Luke Connolly said in his acceptance speech afterwards that St Finbarr’s “bring the best out of us”. Yet the prevailing mood around the city beforehand undoubtedly ensured that Nemo would be more primed and pumped for this final than ever before.
From the first ball, Nemo were more confident, fluid and slicker than the Barrs who were laboured in their build-up play. In that opening half, the Barrs only had nine shots at the target, and converted just four. Two of those shots were brilliant saves from Micheál Aodh Martin but Nemo also had a goal chance saved by John Kerins, while their conversion rate was 69% in that period.
After being physically bullied for so long, the Barrs eventually started to get on top around the middle in the last quarter but the Barrs still turned the ball over more often than Nemo (17-14). Yet the tone was set in the first half by the high number of Barrs turnovers forced by Nemo in the tackle.