Kilmacud Crokes 3-25 Templeogue Synge Street 1-06
As notable as Paul Mannion's return to club duty was, and as surprising as defender Rory O'Carroll's two goals were, this will still go down as the day Shane Walsh made his Kilmacud Crokes debut.
Victory for the Dublin and Leinster SFC holders, and top spot in Group 1 to secure the easier, on paper at least, quarter-final tie was already secured when the Galway star came on in the 42nd minute following his controversial club transfer.
Former Dublin defender O'Carroll's two first-half goals and a glut of scores from the returning Mannion had seen to that, leaving 15 points between the teams when Robbie Brennan gave Walsh the nod to come on.
The man who left intermediate football with his native Kilkerrin Clonberne to push for the ultimate honours in club football with Crokes, All-Ireland finalists only last February at nearby Croke Park, placed Mannion with a pass in the 44th minute that drew a free for Tom Fox to convert.
In the 56th minute, Walsh performed a trademark dummy solo off his left foot, switched back onto his right side and split the posts for a sumptuous score that stretched the gap to 21 points.
Crokes finished up as 25-point winners with a dozen different scorers and will clearly face stiffer tests ahead though with their new recruit, and Mannion back to full fitness following knee trouble, they will take some stopping.
They'd previously defeated Raheny and Ballinteer St Johns in their group so were already through to the last eight but played as if it was a knock-out encounter, putting 2-02 on the board before Templeogue Synge Street had even got off the mark.
O'Carroll netted in the fifth and 11th minutes and aside from being his first and second goals in senior football for the club, he also hit both off his left foot.
Mannion was on fire too, kicking several excellent scores from distance after spending the summer playing football in Boston with the Donegal club who reached the local final.
Already it was looking like a done deal and when Crokes reeled off eight points in a row before half-time, Mannion, Dara Mullin, Fox and Craig Dias all among the scorers, they opened up a 2-12 to 1-02 lead.
Ger Vickery grabbed the Templeogue Synge Street goal in the 17th minute but it was only a brief halt to Crokes' gallop, particularly as the stiff wind was at the holders' backs.
Despite the half-time turnaround, Crokes kept the foot on the throttle and benefited from a third goal in the 47th minute, this time scored by Mullin who finished with 1-03.
Aside from Walsh, substitutes Cian O'Connor and Ben Shovlin also got on the scoresheet for Crokes.
Dublin duo Niall Scully and Lorcan O'Dell were both among the second-half scorers for Templeogue Synge Street but they needed much more than just 0-04 in total after the break.
Kilmacud Crokes: Conor Ferris; Ross McGowan, Michael Mullin, Dan O'Brien (0-01); Cillian O'Shea (0-01), Rory O'Carroll (2-00), Andrew McGowan; Conor Casey, Craig Dias (0-01); Tom Fox (0-02, 0-02f), Paul Mannion (0-09, 0-04f), Shane Horan; Hugh Kenny (0-01), Dara Mullin (1-03, 0-1m), Shane Cunningham (0-04, 0-01m).
Subs: Cian O'Connor (0-01) for Horan 38, Shane Walsh (0-01) for Kenny 42, Ben Shovlin (0-01) for Dias 45, James Murphy for M Mullin 50, Darragh Jones for Fox 54.
Templeogue Synge Street: Max Fitzgerald; Rob Power, Alex O'Toole, Barra Dignam; Conal Cunningham, Bruce Waldron, Kevin Hughes; Niall Scully (0-02, 0-01f), Killian O'Gara (0-01); Conor McKiernan, Sean Cooney, Ger Vickery (1-01, 0-01m); Fintan Dignam (0-01, 0-01 45), Lorcan O'Dell (0-01), Gerry Canavan.
Subs: David Lowry for Cunningham h/t, Scott McConnell for Dignam 55, Neil Duffy for Waldron 56, Sam McGovern for Power 59.
Referee: Ian Howley.
The other game in the group saw Ballinteer book a place in the last eight after overcoming Raheny by 1-13 to 1-08.
The sides were level at the break at O'Toole Park before the Grange Road men pulled clear.
Next up for Crokes is a southside derby against Cuala, who won the battle for second place in Group 2 beating Ballymun by 2-08 to 0-11. Luke Keating and Niall James got the goals either side of half time for the Dalkey side. Ballyboden won the group after seeing off Clontarf by 1-16 to 0-07.
The quarter-final line-up is now complete in the Bon Secours Cork Premier SFC following today's action.
Nemo Rangers beat Clonakilty by a point, 0-08 to 0-07, and they'll play Carbery Rangers next time out. Rangers lost to defending champions St Finbarr's, who advance straight to the semi-finals having topped Group A with three wins from three.
The Barr's await the winners of the Mallow versus Castlehaven quarter-final. Mallow were beaten by Douglas by 2-11 to 2-10, having trailed by 11 with 15 minutes to play, while the Haven were 3-12 to 1-09 winners over relegation play-off bound Newcestown.
The other quarter-final will see Carbery, who came through the divisional section, take on Ballincollig, who needed a minor miracle to progress. They had to better Douglas' result by four points to advance, but trailed Valley Rovers by two points at the break.
A massive second-half showing, with goals from Seán Kiely and Robert Noonan, saw them progress on a 4-14 to 2-10 scoreline, helped by Mallow narrowing the deficit against Douglas.
In the JJ Kavanagh and Sons Waterford SHC, defending champions Ballygunner saw off Roanmore on 2-17 to 0-12 scoreline.
Dessie Hutchinson and Patrick Fitzgerald scored 1-02 each as they reached their 10th county final in a row.
There they'll play the competition's most successful club after Mount Sion reached the decider for the first time in eight years. Martin O'Neill’s total of 1-03 after the break helped them past De La Salle by 1-19 to 2-12.
In the Offaly SHC, defending champions St Rynagh's relinquished their crown after losing to Shinrone by 1-15 to 1-13 at St Brendan's Park.
Rynaghs were five clear mid-way through the first half after Paul Quirke goalled for them. But Shinrone battled back to be just three behind at the break after a major of their own by Jason Sampson.
The second half was cagey, with the sides level at 1-09 and 1-10 apiece, before Killian Ryan pushed the challengers ahead with eight minutes to go, and they were able to see it out from there.
In the Boom and Platform Hire Wicklow SFC, Arklow Geraldines Ballymoney held off the challenge of Bray Emmet's, winning by 0-10 to 1-06.
The game was close throughout, with the sides level at the break at 0-05 apiece. Bray would lead for the only time in the contest just after the break, when Arran Murphy landed a point.
From there though Arklow upped the ante, and were four clear going into the closing stages when Brian Nesbitt scored a consolation goal for Emmets.
Earlier in the day, last year's finalists Baltinglass progressed to the last four after beating Avondale by 2-10 to 0-08.
The gap was three points at the break but second-half goals from Jack Kirwan and Tommy Keogh helped the west county side to progress.