NEMO Rangers and Imokilly were crowned the top teams in Cork GAA after a memorable double-header in front of a bumper crowd of 16,226 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.
Nemo collected their 20th football crown despite a remarkable comeback by St Finbarr's in a classic SFC replay. Midfielder Jack Horgan and Cork ace Paul Kerrigan were the leading lights for Nemo, with Horgan, Kerrigan, Luke Connolly and sub Adrian Greaney hitting the net.
Though they were 12 points down after 45 minutes the Barrs refused to wilt and came to within two points of the favourites, eventually going under 4-12 to 3-13. Indeed the Blues' losing tally was the same as Imokilly's total in beating Blackrock in a closely fought hurling decider.
The Rockies were outsiders but pushed the divisional outfit all the way with Michael O'Halloran leading the line effectively. Fergal Condon's charges weren't allowed dictate the pace, even if Lisgoold's John Cronin, Castlemartyr's Brian Lawton and Ger Millerick, Fr O'Neill's, impressed all through.
Imokilly sub Brian Mulcahy only sealed the victory with a goal in added time to make it 3-13 to 0-18, after Rockies centre-forward Alan O'Callaghan has blasted a close-range free goalward that flew over the bar. Goals from Cian Fleming and captain Seamus Harnedy had given the East Cork outfit a platform for their third SHC success, but the game could easily have swung in Blackrock's favour.
The city side will go forward to represent Cork in the Munster hurling championship, taking on Limerick kingpins Na Piarsaigh at the Gaelic Grounds next month.
Nemo head into the provincial arena seeking a 16th Munster title and are on the other side of the draw to Kerry powerhouses Dr Crokes.
First up for Rangers is a county junior hurling semi against Brian Dillon's next Saturday evening, a rematch of the city decider which Nemo won, with the winners taking on St Catherine's in the county final.