Douglas hurling boss: Split season has benefited Cork clubs

After winning all three of their PSHC group games, Douglas must now face local rivals Blackrock for the second year running
Douglas hurling boss: Split season has benefited Cork clubs

Stephen Moylan fires over a long-range point for Douglas against Bishopstown. Picture: Larry Cummins.

SHANE KINGSTON increased his scoring contribution to 0-34 following his 10 points in Douglas’s win over Bishopstown at the weekend.

He is the side’s leading scorer, ahead of their Co-Op Superstores county PSHC quarter-final with the holders, Blackrock, in a repeat of last season, when the Rockies won by five points.

Douglas are benefiting from the uninterrupted availability of their Cork players in both hurling and football, as their manager, Mark O’Callaghan, outlined.

“The split season has helped us and the lads are coming in from a near-professional set-up and bringing that into the club. And it’s working for us,” O’Callaghan said. “We now have a longer period with them and not seeing them just a week or two before the championship, which had been the case.

“Hurling is in a good place after the intermediates dug out a great win the day before, having been behind for most of the game. It’s definitely improving, along with the football, and that’s due to the attitude of the lads.”

 Shane Kingston, Douglas in action against Bishopstown. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Shane Kingston, Douglas in action against Bishopstown. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Douglas began with just two regular football starters in their side, Brian Hartnett and Nathan Walsh, from the Cork set-up.

Of the starting 15, you have the two lads, but there are others, too, on the panel, though it is definitely down on what it was. We’ve it worked out well between the football manager, Ray Keating, and myself to make sure the lads aren’t getting burned out.”

Douglas were 0-20 to 1-10 winners against the Town to preserve their 100% record in the group containing Glen Rovers and Newtownshandrum.

“We came into the group with the aim of every game and we’ve succeeded in that.

“But, we’re into knockout hurling now and I don’t think our performances in those three games would be good enough.

“We’ve tended to leave teams back into games after building up leads, so that’s something we’ve to work on.

“There is plenty of improvement there, no doubt. Our tackle rate and overall work rate were the main issues for us in the group.

“Now, we need to start on our scoring, especially goals, and we had a lot of wides (11), from poor shooting and poor decisions, like long shots which weren’t on.”

While the sun shone brightly on Ballygarvan, pitches are getting heavier.

“The weather is going to impact on games, because pitches are going to start getting heavy, as was the case on Sunday.

“And no matter where it is, you’re going to have those ruck balls and you’re going to have to dig them out. We need to come to terms with that.

“It was always going to be a tough test against Bishopstown and we knew exactly what they were going to bring.

“We had to stand up to it and, at times, we did; other times, we didn’t and left them back into the game, but, overall, we’re happy,” O’Callaghan said.

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