THOMAS O'HANRAHAN hit a hat-trick of first-half goals to provide the foundation for St Kieran's quarter-final victory at Dr Cullen Park yesterday.
O'Hanrahan, one of four St Kieran's players who helped Kilkenny win the All-Ireland MHC last September, struck for his goals in the third, 10th and 25th minutes to undermine the Dublin South challenge. And when Jack Nolan stormed through for St Kieran's fourth goal on 27 minutes, it was game over.
The defending champions led 4-5 to 0-5 at half-time. All the Dublin South scores came from their midfield pairing of Brian McCarthy and Glen Whelan, with Whelan notching their only point from play just before the interval.
With Cathal O'Neill, William Phelan and Pat O'Carroll outstanding in defence and the powerful Conor O'Shea dominant in midfield, St Kieran's were never seriously troubled at any stage.
They produced some tremendous teamwork and point-scoring, with John Power, Killian Phelan and Michael Brennan most prominent in attack. Half-backs William Phelan and Hugh O'Neill also got in on the scoring act with a superb, long-range point apiece.
The only blot on an excellent team performance from the Kilkenny college was their tally of 12 wides, but the overall level of performance suggested they will be hard to separate from their provincial and All-Ireland crowns.
Scorers -- St Kieran's: T O'Hanrahan 3-0, J Power 0-6 (4f, 1 '65'), J Nolan 1-0, K Phelan, M Brennan 0-2 each, H O'Neill, W Phelan, D Cody 0-1 each. Dublin South: B McCarthy 0-5 (4f), N Greene 1-0, G Whelan 0-1.
St Kieran's -- S Johnson; L Hickey, C O'Neill, R O'Hanrahan; H O'Neill, W Phelan, P O'Carroll; P Butler, C O'Shea; J Power, K Phelan, A Cleere; J Nolan, M Brennan, T O'Hanrahan. Subs: R Reid for T O'Hanrahan (45), P Kenneally for Cleere (45), D Cody for Reid (55), M Donnelly for Nolan (55), G Allen for O'Neill (58).
Dublin South -- G Harrington; D Mulligan, F O'Donoghue, J Barnes; D Butler, T Devlin, B Errity; G Whelan, B McCarthy; C Devins, K McMahokn, K Russell; N Greene, S Harrington, E Prendergast. Subs: K Ware for S Harrington (36), A Jermyn for Devins (38), K Kelly for Prendergast (45), N Salvino for Russell (56).
Ref -- P Kehoe (Carlow).