LAST year's beaten finalists, St Jude's, got their 2010 Evening Herald Dublin SFC campaign off to the perfect start after a comfortable victory over a disappointing Erin's Isle side at Drumnigh last night.
The Finglas outfit only managed a paltry two points from play and will know a huge improvement is required if they are to progress through the back door.
That is not to take away from the Jude's performance, which was efficient if not spectacular. Kevin McManamon was a constant threat throughout and his form is something which will be a positive for Dublin senior boss, Pat Gilroy.
It was McManamon's cleverly disguised through ball to Ronan Joyce which led to his side's first goal after 20 minutes. Joyce may have mishit an attempt at a point but his shot somehow looped over helpless Isle's net minder Graham Bedford and into the top corner.
It was the score which put some daylight between the sides after Jude's had struggled to shake off their dogged opponents in the first quarter as full-back Gary O'Connell, Shane Casey and Niall Crossan all split the posts to keep the underdogs in touch.
But that Joyce goal stirred Jude's into life and impressive wing-back Paul Cunningham, a current Wicklow senior panellist, helped himself to a hat-trick of points before the interval to leave the half-time score reading 1-6 to 0-4 in favour of the Tymon North team.
It was all Jude's after the break as they showed glimpses of the form which very nearly captured 2009 glory. Substitute Shane Gallagher, a Dublin minor in 2007, kicked two excellent points to show there is strength in reserve.
McManamon turned from goal supplier to scorer with seven minutes remaining as his powerful low shot bulged the net to add further gloss to an already emphatic scoreline.
They will be pleased with this victory in Templeogue. But they will also know better than most that sterner tests certainly lie in wait.
SCORERS - St Jude's: K McManamon 1-3 (0-3f), P Cunningham, J Donnelly (1f) 0-3 each, R Joyce 1-0, S Gallagher, R O'Brien 0-2 each. Erin's Isle: N Crossan (2f), L Sweetnam (1f, 45) 0-2 each, S Casey, Gary O'Connell 0-1 each.
ST JUDE'S: P Copeland; D Walsh, C McBride, G Roche; P Cunningham, C Guckian, S Ryan; C Murphy, T McKeown; D Donnelly, R O'Brien, R Joyce; J Donnelly, B McManamon, K McManamon. Subs: S Gallagher for McKeown (42), S Breheny for Walsh (48), M Lyons for J Donnelly (54), P Duffy for D Donnelly (55).
ERIN'S ISLE: G Bedford; D Spratt, G O'Connell, E Connnaghan; B Cummins, F Carroll, J Kealy; S Casey, C Flynn; A Browning, L Siwale, E Casey; K Dunne, L Sweetnam, N Crossan. Subs: C Mac Eadhan for S Casey (ht), C Pike for Browning (37), N Carthy for E Casey (49), P Murray for Siwale (53).
REF: G Carthy (Innisfails).