DOUGLA were crowned Cork Feile U14 Football champions in St Finbarr's after a hard fought but fully deserved victory over the 2016 winners, Glanmire.
After seeing off Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final just 20 minutes earlier, Douglas stayed with the holders until the break before powering home to take the title and the chance to represent the county later in the year in the All-Ireland series in Cavan.
For their part, Glanmire came into this one after seeing off a well-fancied Carrigaline in a tight battle earlier in the morning.
Both sides would have been full of confidence when the first whistle went, however, it was Glanmire, aided by the strong breeze that took control scoring three points in the 15-minute first-half.
A brace of points from Jeremy Kingston and a tasty point from play from Darragh Murray set Glanmire on their way. Yet a penalty late in the opening half for the eventual champions turned this tie on its head.
Mathew Murphy made the most of his opportunity from the spot to finish with aplomb sending the sides in at the turn level – 0-3 to 1-0.
Glanmire corner-forward Sean Crowe, full-forward Jack Hayes and centre-forward Kingston all battled hard during the game however they were starved of possession for long periods as Douglas kept the ball in the other half of the pitch.
For their part, the Douglas middle three of Stephen St Ledger, Barry McCarthy and Eoghan Nash all contributed regularly as Douglas heaped on the pressure to what fast became a Glanmire back nine under siege.
The second half saw Douglas dominate all over the pitch with forwards Dylan Cotter, Conor O’Donovan and full-forward Kevin Roche all impressing in the sunshine. Roche, in particular, was a handful and it was his pass to O’Donovan on 25 minutes that set up the game-winning goal for Douglas.
The winners used their superior height in the forward lines to offer Glanmire keeper Luke Cotter little option when kicking out the ball, something that would ultimately cost the 2016 champions dearly.
Second half substitute Dylan Kent made an impressive impact when introduced and was key to the move that set up O’Donovan’s second half net buster.
For the vanquished side James Crowley, Kingston, Murray and Eric Nolan all showed plenty with Ben Nodwell also showing well throughout the fixture.
“It is a brilliant achievement for the lads and for all involved in the team,” manager Ken St Ledger said after the game.
“Of course it was tough. We had two huge battles today and indeed yesterday too but the lads played well and showed great team spirit from the first game to the final. We are really proud of all the work they have put in.
“Of course it is early in the season so we don’t really know what to expect for the rest of the year but this is obviously a great start for the lads.
“We are now all looking forward to going to Cavan and representing Cork in the National Féile Peile and hopefully we can give it our best shot.”
Credit to Glanmire they battled all the way to the final whistle however the damage really had been done in the first half when they failed to put up a score that would put pressure on Douglas.
The newly crowned Cork champions will fancy their chances going into that national finals and if they can keep all their players, on this form they may well take some beating.
For Glanmire, there will be plenty great days ahead for a bunch of players that look to have what it takes to compete.
Scorers for Douglas: C O’Donovan 1-1, M Murphy 1-0 pen, B McCarthy (0-1f), A Sheehy, K Roche 0-1 each.
Glanmire: J Kingston 0-2 f, J Crowley (0-1 f) 0-2 each; D Murray 0-1.
DOUGLAS: B Idah; L Healy, C Kenny, D Burke; S Sahani, S St Ledger, D Kelly; E Nash, B McCarthy; A O’Brien, A Sheehy, M Murphy; D Cotter, K Roche, C O’Donovan.
Subs: D Kent for A Sheehy (20), M Howell for A O’Brien (25), B Bowler for C O’Donovan (29).
GLANMIRE: L Cotter; J Carty, A Roche, E Shanahan; A King, D Murray, C McCarthy; E Nolan, J Crowley; A O’Donovan, J Kingston, J O’Sullivan; A Marron, J Hayes, S Crowe.
Subs: B Nodwell for J O’Sullivan (10), O O’Donovan for C McCarthy (28), D Long for E Shanahan (28).
Referee: D Murnane (Macroom).