AFTER two fairly forgettable seasons, Douglas are up and running in the Cork County SHC.
In Riverstown last Saturday night they opened their account with a fine victory over a dogged Bride Rovers unit. It wasn’t a flawless performance from the city team but you rarely if ever get that and they’ll move on with cautious optimism when we get to see them in action again.
A return of 1-18 was good scoring against a side that you never get anything easy from, something that Douglas team manager Fergal Hayes alluded to afterwards.
“We are delighted with the win. We came down here not expecting to have an easy game against Bride Rovers.
“They are a team that works very hard, we had a bit of homework done on them. They are well coached, they are a hard team to play against so to come away with the win was very satisfying.
"We are delighted with the attitude of the lads, we came in a bit late and are at it just about two and a half months and a first round game is never easy.’’
Hayes said his team had started slowly in both halves but when they got into the rhythm of the game there was much to admire from them.
“We knew they’d start with savage intensity, that’s what you get from Bride Rovers. That was it, they were in our face and that is what we are trying to school now. It’s not all about hurling.
"Every year Douglas look like a county-winning team but that hasn’t happened and we are trying to change the culture.
“Their goal was the first goal we had conceded all season. We tried to keep that intact but, overall, we are delighted with the result."
Hayes said the more experienced hands and the younger generation had gelled well as the game progressed.
“Yes, it means more to the older lads now, they are getting on and they want to prove something.
“Genuinely, we could not be happier with the response we got from them and the older campaigners are putting in a great effort.’’
He had words of praise too for one of the younger members of the starting 15, corner-forward Diarmuid O’Mahony.
“Absolutely, it was his senior championship debut and we could not have asked for a better shift from him. He finished up with three points from play and he worked really hard.
"I am a big fan of encouraging young players and believing in youth I suppose you could say we didn’t have a pre-season so that starts now for us in 10 days time.
“The hurlers and the footballers are now both gone through so that takes the pressure off. The mood is good and, as I said, they are a great bunch of young fellows.
“Obviously, we now have the challenge of the Cork players and it could be a long season but we will work on that as well.
“We came down here expecting a tough challenge from Bride rovers, we got that and we are delighted with how it went for us.
“They are one of the toughest teams that you will ever come across."