Douglas 1-15 Carrigaline 0-9
SEAN Powter led Douglas to a hard-fought win over Carrigaline in the Bon Secours Premier Senior Football Championship opener at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
In a game that failed to ignite for long periods Powter showed his leadership and skill when going on a solo run with three minutes remaining before assisting a pin-point pass to substitute Diarmuid McCarthy who billowed the back of the net.
Powter then kicked the best point of the game three minutes into added time, which crowned a superb night at the office for the Cork star.
Douglas only commanded a two-point lead prior to the goal but when they needed a player to give them inspiration Powter was not found wanting, which was the case from the start.
It was evident Carrigaline were intent on playing free-flowing football and after a good scoring opportunity in the opening minute they were punished on the next Douglas possession courtesy of a Conor Russell point.
Carrigaline did have an opportunity to level but a David Drake free hit the post before Alan O’Hare extended the Douglas lead with a point following a 45 in the seventh minute.
The talented O'Hare had a good opportunity two minutes later but instead of taking his point, he attempted a shot on goal that was blocked by a defender.
Gradually Carrigaline were getting ambushed in many key departments and consecutive points from Dylan Ward and O’Hare put Douglas into a four-point lead in the 11th minute.
There is little doubt Carrigaline were struggling big time and with no water break called up to the 20th minute they were fortunate to register their first score courtesy of a David Drake free.
On the restart, Carrigaline needed to increase the tempo but Douglas ended their 12-minute drought with a second Russell point.
David Griffin scored Carrigaline’s second point two minutes from the interval but in truth, they continued to struggle as there was no evidence they were going to trouble the Douglas defence.
It was left to the energetic O’Hare to finish the half with his third point as Douglas despite only commanding a five-point lead 0-7 to 0-2 looked in total control.
On the restart Douglas opened up with a beautiful move that yielded a David Harte white flag but, on this occasion, Carrigaline responded with a Drake long-range point.
To be fair the half time pep talk seemed to have given Carrigaline a little more energy and Adam Coholan and David Griffin saw them reduce the deficit to four points in the 38th minute.
Douglas were now heading into meltdown and with Carrigaline battling hard they reduced the deficit to two points with 11 minutes remaining.
Referee James Bermingham didn’t blow for the water break until the 52nd minute and Douglas were fortunate that Brian Lynch kicked over an opportunist point.
The battling qualities of Carrigaline should be commended as they kept battling but their hearts were broken when Powter carved open their defence with three minutes remaining that allowed McCarthy to score the all-important goal.
McCarthy proved a valuable substitute as he followed up with another crucial point that finally killed off the Carrigaline challenge.
The earlier result in the day that saw champions Nemo Rangers lose to Valley Rovers will make this group interesting in the later rounds with Douglas taking on the Innishannon club in the next game.
Carrigaline will be hoping for huge improvement in their remaining games but their never-say-die attitude will stand to them.