Sharper Duhallow combination to defeat Douglas
Duhallow U21 Football Invitation Cup
A power packed second half performance allowed Duhallow regain a hold of the Credit Union U21 Football Invitation Cup at the expense of Douglas in Knocknagree on St. Patricks Day.
As the game aged, Duhallow emerged as the most formidable and more balanced to pull away for a comfortable triumph. Neither side got a hold on the tie to an inconclusive opening half when Duhallow played the help of the elements.
But on the turnover, the hosts turned up the heat, smartly working the ball out of defence. And going forward, Duhallow sharpened the cutting edge that was earlier blunted to make use of possession that came their way.
For Douglas, a below strength side promised much but failed to raise their consistency levels to the extent required. Still a useful exercise for the city boys ahead of the start of the city championship this weekend.
Duhallow had dug their claws in from the start, Anthony O'Connor on target with back to back points. However Douglas competed well to ensure both defences took control for scores to become a premium.
And Douglas opened their account from a Conor O'Brien point, only to be cancelled out by Michael Cottrell at the opposite end. Warming to their task, Douglas availed of solid play generated by Sean Healy, Paul Fitzgerald and Conor Kingston.
Indeed, Douglas were rewarded on a cracking goal, the ball worked upfield for the energetic Josh Kra to pounce and drive home. That provided Duhallow with a wakeup call, Barry and Anthony O'Connor bisecting the uprights for parity 0-5 to 1-2 at the break.
For the restart, Duhallow introduced co. player T J Brosnan, sidelined for a spell, owing to broken jaw incurred with Cork in a challenge game. The introduction of the Newmarket player brought stability and a greater urgency to Duhallow's game.
Indeed Douglas were thankful to a series of saves from 'keeper Eoin Dillon to thwart Barry O'Connor and Cottrell. Kra answered with a Douglas point though Duhallow's growing supremacy surfaced in the key departments.
Defensively Garry O'Connor, Daniel Buckley and Joe Carver coped well with Cottrell, Brosnan and Karl Daly bringing their influence on the proceedings. The match defining moment surfaced on 40 minutes, Daly effort fell short but Barry O'Connor followed up to slot home an opportunist goal for a 1-8 to 1-3 grip.
Though Douglas mounted a rally, Paul Fitzgerald narrowing the arrears, Duhallow possessed all the key attributes and saw their task to a successful conclusion.
DUHALLOW: A Casey (Kiskeam); D Buckley (Boherbue), G O'Connor (Knocknagree), P Allen (Newmarket); J Carver (Kanturk), L O'Neill (do), K Cremin (Boherbue); K Daly (Knocknagree), M Cottrell (Newmarket) 0-3; T O'Sullivan (Kiskeam), A O'Connor (Knocknagree) 0-5 (4f), D O'Keeffe (Dromtariffe); B O'Connor (Newmarket) 1-3, D Cullouty (do), J F Daly (Knocknagree) 0-1. Subs: T J Brosnan (Newmarket) 0-1 for Cullouty (ht), A Ryan (Newmarket) for O'Keeffe (55), D O'Connor (Kiskeam) for O'Neill (57), C White (Knocknagree) for O'Sullivan (58).
DOUGLAS: E Dolan; K Hayes Curtin, S Healy, S Crowley; D Long, K Flahive, R White; P Fitzgerald, C Kingston; M Barry, P Beale 0-1, S McDonald; J Kra 1-2 (0-1f), C O'Brien 0-1, S O'Donoughue. Subs: S Walsh for McDonald (ht), D Curtin for Beale (44), R Feehan for O'Donoughue (46), A Murray for Kingston (54).
Referee: E Walsh (Rathmore)
* On hand to present the Invitation Cup to Duhallow captain Karl Daly were Jack Harrington of Chapter 23 Credit Union and former GAA President Seán Kelly.