Saturday 7 December 2019

Duhallow face a test in Douglas

County Premier U21 HC Round 3: Duhallow v Douglas, Sunday December 1, Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G, 6pm

John Tarrant

A roller-coaster journey continues for Duhallow when they encounter Douglas in Round 3 to the County Premier 1 Undder 21 Hurling Championship at Pairc Uí Chaoimh 4G on Sunday evening.

First time out, Duhallow incurred a narrow three point defeat to Blarney. For the best part of the hour, it was anybody's game with the sides swapping the lead before Blarney came up with the dividends to shoot the closing three scores to divide the sides.

Into a back door Round 2 engagement, a strong Duhallow finish helped the divisional men overcome holders Fr O'Neills in a cracking contest.

Though neither side operated at full strength, it made for a terrific contest, Fr O'Neills looked well positioned after erasing an eight point deficit to jump four ahead. However, Duhallow's spirited efforts never waned and a productive finish yielded telling scores.

Duhallow had settled into the proceedings quickly where Cillian Buttimer, Conor O'Callaghan, Danny Buckley and Evan Murphy caught the eye and better accuracy helped gain a 0-11 to 0-3 lead. No surprise, the champions stepped up their game considerably to alter the scoreboard 2-14 to 0-16 in their favour.

Duhallow reacted to a precarious situation, Dan O'Donoughue and substitute Brandon Murphy goaled before the alert Murphy netted a second to rubberstamp victory. More straight forward for Douglas when they notched a comprehensive eight point win over Na Piarsaigh in the opening round.

The city side parade a nice blend of experience and talent with Brian Turnbull, Ross Howell, Cillian O'Donovan, Brian and Niall Hartnett key personnel.

The expectations is the prospect of a nip and tuck affair, the city side are sure to provide a stern test yet if Duhallow are anywhere near full strength, they stand an opportunity of advancing to a quarter-final against Sarsfields.