Leinster semi-final double-header confirmed after big day of provincial club action
It was a step too far for Kilruane MacDonaghs, as the Tipperary county champions were out-classed by Ballygunner in the Munster championship on Sunday.
Playing just seven days after capturing the Tipperary crown, Liam O'Kelly's side did get off to a bright start in Walsh Park but the reigning All-Ireland champions soon kicked into gear and that was that.
Pauric Mahony and Dessie Hutchinson began slinging points for fun and while Kilruane's Willie Cleary will rue his missed early goal chance, had he scored, it would only have succeeded in delaying the inevitable.
Their exertions clearly caught up on them and Ballygunner were just too good. Paddy Leavey dominated midfield with his renowned Brick flick while Peter Hogan was key to many of the team's typically slick attacking moves.
18-year-old Patrick Fitzgerald was the man-of-the-match, having scored 1-4 from play and he showed that the production line is still in full flow for Darragh O'Sullivan's side.
Elsewhere, Westmeath senior football champions The Downs enjoyed a comfortable win over St Mary's of Ardee in the Leinster championship. Kevin O'Sullivan scored an early goal for Lar Wall's side as, in the first twenty minutes, they raced into a 1-5 to 0-1 lead over the Louth champions.
Substitute Ronan Carroll did help to make a game of it for Ardee, but the damage was already done, with dual players Niall Mitchell and Luke Loughlin impressing for the Downs.
Meanwhile, Meath champs Ratoath ground out a hard-earned win over Rhode to book their place in the Leinster semi-final against The Downs. Rhode had led by a point at half-time in what was a low-scoring game, but Eamonn Wallace and Daithí McGowan stood tall for David Brady's team in the second half, as they just about edged the Offaly men.
Portarlington will take on Kilmacud Crokes in the other semi-final, after the pair of them triumphed over Palatine and Naas respectively. Both games will take place on Saturday November 19th as part of a double-header in Croke Park.
In Galway, it was hurling semi-final day and it was business as usual for the five-in-a-row-seeking St Thomas' as they made it back to another final. Their talisman Conor Cooney hit five from play against Sarsfields with Eanna Burke and Victor Manso adding the goals.
Goals win games, and that was the way in the other semi-final too as Loughrea defeated Clarinbridge to reach their first final since 2013. Martin McManus was the hero for the town, having hit 2-2.
Meanwhile, Ballymacarbry were crowned Munster ladies football champions for the first time since 2000, having lost 13 finals since their last win. In Leinster, Kilmacud Crokes ran riot to beat Wicklow's Tinahely by 4-15 to 0-8.
Ballygunner 4-19 Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-14
The Downs 1-17 St Mary's Ardee 0-12
Ratoath 0-11 Rhode 0-9
St Thomas 2-19 Sarsfields 0-15
Loughrea 3-13 Clarinbridge 0-16
Portarlington 3-19 Palatine 0-9
Kilmacud Crokes 3-14 Naas 0-14
Ballymacarbry 0-8 Banner 0-5
Kilmacud Crokes 4-15 Tinahely 0-8