Nemo will meet Clyda Rovers in the penultimate stage of the competition thanks to super-sub Eric Dilloughrey, whose injury-time point saved the club from the prospect of a replay after the Gaeltacht side battled back from a three-point deficit to level with just seconds of normal time remaining.
Beal Athan Ghaorthaigh answered the call in emphatic fashion, coming from behind to score three unanswered points inside a six-minute spell after Nemo’s Shane Martin was sidelined when he picked up a second yellow card with 10 minutes remaining.
The losers made their numerical superiority pay with two points from Liam Seartan and another from Coleman Ó Tuama but, unhappily, midfielder Ó Tuama failed to snatch a draw with a last-gasp attempt.
Although Nemo probably deserved the win, they will consider themselves somewhat fortunate that Beal Athan Ghaorthaigh missed more opportunities than they scored, with a total of ten wides. Nemo, with just six shots off target, obviously made better use of their chances and in such a tight game that was crucial.
Nemo hit the ground running with early points from Michael Dorgan and David Kearney, but the losers managed to lead by a single point at the break, the Seartan brothers contributing four of their six points to Nemo’s five.
The city side also enjoyed a much better start to the second-half. Indeed they made and scored every chance right throughout the third and fourth quarters, knocking over four unanswered points to lead 0-9 to 0-6 by the 50th minute.
They appeared to be in cruise control until Martin’s dismissal but struggled to cope with the extra man and conceded three points that might have forced them to go a second time. Nonetheless, at the death they took full advantage of a breakdown in play deep inside their own territory, worked their way up the field and Dilloughrey’s precise left-footed shot was enough to secure the win.
Scorers Nemo Rangers: M Dorgan (0-3, 1f), C Horgan (0-3, 2fs), J Horgan (0-2), D Kearney and E Dilloughrey (0-1 each).
Scorers for Beal Athan Ghaorthaigh: L Seartan 0-5 (0-2 frees), C O’Tuama 0-2, B Seartan, B O’Coinceannainn 0-1 each.
NEMO RANGERS: B McNally; J Garvan, C McWhinney, D O’Donovan; S Martin, P Brophy, E Weldon; M Dorgan, S Twomey; S O’Brien, M Kearney, J Horgan; D Kearney, C Allen, C Horgan.
Subs: D Niblock for M Kearney, C Dalton for S O’Brien (both half-time), E Dilloughrey for D Kearney (50).
BEAL ATHAN GHAORTHAIGH: G Ó Muirthile, N Ó Duinin, L Ó Conchuir, S Ó Duinnin, A Ó Loinsigh, S Ó Donnchu, B Ó Coineannainn, C Ó Tuama, D MacCarthaigh, L Seartan, CÓ Duinnin, P Ó Buachalla, B Seartan, S Ó Coill, T Ó Laoire.
Subs: M Ó Tuama for Ó Buachalla (ht), E Ó Coill for S Ó Coill (39), A Ó Coinceannain for M Ó Tuama (52), G MacCarthaigh for T Ó Laoire (55).
Referee: N Wall (Carrigaline).