Munster club SFC final: perfect 10 for Connolly as Nemo dethrone champions

November 26, 2017

Nemo Rangers' Luke Connolly with Dr Crokes' Luke Quinn.
©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Nemo Rangers (Cork) 0-16

Dr Crokes (Kerry) 0-11

Nemo Rangers gave Cork football a much-needed boost when they dethroned provincial and All-Ireland champions Dr Crokes at Pairc Ui Rinn to win a record 16th Munster club SFC title.

Luke Connolly scored 0-10 in an outstanding display as the Capwell men belied their underdog status with a victory that was more convincing than what the scoreline suggests. With Shane Murphy heroic in goal for Crokes, they passed up on several goal-scoring opportunities which left them needing to produce a strong finish against the holders, whose misery was compounded by the 52nd minute dismissal of Kieran O'Leary on a second yellow card.

With a crowd of 2,851 looking on, the sides were level on 0-3 apiece after 10 minutes, but Nemo - who opened up the Crokes defence at will in the first half - then scored five unanswered points in a blistering nine-minute spell, with captain Aidan O'Reilly even getting up from full back to split the posts.

Connolly was denied a goal by the inspired Murphy before a Colm Cooper free and a Brian Looney effort reduced the deficit to three points. However, Connolly kicked a late free to leave Nemo 0-9 to 0-5 up at the interval.

The All-Ireland champions were fortunate to be still in the game, but they fell six points adrift early in the second half when Paddy Gumley and Connolly (free) were both on target for the winners. 

However, the Kerry champions then showed their mettle by reeling off four unanswered points per Looney, Daithi Casey (two) and Cooper to leave just two between the sides, 0-9 to 0-11, with 19 minutes remaining.

But scores from Paul Kerrigan and Connolly steadied Nemo who pulled away in the closing stages.

Nemo Rangers - M Martin; K O'Donovan, A O'Reilly (0-1), A Cronin; J Donovan, S Cronin, K Fulignati; A O'Donovan, J Horgan; B O'Driscoll, P Kerrigan (0-1), C O'Brien; L Connolly (0-10, 4f, 2'45), P Gumley (0-3), C Dalton. Subs: C Horgan (0-1) for P Gumley, A Greaney for P Kerrigan.

Dr Crokes - S Murphy; J Payne, D O'Leary, L Quinn; G White (0-1), F Fitzgerald, M Moloney; J Buckley (0-1), A O'Sullivan; M Burns, G O'Shea, B Looney (0-2); C Cooper (0-3f), D Casey (0-3, 1f), K O'Leary. Subs: P Clarke for G O'Shea, T Brosnan for M Burns, E Brosnan for L Quinn, J Kiely (0-1) for B Looney.

Referee - S Lonergan.



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