WHILE Nemo Rangers manager Paul O’Donovan was pleased with his side’s performance in Sunday’s county SFC semi-final win over Douglas, he accepts that there is room for improvement ahead of the decider.
Nemo impressed as they triumphed by 3-12 to 0-7 against their city neighbours, setting up a clash against Duhallow in the decider on Sunday week, October 27. Prior to Paul Kerrigan getting the first of his two goals, Nemo had three other chances though and manager O’Donovan wants to see more sharpness against the north-western divisional side.
“It was a fantastic performance, particularly in the first half,” he said, “but I felt we should have got more scores, to be honest.
“We had three one-on-ones with the keeper and our execution was very poor. I think that is something we have to work on for the next day. We are out again in two weeks’ time so there is plenty to work on.
“We were very good, but we did make mistakes and we can improve.”
While Douglas led early on, Nemo were 0-4 to 0-3 ahead when Kerrigan goal and they led by 2-7 to 0-4 at half-time after Alan O’Donovan netted.
“We pushed hard on their kick-out, tried to force turnovers and we did it well, at times, even though I think we won five out of 14 kick-outs in the first half,” Paul O’Donovan said.
“We were straight in on goal and we put them under pressure. The plan was to just put them under as much pressure as we could and close them down as much as we could. We felt their strength was in their ability to run and run at us so we just wanted to make sure we manned up and stopped them running at us.
“We were hoping that if we were getting in like we were early on that we would keep getting in.
“The second goal was very good. He ran through from midfield and kept going and going, I was thinking to myself, ‘Would he ever put it over the bar?’
“In fairness to him, he stuck it in the corner so we won’t complain. The third goal was very well worked. Mark Cronin set up Paul and he had the simple task of palming it in, similar to the first goal.
“That is what we are working on, our support play, getting in and just never giving up, keeping it going and never stopping.”
That Douglas only scored four points after the opening quarter was another sign of Nemo’s dominance.
“That was fantastic,” O’Donovan said, “again, it is a credit to the players.
“They have a fantastic attitude and if you think about it, it started up in our full-forward line, they put Douglas under a lot of pressure and kept it going right to the end.
“That is what we have spoken about since the Dohenys game, just trying to be consistent – play for 60 minutes and try and play at a high standard for 60 minutes.”
That will be needed in the final against Duhallow.
“They have a team made up of Cork senior footballers, Cork junior footballers, and U20 Cork footballers,” he said.
“They have quite a sprinkling of county players. I have no doubt we’ll go in as favourites, but while they are a divisional outfit, they play like a club team.
“The bits I saw today, they were very impressive in their defending.”