PAUL Kerrigan has been around the block when it comes to playing in, and winning, county senior football titles.
His scoring statistics speak for themselves. Once again yesterday in Páirc Uí Rinn, the ace attacker was instrumental in helping to guide Nemo Rangers back to the big time.
They arrived in this decider warm favourites to regain the crown they last held in 2017.
Although the Capwell side only managed to score two points in the second half, the victory was based on the groundwork they did in the first 30 minutes. Luke Connolly scored both goals in a 60-second burst that effectively put the game beyond last year’s finalists Duhallow.
“It is probably the worst we played in our last three games,” said Kerrigan.
“But we would have taken a one-point win, we are delighted with whatever it was in the end. We probably made hard work of it, but we will take it.
“Duhallow came back into it towards the end. When they started to lose, they went for it.
“They put Aidan Walsh in wing-forward, they had big men all over the place. We kind of ran out of steam for five minutes, and we lost a few breaks.
“But luckily enough, Micheál (Aodh Martin) made a fantastic save and kept us in it. As a forward unit, we probably didn’t do enough.
“We spoke at half time about that. We probably left our backs down a bit today, but we will learn from it and drive it on again.”
Nemo move into the Munster club arena next month, and a quarter-final at home to Newcastle West.
“We will enjoy the week and we will look forward to our next game in Munster club,” said Kerrigan.
“That is on in a few weeks’ time. We won’t even think about Munster club until Wednesday.
“You can’t get enough of Cork SFC titles and we are going to enjoy this. We will do our analysis of this game and where we need to go to. We will do that when the time is right.”
After the beating they got from Castlehaven in last year’s quarter-final, to bounce back this season and claim a phenomenal 21st title is most pleasing.
At the time, they were coming off a long and arduous All-Ireland club journey, and ultimately it told.
“We went out on a bit of a whimper last year,” said Kerrigan.
“It was very disappointing. Fellas had a good look at themselves.
“Fellas came back in spades this year. We had five U21s coming into our team, coming on and off, fellas like Conor Horgan, Jack Horgan, and Alan O’Donovan who is back from a cruciate.
“It all kind of came together. We timed it well. We are delighted how it all went.”