Clinical Crokes un-Laois class
KILMACUD CROKES 3-12
Parnells may be investing heavily in their future, but they were reminded of how far they have to go in the present as Kilmacud Crokes laid down a marker for the championship season at Parnell Park.
Despite being without both O'Carroll brothers, the 2008 champions produced a strong performance for the full hour to send the Coolock side and their Laois contingent through the back door.
After their All Ireland winning exploits looked to have tired them out in last year's campaign, Paddy Carr's charges looked sharp, moving the ball quickly to their lethal full-forward line that accounted for 1-11 of their total.
Their mettle was tested when Niall Collins struck for a sixth minute goal to put Parnells 1-1 to 0-2 in front. But Darren Magee went straight back up to retake the lead with a determined effort, following through to stick the ball into the back of the net after Stephen Cluxton had denied his first attempt.
Ray Cosgrove was at the end of an excellent length of the field move involving Magee, Mark Coughlan, Pat Burke and Declan Kelleher to lengthen the lead, and although MJ Tierney pulled one back for Parnells the Crokes bandwagon kept running.
Cosgrove pointed after a superb Magee take, before Coughlan ignored a scuffle between Cian O'Sullivan and Colm Parkinson to take his centre half back's pass and beat Cluxton.
The Laoisman was booked, along with O'Sullivan, who dominated his marker throughout in an impressive display. Three Tierney frees and a John Dignam effort pulled the lead back to 2-5 to 1-6 at the break.
Crokes were excellent after the interval, outscoring 'Nells 1-6 to 0-4 as Mark Vaughan got into the groove, sending over three points before Burke goaled.
The dynamic full-forward capitalised on Darren Rooney's inability to clear after Barry O'Rorke's dropping free from the left, allowing Burke to dive in and score.
Vaughan and Burke stretched the lead, as Parnells heads dropped and although Tierney -- who scored 0-9 -- sent over two frees as Vaughan and O'Rorke finished the job.
The northsiders' night was summed up when Martin Whelan won a penalty, only for David Nestor to save Dignam's powerful effort at the death.
The only sour note for Carr was the sight of O'Sullivan hobbling off at the end, but everywhere else it was job done.
SCORERS -- Kilmacud Crokes: M Vaughan (2f) 0-6, P Burke 1-3, D Magee, M Coughlan 1-0 each, R Cosgrove 0-2, B O'Rorke 0-1. Parnells: MJ Tierney (7f) 0-9, N Collins 1-0, J Dignam 0-1.
KILMACUD CROKES: D Nestor; E Culligan, K Nolan, C Lamb; A Morrissey, C O'Sullivan, A Carr; D Magee, N Corkery; L Óg Ó hEineachán, M Coughlan, D Kelleher; R Cosgrove, P Burke, M Vaughan. Subs: B O'Rorke for Cosgrove (44), N McGrath for O'Sullivan (63).
PARNELLS: S Cluxton; P Hogan, D Myler, M Keena; E Delahunt, M Fitzpatrick, C Quinn; D Rooney, C Begley; P Keogh, C Parkinson, J Collins; MJ Tierney, K McGuckian, N Collins. Subs: B Byrne for Quinn (12), J Dignam for Hogan (22), Quinn for Myler (51), M Whelan for McGuckian (51).
REFEREE: Karl Higgins (Na Fianna).