Last year’s champions in the lower grade, they were beaten by Clyda in their inaugural entry into Premier ranks but were much improved as they roared into a six-point lead midway through the second half of this tie.
But then came the Nemo comeback that reduced the deficit before injury-time points from Alan O’Regan and Dean Murphy eased Town into safer pastures at the end of a contest they had opened in style.
Just four minutes in, James Murphy, set up by the impressive Andrew O’Sullivan, billowed the Nemo net.
With O’Sullivan and Dave Fenton dictating the midfield battle and Alan O’Regan and Lorcan Harrington holding prominent roles in defence and attack, the Town looked comfortable.
Nemo Rangers responded in style and through Drew Murphy in defence, midfielder Stephen Murphy and a lively attack where Jack Horgan led the way, they fought back.
Indeed, but for a James Power save from Conor Allen they would have taken the lead at the interval. Crucially though, they were a point adrift at the break.
Town resumed by serving up their best play of the game as Dean Murphy and long-serving Alan O’Regan came to the fore in a period when they kicked five unanswered points.
But it was as good as it got for them in terms of scoring difference as a second Nemo comeback, boosted by some shrewd substitutions, got them back to within a goal of their opponents before a welcome late scoring burst enabled Town to end on a high.
Scorers for Castletownbere: D Murphy 0-5 (3f), J Murphy 1-0, A O’Regan, A O’Sullivan (2f) 0-2 each, D Fenton 0-1.
Scorers for Nemo Rangers: J Horgan, C Allen, C Horgan (2f), K Weldon (2f) 0-2 each, P Brophy 0-1 (1f).
CASTLETOWNBERE: J Power; L Harrington, D Wiseman, T Collins; C Murphy, D ‘Bán’ O’Sullivan, S McCarthy; A O’Sullivan, D Fenton; L Hanley, S O’Regan, D Murphy; J Murphy, A O’Regan, G Healy.
Subs: J Walsh for G Healy, R Dillane for S O’Regan.
NEMO RANGERS: B McNally; J Garven, C McWhinney, D O’Donovan; S Martin, P Brophy, D Murphy; S Twomey, E Weldon; J Horgan, M Kearney, C Dalton; C Allen, S O’Brien, C Horgan.
Subs: M Dorgan for C Dalton, K Weldon for S O’Brien, D Kearney for C Horgan, E Dilloughrey for J Horgan.
Referee: T Murnane (Goleen).