O’Donovan goal seals final spot for Nemo

The scoreline may flatter them, but Nemo Rangers advanced to the Cork U21 football final after shrugging off the dogged challenge of Carrigaline in Ballygarvan on Saturday.

Though they led throughout, it wasn’t until full-forward Conor O’Donovan took a pass from Ciarán Dalton and blasted home their fourth goal that Nemo finally killed off the south-east representatives.

The city side, back in the final for the first time since they won in 2005, played the best of the football in the slippery conditions, although poor handling was also a feature of the game, with both sides guilty of bad misses, particularly in the first half.

Nemo were excellent at times, with Conor O’Donovan, Conor Horgan and centre-forward Alan Cronin impressing, the latter the source of much of their attacking threat.

Carrigaline, had the game’s outstanding player in centre-forward David Drake. Drake landed 1-3 and his goal on 48 minutes was a superb effort from 25 yards into the top corner to give his side hope, bringing the margin back to six points.

But it proved futile as Nemo found another gear and kicked 1-3 in the closing 10 minutes.

Playing with the wind, Nemo led 1-2 to 0-2 after 17 minutes, with Horgan blasting home the goal. Carrigaline replied with points from Drake and Killian McIntyre and they trailed by four points (0-4 to 1-5) at the break.

But Nemo resumed in stunning fashion, Luke Connolly underlining his reputation with a brilliantly worked goal. Carrigaline kept in touch through Drake and Wayne Burton but Horgan struck a goal against the run of play at the other end to give the city side breathing space at 3-6 to 0-6.

Drake rattled the net with that outrageous effort from distance and they trimmed the margin further with two points before their challenge was derailed with the dismissal of Cian Barry for an off-the-ball incident.

Ciarán Dalton and O’Donovan landed points to ease Nemo nerves before the latter goaled in the last minute to finally see them through.

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: C Horgan 2-0, C O’Donovan 1-3, L Connolly 1-2 (0-1 45’, 0-1f), J Philpott 0-2, C Dalton, A Cronin (0-1) each.

Scorers for Carrigaline: D Drake 1-3 (0-2f), K McIntyre: 0-3 (0-1f), W Burton 0-2, C O’Flynn, K Kavanagh (0-1) each.

NEMO RANGERS: M Martin; D O’Donovan, C McWhiney, D Barrett; D Kerins, S Cronin, K Fulignati; D Nation, A O’Donovan; C Dalton, A Cronin, C Horgan; J Philpott, C O’Donovan, L Connolly.

Subs: J Horgan for J Philpott (50), D Buckley for D Nation (55).

CARRIGALINE: S Mellett; K McSweeney, C Allen, D Spillane; K O’Connell, C Barry, S Griffin; E Kavanagh, K Kavanagh; C O’Flynn, D Drake, S Conlon; K McIntyre, W Burton, S O’Gorman.

Subs: L O’Regan for S Conlon (h/t), S Dwane for D Spillane (41), J Depuis for S O’Gorman (45).

Referee: G McSweeney (Glenville).

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