Nemo Rangers, of Cork, will play Mayo's Crossmolina in the A.I.B. All-Ireland Club Football Final on St Patrick's Day at Croke Park. Colin Corkery scored 7 points for Nemo as they witheld a strong second-half challenge from O'Hanrahan's to win by 2 points. Crossmolina pulled off a surprise by beating Bellaghy of Derry by 1-8 to 0-7.
Cork's Nemo, led by ex-intercounty manager Billy Morgan, put their vast experience to good use to hold off the late rally of Carlow champions O'Hanrahan's in Clonmel. The Cork side had looked easily the better team in the first half, with the only sign of resistance from O'Hanrahan's being Anthony Kavanagh's well worker goal. Colin Corkery was in good kicking form, and with Joe Kavanagh and Cronin also weighing in with fine points, Nemo led by five points at the break. The second half dismissal of Nemo's Larry Kavanagh for an off the ball incident gave fresh impetus to O'Hanrahan's challenge and Patrick Kavanagh brought them back into the game with some accurate free-taking. But Nemo, largely thanks to Corkery's ability to pick off points, were still able to keep O'Hanrahan's at arms length and they held on until the final whistle to win 0-12 to 1-7.
Crossmolina defeated Bellaghy in the other game in Enniskillen by 1-8 to 0-7. The only highlight of a poor first half was a well taken goal by Crossmolina wing back Patrick McAndrew, and his side led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break. The second half was a vast improvement though with Gavin Diamond scoring some vital points to drag Bellaghy back into the contest. But Crossmolina were determined to make up for the disappointments of previous years, and late scores from Liam Muffett and the influential Kieran McDonald saw them through.
In Division 1B of the Allianz National Hurling League, Kilkenny overcame Waterford 2-14 to 8 points. Tipperary beat Wexford by 4 points and Cork had an easy win over Laois.
In Division 1A, Limerick beat Offaly by 7 points, Clare were 4 points better than Antrim and Galway had an easy win over Dublin. In Division Two Wicklow and Kildare share top spot.
Waterford I.T. won camogie's Ashbourne Cup, beating the University of Limerick 2-6 to 1-8 in the final. Westmeath are through to the O'Byrne Cup final after beating Wicklow and Limerick beat Clare in the McGrath Cup semi-final.
Filed by Seán Folan