Nemo Rangers 1-12 Ballincollig 1-04
Nemo Rangers surrendered a six-point lead in the Cork County U21FC final a week earlier but there was never any danger of a repeat in the replay at Páirc Uí Rinn last evening, the city champions claiming the title for the 13th time.
Manager Paul O’Donovan hailed his team for overcoming that setback.
“Our focus all week was the need to win breaks around the middle. We brought (full back) Kevin (Fulignati) to the half-back line and he was outstanding. Stephen Cronin was outstanding at centre-back. Our two midfielders were well on top too. And we had good forwards inside. Conor Horgan and Ciaran Dalton were excellent in the first half.”
That summed up the victory. Alan O’Donovan and Jack Horgan won the breaks at midfield. Cronin, once again, played a major role from centre back, and up front Conor Horgan cracked home a 19th minute goal (and four spectacular points) to ensure hard-working captain Fulignati collected the Pádraig A Ó Murchú Cup.
Ballincollig never really got into the game. Nemo opened up a 1-4 to 0-0 lead as the wides accrued for the Muskerry side. They recorded their only point of the first half in the 23rd minute from Cian Dorgan. At the break, they trailed 1-7 to 0-1.
Ballincollig hit the first two points of the second half from Dorgan and Sean Kiely, and when sub Morgan O’Mahony goaled in the 34th minute there was a hint of a comeback, 1-8 to 1-3. But Nemo responded to finish strongly. Ryan Kennedy and O’Donovan raised white flags before Dorgan floated over another superb point for Ballincollig.
Just like seven days ago, six points separated the teams coming down the home stretch. However, Nemo were not going to back down this time. Jack Horgan curled over a free as his midfield partner O’Donovan went on to seal the win kicking his fourth point. Fulignati received a black card in the last minute of play but it made little difference as winners closed out with eight points to spare.
Scorers for Nemo Rangers: C Horgan (1-4), A O’Donovan (0-4, 2f), J Horgan (0-2, 1f), B Madden and R Kennedy (0-1 each).
Scorers for Ballincollig: M O’Mahony (1-0), C Dorgan (0-3, 1f), S Kiely (0-1).
NEMO RANGERS: M A Martin; C Madden, D Barrett, D O’Neill; K Fulignati (Capt), S Cronin, R McCarthy; A O’Donovan, J Horgan; C Ogbene, B Madden, D O’Keeffe; R Kennedy, C Dalton, C Horgan.
Subs: D O’Mahony for D O’Keeffe (40), D Kerins for D O’Neill (46 inj), D Buckley fore B Madden (55), B O’Connor for K Fulignati (60 bc).
BALLINCOLLIG: J Gibbons; S Murphy, E Ryle, S Lucey; C Moore, F Downs, D Kirstein; C Kiely, S Kiely; D Tobin, L Prendergast (Capt), R Noonan; R Hogan, C Dorgan, D O’Connor.
Subs: M O’Mahony for D Tobin (half-time), S Coughlan for D O’Connor (40), K O’Sullivan for E Ryle (62).
Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).
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