Douglas, revitalised after their flirt with relegation last season, were favourites and while a litany of injuries did not help Clonakilty’s cause, the city side showed flashes of brilliance.
One of those came in the form of Harrington’s goal minutes before half time. The eager-beaver full-forward, who was involved in most of the action, latched on to a pinpoint pass from late inclusion Jonny Lane and the Clon ‘keeper, Eamonn Harte, was never going to get to his powerful shot.
The goal, which sent them into the break leading 1-9 to 0-3, put the finishing touches to a very impressive first half performance for Douglas who were in total control — from the last line of defence where Eoin Cadogan was majestic at full-back to full-forward Harrington.
Cormac Dineen and Gary McLoughlin held sway at midfield — although Conor McManus had his moments in this area for Clonakilty — while in attack John Farrell picked off three excellent points and Fearghal O’Sullivan scored from all of his three frees.
But, despite all their possession they were slow to convert their dominance on to the scoreboard, and Clon might have had a morale-boosting goal after eight minutes when Padraig Griffin’s free came off the crossbar. Colm Callanan, their best player, got a fist to it but was denied by Brian Boyle in the Douglas goal.
Clonakilty had their first point from play three minutes after half time when Conor McManus fisted the ball over the bar.
They were presented with two goal opportunities going into the final quarter. First centre-forward Colm Callanan ran through from the left wing, only to see his shot sizzle across the goalmouth, and then they were denied once more when Boyle saved Padraig Griffin’s deflected shot.
Clonakilty will have some patching up to do in advance of their back-door game with Bishopstown if they are to keep their championship aspirations alive.
Douglas: M. Harrington 1-4 (0-1 free), J. Farrell and F. O’Sullivan (frees) 0-3 each, C. Dineen, C. Hogan, W. Coveney 0-1 each. Clonakilty: P. Griffin 0-5 (0-4 frees), C. Callanan 0-2 (frees) and C. McManus 0-1.
B. Boyle; E. Cotter, E. Cadogan, F. Tobin; J. Lane, D. McSweeney, P. Carroll; C. Dineen, G. McLoughlin; C. Hogan, T. Sheehan, F. O’Sullivan; J. Farrell, M. Harrington, W. Coveney. Subs: A. Barry for W. Coveney and R. Keating for G. McLoughlin (54 mins).
E. Harte; L. Lyons, D. O’Brien, N. Hayes; D. O’Regan, F.Coughlan, D. Murphy; N. Griffin, C. McManus; E. O’Brien, C. Callanan, D. Lyons; M. O’Brien, J. Connolly, P. Griffin. Subs: T. Anglin for M. O’Brien (26 mins), T. O’Sullivan for E. O’Brien (H.T.).
Peter Downey (Inniscarra).