In scoring terms, it yielded eight points with only one in reply and while Ballincollig put themselves in a strong position with Podsie O’Mahony’s 50th-minute goal, they were unable to withstand another strong rally from the city side.
The length of the injury time was one of the talking points afterwards, but Douglas selector Der O’Regan remarked that it didn’t unduly bother them. “We knew with referee Niall Barrett being involved... we have had him before and we could be playing forever,’’ he commented.
With Eoin Cadogan’s ankle injury confining him to the sideline and John Miskella making a late appearance for Ballincollig, an even contest produced some great long-distance scores.
Aided by a slight wind advantage at the start, Ballincollig played the better football over the opening quarter. Cork star Paddy Kelly kicked their opening point in the fourth minute.
And very quickly former county player Podsie O’Mahony began to exert an influence in attack, putting them ahead with a great kick after Harrington had equalised for Douglas. Then, he initiated the move – passing to Eoin Hegarty – which set up Niall Allen for a goal in the 13th minute. Minutes earlier Boyle dashed off his line to prevent the same player scoring a goal.
Five points in front, they looked comfortable until Douglas steadily improved, beginning with a splendid pointed free from Harrington in the 26th minute. They were more competitive at midfield, where Richard Murphy curtailed Kelly and with Shane McCarthy also to the forefront in attack they were a mere two points behind at the break, 1-4 to 0-5.
Within five minutes of the restart Douglas added three further points – including another excellent score from Odhran Mulrooney at midfield – and they were two points clear before JP Murphy got Ballincollig’s first score in over half an hour.
That was followed quickly by an equaliser from the clever O’Mahony, before two McCarthy scores had Douglas back in front in the 47th minute. But, in another three minutes they trailed by the same margin, after a John Kelly score was followed by O’Mahony’s goal. And an Allen score which extended the lead to three clear with seven minutes remaining put them in an enhanced position.
The game swung back in Douglas’ favour with Harrington putting over two points and John Farrell bringing them level in the 56th minute. And, as full-time approached, John Lane went through to score the winner with a well-judged kick.
The game still had four minutes to run and Ballincollig were denied a leveller when Mulrooney thwarted Liam Jennings.
Scorers for Douglas: M. Harrington 0-7 (0-4f); S. McCarthy 0-5 (0-2f, 0-1 ‘45); J. Farrell, O. Mulrooney and J. Lane 0-1.
Ballincollig: P. O’Mahony 1-4; N. Allen 1-1; J.P. Murphy, P. Kelly and J. Kelly 0-1.
DOUGLAS: B. Boyle; N. Gannon, K. Hogan, F. Tobin; J. Collins, E. Cotter, J. Lane (capt.); C. Dineen, R. Murphy; T. Sheehan, J. Farrell, O. Mulrooney; K. Murphy, M. Harrington, S. McCarthy. Subs: R. Keating for Tobin (15th minute); N. Heffernan for Sheehan (52); A. Barry for Dineen (55).
BALLINCOLLIG: D. Lordan; N. Barry (capt.), N. Galvin, L. Jennings; J.P. Murphy, E. Bourke, E. Hegarty; S. O’Donoghue, P. Kelly; R. O’Driscoll, J. O’Brien, C. O’Sullivan; N. Allen, J. Kelly, P. O’Mahony. Subs: A. Donovan for O’Brien (30); J. Miskella for O’Driscoll (52).
Referee: Niall Barrett (Carrigtwohill).