Last evening the weather wasn’t a whole lot better, but the scoreboard in Páirc Uí Rinn told a much different story as Douglas had no trouble booking their place in round four.
They had matters all their own way — the only concern will be the concession of two goals in the closing five minutes. These were Na Piarsaigh’s first scores from play, which will give an even greater indication of how dominant the victors were. To add to Na Piarsaigh’s woes they will have to face the losers of Nemo Rangers and Bishopstown in the next round.
It wasn’t a great night for football as shown by the small attendance. The rain was unyielding, yet Douglas had little difficulty finding their rhythm. It will be hard to assess just how good they are but overall they did what was asked of them. They bagged 14 points from play. Mark Harrington is a strong player, kicking 10 points — five from open play. Shane McCarthy, too, was in good form up front, with his haul of five points, as was Kevin Murphy.
Defensively they coped well with the Na Piarsaigh attack, where John Gardiner, who lined out at corner-forward, was the biggest threat. The Douglas half-back line includes two county players, Eoin Cadogan and Eoin Cotter, and Cotter showed his scoring prowess with a pair of white flags. When Douglas lost Cormac Dineen to a leg injury a minute before half-time, Cadogan was able to move to midfield, with Paul Beale coming off the bench.
Douglas went into an early lead with points from Harrington, Kevin Murphy, and Shane McCarthy (two) before Alan Keating opened the Na Piarsaigh account with a pointed free. Five more white flags were added from Harrington (two), Cotter and Murphy (two) before Keating landed a second free. In front 0-11 to 0-2, Gardiner won a penalty and converted it himself to leave the interval score at 0-12 to 1-2.
The second-half recommenced with Douglas continuing in the ascendancy. Harrington pointed twice before Odran Mulrooney curled over an impressive kick, and goalkeeper Brian Boyle played his part too with a fine save from Gardiner. Fifteen minutes later and Douglas had accumulated a 0-21 to 1-2 advantage. However, and credit to Na Piarsaigh, who never stopped trying, Douglas were caught cold in the final five minutes.
First, Shane Duggan capitalised on a long delivery and planted the ball low into the left corner. Boyle was kept busy saving from Keating, but the same player did manage to get the better of him with time almost up. However, Douglas had the last say as McCarthy rounded off the evening with a pointed free at the death.
Scorers for Douglas: M Harrington 0-10 (0-5 frees), S McCarthy 0-5 (0-2 frees, 0-1 45m), K Murphy 0-3, E Cotter 0-2, O Mulrooney and A Cadogan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: A Keating 1-2 (0-2 frees), S Duggan and J Gardiner (pen) 1-0 each.
DOUGLAS: B Boyle; P Shine, C Hogan, R Keating; E Cotter, E Cadogan, R Murphy; O Mulrooney, C Dineen; J Collins, M Harrington, A Cadogan; K Murphy, S McCarthy, F Desmond.
Subs: P Beale for C Dineen (29 mins inj), T Sheehan for F Desmond (52).
NA PIARSAIGH: J Boland; E McCarthy, D Mannix, A Brady; A Dennehy, C Joyce, S Óg Ó hAilpín; T Lawton, A Hogan; P Gould, A Keating, C O’Mahony; S Glasgow, S Duggan, J Gardiner.
Subs: C Hourigan for C Joyce (26).
Referee: J Bermingham (Bride Rovers).