Having led for most of a game that failed to ignite, the defending champions were pegged back by a gritty Bishopstown display that eventually earned them a goal 10 minutes from time.
Nemo got off to a good start with points from Connolly and Alan O’Donovan, but they will rue far too many misses. They were also forced to re-shape their lineout following a leg injury to defender Darragh Kerins midway through the half. They went 0-3 to 0-1 up before Bishopstown hit back with fine scores from Conor Dorman (2) and Brian Murray to leave it 0-5 to 0-4 in Nemo’s favour at the break.
Nemo, playing with the wind, restarted with points from sub Craig Madden and Conor Horgan to increase the lead to three points. Incredibly though, they failed to find the target for the next 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Bishopstown remained in contention when county U-21 player Conor Dorman landed a long-range effort.
Trailing by two points, the game turned when Roger Ryan’s delivery was caught by Darragh O’Connor, his shot on goal was blocked but the ball broke to Sam Oakes who buried it from close range. That gave Bishopstown the lead for the first time, 1-5 to 0-7, entering the final quarter.
Connolly struck two minutes from time to save the day for Nemo .
The replay date will be determined by other fixtures and Cork’s progress in the U21 football championship.
Meanwhile, Nemo Rangers proved their strength in depth when they retained the Cork City Division U21BFC title with a 2-13 to 2-3 win over Passage West.
Ryan Kennedy helped himself to 1-6 – his first half penalty yielding a 1-6 to 1-2 interval lead. When Don O’Mahony netted a second green flag on 50 minutes Nemo were well in control, 2-9 to 1-3. But Passage persevered, with Niall McCarthy adding his second goal at the very end.
Scorers for Bishopstown: S Oakes 1-1 (0-1 free), C Dorman 0-3 (0-1 45m), B Murray 0-1.
Scorers for Nemo Rangers: L Connolly 0-4 (0-1 free), C Horgan 0-2, C Madden and A O’Donovan 0-1 each.
BISHOPSTOWN: R Scully; C Davin, S Lordan, R Ryan (capt); D Quaid, D Lester, C Murphy; D O’Connor, E Costello; S O’Neill, B McConville, D O’Sullivan; B Murray, C Dorman, S Oakes.
Subs: M Dorgan for D O’Sullivan (45).
NEMO RANGERS: M A Martin; D O’Donovan (capt), C McWhinney, D Barrett; D Kerins, S Cronin, K Fulignati; J Horgan, A O’Donovan; C Dalton, A Cronin, D O’Keeffe; L Connolly, C O’Donovan, C Horgan.
Subs: C Madden for D Kerins (15 inj), B Madden for C McWhinney (ht), J Philpott for C Dalton (42).
Referee: C Ó Murchú (Brian Dillons).