Nemo's mean defence is key to success in a team packed with ace forwards

Nemo's mean defence is key to success in a team packed with ace forwards
Nemo Rangers' Barry O'Driscoll and Conal Kennedy of Clonmel Commercials. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

NEMO Rangers manager Paul O’Donovan pointed to his side’s sound defence as the cornerstone of another Munster club title.

It was their sixth game on the spin keeping a clean sheet in both Cork and Munster competitions.

“I thought our defence was outstanding again today and we created an awful lot of chances, too,” said O’Donovan.

“We conceded goals in our first two games in the county championship against Valley Rovers and Dohenys, but haven’t done so since.

“Not only that but we kept our opponents to just eight or nine points in games and that’s outstanding.

“It’s testimony to the players themselves and the effort they’ve put in, especially in training where we’ve worked so hard in our tackling and our discipline.

“It’s all paying dividends now and when your backs are on top like that it’s a great foundation for the rest of the side. I thought we also got on top at midfield and that gave us the platform to drive on.

“And then when you’ve the quality of Paul, Luke, Mark and Conor inside you’re going to get scores. I thought all four were magnificent.

“Luke, thankfully, had his shooting boots on today, scoring seven points in total, and that’s fantastic at this time of the season.”

Nemo could have been out of sight inside the opening 13 minutes when they created three goal-scoring chances, but only got a point in return.

“It was a bit like the Douglas match in the county championship when we created three goal-scoring chances and didn’t take them.

“And today we didn’t get any more opportunities after those. Paul should have executed better, but he was right to go for goal.

“The keeper made a great save from Luke when a point was on, but if he can get seven points in every game and I don’t mind him missing a goal chance.”

A notable feature of Nemo’s play, not only on this occasion but throughout the business end of the season, has been their impressive fitness levels.

O’Donovan was full of praise for Cian Sisk, their strength and conditioning coach, who is in second year in the role.

“He runs the gym in Nemo and is doing an outstanding job with the lads, who are in tip-top shape.

“Cian works very well with them and they enjoy working with him.”

Next up for Nemo is an All-Ireland semi-final against the defending champions Corofin on January 4-5 with the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick as the likely venue.

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