Free-flowing Nemo give Muskerry a lesson

Nemo Rangers 1-14 Muskerry 0-7

On October 9 1970, Nemo were going for their first title but were shocked by a dramatic last-minute winning point by Noel Dunne for Muskerry.

It was a long time to wait, but Nemo exacted maximum revenge with this comprehensive victory over the Mid Cork divisional side in this year’s decider at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday before an attendance of 6,015 who got little to cheer about in terms of a quality match.

Apart from the opening quarter, during which Muskerry proved more than a match for their opponents, there was never a hint of repeat of the 1970 final.

Nemo, without ever playing to their potential, simply carved open the divisional side by playing their customary free-flowing inter-passing football and had their 14th title well won long before the final whistle.

The game began on a bright note for Muskerry. Peadar Concannon won a lot of aerial ball at midfield and lively forwards DD Dorgan and Cathal Sheehan looked as if they would prove troublesome for the Nemo defence.

There was still no hint of what was to come as Muskerry matched their more illustrious opponents point for point, levelling matters three times inside the opening quarter, but once Concannon drifted out of the game and the Nemo pair of Martin Cronin and Maurice McCarthy began to pick up breaking ball around the middle, the signs were ominous for the divisional side and Nemo led 0-6 to 0-3 by the 20th minute.

Muskerry lacked leadership on the field after such a bright opening, and once Nemo got the scent of victory, they were never going to be denied.

Superbly marshalled in defence by full back Niall Geary, totally in control at midfield through the efforts of their industrious captain Martin Cronin, and with James Masters unerring from frees, Nemo stormed into an 0-8 to 0-3 half time lead, helped by a careless lineball by corner back Colm O’Leary which put David Niblock in for the simplest of points and Muskerry, who hadn’t scored since the 13th minute, were in dire trouble.

The second half was one-way traffic as Nemo continued to dictate matters all over the field and by the end of the third quarter they led 0-12 to 0-5, chiefly due to Masters’ superb free-taking.

If Muskerry were to have any chance of pulling this game out of the fire they needed a goal, but they never threatened the Nemo ‘keeper due to the excellence of Geary, Martin Cronin - who swapped places with Derek Kavanagh - and Brian O’Regan.

Nemo’s work-rate on and off the ball continued to pose problems for the Muskerry defence and it was finally breached in the 50th minute when William Morgan was put through by Sean O’Brien and he coolly slotted home the game’s only goal to put the issue beyond doubt.

How often one sees a forward one -on-one with a goalkeeper trying to blast the ball, but Morgan, showing the coolness of a veteran, made it look so easy by stroking the ball under the body of the Muskerry ‘keeper for the simplest of goals.

Muskerry threw in the towel and the city side were well worth their 10-point victory, which puts them into the provincial quarter-final against the Tipperary champions next month.

Scorers: Nemo Rangers: J Masters 0-6 (0-5 frees); W Morgan 1-1; D Kavanagh 0-2; A Cronin, D Niblock, P Kerrigan, S O’Brien, A Morgan 0-1 each. Muskerry: G O’Halloran, C Sheehan 0-2 each; D Dorgan, J Russell, D O’Connell 0-1 each.

NEMO RANGERS: D Heaphy; G Murphy, N Geary, G O’Shea; B O’Regan, D Kavanagh, C O’Shea; M Cronin, M McCarthy; J Kavanagh, A Cronin, D Niblock; W Morgan, S O’Brien, J Masters. Subs: P Kerrigan for J Kavanagh; A Morgan for Niblock; C Corkery for A Cronin.

MUSKERRY: D Moynihan; C O’Leary, E O’Mahony, C McSweeney; T Kenny, N O’Leary, C Lucey; P Concannon, N Buckley; C Sheehan, J Russell, D Dorgan; G O’Halloran, D Keane, P Dunlea. Subs: A O’Shea for Keane; O Murphy for C O’Leary; D O’Connell for Dorgan.

Referee: G Harrington (Carrigaline).

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