The eventual draw was sufficient to earn them an automatic place in the knock-out stages in a thrilling game played out on an excellent pitch at St Vincent’s grounds.
At half time it appeared as if Douglas had it all wrapped up thanks to a sterling display from midfielder Paddy White who was involved in everything and ended up with three points to his credit. All over the field they were in control, with David O’Connor and Eoin Cadogan starring in defence and the forwards all looking dangerous, and centre-forward Mark Harrington involved in an exciting duel with the Fermoy centre-back, Eamon Condon.
Mark Harrington opened their account after just two minutes with a well-taken free and Stephen Bermingham was desperately unlucky with a shot which came back off the foot of the post.
Paddy White opened his account from long range and Bermingham pointed again before White’s second left them four points clear and coasting before Michael Pierce had Fermoy’s first point from a free in the 21st minute.
By half time Douglas led 0-8 to 0-1, St Colman’s second point coming in the 29th minute and, with the wind now up to gale force and the black clouds threatening a bleak start to the second half, a comeback hardly appeared likely.
But Michael Allen pointed a free in the first minute and when Stephen Bermingham negatived he repeated the performance. The St Colman’s full-back, Colm O’Connell, was now operating outfield and they were driving the ball out of defence.
With 10 minutes gone, big midfielder Seamus Stack cut the deficit to four points and then, when his midfield partner, Pat Kirby was fouled in the square, he cut the deficit to a single point from a well taken penalty 13 minutes into the second half.
They were level from a point by Padraig Hyland taken on the run and when Pierce O’Driscoll sent Michael Allen racing through to point they were in front for the first time.
Douglas counter-attacked but Gary Drennan was narrowly wide and St Coleman’s went on the rampage again from the kick out.
Michael Pierce drove over a point to put them two clear and when Paddy White dropped the ball into the goal-mouth Seamus Stack was back to clear. Douglas settled down and Mark Harrington pointed a free to narrow the gap.
Again St Colman’s responded. Seamus Stack found Michael Pierce and he restored their two point lead. The Douglas forwards were again under pressure and it was centre-back Eoin Cadogan who steadied the ship with an up-field foray that yielded a very important point.
In a thrilling finish Michael Harrington was fouled to the left of the Fermoy goal and ice-cool Stephen Bermingham drove over the point that sent his side through to the quarter-finals.
Scorers for Douglas Community School:
S. Bermingham 0-4 (0-3 frees), P. White 0-3,
M. Harrington 0-2 (frees), E. Cadogan, G. Drennan, F. O’Leary 0-1 each.
St. Colman’s: S. Stack 1-1 (1-0 penalty), M. Allen 0-4 (0-3 frees), M. Pierce 0-3 (0-1 free).
DOUGLAS COMMUNITY SCHOOL: D. Dorney, J. McCarthy, D. O’Connor, B. O’Connor;
P. Kelly, E. Cadogan, M. O’Callaghan; J. Moylan, P. Whjte; G. Drennan, M. Harrington, F. O’Leary; D. O’Connell, C. Lahive, S. Bermingham. Sub:
K. Murphy for D. O’Connell.
ST. COLMAN’S: C. O’Keeffe; S. Barrett,
C. O’Connell, B. Sheehan; P. Cotter, E. Condon,
B. Hogan; P. Kirby, S. Stack; P. Hyland, M. Cleary, M. Allen; P. O’Driscoll, M. Pierce, R. O’Connell.
Referee: Alan Tuohy (Shamrocks).