Dunnamaggin supporters were tentative about the outcome of this encounter during their pre-match deliberations, but they needn’t have worried.
They brought their complete canvas of abilities, garnered through many years of senior confrontation to the table to beat Mooncoin in this intermediate hurling league clash by 1-21 to 0-16 in Piltown.
Despite an amazing opening quarter salvo by the Mooncoin men which saw them rack up a 0-9 to 0-3 score the 15th minute, Dunnamaggin eventually smothered the more inexperienced opposition into submission long before John Kennedy blew the full time whistle.
Mooncoin looked a team of terrific talent in that opening sequence, with Eoin Hennebry leading a very lively attack and the two Walls, Ray and Sean, pushing hard from behind in support.
Ray and Hennebry recorded three opening scores for Mooncoin, with the former slotting over a couple from placed balls.
Then just as it seemed that the Mooncoin charge threatened to swamp the Dunnamaggin effort, a selectorial decision to switch Canice Hickey to number six, thus releasing county panellist William Phelan to midfield proved inspirational, and hugely valuable.
Control of the game in the mid third of the park became the real estate property of the winners. Hickey was imperious at centre-back, while Phelan was strong, hugely effective, impressively dominant.
While the likes of Kieran Bergin, Anthony Kearney, Andrew Fitzpatrick, and Seaghan O’Neill became much more obvious as the Dunnamaggin attackers, the complete opposite scenario could be applied to their Mooncoin opposites.
Kenny Moore was a constantly threatening spike to the Mooncoin attack, the others didn’t seem to enjoy any advantage until the switching of Hickey and Phelan.
From the 15th minute Dunnamaggin clattered over nine points.
At half time the sides were level at 0-12 apiece, but the signs of a Mooncoin victory were anything but encouraging.
The stats of the second 30 minutes make impressive reading for the winners, not so for the gallant Mooncoin.
The winners added 1-9 to their half time take, alas for Mooncoin, they managed a mere four points.
The inability of the full forward line to cut any slack from the Dunnamaggin full back line was key to the outcome.
David Herity and Noel Hickey performed like twins joined at the hip all of their hurling lives - Hickey kept ‘em out; Herity did the rest.
When was it any different?
Aidan O’Donovan and Andrew Hickey hurled like hurricanes through the second half. With Canice Hickey they formed a Maginot Line of total subjugation that was seldom breached.
Colin Herity came on as a replacement in the second half to add further grief to the Mooncoin case.
Kieran Bergin, grabbed 1-4, while Darren Fitzpatrick weighed in with two smashing points as well.
Mooncoin never stopped trying, but for many, their best was simply not good enough.
Keith Kirwan, Eoin Hennebry (first half), Cormac Fleming and Paddy Kinsella looked the part.
It is early days yet, but somehow or other, I can see a re-enactment of history with the exploits of Clara of last season.
Scorers: Dunnamaggin - Kieran Bergin (1-4, two frees points); Kenny Moore (0-5); Seaghan O’Neill (0-3); Canice Hickey (0-3, two 65s, one free); William Phelan, Anthony Kearney, Darren Fitzpatrick (0-2 each). Mooncoin - Ray Wall (0-7, five frees); Eoin Hennebry (0-3); Cormac Fleming (0-2); David O’Brien (0-2, frees); Keith Kirwan, Michael Grace (0-1 each).
Dunnamaggin - David Herity, Mark Dowling, Noel Hickey, Paul Kirwan, Aidan O’Donovan, William Phelan, Andrew Hickey, Darren Fitzpatrick, Canice Hickey, Paddy Delaney, Kenny Moore, Seaghan O’Neill, Kieran Bergin, Anthony Kearney, Andrew Fitzpatrick. Sub - Colin Herity
Mooncoin - Paddy Kinsella, Shane Walsh, Niall Mackey, Eoin Crowley, David Kearns, Michael Grace, Sean Wall, Niall Madden, Ray Wall, Keith Kirwan, Eoin Hennebry, Cormac Fleming, Stephen Crowley, David O’Brien, Ethan Ryan. Subs - Seamus Kearns, John Patrick Purcell.
Referee - John Kennedy (Shamrocks).