Nemo Rangers (Cork) 0-14 Killarney Legion (Kerry) 0-8: WITH November’s gluepot ground conditions comes a downward gear change.

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Nemo Rangers show they can grunt as well as glide

Nemo Rangers (Cork) 0-14 Killarney Legion (Kerry) 0-8: WITH November’s gluepot ground conditions comes a downward gear change.

Nemo Rangers show they can grunt as well as glide

Aesthetics make way for winning football and Nemo Rangers are proving they’re adept at both as they advanced to a Munster Club football final at the end of the month

Though they are better balanced, more experienced and, consequently, less error-prone than the Legion side that under-performed at Páirc Ui Rinn yesterday, the most impressive element of the Cork champions’ progress to a November 29 decider against Clonmel Commercials was good, old-fashioned hard work. Legion weren’t so bad that they wouldn’t have capitalised on a sub-standard Nemo. But there was never a hint that Steven O’Brien’s side would be distracted by all the kerfuffle over what Kerry club they’d be facing yesterday.

This is the seventh time I’ve seen Nemo play Championship since May and the graph continues to incline. O’Brien is finding out more and more about his fringe players - the more injuries Nemo have sustained this campaign, the deeper the manager has had to go into his bench. There’s no-one patently out of their depth I can see. Again, they lost the influential Alan Cronin yesterday to a hamstring strain, but David O’Donovan came in to mark James O’Donoghue and never missed a beat.

They aren’t world beaters, but it’ll take a better balanced, ferociously committed outfit to end Nemo’s lengthening 2015 campaign. I’m not sure how many of them are around.

In top of the ground conditions, and without a Kerry county final replay over the horizon, Legion might have given Nemo a closer run for their money But Peter Keane’s side were moderate at best, their performance betraying a mindset that had one eye on next Sunday against South Kerry. They were wasteful with the ball, cranky with the referee Derek O’Mahoney (at times, justifiably), and never really looking convinced they’d travelled to Cork to win at all costs.

And straight from the get-go, they got little sympathy or encouragement from Nemo, who enjoyed first use of a swirling wind and were four points to the good after 12 minutes. The first of Luke Connolly’s four points deserves mention,a serious dig from 60 metres on the right (covered stand) side of Páirc Ui Rinn.

Legion were making little headway against the elements or Nemo’s now well-flagged use of Colin O’Brien as a sweeper in front of the opposition danger man - this time, James O’Donoghue. It was Legion’s lively corner- forward Tom Moriarty who kept his side in touch with two points, but Nemo’s work off the ball in attack was admirable, and Paul Kerrigan was on the end of sweeping moves twice to point. From another raid, Luke Connolly drilled a 40m pass to Barry O’Driscoll inside the Legion cover, but Brian Kelly parried his effort out for a 45. No respite, however, as Connolly pointed the placed ball.

Nemo led 0-7 to 0-2 at the interval, which came at a juncture when matters were getting testy on the field, Legion’s frustration with the referee compounded by their own inexcusable sloppiness in possession.

Six minutes after the break, James O’Donoghue produced a piece of magic to score from the left wing, but at 0-8 to 0-4 that was as close as the Killarney side got. The fluidity of Nemo’s attack meant if Kerrigan wasn’t forcing the issue, it was Barry O’Driscoll or Conor Horgan making themselves available as as outlet. Michael Dorgan played a lot of sensible keep-ball in midfield, and Alan O’Donovan and Tomas Ó Sé continued to raid intelligently from the half-back line. For intellingently, read not giving the ball away. Three Nemo defenders sallied forward for points, but the loss of Cronin seven minutes after the break is a problem Nemo could do without.

With 18 minutes left, the air was leaking from this one. Legion were game and recognised they were far from out of their depth, but their error-count continued to be unacceptably high and Nemo picked them off. Points from O’Driscoll, Kerrigan and Connolly made it 0-11 to 0-4.

It required a Legion goal to liven the issue for the 1,318 paying customers, and Nemo did their bit with a crazy ball across their own defence to Legion’s Donal Lyne, but even then Michael A Martin rescued his team-mates with a tip-over save.

Scorers for Nemo Rangers:

L. Connolly (0-4, 2 frees, 1 45), P. Kerrigan (0-3), B. O’Driscoll (0-3, frees), A. Cronin, K. Fulignati, A. O’Donovan, S. Martin (0-1 each).

Scorers for Legion:

J. O’Donoghue (0-3, 1 free), T. Moriarty (0-3), D Lyne, C. Keane (0-1 each).

NEMO RANGERS: M A Martin; A O’Reilly, C O’Shea, A Cronin; K Fulignati, T O Se, A O’Donovan; D Niblock, M Dorgan; L Connolly P. Kerrigan, D Mehigan; B. O’Driscoll, C. Horgan, C O’Brien.

Subs: D O’Donovan for A Cronin (37); C Dalton for Connolly (45); S Martin for O Se (54); W Morgan for O’Driscoll (60+1).

LEGION: B Kelly; P. O’Connor, D Sheahan, C Davies; Damien O’Sullivan, J Lyne, D O’Doherty; S Keane, Jamie O’Sullivan; B Maguire, J. O’Donoghue, K Breen; T Moriarty, David O’Sullivan, D Lyne.

Subs: D Sheahan for Breen (19, BS); C Sheahan for D Sheahan (34, BS); C Keane for David O’Sullivan (45); C Sheahan for D Sheahan (46); A O’Sullivan for C Davies (46, BC).

Referee: D. O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

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