Nemo Rangers 3-07 Castlehaven 0-13
Nemo Rangers claimed the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC title for a record 22nd time as they prevailed against Castlehaven in the 2020 final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The city side, who successfully defended the title won in October 2019, will have little time to celebrate, however, as the 2021 championships on Leeside will begin next weekend.
They won't mind too much, though, having led all the way through and weathered a shaky second quarter before a pair of Luke Connolly goals in the second half put the game beyond their West Cork opponents.
All of Nemo's final tally of 3-07 in front the crowd of 2,423 came from open play with Paul Kerrigan – winning his ninth county title – setting them on their way with a pair of points before Jack Horgan’s marauding run was the catalyst for early sub Ciarán Dalton to find the net for a 1-02 to 0-00 lead in the seventh minute.
By the water-break, frees from Brian Hurley had brought Castlehaven back to within four points, 1-04 to 0-03, and Nemo laboured somewhat between there and half-time. Despite losing David McCarthy to the sin bin, the Haven found some momentum and outscored Nemo by 0-03 to 0-01, with Michael Hurley and Conor O’Driscoll joining Brian Hurley on the scoresheet as they trailed by just two, 1-05 to 0-06, at the break.
While Brian Hurley halved that deficit on the resumption, a levelling score remained elusive for Castlehaven and Nemo punished them on 38 minutes as Ronan Dalton, Jack Horgan and Paul Kerrigan worked the ball to Connolly, who kept his composure to finish to the net.
Michael Hurley and Conor O’Driscoll replied for the Haven but poor shooting was costing them, Cathal Maguire wide with a good goal chance on 42.
Just before the second-half water-break, Nemo struck again, with Connolly again the man responsible. This time, the ball was worked through Stephen and Alan Cronin before reaching Kerrigan, though Connolly still had a lot to do from his pass, creating space with a smart turn and finishing well.
Two from Hurley brought the Haven back to three but subs Barry O’Driscoll and James McDermott gave breathing space to Nemo again. While the Haven had late points from the Hurley brothers, the goal they needed could not be found.
Nemo Rangers: Micheál Aodh Martin; Kieran Histon, Kevin O’Donovan, Briain Murphy; Alan Cronin, Stephen Cronin, Jack Horgan; Alan O’Donovan (0-01), Barry Cripps; Ronan Dalton (0-02), Luke Connolly (2-00), Colin O’Brien; Mark Cronin, Paul Kerrigan (0-02), Conor Horgan.
Subs: Ciarán Dalton (1-00) for Mark Cronin (4, injured), James McDermott (0-01) for Cripps, Barry O’Driscoll (0-01) for Conor Horgan (both 47), Aidan O’Reilly for Ronan Dalton (58), Kevin Fulignati for Alan O’Donovan (59, injured).
Caslehaven: Anthony Seymour; Ronan Walsh, John O’Regan, Rory Maguire; David McCarthy, Damien Cahalane, Roland Whelton; Jack Walsh, Mark Collins; Conor Cahalane, Conor O’Driscoll (0-02), Cathal Maguire; Brian Hurley (0-08, 0-06f), Jack Cahalane, Michael Hurley (0-03).
Subs: David Whelton for Jamie Walsh (44), Shane Nolan for O’Driscoll (52), Kevin O’Donovan for Cathal Maguire, Ciarán O’Sullivan for Roland Whelton (both 58).
Referee: Conor Lane (Lyre).