Our journalists look at some of the talking points for the weekend's GAA action.
Class is permanent...
Just when you think they might be slipping, Nemo Rangers always issue a reminder that they are the undisputed kingpins of Cork football. The numbers behind this juggernaut continue to astound.
Sunday’s win over Duhallow was their 21st Cork SFC title, all of them won in the last 47 years.
Clonakilty and the Barr’s are the closest active clubs to them on the roll of honour with nine each.
Nemo have won 11 of the 20 titles on offer this century.
This decade, things looked like they might be changing. Ballincollig and Carbery Rangers claimed their maiden titles, the Barr’s ended their famine, while Castlehaven picked up two titles and UCC had one.
Nemo, however, have regenerated impressively after their great team of the noughties began to break up.
And once again, as this decade draws to a close, they’re Cork’s most successful club with four county titles and two Munster club titles.
The only decade that they haven’t been Cork’s most successful club since their maiden victory in 1972 was the 1990s.
They’re showing no signs of stopping, either. They ended Sunday’s game with four U21s on the field and they’ve claimed three U21 county titles this decade.
Paul Kerrigan and Barry O’Driscoll are going strong, Luke Connolly and Stephen Cronin are coming into their prime, while Mark Cronin has the potential to haunt defences for years to come.
Would you bet against things being different in the 2020s?
... but Nemo are always looking to learn
Such has been the manner in which Nemo have dominated teams en route to this latest Cork SFC crown, they have not yet been punished for their wastefulness directly in front of the opposition goal.
During their 14-point semi-final thumping of Douglas, Nemo failed to put away three first-half goal chances, two of which were one-on-ones.
It was a similar story yesterday afternoon, Nemo being anything but a model of efficiency when creating green-flag opportunities for themselves.
Nemo were in for an early goal against Duhallow as Luke Connolly had drifted unmarked inside the large parallelogram, but Paul Kerrigan’s fisted pass to his team-mate was slightly overcooked and that allowed the opposition funnel a player back.
Connolly did twice find the net later in the half, but there was more Nemo wastefulness on show upon the change of ends, typified by a James McDermott pass, intended for Connolly, which was cut out by the sole Duhallow defender on duty.
McDermott was far too casual with his pass, and it left Connolly a frustrated figure as he knew there was a definite goal on.
Connolly was denied his hat-trick by a fine Patrick Doyle save on 48 minutes. The rebound came to Barry O’Driscoll, but his goal effort was also repelled, as was the second bite of the cherry presented to the Nemo captain.
No more than the Douglas win, Nemo yesterday got away with squandering far more than they converted in the green flag department.
The deeper into Munster they go, you fear they won’t always be so fortunate.
More misery for St Michael’s
The big prize on offer in the Cork Premier IFC final in Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday was the Billy Long Cup.
The build-up was dominated by the number of times that St Michael’s had appeared in the final, and how many of these they had lost in recent years.
They contested the 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2018 deciders, losing all four. Many winter months were filled with reviewing videos and a lot of soul searching.
In three of the finals (2012, 2015, and 2017) they fell short by just a single point to St Vincent’s, Carrigaline, and Mallow respectively.
Some players yesterday had played in all four previous losses. And were back for more.
It’s safe to say a lot of neutrals were wishing them success, hoping that their luck would change some time soon. After coming second so many times, they might get the rub of the green.
As we know now, it was not to be. This latest instalment ended with another painful two-point defeat.
There is no doubt there are a lot of talented players in St Michael’s.
They were hit with injuries this season, which didn’t help their cause, but at the same time this mustn’t take from Éire Óg’s success.
All is not lost, though. The defeated city side will keep going.
Their junior B team will fly the flag next for the club when they take on Goleen in the county final, and they are also in the county semi-final of the junior A championship.