Wolfe Tones completed their hoganstand.com Group A campaign with an easy win over Blackhall Gaels at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday evening.
Wolfe Tones 3-12
Blackhall Gaels 0-11
The outcome was never in doubt after two first-quarter Fiachra Ward goals provided the platform for Wolfe Tones fifth win of the campaign.
It means Wolfe Tones join Donaghmore-Ashbourne as the only sides to come through the group stage with a 100% win record. Gordon Ward's men will face Summerhill or Seneschalstown at the quarter-final stage.
Despite playing against the strong breeze, Blackhall Gaels were first to break with a Tadhg Brosnan pointed free in the third minute.
Wolfe Tones responded with a scoring flourish at the town end with a brace of Fiachra Ward goals. Niall O'Reilly and Eoghan Harrington combined to create the opening for first three-pointer, with O'Reilly's tenacity starting the move.
Cian Ward provided the assist for his younger brother to steer the ball to the net for Wolfe Tones' second goal. When the elder Ward opened his account with a pointed free in the 13th minute eight points separated the sides, 2-3 to 0-1.
Tadhg Brosnan posted all of Blackhall Gaels' first-half scores with just one coming from play. Gordon Ward's charges enjoyed their best spell between the 15th and 20th minutes during which they chalked up three points.
The pendulum favoured the 'Tones in the final 10 minutes of the opening half during which time they outscored Liam Keane's men by 0-4 to 0-1. The pick of the scores in this phase came from wing-back Mark Coleman following a patient build-up while the final score of the half was an excellent Cian Ward effort from out on the left wing following great assist from Niall McLoughlin.
Having played with the elements in the opening half, Wolfe Tones led by nine points, 2-8 to 0-5, at the break. It became a double-digit margin in the 33rd minute when Thomas O'Reilly (a temporary sub for Fiachra Ward) pointed.
Ciaran Giblin became the first Blackhall player - apart from Brosnan - to score when rounding off a great move in the 35th minute. It was one of a few highlights for the Batterstown-Kilcloon outfit.
Wolfe Tones almost got in for another goal in the 38th minute when Mark Coleman's close range effort was turned out for a 45 by Blackhall 'keeper Tommy Dalton.
With the expected outcome looking certain, Blackhall got to within seven points of the favourites by the 50th minute when wing-back Niall Kelly got his second score.
The highlight of the remainder of the game was Wolfe Tones' third goal. Cian Ward started the move in midfield, Ciaran McLoughlin continued it before Niall O'Reilly netted at the hospital end to make it 3-11 to 0-10 in the 58th minute.
Blackhall Gaels earlier win over Oldcastle eliminated any concerns about relegation for team in yellow, blue and black.
Wolfe Tones - David Nolan; Eoghan Harrington, Stephen Sheppard, David Coleman; Eanna Harrington, Shane Glynn,Mark Coleman (0-1);Stephen Corrigan,Alan Callaghan (0-2);Niall O'Reilly (1-1),Niall McLoughlin (0-2),Paul Byrne; Ciaran McLoughlin, Fiachra Ward (2-0), Cian Ward (0-5, 2fs, 1 45). Subs - Brughach O Fionnagain for Byrne (ht), Thomas O'Reilly (0-1) for F Ward (temp 31-40), Byrne for N McLoughlin (51), N McLoughlin for Callaghan (56).
Blackhall Gaels - Tommy Dalton; Conor Stenson, Colm McElligott, Dan Carty; Niall Kelly (0-2), Stephen Morris, Donal Durkan; Donncha Tobin, Paddy O'Brien; Ciaran Giblin (0-2), Tadhg Brosnan (0-6, 5fs), Dermot Carty; Paul Kelly, Tom Delany, Sean Whelan. Subs - Noel O'Hora for Durkan (ht), Tom Murphy (0-1) for Whelan (32), Durkan for Tobin (bc 47).
Referee - Marcus Quinn (Clann na nGael)Tweet