Douglas see off Cill Na Martra
County Under 21 FC Final: Douglas 2-11 Cill Na Martra 2-6
It was heartbreak for the underdogs, Cill Na Martra, but last Saturday's under 21 county football championship final at Páirc Ui Rínn was a historic occasion for Douglas as they captured their first ever title at this level.
The championship was first introduced in 1973 and clubs from most divisions have succeeded in capturing the title in the intervening period. Douglas have not been one of the victorious, however, and their situation was not hopeful when they failed to win the city title this season.
In the first season of the winners and runners up going forward in the county championship Douglas had a second opportunity of securing a significant football victory and they availed of same in no uncertain fashion.
On Saturday last in gloomy surroundings at Páirc Ui Rínn they entered the fray against Cill Na Martra as raging hot favourites. The mid Cork side an enthusiastic club from a thinly populated area who had performed heroics to qualify for the final, but it was expecting a lot to have them compete with a team that had so much strength in depth.
Like all their outings in both their own division and the county Cill Na Martra gave it their all however and they managed to score first when Micheál Ó Deasúna pointed a free in the second minute.
The mid Cork side were not ahead for long however as the forceful attacking play by Douglas yielded results. Sam Collins and Conor Russell both sent the football between the uprights to put them ahead a position they remained in for the rest of the hour.
The winner's prospects of victory were greatly enhanced in the 5th minute when their star performer Shane Kingston found the opposing net and they were now rampant. A point from Kingston was followed by a major from Mike Lynch so they were ahead 2-3 to 0-1 following sixteen minutes of action.
Cill Na Martra to their credit performed better during the second quarter as their defence did well to restrict the winners to two additional points. The Gaeltacht side however were finding it hard to make progress in attack as the Douglas defenders were excellent at intercepting their attempted movements.
Cill Na Martra did manage to get two points back when Séanie Ó Fóirréidh and Deasúna were on target. But a 2-4 to 0-3 lead facing the second moiety placed Douglas in a very strong position.
Douglas were very much on the offensive in the third quarter but the opposing defence performed excellently in keeping the score down. The winners did increase their lead when Eoin O'Sullivan, substitute, Darragh Kelly, and Kingston raised white flags but the last quarter saw Cill Na Martra make a last ditch effort to turn their situation around.
The 49th minute saw a determined attack resulting in Tadg O'Corcora securing a major and five minutes later Ó Deasúna sent a powerful drive to the net. Minors from Sean Powter and Kingston in between those goals kept Douglas with a little cushion but they were fortunate that the industrious Kevin Flahive was on hand to ensure that a third opposing effort did not cross the goal line in the 57th minute. It did not get any closer following that let off and a second point from substitute Darragh Kelly clinched victory for Douglas.
They are a good side who deserved their historic victory while Cill Na Martra can also be proud of their achievements over a very exciting season.
Douglas: Andrew Cullinane, Nathan Walsh, Sean Wilson, Luke McGrath, Sean Powter (0-1), Donnacadh Murphy, Cathal Sheehan, Kevin Flahive, Eoin O'Sullivan (0-1), Sam Collins (0-1), Shane Kingston (1-5, 1f), Liam Dineen, Conor Russell (0-1), Mike Lynch (1-0), Mark Dolan Subs: Darragh Kelly (0-2) for Dolan (42nd), Sean Donegan for Russell (48th), Brian Hartnett for Collins (60th)
Cill Na Martra: James Aynsley, Evan Ó'Cathasaigh, Eóin O'Loinsigh, Eoghan Ó'Ceilleachair, Pádraig Ó'Criodáin, Antoín Ó'Cúana, Seán Ó Fóirréidh (0-1), Gearoíd Ó Góillidhe, Micheál Ó Deasúna (1-5, 5f), Gearóid Ó Faoláin, Damien Ó h-Úrdáil, Tadhg Ó Corcora (1-0), Ciarán Ó Dúinnín, Danno Dúinnín, Dean Mac Cárthaigh Subs: Seán Ó Cróinín for Ó Cathasaigh 38th, Donagh Ó Riordáin for Ó Loinsigh, injured 41st, Criostoír Ó Meachair for Mac Carthaigh 50th, Cianie Foirreidh for Ó Faoláin 53rd.
REFEREE: S. O'Leary (Mallow)