THERE is a theory that Nemo Rangers are vulnerable in their second game in the championship, before the closing stages of the competition sharpen their senses.
It’s a theory almost wholly without statistics to back it up and another hole was blown in it as they saw off O’Donovan Rossa on a 4-16 to 0-13 scoreline in round 3 in Coachford on Sunday.
For Nemo manager Paul O’Donovan, it was a satisfying performance, as three goals against the wind in the first half put them firmly in control.
“I’m happy,” he said, “we got some good scores.
“There was a strong breeze there and they opted to play with it so obviously we were against it but we played well.
“We got three goals, which was a great start for us, to go in at half-time leading by 3-7 to 0-8 was fantastic.”
In addition to the three goal chances Nemo took, the tale of the first half was three opportunities which their Skibbereen opponents could not capitalise on, with goalkeeper Micheál Martin proving unbeatable.
“He made two fantastic saves,” Paul O’Donovan said.
“In fairness, they were right down on top of him and he got his hand to them. He has been doing it all year for us, he has been excellent.”
An eight-half interval lead expanded in the second half as Nemo pushed on relentlessly.
“That’s the one thing we spoke a lot about and worked on, playing for the 60, 65 minutes, whatever it may be,” O’Donovan said.
“We have to keep going and if we’re on top, not to take the foot off the throttle. They showed it today that they’re hungry and they’re anxious to get back to a county final.
“We’re only in the quarter-finals now, we’ll go down tonight and take a look at the Haven and CIT and see where we go from there.”
O’Donovan’s opposite number Martin Bohane could have no complaints with the outcome but he felt there were still positives to be taken.
“They got an early goal on us,” he said, “we had the breeze and that threw us off-balance then.
“We lost one of our main men, our midfielder Colm Fitzgerald, to a soft black card, I felt.
“We haven’t got replacements to just step into areas like that but we have to be positive with the second half.
“The game was probably gone but we brought in a lot of younger fellas and they stepped up. They enjoyed it and they played football and we got some great scores there at the end.”
Having won their opener against Aghada, Skibb are at least free of relegation worries and can look to build on this next year.
“Yeah, we got the group together,” Bohane said, “a lot of the older fellas came back and we’ve a lot of younger fellas.
“It is developing, we’re bringing on the young fellas as best we can and we have to be thankful to the older guys that are still playing for us.
“They’re well up in their 30s and it’s a credit to them. The young fellas are buying into it and they’re learning their trade, it’ll take time but they’re going very well.
“We’re still in the U21B championship, it’s great to have them training and playing with the seniors.”