In the event, they needed that early burst of scoring because two goals before the interval and a third soon afterwards kept Dohenys in contention all the way to the end, when they came agonisingly close to forcing extra-time.
On balance, while the city side exerted more control for the greater part of the contest, they never managed to translate it into scores with the ease with which they began (in somewhat similar fashion to the draw when they went 1-4 clear early on).
It meant that from being four points ahead in the 50th minute, they were pushed to the limit to hold on to their lead after conceding three points and failing to add to their total.
It was noteworthy that Mark Harrington and Alan Cadogan each contributed two points to their lightning start, when the ball was moved quickly and intelligently in and around the attack, because they were to make major contributions to the win.
Cormac Dineen, too, was prominent in the opening phases of play at midfield and Eoin Cadogan anchored a defence in which John Collins and Jamie Davis both made an early impact.
However, with midfielder Pat Collins first to exhibit a strong resistance at midfield and Alan Sheehan also influential from centre-back, Dohenys began their recovery by tightening up their defence, even though Cadogan remained a constant threat all through. They then benefited from Daniel O’Donovan’s good positioning in the 13th minute, when he ran on to a ball which Mark Quinn had hit against the post and put it in the back of the net.
All of a sudden, the gloss had been taken off Douglas’ smart play and when O’Donovan goaled again in the 24th minute — allowed the advantage when being held by Cillian Hogan — the deficit was down to a single point. And, while it was a two-point game at half-time (0-10 to 2-2), it could have been very different if Cadogan had tried for goal instead of putting the ball over the bar in the 28th minute — and Harrington had been awarded what appeared to be a definite penalty in injury time.
Within 15 seconds of the resumption, Douglas finally got their goal, from substitute Kevin Murphy. But, before they could build on that, Alan Sheehan expertly converted a 50-yard free and their third goal, through Stephen Collins, in the 34th minute had the margin back to a point once more.
To be fair to Douglas, they had the composure to absorb the pressure and respond with three points in an eight-minute spell (one from corner-back Collins). After this, the teams swapped points in the 46th and 49th minutes from substitute Jack Collins and the excellent Cadogan with what proved to be the final score for Douglas.
A brave Dunmanway side lifted the siege with scores from Quinn, Sheehan (with another great free) and O’Connell again.
In remaining time, Dohenys had two opportunities to tie the scores. First, Mark Quinn got into a good scoring position close in but had his attempted kick blocked — and then, Sheehan was slightly off target with a long kick from a sideline ball on the left wing.
Scorers for Douglas: A Cadogan 0-5, M Harrington 0-4 (2f), K Murphy 1-1, O Mulrooney 0-2, D Hanrahan and J Collins 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dohenys: D O’Donovan 2-0, S Collins 1-0, M Quinn 0-3 (2f); A Sheehan 0-2f; J O’Connell 0-2.
DOUGLAS: B Boyle; J Collins, E Cadogan, F Tobin; J Davis, C Hogan, J Lane; C Dineen, D Hanrahan; T Sheehan, O Mulrooney, F Desmond; M Harrington, C O’Brien, A Cadogan.
Subs: K Murphy for Hanrahan (h-t); B Cuthbert for Desmond (50); A Barry for O’Brien (58); R Keating for Dineen (60); S Collins for McCarthy (62).
DOHENYS: D Farr; B O’Donovan, T O’Donovan, D Rice; T Collins, A Sheehan, M Murphy; P Collins, D Collins; D O’Dwyer, J McCarthy, D Healy; S Collins, D O’Donovan, M Quinn.
Subs: J O’Connell for J McCarthy and P McCarthy for O’Dwyer (h-t); M Farr for O’Donovan (44).
Referee: Conor Lane (Banteer).