Nemo Rangers 1-12 St Finbarr’s 0-8
THE driving rain that cascaded down from the skies above Páirc Uí Rinn made little difference to Nemo Rangers as they relieved the Barrs of their Cork County SFC crown.
For the second Saturday night in-a-row the conditions were treacherous for the combatants, the big ball sometimes almost as difficult to handle as a bar of soap.
However, Nemo fully deserved their victory and they sent out a clear message here that they want another title in Trabeg.
Particularly in the second half, they were the far more balanced unit, defensively and offensively and in that 30-minute period, they restricted the holders to just a brace of points, the first of those scores not arriving until the 58th minute.
No matter whatever the conditions are you are not going to prevail with a meagre return like that and that’s exactly how it all panned out.
Nemo embellished their good night’s work with a late, late goal from Jack Horgan who started in place of Shane Martin but to be truthful, they had it wrapped up before that.
Over the course of the hour, they carried a far greater threat in front of goal although they did squander a few big chances too and missed a goal or two in the opening sequences.
It was a night when their established players like Luke Connolly and Paul Kerrigan, young Mark Cronin and Conor Horgan really came to the forefront when it was most required, Kerrigan kicking two sublime points early in the second-half after a quiet opening 30 minutes.
Cronin, Connolly and Horgan nailed some splendid efforts too. Connolly’s place kicking was superb and a huge contributory factor in the Barrs' demise.
Back in defence, the Cronins, Alan and Stephen and Aidan O’Reilly were always resolute and the Barrs just could not get any sort of a foothold in the second half.
They did, however, have the better of things for the most part of the opening 20 minutes and led by 0-5 to 0-3 with Stephen Sherlock firing over a hat-trick of points, all of them very well executed.
Colm Keane delivered two more of that tally with Ian Maguire prominent at midfield before fading in the second half.
However, Nemo’s response to that Barrs' scoring burst was to rifle over an unanswered hat-trick of their own to level matters just before the break.
Mark Cronin, Conor Horgan and Connnolly registered those scores before the Barrs went to the dressing rooms a point clear after Maguire had given them back the lead after they had lost wing-back Colm Scully to a black card for a foul on Barry O’Driscoll.
However, we did not know at that juncture that the team from Togher would not score again until the dying embers of the game as Nemo exhibited their scoring power.
They tied it all up at 0-6 apiece courtesy of a Mark Cronin point on the resumption before Kerrigan burst forth with two scores of the highest quality.
The conditions continued to deteriorate and any time the Barrs threatened they were thwarted by a solid defensive rock clad in green and black.
Connolly, Conor Horgan and Connolly again pushed Nemo five points clear as the clock started to run down.
The Barrs did, however, reduce the margin to just three points going into stoppage time with Adrian Murphy and Sherlock splitting the sticks.
But Nemo’s riposte was something we have got used to down the years, Connolly pointing another free and then arrived the icing on what you would say was a very wet cake when Jack Horgan delivered at the second attempt after his initial shot had been saved.
So no arguments really, Nemo are into the last four with a semi-final against very near neighbours Douglas awaiting.
Scorers Nemo Rangers: L Connolly 0-5 (0-2 f, 0-1 45), J Horgan 1-0, M Cronin 0-3, P Kerrigan 0-2, C Horgan 0-2.
St Finbarr’s : S Sherlock 0-4 (0-1 f), C Keane 0-2, I Maguire, A Murphy 0-1 each.
NEMO RANGERS: MA Martin, B Murphy, A O’Reilly, A Cronin, K O’Donovan, S Cronin, J Horgan, P Morgan, J McDermott, L Connolly, P Kerrigan, C O’Brien, M Cronin, B O’Driscoll, C Horgan.
Sub C Dalton for O’Driscoll (57).
ST FINBARR’S: P O’Neill, R O’Dwyer, D Quinn, C Dennehy, C Scully, C Lyons, J Burns, I Maguire, B Hayes, D O’Brien, S Sherlock, C Barrett, E McGreevey, M Shields, C Keane.
Subs: P Kennedy for O’Dwyer (14), R O’Mahony for Scully (bc 23), J Linehan for O’Mahony (inj 30), C Davey for Quinn (35), A Murphy for Hayes (53), C McCarthy for O’Brien (58).
Referee: C Lane (Banteer).