“At one stage, they only had four forwards and eight backs defending. We had five forwards so it was pretty hard to break them down,” Dooley said.
On an overcast afternoon in Clashmore, Hamilton attempted to swarm Salle’s chief score getter Thomas Douglas by employing corner-forward Ben Murray as an extra defender. Salle reacted immediately to this switch as their number 13 Michael Mahony moved out the field. This left two spare defenders at either end and an error ridden encounter unfolded. A combination of 27 wides (15 for Hamilton) paints the picture.
Despite the congestion, 16-year-old Douglas still ended up with 1-7 (1-4 from play) including the clinching goal five minutes from time. He has now compiled 1-21 over two Harty Cup games.
Dooley observed they made smarter use of possession during the second period.
“In the first half, we were hitting it into the extra man. In the second half, they worked it out well from the back. The backs were outstanding.”
The Bandon students led briefly through a Colm Dineen free. De La Salle posted the next five with Douglas striking one over the shoulder from 55 metres. On 19 minutes, Aaron Lyons was rewarded with a point following a fine solo run and Hamilton should have added a goal moments later but Dineen’s close range blast whizzed wide. He made amends with a free and a 65 to move within a point (0-5 to 0-4). Douglas fetched the next puckout and fended off the attentions of three defenders before splitting the uprights. Further singles by Eoin Daly and Donal Power left it 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval.
Nine second half wides prevented Hamilton from putting more pressure on the leaders. The introduction of Eddie Meaney during the final quarter allowed Salle break the defensive lines a little easier with Mahony and Power also heavily involved in the late blitz. On 55 minutes, Gavin Coppinger lofted the ball into Douglas on the edge of the square and he did the rest.
T Douglas 1-7 (2fs, 1 65’); D Power 0-3; E Daly, E Meaney, M Mahony 0-2 each; H Ruddle 0-1.
C Dineen 0-5 (4fs, 1 65’); A Lyons, E Buckley, C Butler 0-1 each.
R Ryan (Piltown); C Giles Doran (De La Salle), L Wall (De La Salle), N Byrne (Ballygunner); M Costigan (De La Salle), C Quinn (Dunhill), M Kearns (Mooncoin); P Hennebry (Mooncoin), D Power (Passage); H Ruddle (Ballygunner), D Coady (Erins Own), E Daly (Erins Own); M Mahony (Ballygunner), T Douglas (De La Salle), C McCann (De La Salle).
B O’Sullivan (Ballygunner) for McCann (H-T); G Coppinger (De La Salle) for Quinn (H-T); E Meaney (De La Salle) for Daly (41); D Hogan (Ballygunner) for Byrne (47); M Hutchinson (Passage) for Coady (57).
C Dart-O’Flynn (Valley Rovers); T Sheehan (Kilbrittain), J Kelleher (Newcestown), J O’Mahony (Bandon); T McCarthy (Bandon), W Hurley (Valley Rovers), S O’Regan (Valley Rovers); C Butler (Valley Rovers), C Maguire (Courcey Rovers); J McCarthy (Courcey Rovers), E Buckley (Ballinhassig), A Lyons (Valley Rovers); B Murray (Ballinascarthy), C Dineen (Newcestown), T Kearney (Barryroe).
R O’Sullivan (Valley Rovers) for McCarthy (41); A Settini (Valley Rovers) for Buckley (46); D Sweetnam (Valley Rovers) for Kearney (59).
J Condon (Waterford)