Goal feast secures U16 Premier 1 football title for Douglas

Three green flags in opening 15 minutes left Valleys chasing the game
Goal feast secures U16 Premier 1 football title for Douglas

Douglas celebrate after winning the Rebel Óg U16 Premier 1 football championship final at Bishopstown. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Douglas 6-7

Valley Rovers 0-8

A blistering start put Douglas on their way to victory in the Rebel Óg U16 Premier 1 football final at Bishopstown.

Before Valley Rovers knew what hit them they were 2-3 to no score in front and the Innishannon side were always chasing the game from here.

These two sides have enjoyed some great battles all the way up from the U11 John Kerins Cup and they will be two of the fancied sides come the U17 minor championship next season.

No doubt revenge would have been on the minds of the Douglas said having lost in the hurling equivalent semi-final to Valleys last weekend. With most of the panel involved in that encounter, they would have been determined not to lose out again.

But on this occasion Douglas were the better side and deserving of their win, playing some sublime football over the hour. Valleys found it difficult to cope with it at times as the likes of Mikey O'Connell, Neville O'Leary, Joe Hartnett, Harry Quilligan, Seán Coakley and Rob Hanley all played their parts in Douglas' win.

This is far from a bad Valleys side and they have some impressive players in the likes of Seán Mac an tSaoi, Eoin Guinane, Matthew Woods, and Ruairi O'Donovan. On many another day, their display would have been enough to come out on top.

But Douglas were in no mood to go home empty-handed as they moved the ball from defence to attack at pace, leading to those two early goals which set the tone for the tie.

 Joe Hartnett, Douglas, celebrates after scoring his sides' fourth goal in their win over Valley Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Joe Hartnett, Douglas, celebrates after scoring his sides' fourth goal in their win over Valley Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Hartnett opened the scoring when he raised a white flag in the second minute.

Shortly afterward came his side's first goal, with a sweeping move involving Daniel McCarthy and Hartnett, set up Hanley for the opening goal.

Coakley and Quilligan added a point apiece, before McCarthy got their second goal, to make it 2-3 to no score with 12 minutes gone.

Mac an tSaoi got Valleys off the mark, but just before the water break Coakley set up Quilligan for Douglas' third goal to put them 3-3 to 0-1 in front.

Mac an tSaoi, Valleys best player on the night, raised another white flag, but Douglas responded with another goal as this time Hartnett found the back of the net.

Quilligan and David Carthew exchanged points, with Hanley getting the last score of the half as Douglas led 4-5 to 0-3 at that stage.

Credit to Valleys they responded at the start of the second half and played the type of football they are capable of, with Mac an tSaoi hitting three in a row to reduce the deficit.

But again Douglas replied with another goal, after another sweeping move as Coakley got their fifth of the tie.

O'Donovan and an tSaoi raised white flags as Douglas led 5-5 to 0-8 at the second-half water break.

Hartnett and O'Leary extended Douglas' lead and Chris O'Keeffe rounded off the scoring with their sixth goal as a superb performance saw them run out deserving winners.

Scorers for Douglas: H Quilligan (0-1 f), J Hartnett 1-2 each, R Hanley, S Coakley 1-1 each, D McCarthy, C O'Keeffe 1-0 each, N O'Leary 0-1.

Valley Rovers: S Mac an tSaoi 0-6 (0-3 f), D Carthew, R O'Donovan 0-1 each.

DOUGLAS: C Hallahan; S O'Rourke, J O'Callaghan-Maher, C McPhaidin; E McAuliffe, J Burke, S Carmody; M O'Connell, N O'Leary; D Linehan, J Hartnett, H Quilligan; S Coakley, R Hanley, D McCarthy.

Subs: C O'Keeffe for E McAuliffe, C McSweeney for S Coakley (both 40), L Fogarty for S Carmody (45), F Hynes for D Linehan, C Lucas for C McPhaidin (50).

VALLEY ROVERS: L Dineen; J Woods, T McGrath, R O'Donovan; S O'Connor, M Woods, A Slattery; D Lynch, E Guinane; A Huggard, S Mac an tSaoi, S Ryan; K Dart O'Flynn, D Carthew, O McCarthy.

Subs: S Browne for C Carthew (ht), L Humphries for S O'Connor (48), C Reardon for A Huggard (55).

Referee: James Regan, Lough Rovers.

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