When Mark Harrington got his third point of the evening, an impressive free from the right in the 39th minute, it put Douglas 1-10 to 0-2 in front, a ruthlessness in front of goal setting them apart from their city rivals.
Failing to score after that was a slight concern for manager Finbarr Bermingham, but he acknowledged achieving the primary aim of a place in the fourth round was all that mattered.
“Job done, we’re into the knockout stages,” he said, “but it wasn’t a fantastic performance by any means.
“We showed a bit of a grit in parts but our shooting was wayward at times. We weren’t very happy with the first-half performance, we didn’t get enough scores on the board and we weren’t aggressive enough in our play.
“We upped the ante in the second half a fair bit, but it was going to be a dogged game anyway and we’re just glad to be in the next round.”
What will please Douglas is that this was a far more joined-up performance than that against Ballincollig in the opening round. Eoin Cadogan, who missed that game due to injury, slotted back in well, doing his defensive job efficiently and striding forward to contribute to scores when the chance allowed.
His presence offset the absence of former Cork player Eoin Cotter, who is out for a month with a broken finger, while Cork U21s Alan Cadogan and David Hanrahan gave the half-forward line some dynamism along with Shane McCarthy and Harrington was excellent leading the line. In addition, Odhrán Mulrooney worked hard at midfield.
While St Vincent’s late scoring surge – incorporating their only score from play, a goal from Stephen Ray – brought them close to Douglas, they never really looked like winning. It was a shame for them that their attacking play fell down, as Ray at midfield and full-back Frank Murphy were both excellent in the first half.
Points from McCarthy and Harrington had got Douglas off to a good start, but had Cian Barry found the net for Vincent’s after Kyle Lynch’s lovely threaded ball then they might have settled.
Instead, it took until a Lynch free in the 20th minute for them to get off the mark, with Douglas having registered five points up until then. When Jonathan Buckley added another free straight after, Vincent’s had as many points as substitutions made, but Harrington’s goal punctured any northside momentum.
He profited from the unselfish play of Seán Collins after Johnny Lane’s good delivery, and only a good Paddy O’Shea save denied Alan Cadogan another goal straight after, before Hanrahan’s 45 gave Douglas a healthy interval lead of 1-6 to 0-2.
In the opening nine minutes of the second half, Douglas added four more points, a pair from Harrington bookending efforts by Lane and Mulrooney, and though they would not score again, they had done enough.
Derek O’Connor and Lynch (two) added more Vincent’s frees, and two minutes from the end Ray reacted to sloppiness in the Douglas defence to poke the loose ball to the net. They will have one more chance of a place in round four, knowing that another defeat would mean having to negotiate the relegation play-off.
Scorers for Douglas: M Harrington (1-3, 0-1 free), S McCarthy (0-2), F Desmond (free), J Lane, O Mulrooney, D Hanrahan (45), A Cadogan (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Vincent’s: K Lynch (0-3 frees), S Ray (1-0), D O’Connor, J Buckley (0-1 free each).
DOUGLAS: B Boyle; J Collins, E Cadogan, F Tobin; C Hogan, R Keating, J Lane; O Mulrooney, A Barry; D Hanrahan, A Cadogan, S McCarthy; S Collins, M Harrington, F Desmond.
Subs: K Murpy for S Collins (48), I Lucey for Lane, B Cuthbert for Desmond (both 55).
ST VINCENT’S: P O’Shea; D Collins, F Murphy, W Murphy; T O’Connell, K Goulding, D O’Regan; S Ray, W Long; G Kelleher, D Duggan, D O’Connor; C Barry, J Buckley, K Lynch.
Subs: C Kenneally for O’Connell (17), A Harte for Barry (20), P Aherne for Collins (ht), A O’Callaghan for F Murphy (51-54, blood), O’Callaghan for O’Connor (54).
Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).