Morgan edges champs home

THE result was anticipated but Nemo Rangers must show marked improvement on this display at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday to successfully defend their Evening Echo Cork SFC title.

Without several regulars, the champions were put to the pin of their collars to see off the Seandun challenge and advance to a quarter-final with Carbery.

Had the divisional side displayed greater self-belief, they could have produced the shock of the championship. But ultimately, Nemo’s experience came to the fore when the need was greatest, with Martin Cronin and Derek Kavanagh their chief heroes.

Cronin displayed all his experience in tracking back as Seandun mounted an attack in the 15th minute, to make a textbook block on Paddy O’Brien as he lined up a goal.

Kavanagh at full-back found himself pitted against a player of similar size and physique in Jonathan Buckley and he too was coolness personified under pressure.

Seandun made the early running and led 0-2 to 0-1 after eight minutes, but they were grateful to Paddy O’Shea who denied James Masters with a brilliant save in the early stages.

Nemo finally got a grip on midfield through the efforts of Cronin and Dylan Mehigan and they rifled over three points in-a-row to open up a four-point lead and the game looked to be going according to the script.

However, Seandun weren’t ready to roll over, and with John Paul Murphy and Edwin Buckley showing the way in attack, the divisional side hit back with a succession of points to trail by one at the break (0-8 to 0-7).

Seandun moved to break Nemo’s grip on midfield by switching centre-back Murt Kelleher to partner Stephen Rea and when John Paul Murphy landed the equalising point a minute in, it was game on.

The teams were level on two further occasions before Alan Morgan’s introduction for Nemo had the desired effect.

With his first touch, he edged his side in front before taking a delightful pass from Paul Kerrigan to slip home the game’s only goal and the champions finally looked to have broken the Seandun challenge as they led 1-10 to 0-9 at the three-quarter stage.

Unlike in other years, this Seandun team was not going to give this game up without a fight and after Jonathan Buckley landed a point, he missed a sitter of a goal after Nemo keeper Briain Morgan dropped Eoin Buckley’s free right in front of him.

It was a massive let off for the champions and they took full advantage, as Paul Kerrigan, who had a quiet game by his standards, kicked two points in a row to ease his side into the last eight.

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: A. Cronin, P. Kerrigan (0-1 free) 0-4 each; A. Morgan 1-1; J. Masters 0-2 (frees); M. Cronin, D. Kearney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Seandun: E. Buckley 0-4 (0-2 frees); JP Murphy 0-3; S. Howard (free), T. Lotty, M. Mulconroy, J. Buckley 0-1 each.

NEMO: B. Morgan; N. Geary, D. Kavanagh, P. Brophy; C. O’Brien, B. O’Regan, C. O’Shea; M. Cronin, D. Mehigan; P. Kerrigan, A. Cronin, S. O’Brien; W. Morgan, J. Masters, D. Kearney.

Subs: S. McKeown for Brophy (33); A. Morgan for W. Morgan (38); B. Twomey for McKeown (40); S. Twomey for Masters (53).

SEANDUN: P. O’Shea (St Vincents); D. O’Regan (do.), C. Brosnan (Brian Dillons), T. O’Connell (St Vincents); R. Foley (Delanys), M. Kelleher (White’s Cross), T. Lotty (Mayfield); M. McGinn (Rathpeacon), S. Rea (St Vincents); P. O’Brien (White’s Cross), M. Mulconroy (St Michaels), S. Howard (Passage); JP Murphy (St Vincents), J. Buckley (do.), E. Buckley (White’s Cross).

Subs: E. Buckley (St. Michaels) for O’Brien (39); R. Scannell (Mayfield) for Howard (56).

Referee: P. O’Leary (Kilmurry).

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