Douglas 1-18 Bride Rovers 1-12
IT WASN’T perfect but it was still a very satisfactory opening night performance from Douglas in the SHC at Riverstown on Saturday.
It would be fair to state that the city side have underachieved in the past few seasons, all the more so given the quality in their ranks but this was a fresh beginning for them and in overcoming the gritty challenge of Bride Rovers, they have got the ball rolling on what they hope will be a campaign that carries them well into the Autumn months.
There was a lot to admire about their performance here, a return of 1-18 is decent scoring and some wayward shooting at times prevented them from adding to that tally.
In both halves, they were slow to get off the blocks but they finished strongly and they were full value for their victory in the end.
They were very impressive in the closing quarter of the opening half, firing over eight unanswered points which put them in a very advantageous position at the interval.
In that half, the experience of Mark Harrington at centre-back and subsequently thereafter was a significant factor in their progress while Stephen Moylan put in a strong shift too at midfield.
Young Diarmaid O’Mahony, making his senior championship debut, can be well pleased with his night’s work too and a tally of three points from open play was a nice reward for his efforts.
Eoin Cadogan was commanding at full-back, Brian Turnbull rifled over a few tasty points and Alan Cadogan was on hand to secure his side’s goal in the game’s dying embers.
Shane Kingston had a very good second 30 minutes and his quality came to the fore when it was required.
Bride Rovers were Bride Rovers, never making it easy for the opposition and responding well in the second-half after finding themselves in troubled waters at half-time.
They opened the night’s account with a point from William Finnegan which was followed by similar scores from Barry Johnson and Daniel Dooley.
Two more points from Ryan Prendergast and Johnson again had them ahead by 0-5 to 0-3 after 16 minutes.
However, they did not register again for the remainder of the half as Douglas took control of the proceedings and they fired over the points from Alan Cadogan, O’Mahony, Kingston, Turnbull and a sublime effort from a sideline by Mark O’Connor.
It was 0-11 to 0-5 at half-time but the East Cork outfit came back out with all guns blazing and the first four points of the second half belonged to them.
Johnson, Conleith Ryan, Brian Roche and Johnson all raised white flags while Douglas netminder Tom Delaney had to save smartly from Finnegan.
It was game on now but Douglas held their nerve and a brace of points from Shane Kingston kept them in the clear.
But the Rovers dug in again and points from Johnson and Collins made it a two-point game with seven minutes remaining.
Questions being asked of the city team again and the response was very positive.
Turnbull, O’Mahony and Shane Kingston tacked on a few good points before Alan Cadogan secured his goal just on 60 minutes.
Barry Johnson did cancel out that effort at the other end when he goaled from a free deep into stoppage time but Douglas had the final say, another pointed free from the Cork player Kingston.
So it was very much a case of job done for the new Douglas management team which includes former Cork boss Kieran Kingston and former Kerry star Shane Brick.
Scorers for Douglas: S Kingston 0-8 (0-5 f), A Cadogan 1-2, B Turnbull, D O’Mahony 0-3 each, M Collins, M O’Connor (sl) 0-1 each.
Bride Rovers: B Johnson 1-6 f, D Dooley, M Collins, W Finnegan, B Roche, R Prendergast, C Ryan 0-1 each.
DOUGLAS: T Delaney; N Walsh, E Cadogan, D Murphy; C Kingston, M Harrington, L McGrath; S Moylan, I Lucey; M Collins, S Kingston, M O’Connor; B Turnbull, A Cadogan, D O’Mahony.
Sub: J Holland for O’Connor (56).
BRIDE ROVERS: S Knox; J Pratt, E Roche, F Collins; L Forde, B Murphy, C Ryan; P O’Flynn, S O’Connor; M Collins, D Dooley, R Prendergast; B Johnson, W Finnegan, B Roche.
Subs: K Kearney for Forde (h-t), DJ Cahill for O’Connor (51).
Referee: S Stokes (Tullylease).