An Evan Kearney goal in the ninth minute proved the crucial score as it kept the city side in the game as Dohenys threw everything at them in their efforts to force extra-time.
All credit to Nick’s however. The lost Killian Spain and Barry O’Donovan to black cards in quick succession midway through the opening half but the pair were ably replaced, Liam Coughlan and David Dunlea in particular hugely impressive when they came on.
Team manager Michael Brosnan pointed to that strength in depth as the primary reason for the victory. “We have a very strong bench this season and it has worked well for us”, he said.
“We could afford to take off a couple of players today who were the heroes last week and still come away with the win. The early goal was a game-changer but it forced us into defensive mode and we were under enough pressure for most of the second half as Dohenys came at us in waves.
“Thankfully our defence stood firm and we’ll take the lessons from today’s game, and there were many, and work on them ahead of the quarter-final in a couple of weeks’ time”.
St Nick’s made the better start and stormed into a 1-2 to nil lead by the end of the opening quarter. Dohenys did have their chances but a combination of dreadful finishing and excellent defending by Nick’s meant they went 16 minutes before Denis Healy opened their account with a point.
The city side were hit by a double whammy midway in the half with those black card dismissals, but Dohenys couldn’t take advantage and points by the Brosnan brothers Robert and Dean had them 1-4 to 0-1 in front after 25 minutes.
Dohenys continued to ruin excellent approach work with dreadful finishing but two points in a row by Mark Quinn coming up to half-time gave them some hope.
Aided by the wind on the changeover, the Dunmanway side were camped in the Nick’s half for long periods but with little reward, and Kearney’s early goal separated the side at the three-quarter stage, 1-5 to 0-5.
A David Collins point cut the deficit to two with 10 minutes to go; Hawkeye would have been handy to decide if Mark Buckley’s effort was a Dohenys point – it wasn’t — and when Jerry McCarthy’s effort came back off the upright, it was obvious it wasn’t going to be the West Cork side’s day.
The excellence of Adam Lynch, Paul O’Brien and Graham Callanan kept Nicks’ noses in front but when Donal Rice came forward to kick a Dohenys point, only the minimum separated the sides as the clock ticked over the 60 minutes.
Nick’s were under the cosh as Dohenys came looking for an equaliser, but their defence held firm.
Dohenys did get one final chance to send the game to extra-time but Tom Collins’ effort from a 45 fell way short and Nick’s were through to a quarter-final meeting with the winners of the Douglas/Nemo replay.
E. Kearney (1-0); B. O’Donovan (frees), R. Brosnan (frees) 0-(2 each); Dean Brosnan (0-1).
Scorers for Dohenys; M. Quinn (0-3, frees); D. Healy, T. Collins (free), D. Collins, D. Riuce (0- 1 each).
K., McEnery; K. Spain, D. Óg O’Donovan, T. Spain; A. Lynch, N., Horgan, K. McCarthy-Coade; P. O’Brien, G. Callanan; David Brosnan, Dean Brosnan, G. Callanan; E. Kearney, B. O’Donovan, D. Busteed.
D. Dunlea for K. Spain (b/c 15); L. Coughlan for B., O’Donovan (b/c 17); D. Cunningham for K. McCarthy-Coade (38); R. McCarthy-Coade for David Brosnan (45); G. Kennefick for E. Kearney (55).
D. Kelly; B. O’Donovan, T., Collins, S., Daly; D. Collins, D. Rice, J. Carroll; D. Healy, E. Lavers; D. O’Dwyer, P. McCarthy, B. McCarthy; J. McCarthy, J. Kelly, M. Quinn.
M., Buckley for D. O’Dwyer (half time); D. O’Donivasn for P. McCarthy v (55).
Referee, S. Ryan (Macroom).