Dublin powered past an inexperienced Cork side in front of a crowd of only 2,000 in Sunday’s Allianz NHL clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, winning by three goals, 4-14 to 1-14.
While 12,000 turned out to march in support of the senior players on the streets of Cork on Saturday, those who showed at the match tried their best to get behind the Rebel youngsters.
And the Dubs wasted no time taking advantage of the situation flying into a four-point lead thanks to an Alan McCrabbe point and a goal by John Kelly, who hammered the ball past Cork keeper Alan Kennedy.
And things got worse for the home side as Dublin corner forward Liam Rushe grabbed two quick goals to lead 3-2 to 0-04.
And the Dublin teenager should have bagged his hat-trick before half-time but Kennedy pulled off a great save to keep the score down.
Barry Johnston was doing his best for the Cork cause, knocking over three frees in the first half and two scores by Glen O’Connor and full forward Michael Collins, just before half-time, gave the scoreboard a bit of respectability.
The second half continued in the same vein as Dublin won an early penalty that would have sealed the game.
But a tremendous save by Kennedy kept the Cork development side in the game as Dublin keeper Alan Nolan had a long run back to his goal after seeing his penalty strike saved.
And Cork made a game of it with some quick scores followed by a goal from Barry Johnston.
The Bride Rovers man fired home a 51st minute penalty after Aidan Ryan had been fouled inside the box, bringing his tally up to one goal and five points.
But a fourth Dublin goal sealed the points for the visitors as McCrabbe brought his tally to 1-09 thanks to a sideline cut from 55 metres out that evaded everyone and went straight into the net.
So it was a winning start for new Dublin boss Anthony Daly, while the Cork County Board will have some serious thinking to do ahead of their next game, a daunting away trip to Thurles.