Munster Club SFC: Nemo hold on for Munster triumph

January 30, 2011

Nemo's Sean O'Brien and David O'Leary of Dr.Crokes during the Munster Club SFC Final at Mallow.
Nemo Rangers 1-15
Dr Crokes 1-13

Nemo Rangers produced a perfect half hour of football to secure their 15th Munster senior club title at the expense of Dr Crokes on Sunday.

The Cork men were unstoppable before the break, opening up a 1-13 to 0-3 advantage after some of the most sublime club football one is ever likely to see.

The shell-shocked Kerry men made a decent fist of their second half Mission: Impossible but in the end they came up just short, and in truth the injury time goal by Kieran O'Leary probably flattered them on the final scoreline.

With the game delayed by two hours, the floodlights were on at the GAA grounds in Mallow but it was Nemo's play which really lit up proceedings.

James Masters struck 1-2 in the opening ten minutes while two unbelievable points from Barry O'Driscoll and Paul Kerrigan epitomised Nemo's mastery.

Midfielder David Niblock, who along with Peter Morgan exercised almost complete control of that area in the absence of Crokes key man Johnny Buckley, and Alan Cronin were also on the mark in the first period as Crokes struggled to gain a foothold.

Colm Cooper had fired an early point but the Gooch will be disappointed to have ended the game with that his only score from play, having come close to a goal on two occasions in the first half.

The presence of a "B Morgan" as goalkeeper and captain of Nemo brings certain echoes of times past, and the son of Billy produced a fine save to deny Cooper from a clear goal chance, while the legendary Kerry forward saw another flick came back off the metalwork.

After the break, Crokes set about restoring some pride and they certainly did so, with the excellent O'Leary, Eoin Brosnan and Daithi Casey chipping away at the deficit.

Nemo managed only two points in that second half, but one of those, a free from Barry O'Driscoll, steadied the ship at a vital stage and they still led by five as the hour mark approached.

O'Leary's late goal prompted hopes from the Kerry supporters that Crokes could complete an incredibly comeback but in the end the time ran out and Nemo march on, with an All-Ireland semi-final against St Brigid's in four weeks' time on the horizon.

Nemo Rangers: B Morgan; D Breen (0-1), D Kavanagh, C O'Shea, C O'Brien, B O'Regan, A O'Reilly; P Morgan, D Niblock (0-1); P Kerrigan (0-3, one free), Cronin (0-3), D Kearney (0-1); J Masters (1-3, one free), S O'Brien, B O'Driscoll (0-3, one free). Subs: A Morgan for P Kerrigan (inj, 46 mins), B Twomey for B O'Driscoll (inj, 56 mins).

Dr Crokes: K Cremin; J Payne, M Moloney, D O'Leary; S Doolan, L Quinn, S Myers; B McMahon (0-1), A O'Donovan; A Kenneally, E Brosnan (0-1), B Looney (0-1); C Cooper (0-2, one free), D Casey (0-3, frees), C Brady (1-4). Subs: F Fitzgerald for B McMahon (24 mins), C Brady (0-1) for Myers, S O'Neill for O'Donovan (58 mins).

Referee: D O'Mahony (Tipperary).

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