On Saturday evening in Fermoy, they crashed through that as they bested Newtownshandrum in all areas, early goals providing the platform upon which to build.
While the winning margin of 10 points might be a surprise, the city side’s manager, Matthew Twomey, was expecting the big performance his team served up.
“We played well against Midleton (in the first round) but just came up short, maybe we were lacking a bit of experience,” he said.
“We were good against the Barr’s and things were going well this year. We were flying during the week and we knew that we had a big game in us, we have six very good forwards and three or four subs waiting to come in.
“In the first half, we were lucky to get a good start but we have been working on drills, drawing a man and getting the ball inside, and that work paid off.”
To say that the attack clicked would be an understatement. Cork minor Mark O’Connor scored 1-5 and though his colleague Aaron Ward posted three late points, his approach play was outstanding as he posed serious questions throughout. Alan Cadogan fired six points, all from play, while Cork panellist Stephen Moylan got 1-1, as did Cork footballer Mark Collins, who impressed in general play along with centre-forward Odhrán Mulrooney.
Collins’ ninth-minute goal put Douglas 1-3 to 0-4 ahead after Jamie Coughlan’s frees had helped Newtown into an early lead. Deftly flicking a high ball down to Ward, Collins stayed at his team-mate’s shoulder as he glided through the cover, and he was in place to take the handpass before firing to the net. When Moylan netted two minutes later, pouncing after William Biggan had saved from Mulrooney, Douglas were in control and crucially showed great maturity in maintaining composure. Mark Harrington was on top form at midfield, aided by Colin O’Mahony while Eoin Cadogan did much to quieten former Cork team-mate Cathal Naughton. Though Coughlan had his moments in attack for the North Cork side, he was forced to move about as they sought to get a way back into the game and began the second half in midfield.
By that stage, Douglas were 3-8 to 0-10 to the good, O’Connor with the third goal after Moylan and Mulrooney had carved the opening, and with Frank Tobin leading a solid full-back line effort, they didn’t cough up as many chances as Newtown needed to find salvation. O’Connor and Cadogan continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over for Douglas, and even when their defence was breached, goalkeeper Tom Delaney was in fine form too, most notably when he saved brilliantly from Gerry Lane in the 42nd minute.
Newtown did eventually get a goal, John Paul King bringing them to within six points, 3-15 to 1-15, after a one-two with Lane, but Douglas were not to be denied. Ward and Mulrooney tacked on late points as they eased into the quarter-finals.
A clash with either Blackrock or Ballymartle awaits, but that will not take place until mid-September at the very earliest. Not that Twomey is too bothered, however. “We probably will have a wait,” he said, “but the footballers will kick in now and obviously Stephen has the All-Ireland. It’ll do us no harm, please God the footballers will go on a run and we’ll look forward to whoever we’ll have in the quarter-finals.”
Scorers for Douglas: M O’Connor (1-5, 1f), A Cadogan (0-6), S Moylan, M Collins (1-1 each), A Ward (0-3), O Mulrooney (0-2), M Harrington (0-1, 1f).
Scorers for Newtownshandrum: J Coughlan (0-5, 2frees, 1 65), JP King (1-1), M Bowles, G Lane, R Clifford (0-2 each), C Naughton, M Thompson, D Stack (0-1 each).
DOUGLAS: T Delaney; F Tobin, D McSweeney, J Collins; E Cadogan, M McGrath, C Lucey; M Harrington, C O’Mahony; M Collins, O Mulrooney, A Ward; A Cadogan, S Moylan, M O’Connor.
Subs: A Barry for McGrath (41), J Moylan for S Moylan (57), S Collins for E Cadogan (60).
NEWTOWNSHANDRUM: W Biggane; J O’Mahony, R Fallon, C Twomey; M Ryan, J Herlihy, PJ Copse; JP King, M Bowles; J Coughlan, J Bowles, C Naughton; G Lane, R Clifford, D Stack.
Subs: M Thompson for Twomey (29), G O’Mahony for Stack (50).
Referee: C McAllister (Aghada).