For Douglas comes the comfort that they have nothing to be afraid of in the replay.
On an evening when the temperatures dropped below zero, and with one section of the pitch frozen, one wondered what quality of fare to expect. But it was sixty minutes laced with intrigue. St Finbarr’s, hoping to land back-to-back titles, had a very slow start. Douglas opted for a two-man full forward line and it appeared to upset the Barrs’ momentum. Douglas showed little respect for the champions. They were totally on top and utilising the space up front to the maximum they raced ahead 0-3 to nil. Alan Cadogan and Sean Collins were winning their fair share in the inside line while corner forward Brian Cuthbert played a deeper role outfield.
Midfielder and skipper David Hanrahan, Cuthbert and Martin Barry landed those early scores before what should have been a decisive blow. A move initiated by Douglas wing back Jamie Davis ended with Collins being fouled as he kicked for goal. Josh Kra converted the penalty with a conviction that suggested Douglas would not be denied. The excellent Cadogan and James Furlong increased the lead 1-5 to nil.
It was at this juncture St Finbarr’s started to come into their own and their experience told. Crucially, they kicked three points before the break with Jamie Burns very influential. They resumed with the same tempo and within the quarter, they had drawn level with Burns, Ian Lordan, Eoin McGreevy and Darragh Comyns finding the target — Furlong was the only Douglas player to trouble the scoreboard.
The final quarter was tense to say the least. St Finbarr’s took over the lead for the first time on 45 minutes when half back Shaun Keane pointed but a Collins’ free at the other end restored parity. As the play swung from end to end, Lordan steadied himself to land a huge free with five minutes remaining to edge the Barr’s in front. But, Douglas didn’t panic. Kevin Hayes Curtin was tidy at corner back and with mistakes on both sides, it was fitting when Kra slotted over the equalising point for Douglas on the 60 minute mark.
Scorers for Douglas: J Kra 1-1 (1-0 pen), J Furlong 0-2, D Hanrahan, B Cuthbert, M Barry (free), A Cadogan, S O’Collins (free) 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Finbarr’s: I Lordan (0-2 frees), J Burns and E McGreevy (frees) 0-3 each, D Comyns and S Keane 0-1 each.
DOUGLAS: E Dolan; E O’Connor, R Whyte, K Hayes Curtin; J Davis, C Mulrooney, S Healy; M Barry, D Hanrahan (Capt); J Kra, P Beale, J Furlong; B Cuthbert, S Collins, A Cadogan.
Subs: A Murphy for M Barry (57 mins).
ST FINBARR’S: J McDonnell; S Ryan, A O’Connor, E Kenefick; S Keane, J Goggin (Capt), E Dennehy; J Burns, I McGuire; C Madden, E Finn, A Murphy; I Lordan, E McGreevy, D Comyns.
Subs: M Twomey for C Madden (29), P Coakley for S Keane (59).
Referee: N Barrett (Carrigtwohill).