Nemo ease past Ballincollig to secure spot in PSFC decider

There was only one in it after 36 minutes but Nemo outscored the Village by 1-7 to 0-1 from there to the end, with Luke Connolly converting a 44th-minute penalty to finish with 1-6.
Nemo ease past Ballincollig to secure spot in PSFC decider

ON THE MARK: Nemo Ranger's Luke Connolly shoots from Ballincollig's Evan Cooke during the Bon Secours Cork Premier SFC semi final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

Cork PSFC semi-final 

Nemo Rangers 1-16 Ballincollig 0-9  

If Nemo Rangers limped into this semi-final, by Paul O’Donovan’s own admission, they sauntered through to the Cork final with a second-half stroll past Ballincollig.

There was only one in it after 36 minutes but Nemo outscored the Village by 1-7 to 0-1 from there to the end, with Luke Connolly converting a 44th-minute penalty to finish with 1-6.

For all the talk about their form, Nemo are now unbeaten in 13 league and championship games this season entering the final.

Ballincollig learned some lessons from the West Cork blankets Nemo struggled to break down in their last two outings, pulling all 15 players back inside their own 45 within four minutes. They sometimes failed to put sufficient pressure on the ball, as with Mark Cronin’s run to earn that penalty, although they did slow down Nemo’s attack in the opening period.

They were able to commit numbers to attack, too, where Liam O’Connell and Darren Murphy were stationed up front before they ran out of ideas and energy in the face of Nemo’s experience.

Luke Connolly, marked by Evan Cooke, got plenty of early supply. He kicked three of Nemo’s first four points but equally, he had three wides and a shot blocked by Liam Jennings.

At the other end, Sean Kiely and O’Connell assisted two points each to put Ballincollig 0-5 to 0-4 ahead, with Murphy (0-2), Darragh O’Mahony, Cian Kiely, and Cian Dorgan profiting. O’Mahony’s fisted score could’ve even been a goal as he beat the Nemo cover to a dropping ball.

Nemo scored four points off the Ballincollig kick-out in the first half, including two of the next three by Jack Horgan, Connolly (free), and Alan O’Donovan.

But Dorgan, shooting under no pressure, brought Ballincollig back to one at the break, 0-7 to 0-6, and they were enthusiastically cheered down the tunnel, with manager Podsie O’Mahony leading the chorus.

It followed a similar pattern on the restart, Nemo and Ballincollig sharing the next four scores, with wing-backs Luke Fahy and Cian Kiely kicking fine points for Collig.

Nemo’s winning burst arrived between the 38th and 56th minutes, outscoring Ballincollig by nine points. Conor Horgan kicked 0-3 across the half but the crucial score came from the penalty spot.

Cronin, starting on the 45 by the sideline, zig-zagged untouched past four Ballincollig defenders before being hauled down by Fahy. Connolly, as ever, stepped up to find the top left corner of the net.

Peter O’Neill’s point was Ballincollig only score in the final 28 minutes of play as no starting forward hit the target in the second half.

Nemo kicked five in a row to finish, Kevin O’Donovan and Barry Cripps joining Horgan and Connolly (2 frees) on the score sheet.

It went scoreless for the final eight minutes as Ballincollig sought a goal with O’Neill the target man. But Kieran Histon and Briain Murphy put their bodies in the way of any danger as Nemo march on.

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: L Connolly (1-6, 1-0 pen, 0-2 frees, 0-2 45s); C Horgan (0-3); B O’Driscoll (0-2); K O’Donovan, B Cripps, A O’Donovan, J Horgan, M Cronin (free) (0-1 each).

Scorers for Ballincollig: C Kiely, C Dorgan, Darren Murphy (0-2 each); L Fahy, D O’Mahony, P O’Neill (0-1 each).

NEMO RANGERS: MA Martin; K Histon, B Murphy, K O’Donovan; C McCartan, S Cronin, K Fulignati; B Cripps, A O’Donovan; C Horgan, L Horgan, J Horgan; M Cronin, B O’Driscoll, L Connolly (capt).

Subs: P Kerrigan for L Horgan (41), C Dalton for J Horgan (46), K O’Sullivan for Fulignati (46), R Dalton for C Horgan (56), C O’Donovan for O’Driscoll (57).

BALLINCOLLIG: J Gibbons; E Cooke, N Galvin, L Jennings; L Fahy (capt), G O’Donoghue, C Kiely; S Kiely, F Down; S Dore, C Dorgan, H Aherne; D O’Mahony, L O’Connell, Darren Murphy.

Subs: P O’Neill for Dore (h-t), D Dorgan for Down (41), S Murphy for E Cooke (46), J O’Connor for Aherne (50), P Kelly for D Murphy (56).

Referee: A Long (Argideen Rangers).

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