With just one Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 FL win, against Naomh Abán in February, the city side sit just one place off the bottom of the table. However, as manager Tom Sheehan explained after this relatively straightforward win, access to players has contributed to that.
Teenager Liam Dineen kicked six points on his senior championship debut while Seán Powter, Alan Cadogan and Conor Kingston impressed too.
“We have been missing a lot of Cork players, so our league form has been scrappy, to say the least,” Sheehan said. “We knew, once we got those players back, we’d be alright. Tonight, I thought that the performance, especially in the second-half, was very good.”
One notable absentee was Cork star Eoin Cadogan, but that was more a precaution than anything, as Sheehan outlined.
“Eoin wasn’t far away from actually making it, it’s just an ankle injury,” he said. “He’s probably a week or two away, we said for his own sake we wouldn’t bother risking it.” Cadogan’s replacement at midfield was Kingston and he slotted in nicely alongside former Cork panellist Eoin Cotter, who was returning after a stint in Australia. Douglas led 0-4 to 0-1 by the end of the first quarter, with Dineen excellent from placed balls while Sean Powter’s direct running was causing problems.
In corner-forward Mark Buckley, though, Dohenys had something of a livewire and his point, on the heels of a good Jack O’Connell score, brought them to within a point. The Dunmnway side – who had former Cork player and Carbery Rangers manager Micheál O’Sullivan on the line – were suffering from a lack of efficiency in front of the posts, however, while the early loss of goalkeeper Darren Kelly also upset their rhythm and they felt the black-carding of Daniel O’Donovan was harsh.
Two more Dineen points, the latter a superb effort, sandwiched one by Buckley – a goal was on but he fisted over for his third – to leave it 0-6 to 0-4 for Douglas at half-time. On the resumption, Buckley could have reduced the gap to a point but didn’t catch his free right and it proved to be something of a turning point as Douglas responded with six consecutive points, Kevin Flahive getting on the scoresheet as Dineen, Powter and Cadogan continued to impress.
At the other end, Douglas’s defence continued to frustrate Dohenys, with Ray Keating sweeping and Kevin Hayes-Curtin curtailing Buckley’s influence. In the thickening mist, Dohenys’ Cathal O’Donovan had a goal attempt deflected wide – seemingly by a team-mate as no 45 accrued – but they did raise a green flag with seven minutes of normal time left. Its construction would have been tough to predict as midfielder Declan O’Dwyer and corner-backs Seán Daly and Barry O’Donovan were involved, O’Donovan’s low shot beating Brian Boyle. A Buckley free immediately after might have unsettled Douglas but two Genie Griffin frees saw them safely secure the win.
Buckley did have a late point for Dohenys will have a West Cork derby with Ilen Rovers in round 2B, while Douglas have a round 2A meeting with Carbery Rangers, now in the charge of former Douglas player and manager Ronan McCarthy.
Not that Sheehan is attaching any greater significance to it because of that.
“All games are interesting,” he said, “to get past the first round is great and we’ll work away now. We’ll focus on our own performance and that’s all that we can do, really.
“If we can improve by another 20 or 30 percent, then we’ll be a match for anyone.”
L. Dineen (0-6, 5 frees); A. Cadogan (0-3), G. Griffin (0-2) (frees), K. Flahive, M. Dolan, C. Kingston (0-1 each)
M. Buckley (0-5 (1 free, 1 45), B. O’Donovan (1-0), J. O’Connell (0-1).
B. Boyle; L. McGrath, D. Sweeney, K. Hayes-Curtin; R. Keating, J. Davis, K. Flahive; E. Cotter, C. Kingston; L. Dineen, S. Powter, S. Collins; M. Dolan, G. Griffin, A. Cadogan.
J. Collins for S. Collins, E. O’Sullivan for Dolan (both half-time); D. Murphy for McGrath (34, injured).
D. Kelly; B. O’Donovan, K. Cotter, S. Daly; M. Murphy, D. Rice, C O’Donovan; E. Lavers, D. O’Dwyer; P. McCarthy, J. O’Connell, J. McCarthy; M. Buckley, D. O’Donovan, M. Quinn.
D. Farr for Kelly (11, injured), R. Jennings for O’Donovan (30, black card), A. Cronin for Rice (40, black card).
J. Bermingham (Bride Rovers).