Douglas were 11 points up early in the second half, but the Rockies refused to wilt and trimmed the gap to a goal after 61 minutes when a Michael O’Halloran free squirmed into the bottom corner.
They couldn’t grab a second goal however, and Douglas survived a goalmouth scramble to deservedly make history.
They had match-winners in outstanding midfielder Mark O’Connor, who was at the heart of all their good work and hit 0-4 from play along with Brian Turnbull and Shane Kingston in attack. Shane Donegan, Nathan Walsh, Liam Dineen and Ross Howell all impressed in the inaugural premier county-wide version of this competition, where Douglas did the damage either side of half-time.
They hit six points in a row to go 0-10 to 0-4 ahead at the break, and a Kingston goal, set up by Turnbull, on 33 minutes gave them a commanding 10-point advantage.
Douglas were 1-14 to 0-7 up after 41 minutes when Howell lofted over a fine score and appeared in control.
Credit to the Rockies, who were going for three in a row at this grade, they showed resilience to outpoint Douglas over the remainder, with John O’Sullivan and O’Halloran their primary threats up top but just fell short in a gripping finale.
M O’Connor 0-7 (0-3 f), B Turnbull 0-6 (0-4 f), S Kingston 1-2, M Dolan, L Dineen, R Howell 0-1 each.
M O’Halloran 1-8 (1-6 f), J O’Sullivan 0-3, L O’Sullivan, N Cashman, T Deasy 0-1 each.
A Cullinane; L McGrath, S Donegan, N Walsh; R Howell, D Murphy, C Sheehan; M O’Connor, L Dineen; C Kingston, M Dolan, S Kingston; B Turnbull, E O’Brien, D O’Mahony.
E O’Sullivan for O’Brien (2 inj), D Ward for Sheehan (50), S Powter for D O’Mahony (59).
D O’Mahony; D Tyner, J Cashman, D O’Brien; A O’Callaghan, N Cashman, E McCarthy; J O’Sullivan, C O’Brien; D Meaney, M O’Halloran, M O’Keeffe; T Deasy, I O’Keeffe, L O’Sullivan.
R Cantwell for Tyner (42), B Grainger for I O’Keeffe (59).
C O’Regan (Ballyhea).