O’Neill makes it tough for Nemo as Killavullen earn a replay

AT last, a Cork football championship game to savour, with pace, smashing points and wholehearted commitment as Killavullen earned a replay with Nemo Rangers in their Premier IFC third round clash at Rathcormac.

Nemo will bemoan missing an early penalty and two gilt edged goal chances, while they also had midfielder Liam O’Sullivan sent off. Killavullen deserved their draw, however, with young Joe O’Neill always a thorn in the Nemo defence.

Nemo hit the ground running, and, after only 30 seconds, Padraig O’Shea put them in front. Three minutes later, Nemo’s Michael Kearney put Joe Kavanagh through, and, when he was upended, O’Sullivan cannoned his penalty effort off the crossbar.

It also took a fine save from Martin Carroll to deny the dangerous O’Shea, but once O’Neill got Killavullen off the mark, in the fifth minute, they began to get a foothold.

Kavanagh again put Nemo into the lead, in the 10th minute, but it was 0-2 apiece after the opening quarter — thanks to Joe O’Neill, who kicked all of Killavullen’s four first-half points.

William Morgan and O’Shea then gave Nemo a two-point lead, but, with Colm O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll driving Killavullen on, Joe O’Neill scored twice to level the scores, after 30th minutes. Seven minutes into injury time, Alan Cronin put Nemo 0-5 to 0-4 ahead.

Nemo pounced after the restart, with Kavanagh and Cronin hitting the woodwork, before corner-back Billy Norris went the length of the park for a point to stir Killavullen.

Morgan and Kavanagh squandered some fine chances and Nemo were made to pay, in the 45th minute, when a pointed free from O’Neill put Killavullen 0-7 to 0-6 in front for the first and last time.

Nemo upped the ante and two points from Kavanagh, and one apiece, from Morgan and Michael Kearney, made it 0-10 to 0-7.

Points from Norris and O’Neill, however, brought the deficit to a point by the 55th minute.

Brophy showed his class with a superb point, followed by a free from Morgan and, again, the cushion was three in Nemo’s favour. Then came O’Sullivan’s red card.

Gene Kelleher pointed from a free for Killavullen, and Morgan pointed for Nemo, and it looked like the city side would book a date with Newcestown.

A last gasp Killavullen raid, however, involving Dave Hartnett and Brian O’Driscoll, set-up danger-man O’Neill. His shot was heading goalwards, but big Donal Relihan got the final touch and the North Cork men earned a replay.

Scorers: Killavullen: J. O’Neill 0-7 (0-4 frees), D. Relihan 1-0, B. Norris 0-2 (0-1 free), G. Kelleher 0-1 (free). Nemo Rangers: W. Morgan 0-4 (0-2 frees), J. Kavanagh 0-3, P. O’Shea 0-2, A. Cronin, D. Kearney, M. Kearney (free), P. Brophy 0-1 each.

KILLAVULLEN: M. Carroll; B. Norris, A. Brennan, P. Sheehan; C. O’Connell, B. O’Driscoll, B. Hayes; D. Luddy, D. Relihan; G. Kelleher, I. O’Driscoll, P. Hartnett; J. O’Neill, D. Hartnett, A. O’Driscoll.

Subs: T. Foley for Brennan, T. O’Neill for Luddy, J. Taylor for A. O’Driscoll.

NEMO RANGERS: B. Morgan; L. McCarthy, S. Twomey, I. Gibbons; C. O’Brien, P. Brophy, M. Daly; L. O’Sullivan, P. Morgan; P. O’Shea, E. Weldon. A. Cronin; W. Morgan, J Kavanagh, M. Kearney.

Sub: D. Kearney for Weldon.

Referee: N. Barrett (Carrigtwohill).

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