, K Lynch, D Gallahue. Subs: P Marray for Matthews (26), G Doogan for Gallahue (half-time), P Boyle for Lynch (43), D O'Hare for T Lonergan (55), K O'Connor for Casey (58), M Conroy for P Lonergan (59).
Garda: N Cahalan; D O'Neill, L Mangan, C Coyne; E Pelly, D Howard, T Scanlon; B Flynn, D Lordan; J McGweeney, M Morris, R Cogavin; D Connolly, D Cryan, K Corrigan. Subs: S McNamara for Connolly (42), G Clougher for Coyne (46), Coyne for Cryan (49), E Muldoon for Scanlon (55).
Mentors: Bank of Ireland: Finny O'Shea, Mark O'Shea, Noel Flavin, Sean Carney Garda: Gerard Bradley, Keith Halley.
Referee: Philip Fitzsimons (Liffey Gaels)
Wides: Bank of Ireland: 6 (4+2) Garda: 4 (1+3)
Conditions: Pitch immaculate but strong breeze hindered play.
Player of the Game: Tadhg Lyne (Bank of Ireland)