Slick Sars overwhelm Douglas to reach Premier 1 U21 hurling semi-final

Slick Sars overwhelm Douglas to reach Premier 1 U21 hurling semi-final
Sarsfields' Killian Murphy gathers the sliotar from Douglas' James Holland. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Sarsfields 1-21 Douglas 0-8

SARSFIELDS are through to the semi-final of the Cork County U21 Premier 1 Hurling Championship as they deservedly defeated Douglas 1-21 to 0-8 on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G astro.

A scintillating display from right corner forward Daniel Hogan — with 1-5 of his 1-6 total crucially coming in the first half — helped Sars secure a meeting with Blackrock in the final four of the competition. Midleton await the winners in the final.

The Glanmire club were extremely impressive in their victory against the Rockies in the opening round at the beginning of August and they started this fixture in a confident mood.

They grabbed the first score of the game inside the first minute with Daniel Hogan firing over and Douglas needed goalkeeper Donal Maher to make a superb save to deny Ben Graham a goal moments later.

But the net minder would be beaten in the third minute as Hogan blasted the sliotar into the top left corner from a tight angle to put his side in complete control of proceedings.

Left half-forward Danny Allen gained possession, charged towards the target and split the uprights in the fourth minute before their opponents finally got on the board thanks to a free from Joseph Harte, 1-2 to 0-1.

Douglas showed their quality just six days previous as they emphatically defeated Duhallow by 11 points to set up this quarter-final clash against Sars.

But they would only add four more points in the first half with Brian Turnbull, who had been experiencing difficulties with injuries recently, laying claim to three of those while Cian Baldwin also notched one following a powerful run.

But all they appeared to do was temporarily halt the march of Sarsfields. The two sides hit five wides a piece in the first period of play but the Blue and Blacks still maintained enough composure to head into the break leading 1-13 to 0-5.

Hogan raised a few more white flags while full-forward Liam Healy followed his example to put the leaders firmly in control going into the second half.

Douglas, to their credit, showed some fighting spirit at the start of the second half an hour as they outscored their rivals by three points to two with Joseph Harte expertly striking his three frees over the blackspot.

The wind and the rain soon made things more difficult for both sides as they misplaced more passes and struggled to get the ball into their grasp.

The Green, white and blacks still trailed 1-15 to 0-8 heading into the final quarter of the cup tie and despite their determination, they wouldn’t score another point for the rest of the game.

They needed a goal but Sars weren’t willing to allow them to gain that foothold in the contest and they added to their advantage with Liam Healy slotting over two more well-taken set-pieces.

The lively Daniel Hogan got his first point in 32 minutes of play before Healy tallied another free to make it 1-19 to 0-8 with the clock ticking towards full time.

There was still time for centre back Killian Roche to blast over a stunning point from way out the field before Jack O’Connor completed the scoring in injury time to seal Sars’ place in the semis and set up an interesting encounter with Blackrock next.

Scorers for Sarsfields: D Hogan 1-6, L Healy 0-9 (0-6 f, 0-1 65), J O’Connor 0-2, D Allen, J O’Leary, K Roche and S O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

Douglas: J Harte 0-4 f, B Turnbull 0-3, C Baldwin 0-1.

SARSFIELDS: C Looney; D Barry, K Crowley, K Walsh; S O’Driscoll, K Roche, K Murphy; C Darcy, J O’Leary; B Graham, J O’Connor, D Allen; D Hogan, L Healy, C McCarthy.

Subs: A Hackett for C McCarthy (41), S Garvey for D Allen (51), C McCarthy for S O’Driscoll (51), C O’Donovan for D Hogan (56), S Higgins for K Murphy (56).

DOUGLAS: D Maher; S McGrath, N Walsh, T O’Sullivan; B O’Neill, S H Squires, C O’Donovan; C Baldwin, D Harte; B Powter, B Turnbull, J Harte; J Holland, C Russell, A O’Connell.

Subs: K McSweeney for D Harte (41), T Barry for J Holland (54), J O’Sullivan for J Harte (58), C O’Donoghue for A O’Connell (58).

Referee: David Copps (Ballyhea).

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