Nemo boss concedes Clonmel had an extra bite as underdogs 

Cork champions lost their Munster championships opener to a hugely impressive Clonmel on Saturday night
Nemo boss concedes Clonmel had an extra bite as underdogs 

Nemo Rangers goalkeeper Micheál Aodh Martin reaches for a high ball against Clonmel Commercials in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Howard Crowdy

NEMO manager Paul O’Donovan didn’t venture down the road of offering excuses for his side’s flat display in their Munster quarter-final loss to Clonmel at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“The better side won, but we weren’t at our best,” he said. “Clonmel got off to a great start with those two early goals and held that cushion right to the end. Fair play to them.”

A combination of their tactics around the middle, impressive energy levels and physicality formed the cornerstone of Clonmel’s fully merited success.

“They operated with an unusual system, switching midfielders and half-forwards, and that had us thinking ‘who’s picking up who?'

“Clonmel did it very well and you have to give them credit for that. They are also a big physical side with a lot of guys standing 6ft plus and they used them well.

Clonmel seemed to have done their homework on us and we also did a lot of work on them. I thought we were just a bit flat on the night.

“It’s not making excuses because Clonmel were the better side and you have to congratulate them and wish them the best for the future.”

It was like role reversal of the county final win over St Finbarr’s.

“Clonmel played with huge energy just as we did two weeks ago. We went in as underdogs and that gives you an extra bite if you like.

“They had it tonight. We had it two weeks ago. We really wanted to win this. I thought we were well up for it.

“Whether the six-day turnaround affected us or not, I don’t know, but as I say the better team won.”

BIG LOSS

A week after the football final, a good chunk of players lined out for Nemo’s junior hurlers against Erin’s Own in a county quarter-final.

Apart from losing, the Trabeg club suffered an injury to full-back Briain Murphy, who sustained a broken thumb late on.

“Briain was a big loss because he’s 6ft-2, 6ft-3, and we needed those guys against a side like Clonmel, but, unfortunately, we didn’t have it.

“I thought we were a bit flat during the week and we commented on it in training, but you’d expect the lads would rise to the occasion and the status of the competition.

“And in fairness to them I couldn’t have asked for anymore because they gave it everything. When you’re involved in a team that gives you everything you can’t expect anymore.

“That little spark of energy we had two weeks ago didn’t seem to be there on this occasion. It shows what it takes to win a county.

“We had hurling and it takes a toll, but we’re a hurling and football club so I’m not going to complain about that.”

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