Douglas 1-20 Sarsfields 3-11 (after extra time)
AN outstanding display once again by the Mackey sisters and an all-round determined Douglas team dethroned holders Sarsfields in the SE systems senior championship fourth-round tie on Saturday afternoon.
The champions' dreams of two in a row came to an end after a dogged Douglas fight. Douglas’s improvement since their first-round defeat to St Finbarr's has been monumental.
They led from the 23rd minute until the 50th when Ciara Irwin goaled for Sars to go one up. Sars then had three to spare with 59 on the clock but five minutes of additional time and a Pamela Mackey beauty point brought the game to extra time.
It was a game that swung end to end with so much going on that at times it was hard to keep up. Sars made use of nine substitutes, Douglas three, during what finished up at 91 minutes of playing time. Credit both teams that left absolutely everything out on the pitch.
Sars had a few positional and personnel switches to their team at throw-in primarily due to Glanmire ladies footballers playing a championship game three hours before the game. Ellen Murphy, Olivia McAllen, Ellen Twomey and Gaby Cashman were four involved. It was too much to ask that players can play back-to-back knockout championship games.
Very little separated the sides for the first 25 minutes of this game and all through it was end to end work-rate. The only goal of the opening half came from the stick of impressive Sars youngster Saoirse Desmond.
Pamela Mackey was outstanding in defence. Her blocking, hooking and stylish play in addition to her long-distance points were top class. Beside her, she had defenders who were willing to put their bodies in. Emma Kavanagh, Amy Curtin, Seosai Mulrooney were strong and tightened down on any advancing Sars forward.
Jessica Kavanagh was busy as Sars dropped a lot of ball in and as always stood up to the task. Within 10 minutes of the second period Saoirse Desmond, Lucy Allen and Lucy Kelly had the gap to one.
It was back and forth until Irwin’s goal swung the pendulum Sars' way. Tacking on further points with a greater spread of scorers than Douglas it looked as if Sars had done enough. But Katrina and Chloe St Ledger struck two over before Pamela pointed for extra time.
It was anyone’s game. You couldn’t see Douglas racing into a five-point gap inside the first half of extra time but that’s what happened.
How Mackey evaded three defenders, including Sars goalkeeper Molly Lynch to lob a hand pass over their heads to the net is anyone’s guess. A big blow for Douglas was when Katrina Mackey was carried off the pitch at half time in extra time.
But credit her teammate’s tenacity. How they fought.
Sars made more changes. Julia White came into her own in extra time scoring three points and despite Hollie Herlihy’s late goal on 91 minutes, it was Douglas’ day.
Scorers for Douglas: K Mackey 1-10 (0-3 f, 0-1 45), J White 0-4, P Mackey 0-3, K Holland 0-2, C St Ledger 0-1.
Sarsfields: S Desmond 1-5 (0-4 f), C Irwin 1-0, H Herlihy 1-0, L Allen 0-2, L Kelly, R O’Mahony, C Mullins, O Mullins 0-1 each.
DOUGLAS: J Kavanagh; E Kavanagh, A Curtin, S Mulrooney; C Nason, P Mackey, R Sheehan; C Noonan, M Mulrooney; C St. Ledger, K Holland, K Mackey; C McCarthy, J Leo, J White.
Subs: A Walsh for C Carthy (48), J O’Mahony for J Leo (65), E McAndrews for K Mackey (inj 79).
SARS: M Lynch; M Mullins, K Barry, E Lonergan; C Casey, N O’Callaghan, E Casey; L Kelly, C Mullins; C Irwin, H Herlihy, M Barry; L Allen, A Mullins, S Desmond.
Subs: E Murphy for A Mullins, R O’Mahony for C Casey (h-t), O Mullins for M Barry, O McAllen for L Allen (47), G Cashman for M Mullins (58), M McCarthy for C Irwin, M Barry for R O’Mahony (74), E Woods for S Desmond (86), A Mullins for C Mullins (89).
Referee: John Horgan (Gleann Na Laoi).