Glory for Erin’s Own as Douglas misfire

Erin’s Own 0-13 Douglas 0-10

But spare a thought for Douglas. Playing in their first decider in this premier grade, they more than matched Erin's Own in every aspect of play bar, of course, putting the ball over the bar. They'll look back on a staggering 17 wides, many from good positions, and will feel cheated.

But bravo Erin's Own, and particularly their outstanding rearguard where man of the match Pat Fitzgerald, Paul Fenton, Ronan Carroll and Steve Cronin gave exhibitions, particularly late in the game when Douglas threw everything at them. Coach Timmy Kelleher was beaming afterwards.

Said Timmy: "What an incredible bunch of players. They showed commendable spirit out there, for Douglas were coming at us for the whole game. I suppose you could say our full-back line was the key. These three guys were there last season and today they took everything Douglas threw at them.

I'm thrilled to bits. It probably wasn't a great hurling game but being a coach is worse than playing anytime. Maybe I should retire now when I'm ahead."

Erin's Own certainly knew they were in a match but they got off to a flying start. After Steve Moylan missed a Douglas free, four terrific points on the trot from Killian Murphy, Steve Cronin and brothers Ronan and Colm Coakley stung the city champions, wing back John Geary having a stormer in the Erin's Own half back line.

Douglas needed a boost quickly and they got it in the seventh minute when Fergal O'Sullivan set up Mark Harrington and the impressive midfielder fired over their opening point. Four minutes later they got their second, Barry Fitzgerald putting Richard Harris clear and Douglas were back in the ball game.

It got even better when brothers James and Steve Moylan tied up the scores at 0-4 apiece after a lively opening quarter and, after a whirlwind start, Erin's Own were now struggling, particularly at midfield where Harrington and Thomas O'Dwyer were in control.

Erin's Own switched wing backs Geary and Cronin in an effort to curb the threat of speedy wing forwards O'Sullivan and Barry Fitzgerald and they were lucky in the 17th minute when corner-back Olan Harrington took a James Moylan ball off the line. But they responded well, corner-forward Mick Murphy firing over two outstanding points from the wing, scores they needed so badly.

But Douglas, fit and focused, were well up for the challenge as two more points from Harrington tied up the scores. However, Ronan Coakley had the last say with a fine point as Erin's Own led 0-7 to 0-6 at the break. In truth though, Douglas, despite playing against the wind, must have been disappointed.

There was fire in Douglas when the second-half resumed as points from Steve Moylan and Fitzgerald put them clear for the first time by the 35th minute, Moylan and O'Sullivan also missing great opportunities to punish Erin's Own further. And it got even better when James Moylan gave them a two point cushion.

Erin's Own were struggling, the hard working Patrick Walsh and Killian Murphy missing good chances. With Steve Cadogan outstanding the champions were being run ragged. Changes were needed. Diarmuid O'Flynn went up front, Eoghan Murphy, well held by the excellent David O'Connor, to the wing and the two Coakleys strutted their stuff around midfield. And it was Eoghan Murphy who produced the magic albeit from places balls with a 42nd minute free followed by a '65 to level the scores at 0-9 apiece entering the final quarter.

Another huge Murphy free put them back in front in the 47th minute, followed by a Colm Coakley point and, as Douglas continued to squander the chances, Erin's Own were making an impression on the scoreboard.

Harrington reduced the deficit to a point in the 52nd minute. But it was to be their last score as a fabulous Erin's Own full-back line thwarted every Douglas effort. And there were many.

Fitzgerald saw a shot come back off the upright, while Harrington struck the same post. And even when Murphy, with another huge free, and Ronan Coakley gave Erin's Own a three point cushion, Douglas hurled with passion and pride.

But Fitzgerald, Fenton and Harrington were unbeatable as two more Mark Harrington close in frees were beaten down by Shay Bowen and company.

Erin's Own stood tall, Douglas going down fighting, paying the ultimate penalty for failing to convert so many chances.

Scorers for Erin's Own: E. Murphy 0-4 (0-3 free, 0-1 '65), R. Coakley 0-3, C. Coakley. M. Murphy 0-2 each, K. Murphy, S. Cronin 0-1 each.

Douglas: M. Harrington 0-4 (0-1 free, 0-1 '65), J. Moylan and S. Moylan 0-2 each, R. Harris, B. Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

ERIN'S OWN:S. Bowen; P. Fenton, P. Fitzgerald, O. Harrington; S. Cronin, R. Carroll, J. Geary; D. O'Flynn, R. Coakley; C. Coakley, P. Walsh, C. O'Leary; M. Murphy, E. Murphy, K. Murphy.

DOUGLAS:R. Hogan; R. Keating, D. O'Connor, F. Tobin; S. Bermingham, E. Cadogan, C. Lahive; M. Harrington, T. O'Dwyer; B. Fitzgerald, R. Harris, F. O'Sullivan; M. O'Callaghan, J. Moylan, S. Moylan. Subs: E. Carroll for O'Callaghan, O'Callaghan for O'Sullivan.

Referee: J. Sexton (Ballyhea).

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.