Hartnett shines as Douglas U21 hurlers defeat Duhallow

Hartnett shines as Douglas U21 hurlers defeat Duhallow
Niall Hartnett, Douglas, fires a point from Cian Crowley, Duhallow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Douglas 2-15 Duhallow 0-10.

DOUGLAS are through to the quarter-finals of the Premier 1 U21 Hurling championship as they deservedly defeated Duhallow 2-15 to 0-10 on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh astro turf on Sunday evening. 

A sensational display from Niall Hartnett, which saw the forward score two well taken goals, was enough to see Douglas win this third round clash to set up a meeting with Sarsfields in the next stage.

The start of this fixture was delayed by 11 minutes as the referee Ciaran O’Regan of Ballyhea - who had an excellent game - was delayed following a major car crash on the Cork-Mallow road.

Douglas progressed to this stage of the competition thanks to a highly impressive victory against a talented Na Piarsaigh side with the final score reading 0-21 to 0-13.

They gained control of proceedings from the start here but their shooting let them down during the opening exchanges as they hit four wides inside the opening four minutes.

When they finally did find their range they made it count on the score as they raced into the lead when they grabbed a brilliant goal through Niall Hartnett.

The half-forward gather the sliotar, shrugged off the challenge of his markers before expertly drilling the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net.

They added to their advantage when Andrew O’Connell and Can Baldwin split the uprights with excellent strikes but they also continued to hit bad wides, missing the target on ten separate occasions in the first period of play alone.

Duhallow were narrowly beaten in the first round of this tournament with Blarney winning that tight contest by a goal but they bounced back with a success against Fr O’Neill's to seal their place in this showdown.

And they finally made an impact in this game as they opened their own account with the accurate Ryan Walsh firing over the bar from a free.

That was quickly cancelled out by Hartnett for Douglas but Duhallow were now getting a football in this tie.

They would claim the next three points without reply with Walsh again driving the ball over the black spot from distance before Millstreet’s Danny Buckley scored a brace the see them trail by just two points after 20 minutes, 1-3 to 0-4.

Cian Baldwin, Douglas, takes on Paddy Browne, Duhallow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Cian Baldwin, Douglas, takes on Paddy Browne, Duhallow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

But Douglas always looked dangerous in attack and they were desperately unlucky not to get their second goal of the evening moments later.

Joseph Harte’s clever hand pass sent Andrew O’Connell through on goal but the corner forward’s batted shot crashed against the right post.

Douglas were dealt a blow shortly before throw in as Brian Turnbull was forced to withdraw from the starting 15 with an injury and they then suffered another setback when his replacement Cillian O’Donovan was taking off with a knock.

Substitute Dylan Murphy also hit the woodwork with a free in his first involvement shortly before the sides began to exchange points.

Joseph Harte tallied two frees and one from play for Douglas while Ryan Walsh (2) and a Cathal Browne point for Duhallow ensured they trailed by only two at the half time break, 1-6 to 0-7.

Andrew O'Connell, Douglas, battling Cillian Buttimer, Duhallow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Andrew O'Connell, Douglas, battling Cillian Buttimer, Duhallow. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

But following the resumption Douglas to complete control. Their rivals would only score three points in the second period with their task made even harder by Brian O’Sullivan received a straight red card not long after being introduced.

Inspired by another goal from Hartnett and also the frees of Joseph Harte, Douglas cruised into the quarters with this 11 point win.

Scorers for Douglas: N Hartnett 2-1, J Harte 0-6 (0-5 f), B Turnbull and C Baldwin 0-2 each, A O’Connell, J Holland, D Harte and B Powter 0-1 each.

Duhallow: R Walsh 0-5 (0-3 f), D Buckley 0-4, C Browne 0-1.

DOUGLAS: D Maher; S McGrath, N Walsh, T O’Sullivan; B O’Neill, B Hartnett, B Power; J Holland, C Baldwin; B O’Connor, D Harte, N Hartnett; C O’Donovan, J Harte, A O’Connell.

Subs: D Murphy for Cillian O’Donovan (22), B Turnbull for A O’Connell (41), C O’Donoghue for B O’Connor (55).

DUHALLOW: B Kenneally (Kanturk); C Buttimer (Kilbrin), C Coughlan (Banteer), T Healy (Millstreet); D O’Donoghue (Kanturk), C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe), P Browne (Newmarket); R Walsh (Kanturk), N Flahive (Millstreet); C Crowley (Newmarket), C Browne (Newmarket), E Murphy (Dromtarriffe); D Buckley (Millstreet), N Linehan (Meelin), B Murphy (Dromtarriffe). 

Subs: B O’Sullivan (Kanturk) for C Coughlan (ht), J Curtin (Meelin) for N Flahive (51), D Murphy (Castlemagner) for C Browne (56).

Referee: Ciaran O’Regan (Ballyhea).

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