DOUGLAS turned on the style at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday, a magical second-half display leaving fancied Ballymartle for dead, setting up a mouth-watering Cork Co Premier IHC semi-final date with Blarney.
No wonder Douglas boss Matthew Twomey was pleased afterwards. “Yeah, we really upped it in the second-half, it was probably our best performance of the season. But we will have to up it even more against Blarney. I’m expecting a very physical and tough game from them.
“The lads were brilliant tonight, their hearts really in it. A lot of them are involved with the football team, but there’s no problem whatsoever getting them out for hurling training. Take that heartbreaking draw with IIen Rovers last Saturday night. Those guys were really down, but still out training with us the following day. That’s commitment. Getting relegated last year really hurt, but we are determined to get back up and I’m really relieved we played so well tonight, particularly in the second-half.”
Didn’t look easy in the opening half though, where scores were plentiful and the hurling by both sides good too. Brian Corry started well for Ballymartle at wing forward, scoring two fine early points until the inspirational Eoin Cadogan went over to shackle him.
Nothing really between the sides until the 11th minute when referee David Copps blew for a Douglas free, despite Cormac Dineen powering free and putting the ball in the net. However, justice was done when Harrington blasted an unstoppable free to the net. Stephen Moylan soon followed with a pointed free, but the accuracy of Barry Dwyer from placed balls kept Ballymartle in touch after the opening quarter when they only trailed 1-5 to 0-5.
An open, up and down the field second quarter ensued as Stephen Moylan and Harrington stretched the Douglas lead to five points, But they could not shake off a dogged Ballymartle. Michael O’Mahony and Barry Dwyer fired over points and 21 minutes into this quarter-final contest corner-forward Jamie Dwyer somehow got free in a crowded goalmouth and beat Brian Boyle in the Douglas goal.
That goal put his side right back in the hunt and at half-time it was level pegging at 1-9 apiece and all to play for.
To say Douglas improved in the second-half would be an understatement for not only did they limit Ballymartle to four points, but they outplayed them all love the park and got some terrific scores with Cadogan and Pat Barry sublime in defence and Harrington running the show up front.
Stephen Moylan, Cadogan and the lively Barry Fitzgerald all fired over points in turn as they tore into Balymartle with some free flowing hurling. Willie Coveney then got onto the scoreboard and when Cadogan and Harrington combined to set up Dineen for Douglas’s second goal in the 42nd minute, all the winners’ forwards, both midfielders and Cadogan had found the target.
Leading 2-15 to 1-1 entering the final quarter Ballymartle, despite the efforts of centre-back Patrick Dwyer, were a beaten team. Douglas, full of vim, still had time for five more points, were unstoppable, and now in the right mood for that semi-final clash with Blarney.
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