Kerrigan shows class as Adare find Nemo a step too far
Nemo Rangers 2-17 Adare 0-4
Nemo Rangers' place in the Munster club SFC final never looked in doubt as they had 19 points to spare on Limerick champions Adare at a cold Mallow yesterday.
Strong favourites beforehand, the Cork side - who were last Munster champions in 2010/11 - had a goal and three points on the board before Adare opened their account and a 2-6 to 0-2 half-time lead looked impregnable.
Dr Crokes, who Nemo beat seven years ago, await in what is likelier to be a tougher final but Nemo manager Larry Kavanagh was pleased with how this team dealt with the task at hand.
"You just have to make sure that the lads are focused," he said, "that they're not taking the opposition for granted and that they treat them with respect.
"You're damned if you do and damned if you don't - if you go out and play badly you'll be criticised and if you score 3-17 people will say that the other team were no good.
"We were trying to stress it all week to forget about Crokes but they're human at the same time."
From the off, they were in control and Cork captain Paul Kerrigan had two points in the opening six minutes, going on to finish with six.
Luke Connolly got on the end of Alan O'Donovan's pass on 11 minutes and finished well past James Hickey before adding a free.
Mark Connolly got Adare off the mark but it was only a brief interruption to Nemo's dominance and, after Hugh Bourke had the Limerick side's second on 27 minutes, Barry O'Driscoll got another Nemo goal, brilliantly taking down Paddy Gumley's pass with one hand and firing home.
O'Driscoll's free made it 2-6 to 0-2 at half-time and Jack Horgan, Connolly and Colin O'Brien soon extended that advantage.
Bourke got his second free for Adare, but Nemo finished strongly, scoring the game's last seven points as wing-back Kevin Fulignati and sub Conor Horgan got on the scoresheet.
Having won the Limerick intermediate title in 2016 and followed that up with the senior this year, Adare have had to learn fast, and manager Harry Gleeson acknowledged that they met a stronger team here.
"For some reason the lads thought they had to use the ball a bit quicker than they needed to at times, but on the occasion, when guys are under pressure, you have to forgive them for decisions they make out on the pitch," he lamented. "It isn't easy.
"It'll bring them on. Some of them were disappointed with (losing the intermediate championship to) Kenmare last year, but this is a completely different level.
"It may show where the football level is in Limerick, and there's a lot of work to get up to this kind of level."
Scorers - Nemo Rangers: P Kerrigan 0-6 (0-1f), B O'Driscoll (0-2f), L Connolly (0-3f) 1-3 each, C Horgan 0-2, K Fulignati, C O'Brien, J Horgan 0-1 each. Adare: H Bourke 0-2fs, M Connolly, R Bourke (f) 0-1 each.
NEMO RANGERS: M Martin; K O'Donovan, A O'Reilly, A Cronin; J Donovan, S Cronin, K Fulignati; A O'Donovan, J Horgan; B O'Driscoll, P Kerrigan, C O'Brien; P Gumley, L Connolly, C Dalton. Subs: C Horgan for Connolly (35), M Dorgan for J Horgan, A Greaney for Gumley (46), C O'Shea for O'Reilly, C Kiely for O'Brien (both 53), S Martin for Fulignati (58).
ADARE - J Hickey; O Collins, A O'Connor, E Costello; E Ryan, D Connolly, P Maher; S Doherty, S Keeley; H Bourke, J English, C McCarthy; M Connolly, R Bourke, M Lyons. Subs: D Lyons for McCarthy (46), A O'Connell for Keeley (50), J Fitzgerald for Maher, D O'Connor for Collins (both 54), C Flanagan for Connolly (55), B Supple for English (58).
Ref - A Kissane (Waterford).
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