St Finbarr’s 0-22 Douglas 0-18
IT all came down to the width of a crossbar, in the 62nd minute.
With St Finbarr’s leading by 0-21 to 0-18 in Sunday’s Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC quarter-final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, it looked as it Douglas’s Brian Hartnett had been fouled for a penalty but referee Cathal McAllister had already called play back for a 20m free. Shane Kingston went for a tying goal got some power behind his shot but it crashed back off the woodwork and the onrushing Alan Cadogan slid in but couldn’t find the target.
When the Barrs went up the field and the tireless Conor Cahalane landed a supreme point, the Togher men were all but safe, even allowing for late Douglas goal efforts from Kingston and Eoin Cadogan, repelled by Eoin Keane and goalkeeper Shane Hurley respectively.
It all adds up to a first semi-final appearance for the Barrs since 2019 and just a second since 2009. Having improved with each passing challenge, a young side will relish what lies ahead, especially after the way they had to battle to success.
The Barrs number 13, Brian Hayes, tied matters at 0-13 each after a lovely passing move involving goalkeeper Shane Hurley, Eoin Keane, Conor Cahalane and Ethan Twomey on 37 minutes; then their number 14, Pádraig Buggy, made it 0-14 to 0-13.
Douglas, seeking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2014, were not for wilting, however. They had the four of the next five points, two each for Kingston and Alan Cadogan, moving ahead by 0-17 to 0-15 by the 44th minute, the biggest cushion they had enjoyed up to then.
It was a testing time for the Barrs, but they responded emphatically. Ben Cunningham cut the gap with his fifth point, a free, then Pádraig Buggy slung over a superb effort from the left to level before Twomey – excellent throughout – picked out Jack Cahalane with a great pass and he sent the ball over from the left.
Ben O’Connor – their best player in the first half – might have added a goal but his shot after a good run was saved by Donal Maher and Brian Hayes, whose influence grew in the second half, was crowded out as he looked to get in a follow-up shot.
They had the momentum though and Twomey had his second before sub Sam Cunningham and then Conor Cahalane extended the lead.
Shane Kingston, from a 65 after Keane had blocked his goal attempt, finally ended 16 scoreless minutes for Douglas to leave a goal in it. It almost came, but it was to be the Barrs’ day.
In a game delayed by an hour due to the poor early weather, the sides were level on 11 occasions and both teams had periods on top in the first half. Douglas might reflect on the aftermath of their three consecutive points to move 0-9 to 0-8 in front by the 22nd minute when they had a chance to push on.
Having won possession from the puck-out, Mark O’Connor fed Shane Kingston, who got a shot away while being pulled back – when Shane Hurley saved, a 20m free was awarded. Kingston opted to go for a goal that would have opened up a four-point lead but corner-back Cian Walsh saved on the line and the Barrs replied with four points on the trot for a 0-12 to 0-9 advantage, the biggest of the game up to then.
Brian Hayes, quiet up to then, had two of them and pressured Douglas goalkeeper Donal Maher into a turnover that led to a second point for William Buckley, who roved to good effect.
Alan Cadogan, lively throughout that opening half, did pull one back for Douglas to leave them trailing by two at half-time. Kingston had them within a point on the resumption before levelling with his first point of play. When he added a 65, they were back in front but the Barrs were never out of touch and it is the Togher side who advance.
B Cunningham 0-5 (0-3 f, 0-1 65), P Buggy, B Hayes 0-3 each, C Cahalane, J Cahalane, W Buckley, B O’Connor, E Twomey 0-2 each, S Cunningham 0-1.
S Kingston 0-8 (0-3 f, 0-3 65), A Cadogan 0-5, E Dolan 0-2, D Harte, C O’Donovan, C Kingston 0-1 each.
S Hurley; J Burns, C Walsh, E Keane; B Hennessy, D Cahalane, B O’Connor; E Twomey, C Cahalane; P Buggy, W Buckley, B Cunningham; E Finn, B Hayes, J Cahalane.
C Doolan for W Buckley (46), S Cunningham for Finn (55).
D Maher; D Murphy, S Donegan, M Howell; E Cadogan, M Harrington, C O’Donovan; C Kingston, S Moylan; D Harte, S Kingston, E Dolan; M O’Connor, A Cadogan, N Hartnett.
C Baldwin for Harte (19), N Walsh for Donegan (47), B Hartnett for O’Connor (49).
C McAllister (Aghada).