Nemo Rangers 3-7
KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
CASTLEHAVEN’S quest to dethrone Nemo Rangers came up short in an absorbing 2020 Cork Premier SFC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Two Luke Connolly second-half goals meant that Nemo, who led 1-5 to 0-6 at the break, always held a lead in the second period, despite Castlehaven pushing them hard.
When Connolly struck for his first goal in the 38th minute, it pushed Nemo 2-5 to 0-7 in front, Haven having narrowed the gap to a single point; they had trailed by six at one stage in the opening quarter. Castlehaven’s response was encouraging, as Michael Hurley and Conor O’Driscoll efforts halved the deficit, 2-5 to 0-9, but then Connolly struck again in the 46th minute, just before the second water break.
Again, it was the evergreen Paul Kerrigan who sent Connolly through, and after his Haven marker slipped, the Cork forward’s finish was clinical. Nemo now led 3-5 to 0-9.
#CASTvNEMO 46 nóim
Gleann Bearcháin 0–09
Raonaithe Nemo 3-05
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) August 29, 2021
The final quarter saw Castlehaven try to come again and they cut the gap to 3-5 to 0-11 after a Brian Hurley brace; the Haven forward had been a major injury doubt ahead of the game but started and kicked 0-8 (six frees).
Nemo, such an experienced outfit, picked off two points from subs Barry O’Driscoll and James McDermott, both set up by Kerrigan. They had enough of a cushion to see out the game and make it back-to-back county titles, but the Haven will rue 12 wides, including nine in the second half alone.
Nemo settled a lot faster in this delayed county final, with Kerrigan firing over two points in the opening four minutes. They were finding plenty of holes in the Haven defence too, and sub Ciarán Dalton, on the field for the injured Mark Cronin, ran straight through to slot home a Nemo goal after seven minutes.
A Brian Hurley free got Haven on the scoreboard before Alan O’Donovan and Ronan Dalton scores pushed Nemo six in front, 1-4 to 0-1. Two more Brian Hurley frees were important to cut the gap by the first water break, 1-4 to 0-3.
Hurley brought his side even closer when he kicked his first point from play, after a lovely dummy solo, before Ronan Dalton’s effort for Nemo briefly stopped Haven’s momentum. But scores from Michael Hurley and Conor O’Driscoll brought the West Cork side to within two by the break, 1-5 to 0-6. Try as they might in the second half, Haven couldn’t draw level and it was Nemo’s goals that saw them over the line.
Castlehaven: Brian Hurley 0-8 (6f); Michael Hurley 0-3; Conor O’Driscoll 0-2.
Nemo Rangers: Luke Connolly 2-0; Ciaran Dalton 1-0; Paul Kerrigan, Ronan Dalton 0-2 each; Alan O’Donovan, Barry O’Driscoll, James McDermott 0-1 each.
Castlehaven: Anthony Seymour; Johnny O’Regan, Rory Maguire, Ronan Walsh; Jack Cahalane, Damien Cahalane, David McCarthy; Jamie Walsh, Mark Collins; Roland Whelton, Brian Hurley, Conor Cahalane; Conor O’Driscoll, Cathal Maguire, Michael Hurley. Subs: David Whelton for J Walsh (44), Shane Nolan for C O’Driscoll (53), Ciaran O’Sullivan for R Whelton (58), Kevin O’Donovan for C Maguire (58).
Nemo Rangers: Micheal Aodh Martin; Kieran Histon, Briain Murphy, Alan Cronin; Kevin O’Donovan, Stephen Cronin, Jack Horgan; Alan O’Donovan, Barry Cripps; Luke Connolly, Ronan Dalton, Colin O’Brien; Mark Cronin, Paul Kerrigan, Conor Horgan. Subs: Ciaran Dalton for M Cronin (3, inj), James McDermott for B Cripps (47), Barry O’Driscoll for C Horgan (47), Aidan O’Reilly for R Dalton (58), Kevin Fulignati for A O’Donovan (59).
Referee: C Lane.