Collins goal powers Ilen Rovers to victory

Ilen Rovers 1-14, Nemo Rangers 0-7

With the seniors already out of the championship, Nemo Rangers travelled to picturesque Randal Óg Park seeking solace but they found little sympathy as Ilen Rovers took an early grip on the game and went on to hammer out a comprehensive victory.

Nemo showed early promise in the form of ferocious early attacks but it proved fruitless (three wides in as many minutes) and their first score did not come until the ninth minute when Shane Marshall pointed a free which was negatived by Kevin O'Sullivan at the other end inside a minute.

At this point the West Cork side was beginning to control the game thanks to the dominance of the Collins brothers, Fachtna and Christy, at midfield and it was Christy, the orthopaedic surgeon, who slammed the door after just 24 minutes when he crashed the ball to the net after 24 minutes.

It was the perfect ending to a siege that lasted all of six minutes. It yielded a long-range point from Fachtna Collins and two more from wing-back John Wycherley.

The goal might have come minutes earlier but for a brilliant save by Nemo keeper Brian Morgan. A free by Kevin O'Sullivan was tapped down by Fachtna Collins for Flor O'Driscoll, never far from the action, but his first time volley at point blank range was stopped and cleared by Morgan.

However, the respite was just momentary as the Ilen Rovers attack piled on the pressure and, within a minute, Chris Collins had the ball in the net and, suddenly, things looked bleak for the defending champions.

Heads were down when they went into the half-time break trailing dismally at the wrong end of a 1-7 to 0-1 scoreline, but they had shown promise of a recovery just before the interval (referee Peter Downey played seven minutes injury time) with Kevin Cahill and Neil O'Sullivan back driving the ball out of defence.

And with teak tough Stephen Calnan operating outfield they dominated the opening exchanges in the second half. Stephen Calnan, who captained the side to victory last year, scored two points from frees. Shane Marshall added another from the other wing.

It was all of nine minutes before Ilen Rovers managed to extract themselves from their half of the field and when they did Donie Duggan finished off their first second half attack with a point.

Kieran Daly pointed, Fachtna Collins followed with two more and when centre back John Sheehy advanced to increase their lead to 11 points there was no way back for Nemo Rangers who, at the end of it all, had just managed one point from play.

Scorers for Ilen Rovers: F. Collins 0-3, C. Collins 1-0, J. Wycherley (0-1 free), K Daly, K. O'Sullivan (0-1 free) and D. Duggan 0-2 each, J. Sheehy, J Whooley and E. Sheehy 0-1 each.

Nemo Rangers: S. Calnan 0-3 (frees), S. Marshall 0-3 (frees) and G. Kerins 0-1.

ILEN ROVERS: G. Coakley; D. Murphy, D. Duggan, D. Coughlan; D. Whooley, J. Sheehy, J. Wycherley; F. Collins, C. Collins; F. O'Driscoll, K. Daly, E. Sheehy; J. Whooley, D. Duggan, K. O'Sullivan.

Subs: A. Wooley for F. O'Driscoll; S. Casey for J. Whooley.

NEMO RANGERS: B. Morgan; L. McCarthy, P. Brophy, C. Buckley; C. O'Shea, I. Gibbons, D. Creedon; K. Cahill, S. Twomey; N. O'Sullivan, S. Marshall, P. Morgan; S. Calnan, J. Coogan, A. Hogan. Subs: G. Kerins for S. Twomey; B.O'Connor for P. Brophy; K. Walsh for N. O'Sullivan; A. Quinlivan for D.Creedon.

Referee: Peter Downey (Iniscarthy).

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