Douglas 1-10 Nemo Rangers 0-11
THIS eagerly anticipated PSFC clash at Páirc Uí Rinn went the way of Douglas, as they progressed to the semi-final stage, sending holders Nemo Rangers crashing out.
With everything on the line, this was a gripping affair throughout.
Clashes between Douglas and Nemo Rangers are usually lively affairs in any circumstances. But given the possible permutations within this particular championship group, there was an extra bit of spice added to this encounter.
This was obvious to all during what was a competitive opening half. The exchanges were generally even in the early stages, before Nemo had a strong patch as the opening half an hour of play progressed.
A well-taken free from Nemo’s Luke Connolly opened the scoring, but Douglas responded in kind with a fine effort by Brian Hartnett.
Paul Kerrigan slotted over a fine score from out wide for Nemo in the fourth minute of action, before Conor Russell put over a free for Douglas with nine minutes played.
Nemo edged in front again through some deft skill and a beauty of a point by Conor Horgan, with the player getting another score to leave Nemo holding the advantage of 0-4 to the 0-2 of Douglas at the first-half water break.
Connolly then kept his composure to successfully convert from a placed ball with 22 minutes gone on the clock.
Nemo could, and perhaps should, have further added to their advantage at this point after failing to convert a number of chances, while Douglas also had opportunities to score that went amiss.
They did get another point from a further free by Barry O’Driscoll from what was a tight angle.
Douglas did end the opening 30 minutes with a late point from a free by Russell. But they trailed at the half-time break, as Nemo held the lead at 0-6 to 0-3.
In the second half, Douglas got another free from Russell to reduce the deficit.
But Nemo duly responded in kind through another composed Connolly score, which was to be followed by another point from O’Driscoll.
On 40 minutes, Hartnett shot a well-taken point for Douglas, along with a further effort from Russell, to reduce the gap between the teams back down to two.
Douglas had a great goal chance through Darragh Kelly, which was saved by Nemo keeper Michael Aodh Martin.
Things were starting to get very interesting when Hartnett scored for Douglas, leaving only a point between the sides at the second-half water break, as Nemo led 0-8 to Douglas’s 0-7.
A fine point by Sean Powter levelled things up, before Aaron Sheehy curled one over the bar to put Douglas into the lead with just seven minutes of normal time remaining.
It was sink-or-swim time for Nemo now, but Douglas got another point through a cracker by Russell to put them in the driving seat at 0-10 to 0-8 for Nemo.
Connolly got a much-needed point for Nemo from another free in the 55th minute to leave just the minimum between the sides once again, before O’Driscoll levelled the game up heading into the closing stages.
There was to be another twist in the tale however when Douglas found the back of the net. Daniel Harte charged forward and blasted the ball home with a powerful effort.
Connolly got another point for Nemo in second-half stoppage time, but it wasn’t to be enough as Douglas held on for a memorable victory.
Scorers for Douglas: C Russell 0-5 (0-4 f), D Harte 1-0, B Hartnett 0-3, S Powter, A Sheehy 0-1 each.
Nemo Rangers: L Connolly 0-5 f, B O’Driscoll 0-3 (0-2 f), C Horgan 0-2, P Kerrigan.
DOUGLAS: B Boyle; D Harte, N Walsh, L McGrath; K Flahive, D Ward, S Powter; B Hartnett, N Hartnett; S Aherne, A O’Hare, B Lynch; C Russell, D Kelly, S Wilson.
Subs: D Hanrahan for Aherne, C Collins for O’Hare (both 38), A Sheehy for Kelly (46), K Hayes Curtin for Walsh (50), L Dineen for Russell (62)
NEMO RANGERS: M A Martin; K Histon, B Murphy, A Cronin; K O’Donovan, J Horgan, S Cronin; A O’Donovan, J McDermott; L Connolly, R Dalton, C O’Brien; B O’Driscoll, P Kerrigan, C Horgan.
Subs: A O’Reilly for J Horgan (47), C Dalton for C Horgan (49), B Cripps for McDermott (54), L Horgan for R Dalton (56).
Referee: John Ryan (Macroom).