Graham Burke scored five times as Shamrock Rovers eased to victory against a Cork City side that played half the game with 10 men in their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Tallaght Stadium.
The visitors were already 2-0 down when winger Deshane Dalling, on his full debut, was dismissed in first half stoppage as Neale Fenn's new look Cork slumped to a second successive defeat.
Given the conditions of swirling wind and rain, it was little surprise that a mistake brought the opening goal a dour game desperately required.
There appeared little danger to Jack Byrne’s diagonal delivery from the right on 32 minutes.
But centre-half Joseph Olowu scuffed his attempted clearance straight to Rovers striker Burke who picked his spot with a crisp shot to the bottom corner.
Though the lively Dalling drilled a shot wide across goal at the other end minutes later it was all Rovers then before half-time.
Burke shot straight at Liam Bossin with Neil Farrugia bringing a superb tip over save from the City keeper on 38 minutes.
Rovers duly doubled their lead four minutes later. Skipper Ronan Finn’s low cross from the right fell for Burke in the six yard box and he turned to nonchalantly toe-poke the ball to the net.
The game was then up for Cork in added time at the end of the half when Dalling was shown a straight red card for a lunging challenge on Roberto Lopes.
Not unexpectedly, it was pretty much one-way traffic from the resumption.
Aaron McEneff worked Bossin with Aaron Greene, their match winner at Bohemians last week, hooking over the top when Byrne cleverly picked him out in the area.
With Cork sitting very deep it took patience and guile to unlock them for a third time on the hour.
Farrugia and Byrne were initially involved before Burke’s smart back heel return to Byrne brought the shot from the edge of the area which Bossin couldn’t keep out despite getting a hand to it.
Bossin failed to gather Farrugia’s cross to allow Burke collect the ball at the back post, work it onto his left foot and drill it to the net for his hat-trick on 74 minutes.
A deflected shot brought Burke’s fourth goal four minutes later before he completed the rout on 80 minutes with a confident left foot drive to the bottom corner.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Joey O’Brien (Liam Scales h-t), Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace; Ronan Finn, Aaron McEneff (Dylan Watts 61), Gary O’Neill, Jack Byrne, Neill Farrugia; Aaron Greene (Dean William 66), Graham Burke.
Cork City: Liam Bossin; Kyros Stabana, Joseph Olowu, Joe Redmond, Ronan Hurley; Henry Ochieng, Gearoid Morrissey, Alec Byrne (Charlie Fleming 66); Daire O’Connor (Reyon Dillon h-t), Dylan McGlade (Rob Slevin 72), Deshane Dalling.
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).