Forced to upgrade no fewer than 11 of their junior side, Nemo inched their way into the Evening Echo Premier Cork Co IFC semi-finals with a point from outstanding Cork minor Barry O’Driscoll at the end of normal time at Ovens yesterday much to the chagrin of Ballingeary.
By normal standards, Ballingeary should and could have won this game handsomely but allowed Nemo to snatch victory at the death.
Playing against the wind in the first half, Ballingeary were level at the interval.
Seconds into the second half, they scorned a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead and it proved the catalyst for their defeat.
Michael Dorgan gave Nemo the lead with a point after just 30 seconds but Ballingeary roared back to lead by two points at the end of the first quarter with Andrew Concannon and Eoin Quill kicking superb points.
They were leading 0-6 to 0-3 a minute before half time when they failed to clear their lines and Nemo capitalised to the full.
Quick as a flash, full-forward Joe Kavanagh set up Shane Marshall for a peach of a goal.
Seconds after the throw-in for the second-half, Ballingeary were gifted a great chance when Leonard O’Connor was set up.
However, instead of kicking over, the full forward elected to go for goal and his shot was brilliantly saved by Roy Heaphy.
This was a great let-off for Nemo and a desperate set-back for Ballingeary.
Nemo’s talented youngster O’Driscoll steadily began to make his presence felt up front and powered his side into the lead with some sparkling scores.
But Ballingeary, with three points without reply from Liam Shorten who converted a free, Sean Twomey and Shorten again from play, regained a one-point advantage at the end of the third quarter.
It was nip and tuck as the teams were level at 1-6 to 0-9 before the last quarter. Then Andrew Concannon, with two points in succession, catapulted Ballingeary to the front.
When wing forward Paul Buckley kicked over two superb points to stretch Ballingeary’s lead to four, it looked all over for Nemo.
But this game turned on its head four minutes from the end of normal time when Nemo eye-catcher O’Driscoll was fouled and from the resultant penalty kick Joe Kavanagh superbly slotted home. Now it was all-square.
O’Driscoll kicked over what was to prove the match-winning point.
Ballingeary, after three minutes of additional time, could have saved the day but corner back Cathal Lynch’s attempt for the equaliser went agonisingly wide.
Nemo: S Marshall 1-1; J Kavanagh 1-0 (1-0 pen); B O’Driscoll 0-4 (0-2f); M Dorgan, M Daly, A Hogan 0-1 each. Ballingeary: A Ó Coinceanainn 0-4 (0-1f); P Ó Buachalla 0-3; C Ó Tuama 0-2; L Seartan 0-2 (0-1f); L Ó Conchuir, E Ó Coill 0-1 each.
R Heaphy; C McGrath, I Gibbons, B O’Connor; P Hogan, M Daly, K Weldon; L O’Sullivan, M Dorgan; C Allen, JP O’Neill, S Marshall; B O’Driscoll, J Kavanagh, A Hogan.
S Ó Coinceanainn, C Ó Loingsigh, A Ó Loingsigh, F Ó Loingsigh, N Ó Tuama, D MacCarthaigh, B Ó Coinceanainn, P Ó Coinceanainn, E Ó Coill, C Ó Tuama, S Ó Tuama, P Ó Buachalla, A Ó Coinceanainn, L Ó Conchuir, L Seartan.
C Ó Liathain for S Ó Tuama.
G Sweeney (Glenville).