The southsiders brought about a marked improvement in the second period to see off St Nicholas, but the overall display left a lot to be desired. The salient facts are these: Nick’s were 0-6 to 0-1 up after the first quarter but the rest of the opening half brought just two more points, both for Douglas. They continued to dominate the scoring upon the resumption and eight points separated the sides before David Brosnan got an injury-time goal for Nick’s.
Eoin Cadogan was excellent at midfield while Kerryman Genie Griffin scored 1-3 in the second half as the young Douglas side — with eight U21 players seeing game-time — turned things around. Manager Tony Leen wasn’t at all pleased with the first 30 minutes, however.
“I know we shouldn’t be disappointed to win a first-round game,” he said, “we felt beforehand that if we got a performance we’d win and we certainly didn’t get one in the first half.
“The one word we wrote up inside was ‘precision’, be precise, and we were anything but precise. Our movement was poor and we were trying stuff that wasn’t on.
“The most positive thing we could take was that we had been 0-6 to 0-1 down and only went in a score behind.”
While Mark Dolan’s point for Douglas in the sixth minute levelled Dean Brosnan’s opener for Nick’s, even at such an early stage there were signs that they weren’t functioning perfectly. The ball was being worked well at times but the shooting sights weren’t calibrated and the wides column began to pile up.
Young Nick’s wing-back Adam Lynch impressed and he began and ended the move to edge them ahead again on nine minutes, though Johnny Lane should put have put Douglas in front immediately afterwards, his shot for a goal cannoning back off the bar.
A Robert McCarthy Coade free extended the Nick’s advantage and then Glen Kennefick intercepted Brian Boyle’s short kickout. He had half a sight of goal as Boyle raced back to his line but his ground shot cleared the bar and then McCarthy Coade sent over two more frees to leave five points in it. Incredibly, the northsiders would score just a solitary further point.
By half-time, Éanna Mulrooney and David Hanrahan, with a 45, had brought Douglas closer but it wasn’t until the second half that they showed some of the precision the manager mentioned.
Dolan, played in by Conor Kingston, had a goal attempt within a minute of the restart only to shoot across the face, but that move had set the tone and Douglas were in front by the 39th minute.
Cadogan led the way as he pointed after Paul O’Brien had made a great block on sub Luke McGrath’s effort. That made it 0-6 to 0-4 and then, instead of wishes, their Genie provided three points, Jamie Davis creating two of them.
When Griffin struck for a goal, set up as Hanrahan’s excellent delivery evaded the Nick’s full-back line, it was 1-7 to 0-6 and McGrath’s point on 46 minutes had the air of pushing the game beyond Nick’s reach, even allowing for McCarthy Coade’s response from a free.
Hanrahan’s second-half display was a microcosm of the Douglas improvement and he got his second late on before Eoin O’Sullivan nabbed a second goal when Nick’s netminder Kieran McEnery couldn’t fully claim a Cadogan delivery.
David Brosnan did get a consolation goal for Nick’s, profiting from McCarthy Coade’s pass, but it was too late to deviate them from their course towards a second-round tie with Ilen Rovers.
O’Sullivan could have raised a third Douglas green flag right at the death when he missed from close range. Ensuring that such chances are taken is something their manager Leen wants to work on before the fourth round, whenever that is.
“You have to take those chances and be more clinical,” he said. “We know we’re capable of a lot better, the next thing is handling the extended gap until the next game.
“It’s basically like starting pre-season again. There’s an issue obviously with the first round in Cork, because the rewards are so massive for winning at that stage — especially for a dual senior club.”
G Griffin 1-3 (one free), E O’Sullivan 1-0, D Hanrahan 0-2 (1 ‘45’), E Cadogan, É Mulrooney, M Dolan, L McGrath 0-1 each.
R McCarthy Coade 0-4 (frees), David Brosnan 1-0, A Lynch, Dean Brosnan, G Kennefick 0-1 each.
B Boyle; S Fogarty, D McSweeney, K Hayes-Curtin; J Davis, P Shine, K Flahive; E O’Sullivan, E Cadogan; J Lane, D Hanrahan, É Mulrooney; M Dolan, C Kingston, G Griffin.
L McGrath for Lane (25), M O’Callaghan for Mulrooney (56).
K McEnery; D Dunlea, D Óg O’Donovan, T Spain; A Lynch, P O’Brien, R McCarthy Coade; L Forde, R Brosnan; E Kearney, Dean Brosnan, D Busteed; B O’Donovan, David Brosnan, G Kennefick.
L Coughlan for Busteed, D Cunningham for Forde (both 44), J Morrissey for Kearney (53).
M Collins (Clonakilty)