FLASHBACK: Nemo retained their crown by defeating Duhallow in 1988

FLASHBACK: Nemo retained their crown by defeating Duhallow in 1988

Nemo captain Ephie Fitzgerald drives the ball past Duhallow goalkeeper Derry Morely.

IT WAS an era in which Cork footballers dominated Munster only to find Meath too much of a handful until the historic 1990 double.

Two years earlier, they had pipped Kerry by a point in the provincial final and were denied a famous All-Ireland by a contentious late free which earned Meath a 0-12 to 1-9 draw.

At the second time of asking, the Royals, who had midfielder Gerry McEntee sent off after only six minutes, hung on for a 0-13 to 0-12 triumph.

The 1988 county final brought the champions, Nemo Rangers, and Duhallow together for the first time at Páirc Uí Chaoimh with the city side hot favourites to retain their crown.

They supplied four players to the Cork starting 15, Stephen O’Brien, Shea Fahy, Tony Nation and Dinny Allen while Duhallow had just one representative in the panel, Danny Culloty from Newmarket.

The early signs were very encouraging for the divisional combination, sweeping 0-4 to 0-1 in front at the end of the opening quarter.

Niall O’Connor nailed three pointed frees and Tom Healy repeated the trick after Nation had equalised early on.

Duhallow inched four in front with Healy’s second free before Nation landed his and Nemo’s second point and despite losing key defender Cormac Linehan through injury, the outsiders led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval.

The second-half was a different story altogether as Nemo struck for a crucial goal after 38 minutes.

Current manager, Paul O’Donovan, won a great ball before finding Nation, who, in turn, spotted the unmarked Allen in front of goal and he duly rounded keeper Derry Morley to walk the ball into the empty net.

It was just the boost Nemo needed and Duhallow must have sensed the worst, particularly, when the holders bagged a second goal, nine minutes later.

Captain Ephie Fitzgerald found himself in the right place at the right time, after a Nation shot rebounded from a post, and he drilled the ball home from close range.

Nemo were in full flow now with Eoin O’Mahony converting a couple of difficult frees to leave Duhallow struggling.

Typically, they battled right to the end and managed to kick the last three points, but still found themselves on the losing end of a 2-8 to 0-10 scoreline.

Duhallow’s problems came up front, where they could only engineer one point from play over the hour.

Nemo wing-back Dave Creedon was adjudged the man-of-the-match and their campaign went from strength-to-strength afterwards, winning Munster by overcoming Kilrossanty by 1-6 to 1-2 and capturing the All-Ireland Club with a 1-13 to 1-3 defeat of Roscommon’s Clann na Gael in the final.

Scorers for Nemo: D Allen 1-1, E Fitzgerald 1-0, E O’Mahony 0-3f, T Dalton and T Nation 0-2 each.

Duhallow: N O’Connor 0-7 f, T Healy 0-2 f, P O’Connor 0-1.

NEMO RANGERS: J O’Mahony; A Keane, N Creedon, M Lynch; J Kerrigan, S O’Brien, D Creedon; S Fahy, T Dalton; P O’Donovan, E O’Mahony, T Nation; M Dorgan, D Allen, E Fitzgerald. 

Sub: S Calnan for Nation injured.

DUHALLOW: D Morley (Cullen); M Angland (Kiskeam), E Culloty (Newmarket), J O’Sullivan (Kiskeam); J Walsh (Kanturk), Denny O’Connor (Knocknagree), C Linehan (Boherbue); D Culloty (Newmarket), J Casey (Rockchapel); Donal O’Connor (Knocknagree), R Dennehy (Kiskeam), T Healy (Kanturk); N O’Connor (Knocknagree), D O’Mahony (Rockchapel), P O’Connor (Knocknagree). 

Subs: S Sheehan (Knocknagree) for Linehan injured and J Dennehy (Kiskeam) for Donal O’Connor.

Referee: D Casey (Ballyclough).

The teams’ most recent meeting was in the 2017 semi-final, when a Luke Connolly hat-trick highlighted Nemo’s emphatic 5-13 to 0-12 victory.

Connolly added three points from play while Ciarán Dalton and Paddy Gumley chipped in with the other goals.

Duhallow’s cause wasn’t helped by over half their starting 15 having lined out with their clubs the previous, again in testing conditions.

Nemo’s starting team is likely to have nine survivors while Duhallow have six.

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