Deadly Douglas blow Ballincollig away to secure home minor football semi-final

Deadly Douglas blow Ballincollig away to secure home minor football semi-final
Alan O'Hare, Douglas, lets fly where pursued by Sean O'Flynn and Liam O'Connell, Ballincollig, in the P1 MFC clash. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Douglas 5-17 Ballincollig 0-14

A SENSATIONAL second half from Douglas dumped Ballincollig out of the Premier 1 Minor Football Championship and secured the hosts a home semi-final against Inniscarra.

Ibane Gaels will host Glanmire on the other side of the draw.

After a tight opening half here, with Douglas 1-8 to 0-8 up courtesy of a neat Alan O'Hare goal, last year's champions exploded out of the blocks on the restart.

O'Hare, a minor All-Ireland medalist with Cork in 2019, was in sensational form, using his pace and trickery to punch holes time and again in the Collig rearguard. He finished with 2-5 and had his hands on a number of other scores as well.

The size and aggression of Fionn Sheehan and Conor O'Donovan caused havoc in the Ballincollig full-back line and yielded two goals for O'Donovan. Michael Nason raised the fifth green flag, with Mark Howell, Eoghan Nash, Shane Aherne and Aaron Sheehy also very impressive.

Eoghan Nash, Douglas, battling Tadhg O'Connell and Liam O'Connell, Ballincollig. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Eoghan Nash, Douglas, battling Tadhg O'Connell and Liam O'Connell, Ballincollig. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

For a hugely underwhelming Ballincollig, only Brian Keating, with 0-4 from play, Seán Dore and Tadhg O'Connell hit the heights that saw them blitz Nemo and then beat Glanmire by seven points in the first two group matches. Credit must go to the Douglas defence though, who didn't afford Ballincollig time to open up space down the middle as they had in previous games.

A Rebel Óg ruling, which neither club seemed fully aware of before, meant once Glanmire beat Nemo, the scores the other three teams up against them were discounted. 

Glanmire were therefore on -2 across the games with Ballincollig and Douglas while Douglas ended up on +13 and Ballincollig -11.

You'd have expected familiarity to breed contempt, Douglas the victors when the clubs collided in a cracking county final last season, Ballincollig beating Douglas in a hurling group game a week ago to reach this season's P1 semi-final. Yet this was a hard but fair battle.

Douglas were rampant by the last 10 minutes, with Ballincollig forcing goal chances that weren't on, desperate to trim the margin on the scoreboard.

In the end they didn't, which allowed Glanmire slip into the knockout stages.

Douglas deserve immense credit for their underage efforts in football. At their three main ages in the Premier 1 grades, they've made the last four.

The 2020 P1 U16 football semi-finals are St Finbarr's against Nemo and St Michael's versus Douglas. The U14 pairings are Douglas-Barrs and Glanmire-Bishopstown.

Scorers for Douglas: A O'Hare 2-5 (0-1 f), C O'Donovan 2-2, M Nason 1-1, F Sheehan 0-3 f, S Aherne 0-2, E Nash, M Howell, A Sheehy, S St Ledger 0-1 each.

Ballincollig: B Keating 0-5 (0-1 f), D O'Mahony 0-5 f, T O'Connell 0-3, M Oldham 0-1.

DOUGLAS: C O'Leary; S Geaney, C Buckley, C Donlon; M Howell, C Kenny, D Kelly; E Nash, S Aherne; D Burke, M Nason, F Sheehan; A O'Hare, C O'Donovan, A Sheehy.

Subs: L Healy for Kelly (46), S St Ledger for Nason (47), D Squires for Geaney (48), N Lynch for O'Hare (inj 58), 

BALLINCOLLIG: C Walsh; D Horgan, S O'Donoghue, S Buckley; S O'Flynn, L O'Connell, H Aherne; C O'Driscoll, S Dore; P O'Keeffe, M Oldham (c), T O'Connell; D O'Mahony, D O'Sullivan, B Keating.

Subs: D Ebili for O'Driscoll (38), O'Driscoll for O'Sullivan (45), S Kelly for Horgan (53).

Referee: A O'Connor (Ballygarvan).

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