Nemo Rangers 2-08 Duhallow 0-10
Despite only scoring two second-half points, Nemo Rangers are Cork SFC champions for the 21st time, after beating Duhallow at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday afternoon.
A crowd of 4,610 witnessed the city side go in leading at half-time on a 2-6 to 0-2 scoreline and, when Luke Connolly – scorer of both of those goals – got his fourth point on the resumption, their 11-point advantage looked impregnable.
However, from that point they would only score one more point as Duhallow began to enjoy more possession from kickouts and breaks.
Even so, points from Fintan O'Connor, Donncha O’Connor and Cork star Eoghan McSweeney didn’t have the feel of being the genesis of a fightback and Nemo were still nine in front, 2-8 to 0-5, when Paul Kerrigan rounded off a good move involving Stephen Cronin and Kevin O’Donovan in the 41st minute.
Duhallow remained dogged though, with Anthony O’Connor landing a free and centre-back Kevin Crowley also on target while Nemo full-back Aidan O’Reilly twice had to make important interventions, denying Séamus Hickey and Crowley when goal chances might have materialised.
#NemoRangers are Cork champions 2019!— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 27, 2019
Here are the full-time highlights of the @OfficialCorkGAA SFC Final today in Páirc Uí Rinn!@NemoRangersGAA 2-08 @DuhallowGAA 0-10#GAANOW pic.twitter.com/1GRXBwvUg8
A proper goal chance did come about at the other end, Connolly with a chance of his hat-trick from Barry O’Driscoll’s chance on 48, but Patrick Doyle saved well to keep Duhallow alive.
They made the most of that as Anthony O’Connor pointed – his shot having to be tipped over by Micheál Martin – and sub Ian Walsh brought the north-western divisional side to within five points with as many minutes left.
After McSweeney got his second point, Duhallow did fashion a goal opportunity as McSweeney won a break and fed Daniel O’Connell, but his low effort was well saved by Martin.
While Nemo finished with 14 men as Alan Cronin was shown a second yellow card in injury time, they held out for a second title in three years and a third in five, with Duhallow condemned to a second straight final loss, having been beaten by St Finbarr’s last year.
However, that there would even be four points in it seemed a remote possibility at half-time, Nemo retiring ten points clear.
While the sides were level at 0-2 each at the end of the first quarter as Duhallow belatedly got going, Nemo reasserted themselves and were 0-5 to 0-2 clear when Aidan O’Reilly won a mark from a kickout and fed Stephen Cronin, who in turn set up Connolly for a well-taken low shot to the net.
From the next restart, Colin O’Brien won possession for Nemo and his driving run created another chance for Connolly, whose first shot was saved by Doyle, but he was able to convert the rebound.
When Connolly landed his third point, it was 2-6 to 0-2 and an easy second half seemed in store. Nemo did hold out to claim the Andy Scannell Cup, but it was perhaps more difficult than might have been expected.
Nemo Rangers: Micheál Martin; Briain Murphy, Aidan O'Reilly, Alan Cronin; Kevin O’Donovan, Stephen Cronin, Jack Horgan; Alan O’Donovan, James McDermott; Luke Connolly (2-04, 0-03 frees), Paul Kerrigan (0-01), Colin O’Brien (0-01); Mark Cronin (0-02), Barry O’Driscoll, Conor Horgan.
Subs: Ciarán Dalton for O'Driscoll (53), Ronan Dalton for O'Brien (59), Peter Morgan for Conor Horgan (59).
Duhallow: Patrick Doyle; John McLoughlin, Kevin Crowley (0-01), Michael Mahoney; Kevin Cremin (0-01), Bart Daly, Lorcan O’Neill; Paul Walsh, Aidan Walsh; Eoghan McSweeney (0-02), Séamus Hickey, Conor O’Callaghan; Anthony O’Connor (0-02, 0-01 free), Fintan O’Connor (0-01), Donncha O’Connor (0-02, 0-01 free).
Subs: Ian Walsh (0-01) for Donncha O'Connor (41), Kealan Buckley for Mahoney (44), Daniel O'Connell for Daly (50), Barry O'Connor for Fintan O'Connor (55), Daniel O'Keeffe for Anthony O'Connor (60), Eamonn O'Callaghan for John McLoughlin (60, black card).
Referee: John Ryan (Macroom)