Kingscourt Stars bounced back from their opening round defeat with a ruthless victory over Killeshandra this evening in the senior championship.
A massive 28 points separated the sides when all was said and done at Kingspan Breffni Park as Joe Dillon's hat-trick in the opening 28 minutes set the tone for the champions who only really let up against their opponents in the final quarter.
On what was a day to forget for a heavily depleted and outmatched Killeshandra side, Dillon (4-3), Padraig Faulkner, Peter Corrigan (1-2) and Barry Reilly (1-4) all hit the net for the Stars to highlight the gulf in class as their counterparts only managed 0-1 in the second-half.
Tomas O'Reilly had the Leaguers off to a decent start in the opening seconds with a fine point from the left flank but it was the only lead they'd end up owning in this lop-sided contest.
Dillon hit back with Kingscourt's first major in the second minute and swapped points with Kyle Duffy before netting again, after having picked up the scraps of Reilly's tame effort and smashing past Jamie O'Rourke in the Killeshandra goal.
Reilly and Barry Tully looped over points to put the holders seven to the good prior to Killeshandra, who had lost midfielder Paddy King to injury, getting some reprieve thanks to the points of Cein Sweeney and Aaron Brady (free).
Reilly and Brady (free) swapped scores soon after but the game really began to get out of the Leaguers' reach once Dillon broke down possession to Faulkner on the edge of the square and the Cavan defender smashed home for the umpire's green flag.
Daniel Luby sent over a gem from his right half-forward station, which cut the deficit to seven, but when two more goals went in at the other end from Dillion and Corrigan the game was over as a contest with half-time yet to come.
Corrigan and Reilly registered more singles for the relentless Stars in the added minutes, as they went in with an unassailable 5-7 to 0-6 advantage for the break.
A Reilly penalty and Dillon tap in saw Kingscourt's sixth and seventh goals go in within eight minutes of the restart and that afforded Bernie Murray the luxury of emptying his bench over the ensuing minutes.
Adrian Martin registered what turned out to be Killeshandra's only score of the second-half, as points from Dillon (2), Reilly (2), Alan Clarke and sub Terry Reilly rounded off the 28-point win.
Kingscourt: Gavin Sheenan; Cathal McKeown, Padraig Faulkner (1-0), Shane Grey; Barry Tully (0-1), Colm Smith, Noel McIntyre; Alan Clarke (0-1), Barry Reilly (1-4, 1 pen); Philip Tinnelly, Christy McGowan, Keith McCabe (0-1); Daryl Martin, Joe Dillon (4-3), Peter Corrigan (1-2). Subs: Terry Reilly (0-1) for P Tinnelly (36mins), Sean Burke for D Martin (36), Tom Tully for N McIntyre (44), Seanie Farrelly for K McCabe (44), Ciaran Gorman for P Corrigan (45), Philly Smith for C McGowan (50).
Killeshandra: Jamie O'Rourke; Padraig Sweeney, Conor O'Reilly, Cillian O'Reilly; Kyle Duffy (0-1), Damien Higgins, Aaron Brady (0-2, 2f); Tomas O'Reilly (0-1), Paddy King; Daniel Luby (0-1), Shane O'Reilly, Sean McKiernan; Conor McGearty, Cein Sweeney (0-1), Shane Murphy. Subs: Adrian Martin (0-1) for P King (15mins, inj), Shane McGurren for A Martin (54), John Cosgrove for C Sweeney (56), Glenn Shanley for A Fitzpatrick (59), Cyril Reilly for A Martin (60)
Ref: Conor Dourneen (Ballinagh)