DOUGLAS could have been excused for thinking ‘here we go again’ after Luke O’Farrell slapped in Midleton’s goal after only 70 seconds in their group decider at Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the weekend.
It was the opening score in the do-or-die Co-Op Superstores county senior hurling championship and the omens didn’t look encouraging for the city club, who leaked four goals in the previous game.
Yet, great warrior Eoin Cadogan reckoned they had to learn important lessons from the Sarsfields defeat.
“When we looked back on the Sars game it was very evident what kind of mistakes we were making for those four goals.
“In fairness Sars finished them very well and were clinical which you’d expect from a team of their experience.
“I thought we learned a lot from that game and brought that experience with us, especially in the way we were able to close out the game,” he said.
Douglas recovered from that early setback and from, twice, being six points adrift to lead for the first time, two minutes into the second-half, 0-14 to 1-10.
Four Shane Kingston frees just before the interval breathed new life into Douglas, who were also denied a goal when Midleton full-back Eoin Moloney saved from Alan Cadogan.
Yet, within two minutes of the resumption, Douglas were in front after Brian Turnbull pointed inside 20 seconds, Kingston scored his first from play before landing a free.
In the end, they had a point to spare, 0-22 to 1-18, to qualify for a quarter-final with neighbours Blackrock.
“It was a cracker of a match which could have gone either way and I thought it was a real high-quality game,” Cadogan added.
“We’re just delighted to come out the right side for a change. Douglas don’t normally win too many games like this and don’t usually come back from conceding goals either, but this was different.
“And it’s all down to work-rate. There are no stars in this team.
“Potential is being talked about too long. I’m hearing it for the last 10 years in Douglas, but we’re not interested in that.
“And we’re also not interested in having stars. What we want is fellows who will work for one another and I thought everyone put in the effort.
“We reaped the benefit of that work-rate on this occasion and I think that was the difference in the end. It was phenomenal.
“When you bring a group together that is very strong collectively and is prepared to work hard then anything is possible.
“We also know you’ve no given right to win, but results will look after themselves if you put in a shift.”
Midleton only needed a draw and were on course four times in a hectic finish but couldn’t reel in Turnbull’s winner.
“Towards the end of the game you don’t really know what’s on the scoreboard because you don’t want to concede goals.
“That result and performance has to be there or thereabouts during my time, which is 18 years now. And yet it has to be placed in context because it wasn’t even a quarter-final. It’s just a win, nothing else.
“It’s a big lift to people in Douglas who were able to watch the live streaming and that’s a positive given all the negativity in recent months with Covid.
“I know there was nobody at the game, but we saw what it meant to the people on the sideline at the final whistle. You can hear everything. You can see everything.
“It’s not all about scoring three, four or five points, more being prepared to do the dirty work.
“You saw that with Alan and Shane Donegan coming back in the last few minutes to help out.
“It’s not about one-on-one anymore in defence because it has to be a team effort.”
It was a big result for manager Shane Brick, who took over from Shane Kingston this season.
“I’m just delighted for the group as a whole.
£The management team has put in a huge amount of work in the last two years.
“They’re genuine people and when you’re surrounded by good people players will play for them and each other,” Cadogan concluded.