Nemo Rangers deliver a staggering 17th Munster title with dominant display

Nemo Rangers deliver a staggering 17th Munster title with dominant display
Nemo players celebrate with the cup following the AIB Munster final win over Clonmel. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Nemo Rangers 0-15 Clonmel Commercials 0-6

A record 17th Munster club football title was never in doubt as Nemo Rangers overwhelmed Clonmel Commercials in a one-sided final in front of an attendance of 2,124 at Fraher Field, Dungarvan.

Colin O'Brien with selector Billy Morgan. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Colin O'Brien with selector Billy Morgan. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

There was no repeat of the drama of four years ago as the Cork champions had too much class, know-how, athleticism and point-scoring ability for a Clonmel side that simply never got going in trying conditions.

Not the even the deployment of All-Ireland hurling winner, Seamus Kennedy, as sweeper in the losers' rearguard could detract Nemo from going about their business in typical fashion.

Even a nine-point winning margin hardly reflected their dominance throughout a game which never caught fire such was the wide gulf between the sides.

Nemo gleefully accepted Clonmel's invitation to take them on as they withdrew as many as 13 outfield players behind the ball from the start.

Not only did the tactic backfire on them defensively, but it robbed Clonmel's attack of simple numbers close to Micheal Aodh Martin's goal to the extent that the custodian was a mere spectator almost throughout.

Nemo made gainful progress down the right in particular with captain Barry O'Driscoll prominent as were wing-backs Jack Horgan, in particular, and Kevin O'Donovan while Luke Connolly and Mark Cronin were a handful all afternoon for Clonmel's overworked defence.

Jack Horgan. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Jack Horgan. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

After Jason Lonergan opened the scoring with a Clonmel free, Nemo virtually bossed proceedings and should have been further ahead than their 0-7 to 0-3 interval advantage.

They carved the Clonmel defence open with some scintillating inter-play that deserved to be rewarded with goals, but Nemo couldn't apply the finishing touches.

In the seventh minute, Paul Kerrigan could only palm the ball into the grateful arms of keeper Michael O'Reilly from point-blank range.

Five minutes later Connolly tried his luck with a low shot to O'Reilly's right, but the keeper turned his shot away with a neat save after skipper O'Driscoll robbed Clonmel of possession out the field.

The Tipperary champions showed little in attack though Kevin O'Donovan had to bravely block a Sean O'Connor shot moments later.

And Connolly was involved again in their third chance in the 14th minute, palming the ball over the crossbar after Nemo again ripped the defence apart.

That made it 0-4 to 0-1 in Nemo's favour and still not a reflection of their superiority with Cronin posing a real threat all the time he got on the ball.

Mark Cronin. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Mark Cronin. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

It took Clonmel 18 minutes to register their second point, courtesy of Ross Peters though a Cronin free cancelled it out straight away only for Seamus Kennedy to surge forward and plant a fine third point via the inside of an upright, 0-5 to 0-3 after 22 minutes.

Nemo completed the half on top as Conor Horgan availed of more good play down the right by O'Driscoll to register their sixth point before Kevin O'Donovan joined the attack to make it 0-7 to 0-3.

Referee Padraig O'Sullivan issued five yellow cards in the period, three of Clonmel, Sean O'Connor, Jack Kennedy and Michael Quinlivan and Nemo pair of Kerrigan and Alan O'Donovan.

On the resumption Nemo held Clonmel scoreless for 23 minutes, either side of the break, as they pulled further and further clear with Connolly surging to the man-of-the-match award with three points on the spin.

The end couldn't come quickly enough for Clonmel, who could only add three points in the half compared to Nemo's eight. There was no more to be said.

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: L Connolly 0-7 (0-2 f), M Cronin 0-3 f, K O'Donovan, P Kerrigan, B O'Driscoll, C Horgan, K Fulignati 0-1 each

Clonmel Commercials: R Peters 0-2, S Kennedy, J Kennedy 0-1 each, J Lonergan, M Quinlivan 0-1 f each.

NEMO RANGERS: MA Martin; B Murphy, A O'Reilly, A Cronin; K O'Donovan, S Cronin, J Horgan; A O'Donovan, J McDermott; B O'Driscoll, captain, P Kerrigan, C O'Brien; M Cronin, L Connolly, C Horgan. 

Subs: C Dalton for O'Brien 50, F Fulignati for O'Driscoll 58, R Dalton for J Horgan, B Twomey for C Horgan and K Histon for Murphy 60+2.

CLONMEL COMMERCIALS: M O'Reilly; C McKeever, L Ryan, D Madigan; K Fahey, J Peters, captain, K Harney; J Kennedy, Conal Kennedy; R Peters, Colman Kennedy, S Kennedy; J Lonergan, M Quinlivan, S O'Connor. 

Subs: P Looram for Colman Kennedy half-time, R Lambe for Conal Kennedy 40, R Gunne for R Peters 53, D Lynch for Madigan 58, M Murphy for Harney 60+2.

Referee: P O'Sullivan (Kerry)

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