The skilful 17-year-old Dr Croke’s clubman, one of only two surviving members of last season’s side that lost the decider after a replay, scored seven points and set-up his side’s three goals as St Brendan’s gained mastery over their plucky opponents, whose college was making its re-appearance in the province’s premier football competition after a one year absence.
Doolan’s glittering talents illuminated this opening round of the Corn Ui Mhuiri and he was primarily responsible for St Brendan’s four points lead after the opening quarter.
But then Colaiste Choilm came out of their shell and hit back with a vengeance in the 16th minute when corner-forward Kevin Ryan shook the net with a great ground strike after the Killarney defence failed to clear a Kieran Joyce free.
The goal gave Colaiste Choilm a much-needed boost of confidence but the irrepressible Doolan had the Ballincollig students on the back foot once again when he created the opening for a goal by Sean Brosnan in the 27th minute.
Despite this blow, so close to the interval, Colaiste Choilm, playing with the aid of a slight wind, came storming back and three points without reply, two in succession from midfielder Cian Lowney and the third from Kevin Ryan, left just two points between the sides at half-time with St Brendan’s leading by 1-7 to 1-5.
With half-backs Shane Lynch and Gavin Tucker, the other survivor from last year, performing well in defence and Doolan dazzling up front, St Brendan’s maintained their grip on the lively proceedings. However, some wayward shooting after the resumption gave Colaiste Choilm a glimmer of hope for a time.
Colaiste Choilm, with wing-back Edward Neville a towering figure, reduced the deficit to the bare minimum when Kieran Joyce pointed in the 38th minute. Suddenly it appeared that this game was well and truly up for grabs.
But with their backs to the wall St Brendan’s responded to the challenge confronting them in magnificent style and with Doolan continuing to cause havoc Choilm’s challenge wilted.
Apart from scoring a succession of points himself, Doolan created two easy goalscoring chances for Ruairi Mangan and substitute Dave Galvin as St Brendan’s raced into a commanding lead of 3-11 to 1-7 entering the closing stages.
To their credit, even though the winning of the game was well beyond their reach, Colaiste Choilm tried to the bitter end and their endeavours were rewarded when midfielder Cian Lowney kicked a last minute consolation goal from the penalty spot.
: St. Brendan’s: R. Mangan 1-0; S. Brosnan 1-0; D. Galvin 1-0; J. Doolan 0-7 (0-1 from free); I. Howard 0-2; K. Callaghan, A. Moynihan and G. Tucker 0-1 each. Coláiste Choilm: C. Lowney 1-3 (1-1 from frees); K. Ryan 1-1; K. Joyce 0-2; D. O’Herlihy, B. Glavin and C. O’Connor (free) 0-1 each.
: A. Kelly; S. Fenton, J. Bartley, P. O’Connor; B. Dunne, S. Lynch, G. Tucker; A. O’Regan, I. Howard; A. Moynihan, K. Breen, S. Brosnan; R. Mangan, A. O’Reilly, J. Doolan. Subs: K. Gallagher for Brosnan; D. Galvin for Fenton; P. O’Sullivan for Dunne; J. O’Donoghue for Doolan; D. O’Leary for Moynihan.
: C. Horgan; R. McKeown, D. Ryan, K. Hickey; B. Hallissey, N. Galvin, E. Neville; C. Lowney, K. Joyce; D. O’Herlihy, C. O’Connor, M. Lordan; C. Farrell, B. Glavin, K. Ryan. Subs:M. O’Casaigh for Farrell; C. Deasy for McKeown.
: M. Collins (Clonakilty).