Nemo fall to shock defeat by Clonmel Commercials in Munster Club SFC

The Cork champions had little answer to a very impressive display by their Tipperary counterpart
Nemo fall to shock defeat by Clonmel Commercials in Munster Club SFC

Clonmel Commercials' Colman Kennedy scores his team's second goal against Nemo Rangers in the Munster SFC quarter-final. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Nemo Rangers 1-11 Clonmel Commercials 2-15 

EVEN the most ardent Clonmel Commercials supporters had to pinch themselves to believe their side winning by seven points in a richly deserved Munster Club SFC quarter-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday evening.

And that included a consolation goal from Mark Cronin deep into second-half injury time at which stage the Tipperary champions were already thinking of a semi-final clash with Limerick champions Newcastle West.

Nemo were flat by their own high standards and yet nothing should detract from the magnificent Clonmel display, which was packed with energy, drive and class.

They used their physical players intelligently as the Kennedys, Jack and Conall, along with Michael Quinlivan devoured ball around the middle and centre-forward Jason Lonergan was an understandable Man-of-the-Match.

In the first half, Cronin’s fisted point in the second minute seemed like setting up normal service for the Cork champions, but the extent of the Clonmel threat became apparent with the opening goal after seven minutes.

Colman Kennedy’s determined run through the Nemo defence, with referee Brendan Griffin playing an advantage, ended with Sean O’Connor blasting in from close range. A Jason Lonergan point almost immediately left the visitors 1-2 to 0-1 in front.

Nemo responded with three points without reply, the sequence started by Jack Horgan, whose blistering shot carried the crossbar, and continued by a Cronin free before Ronan Dalton added his side’s fourth.

Cronin’s free was preceded by another, when he linked up with Connolly, but the legs of keeper Michael O’Reilly got in the way.

Cathal Deely of Clonmel Commercials reaches out for the ball ahead of Stephen Cronin of Nemo. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Cathal Deely of Clonmel Commercials reaches out for the ball ahead of Stephen Cronin of Nemo. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Nemo looked to have settled, 1-2 to 0-4, only for Clonmel to rock them with a second goal in the 18th minute and once more it stemmed from a determined through the heart of the defence.

On this occasion, Lonergan’s purposeful dash after Clonmel picked up a breaking ball in the middle, created the opportunity for Colman Kennedy, whose fine shot to the far corner of the net left keeper Micheal Aodh Martin helpless to stop.

A Lonergan free nudged Clonmel 2-3 to 0-4 in front and Nemo clearly in trouble though a couple of Connolly frees, including one from 44m, narrowed the gap.

Still, Martin came to his team’s rescue after his defence was again opened up but a stinging shot from wing-back Padraic Loomey was brilliant turned over the crossbar by the keeper.

It allowed Clonmel sprint to the dressing rooms in buoyant mood, leading by 2-4 to 0-6, having been the better side without question in the opening half.

The critical period in the second half came between the 46-53 minute spell, when Clonmel kicked 0-5 without reply as Conall Kennedy landed a couple with brilliant efforts to stretch the lead to 2-12 to 0-10 and there was no way back for Nemo after that.

Cronin could have been awarded a penalty with six minutes remaining which might have made for a grandstand finish, but Clonmel were much better, simple as.

Nemo Rangers' Ronan Dalton turns away from Tadhg Condon of Clonmel Commercials. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Nemo Rangers' Ronan Dalton turns away from Tadhg Condon of Clonmel Commercials. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: L Connolly 0-6 f, M Cronin 1-2 (0-1 f), R Dalton, J Horgan, L Horgan 0-1 each.

Clonmel Commercials: S O’Connor 1-4 (0-2 f, 0-1 m), J Lonergan 0-6 (0-1 f), Colman Kennedy 1-1, Conall Kennedy 0-2, P Looram, T Condon 0-1 each.

NEMO RANGERS: MA Martin; K O’Sullivan, K Histon, K O’Donovan; C McCartan, S Cronin, K Fulgnati; B Cripps, A O’Donovan; C Horgan, R Dalton, J Horgan; M Cronin, B O’Driscoll, L Connolly, captain.

Subs: P Kerrigan for Dalton and L Horgan for O’Sullivan half-time, C O’Brien for Fulignati 38, C Dalton for C Horgan 50, C O’Donovan for O’Driscoll 58.

CLONMEL COMMERCIALS: M O’Reilly; J Morris, S Kennedy, J Peters, captain; T Condon, K Fahey, P Looram; J Kennedy, M Quinlivan; C Kennedy, J Lonergan, C Deely; C Kennedy, S O’Connor, R Peters.

Subs: P McGarry for R Peters 48, A Matassa for Deely 58, C Cannon for 59, C Smith for Colman Kennedy 60, S Power for O’Connor 64.

Referee: B Griffin (Kerry).

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