Douglas 3-16 Duhallow 1-13 (Cork SHC): He may only have been a bit player in Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s inter-county plans in recent seasons but Stephen Moylan was very much centre-stage after Douglas downed fancied divisional outfit Duhallow in Coachford on Saturday.
Operating at midfield, Moylan’s splendid first-quarter goal allied to an impressive all-action performance were key factors in the city side’s nine-point victory over a disappointing Duhallow outfit, one that showed little of the fire and élan that marked their one-point win over Carrigdhoun in the previous round.
Eoin Cadogan also showed his class from centre-back, nullifying the threat of Aidan Walsh and proving what a loss he is to the Cork senior hurlers. His brother, Alan, also appears to be returning to his best form while Sean Fogarty, Finbarr Desmond, Mark Harrington and Mark Collins also produced standout performances for the city outfit.
“The bigger the challenge for Eoin, the better he’ll perform,” said Douglas manager Cathal Collins.
“As for Stephen, his work-rate is phenomenal. How he didn’t play with Cork this year, I don’t know.
“I think we’re getting the best out of him in the middle of the field.”
Douglas’s dual players’ resolve will be tested over the coming weeks, however: on Saturday they must turn to football in a replayed tie against Nemo Rangers before transferring their skill-set to hurling and a quarter-final meeting with Midleton on September 5.
Fielding four Cork seniors, much was expected of Duhallow, but they failed to produce their best form. Minus four key players from their previous championship win, their preparations were certainly hindered, and while their “short game” was impressive — they sprayed the ball around neatly and economically — they lacked a clinical edge in front of the posts.
“The two goals in the first half were killers for us,” admitted Duhallow manager Denis Withers. “Being a divisional side you need a good start to settle nerves early. We had two goal chances, too, and you need to take every chance at this level when you get them. We’re disappointed because we expected more.”
Anthony Nash could do little to prevent bullet-like goals from Finbarr Desmond, Stephen Moylan and Alan Cadogan, and, while his Cork colleagues Mark Ellis, Aidan Walsh and Lorcan McLoughlin had their moments, they weren’t allowed to stamp their undoubted class on proceedings by a well-drilled Douglas outfit. In fact Duhallow’s best player was, arguably, Meelin’s Eamon Brosnan who contributed five points, though he was guilty along with his teammates of inaccuracy and a lack of composure in front of the posts.
Duhallow never led. They were within three points of Douglas at various stages and, when Cadogan rattled in his team’s third goal on 41 minutes, the momentum of the game swung strongly in Douglas’s favour.
Defensive lapses allowed Douglas in for their first two goals while, at the other end, there were few flaws in a teak-tough Douglas defence in which Eoin Cadogan starred.
The Seandún men also won the key battles: Eoin Cadogan muted Walsh’s influence, James Moylan gave Mark Ellis plenty to think about while, in the midfield engine room, Stephen Moylan starred. The switch of Mark Harrington to full-forward early in the second half also benefitted the Seandún side, and while they’ll be pleased that all but one of their points came from play, a wides tally of 18 will be of concern as they prepare to face the Magpies in under a fortnight.
Alan Cadogan (2), Mark Collins and Mark Harrington got Douglas off to a flying start inside 10 minutes, but Duhallow stayed in touch with points from Eamon Brosnan (free) and Donal Hannon.
Then two goals in a four- minute spell changed the game’s dynamic: Finbarr Desmond soloed through the heart of the Duhallow defence to goal from close range before Stephen Moylan showed strength, speed and skill to also stride untouched through the Duhallow rear-guard and fire an unstoppable effort beyond Nash. That made it 2-5 to 0-4 on 16 minutes.
However, Duhallow showed their resolve to reduce the margin to four by the 26th minute. Good link-play between Brosnan, Kieran Sheahan and William Murphy opened the way for Murphy to shoot from close range and though Tom Delaney saved, Sheahan pounced to knock in the rebound.
It stood 2-7 to 1-5 at the interval, and though Duhallow restarted brightly, the game was decided on a brilliantly worked 41st minute goal created by the impressive Finbarr Desmond and finished clinically by Alan Cadogan. That opened up a 3-9 to 1-9 gap, and the game began to slip from Duhallow.
Mark Ellis pushed forward to assist his attack in the last quarter and, while William Murphy and Aidan Flynn came close to goaling in the 43rd and 59th minutes respectively, the city side’s defence refused to wilt.
Douglas showed their strength in depth too, with Aaron Ward, Eoin Dolan and John Collins coming off the bench to add their names to the scorers’ list.
Scorers for Douglas:
A Cadogan (1-5, 1 free); F Desmond (1-2); S Moylan (1-1); M Collins and M Harrington (0-2 each); J Moylan, A Ward, E Dolan and J Collins (0-1 each).
Scorers for Duhallow:
E Brosnan (0-5); K Sheahan (1-1); D Hannon, M Ellis and A Walsh (1 free) (0-2 each); B O’Sullivan (0-1).
T Delaney; P Clarke, S Fogarty, C O’Mahony; T Cullinane, E Cadogan, P Beale; S Moylan, M Harrington; M Collins, J Moylan, C Kingston; A Cadogan, M O’Connor, F Desmond.
J Collins for Beale (ht); A Ward for O’Connor (40); E Dolan for J Moylan (48); L McGrath for Clarke (53); M Dolan for Desmond (55).
A Nash (Kanturk); D Browne (Kanturk), B O’Sullivan (Meelin), J McLoughlin (Kanturk); L McLoughlin (do), M Ellis (Millstreet), K Tarrant (Banteer); W Murphy (Meelin), P Egan (Kilbrin); G Linehan (do), A Walsh (Kanturk), K Sheahan (Kilbrin); D J O’Sullivan (Meelin), D Hannon (Newmarket), E Brosnan (Meelin).
D Kenneally (Kanturk) for Linehan (26); L O’Keeffe (Kanturk) for Egan (39); A Flynn (Freemount) for O’Keeffe (53).
C McAlister (Aghada).
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