Nemo Rangers 2-4 Carbery Rangers 0-9
NEMO Rangers survived another test from a west Cork side determined to make it as difficult as possible in a dour Bon Secours county PSFC quarter-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday evening.
Carbery Rangers shut up shop in an attempt to make it as low-scoring as possible and maybe just shading it at the finish.
And they went very close, almost forcing extra-time in over five minutes’ injury-time with keeper Paul Shanahan partially blocked in his effort to force an equaliser before the final whistle drew gasps of relief from the city club.
Before the game, few would have given Carbery Rangers little chance of being 0-5 to 1-1 ahead at half-time.
Their tactics frustrated their opponents to such an extent that Nemo managed just two scores, a goal from Jack Horgan in the 10th minute and a point from full-back Briain Murphy six minutes later.
Despite withdrawing whole chunks of players behind the ball from the start, Ross still managed to claim the opening three points, all inside eight minutes.
John Hayes provided the opener for Peadar O’Rourke with a fine pass after only two minutes and defender Jerry O’Riordan broke from deep to add a second in the seventh minute.
And when Declan Hayes called a clever ‘mark’ and duly knocked over a third point, Ross found themselves in control on the scoreboard.
It lasted barely 90 seconds, however, because Nemo finally found a way through via quick handpassing with Mark Cronin, Barry O’Driscoll and Kevin Fulignati featuring to set up Horgan for an explosive finish high into Paul Shanahan’s net.
Still, Ross ended the opening quarter 0-4 to 1-0 in front after John Hodnett kicked a fine point from the right even if Murphy levelled matters for a second time with his effort moments later.
Remarkably, the remainder of the half yielded just one more score, a John Hayes free after 27 minutes following a foul on Hodnett.
A minute later, a speculative cross from the right by Conor Horgan was met by an Alan O’Donovan fisted effort, which Shanahan watched all the way to make a customary save.
Nemo needed a break and they got it within five minutes of the resumption.
An attempt at a point from Horgan rebounded from a post at the city end of the ground and Barry O’Driscoll, gratefully, accepted the rebound to flash an unstoppable shot to the net.
Two minutes later captain Luke Connolly registered his first and only point and suddenly Nemo raced a goal clear, 2-2 to 0-5, forcing Ross to change tact.
A second John Hayes free after 42 minutes cut the deficit and while O’Donovan kicked a fine score entering the closing quarter, Nemo hadn’t pulled clear.
Ross crept closer, points from Alan Jennings and a third Hayes free left it 2-3 to 0-8 entering lost time in which both had players black carded, Marin Cronin for Nemo and O’Riordan.
Substitute Ronan Dalton eased Nemo nerves but a Shanahan 45 ensure a fraught finish for the Trabeg club, who had everyone behind the ball as Ross fought manfully for an equaliser, which just eluded them.
J Horgan, B O’Driscoll 1-0 each, B Murphy, L Connolly, A O’Donovan, R Dalton 0-1 each.
J Hayes 0-3 f, Jerry O’Riordan, A Jennings, J Hodnett, J O’Rourke, D Hayes (mark), P Shanahan (45) 0-1 each.
MA Martin; K Histon, B Murphy, K O’Donovan; C McCartan, S Cronin, K Fulignati; B Cripps, A O’Donovan; C Horgan, P Kerrigan, J Horgan; M Cronin, B O’Driscoll, L Connolly (c).
L Horgan for Cripps half-time, R Dalton for Fulignati 42, C O’Donovan for O’Driscoll, G Sayers for C Horgan and C Kiely for Kerrigan all 53.
P Shanahan; J O’Riordan, T O’Rourke (c), K Scannell; J O’Riordan, J Kevane, B Shanahan; A Jennings, J Fitzpatrick; M Hodnett, D Hayes, J Hodnett; P O’Rourke, J O’Rourke, J Hayes.
C Santry for Fitzpatrick 44, C Daly for B Shanahan injured 46, P Hurley for Scannell and J O’Regan for D Hayes 54, Fitzpatrick for J Hodnett 57.
J Ryan (Macroom).