O'Driscoll strike helps turn tide for Nemo
Nemo Rangers 1-10 Castlehaven 0-11
Barry O'Driscoll's goal was the crucial score as Nemo Rangers overtook Castlehaven in the final quarter of yesterday's Cork final replay at Pairc Ui Rinn.
When Mark Collins put Castlehaven 0-9 to 0-6 in front in the 38th minute after a short 45 by goalkeeper Paudie Hurley it was the game's biggest lead up to that point. A third title in four years looked likely, with Nemo's wait since 2010 set to go on.
However, Nemo wouldn't submit. Just after the three-quarter mark, they pulled level as Paul Kerrigan's pass set Conor Horgan in on goal and he intelligently handpassed across goal, allowing O'Driscoll to palm the ball in at the back post.
Substitute James Masters and then Kerrigan pointed to change the momentum completely. Though the Haven would draw level again - through Stephen Hurley and Chris Hayes - they had lost the impetus and Nemo pushed on.
Nemo's squad depth was proving crucial with another sub, Peter Morgan, making an immediate impact as he set up Masters for his second point.
With Stephen Hurley leaving an equalising attempt short at the other end, Nemo kept hold of the ball as two minutes of injury time were announced and, at the death, Kerrigan was fouled in scoring range. He sent over the resultant free for his fourth point and joyous scenes greeted the whistle.
For Nemo manager Steven O'Brien, a close encounter was always going to come down to small margins.
"It was a very difficult game," he said. "With a quarter of an hour to go it wasn't looking like it, but we went back 15 on 15 and got the goal
"This wasn't something which just came together in the last few weeks, it was 10 months in the making. Shane Martin did the strength and conditioning work, he told us our fitness levels were through the roof so we knew we had another 20 minutes if we needed it.
"Were we lucky? We probably were but when the questions were asked we got the goal and came up with the answers.
"That gives you a massive impetus and we drove on. It was great, we're over the moon with it.
"You look at the save our keeper made at the other end, if that goes in it's probably a game of cards as well. Conceding a goal saps your energy, it really helped us to kick on."
After a tight first half, a Brian Hurley free and an 'own point' by Nemo defender Aidan O'Reilly meant that the west Cork side had a 0-7 to 0-5 lead at half-time.
It was 0-8 to 0-6 when Michael Hurley had a chance goal but Michael Martin made a brilliant save, with Brian Hurley's follow-up deflected out. Collins scored a pointed from the 45 but it was a crucial opportunity missed and allowed Nemo turn the tide.
Scorers - Nemo Rangers: P Kerrigan 0-4 (0-2 frees), B O'Driscoll 1-1, J Masters 0-2 (0-1 free), D Mehigan, C Horgan, A Cronin 0-1 each. Castlehaven: B Hurley 0-3 (frees), M Collins 0-2, C Hayes, S Hurley, S Cahalane, C Cahalane, D Cahalane 0-1 each, 0-1 own point.
NEMO RANGERS - M Martin; A Cronin, C O'Shea, A O'Reilly; K Fulignati, T Ó Sé, A O'Donovan; D Niblock, M Dorgan; D Mehigan, B O'Driscoll, P Kerrigan; C Horgan, L Connolly, C O'Brien.
Subs: C Dalton for Connolly (12, injured), J Masters for Mehigan (42), P Morgan for Dorgan (56).
CASTLEHAVEN - P Hurley; R Whelton, D Limrick, T O'Leary; Damien Cahalane, C Hayes, J O'Regan; D Hurley, S Dineen; M Collins, S Cahalane, C Cahalane; B Hurley, Darragh Cahalane, M Hurley. Subs: S Hurley for Darragh Cahalane (39), S Collins for Hayes (59), S Nolan for S Cahalane (60).
Ref - J Bermingham (Bride Rovers).
Cork SFC final replay