Kingston does the damage as Douglas earn reward

Douglas 0-11 St Finbarr’s 0-4
Minor glory at last for Douglas in the Premier 1 MFC as they outlasted St Finbarr’s in last night’s decider at Páirc Uí Rinn.

For the past three seasons, they have reached the final only to lose each time after a replay, twice against the Barr’s and once to Ballincollig. That this game was not a classic will hardly matter to them.

In any case, the display of corner-forward Shane Kingston — son of Cork hurling selector Kieran and still only U16 — was enough to light up any game. Seven points he kicked, six from play, including all but one of their second-half output.

The Barr’s were aiming for a fourth title in five years, but on the night they failed to function as well as they had during the campaign, with Brian Ramsey’s 42nd-minute point, to cut the gap to 0-7 to 0-4, their first from play.

They did exert more pressure after that, and Douglas could have wilted, but the Barr’s found a resolute defence in their way, and Kingston added three more points of the highest quality to leave six in it with six minutes left.

The seeds for such a comfortable victory were sown in the first half, even if it took them time to get the upper hand, with Kingston again leading the way with two good points.

The first, when he chose to fist over after a mazy run, put them 0-3 to 0-1 ahead as they got to grips with the game following a slow start and, just before the break, his excellent effort made it 0-5 to 0-2.

Centre-back Kevin Flahive also shone, getting a point, set up by Kingston. Indeed, but for two good Gary O’Sullivan saves, from Daniel O’Sullivan and then Michael Lynch, the Barr’s would have been further behind at the interval.

The Togher side had started well as Douglas struggled to get to grips with proceedings, but two Stephen Sherlock frees were all they had to show for themselves at the turnaround, despite Kevin Hodgins showing potential at full-forward.

Turning with just a two-point deficit, they were far from out of it, but in Kingston Douglas had an ace card. When it looked as if they had become disjointed early on after the restart, it was he who eased nerves with an individual effort after Dylan Long’s good work. Then he kicked a wonderful score off his supposedly weaker foot before rounding off a move involving his brother Conor, Sean O’Mahony and Cian Murphy.

Ramsey’s score gave the Barr’s hope, but it was not to be their night. When wing-back Cian Ward got forward to kick Douglas’s final point in the 58th minute, the outcome was decided. They would not be denied this one.

Scorers for Douglas: S Kingston 0-7 (6f), A Ward, K Flahive, M Dolan, K Doyle 0-1 each

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock 0-3 (3f), B Ramsey 0-1.

DOUGLAS: R Walsh; D O’Shaughnessy, L McGrath, D Long; A Ward, K Flahive, S Powter; C Kingston, S O’Mahony; K Doyle, D O’Sullivan, M Lynch; M Dolan, P Lehane, S Kingston.

Subs: C Murphy for Lynch (42), S Walsh for Lehane (54), E O’Sullivan for D O’Sullivan (60).

ST FINBARR’S: G O’Sullivan; M Russell, L Arslan, B Hennessy; C Walsh, D Quinn, K Holland; E Comyns, I O’Callaghan; C Buckley, E Hill, A Lyne; B Ramsey, K Hodgins, S Sherlock.

Subs: G McCann for Buckley (38), O Murphy for Ramsey (51), K O’Neill for Hennessy (57).

Referee: P O’Leary (Kilmurry).

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