Kerrigan finds range as Cork kingpins ease past Stradbally
Nemo Rangers (Cork) 1-12 Stradbally (Waterford) 1-5
CORK champions Nemo Rangers are one game away from a 14th Munster club title after they saw off Stradbally of Waterford at Pairc Ui Rinn yesterday.
While it was not a vintage display from Nemo, they did more than enough to secure victory, an early goal from David Kearney's penalty giving them an advantage that they simply refused to relinquish.
With Paul Kerrigan in fine form, kicking seven points, and midfield pairing of David Niblock and Peter Morgan and half-back Aidan O'Reilly all impressive, Nemo were always in control of the game, though Stradbally will probably feel that the seven-point margin at the end did not do them justice.
The early penalty, when Sean O'Brien was adjudged to have been fouled by Shane Lannon, did not look clear-cut, while a Michael Walsh shot in the second half looked to have gone over but was waved wide.
In other areas, Stradbally only had themselves to blame, however, as poor free-taking cost them, while they were only able to score a solitary goal in the second half. That came from the impressive Robert Aherne in the 42nd minute, and while it cut the gap to four points, Nemo always looked solid.
They responded with a good Barry O'Driscoll '45' and shortly after that Stradbally's Waterford star Eddie Rockett was sent off after a skirmish following a foul on O'Driscoll.
When Kerrigan pointed the free that resulted from that, it put six between the teams before sub Alan Morgan pointed with his first touch to put the outcome beyond doubt.
The result looked likely from the off, Kerrigan pointing in the second minute before Kearney's penalty.
Though Stradbally replied with two Shane Aherne points and one from Niall Curran, the momentum swung firmly back to Nemo when Kerrigan had four in a row to stretch the lead to five, 1-5 to 0-3, and though the rest of the half was even, Stradbally needed a big start to the second half as they trailed by 1-7 to 0-5.
It was Nemo who began the brighter, though, as Kerrigan linked well with William Morgan before pointing in the first minute of the half and then Morgan himself got in on the act to stretch the lead.
The goal did put them under some pressure, but the response, while not overly emphatic, was more than enough to secure their passage to the provincial decider.
Scorers -- Nemo Rangers: P Kerrigan 0-7 (0-4f), D Kearney 1-1 (1-0 penalty), D Niblock, W Morgan, B O'Driscoll (0-1 '45'), A Morgan 0-1 each. Stradbally: N Curran 0-3 (0-2f), R Aherne 1-0, S Aherne 0-2.
NEMO RANGERS -- B Morgan; C O'Shea, D Kavanagh, A O'Reilly; C O'Brien, B O'Regan, D Breen; P Morgan, D Niblock; P Kerrigan, A Cronin, W Morgan; B O'Driscoll, S O'Brien, D Kearney. Subs: J Masters for O'Driscoll (57), A Morgan for W Morgan (59), M Dorgan for Niblock (60).
STRADBALLY -- O Costelloe; A Doyle, S Lannon, T Costelloe; J Hearne, E Rockett, T Grey; J Coffey, M Walsh; S Cunningham, S Aherne, T Connors; N Curran, R Aherne, T Curran. Subs: P Doyle for Cunningham (37), P Weldon for Hearne (51).
Ref -- P O'Sullivan (Kerry).