Sherlock strikes late as Finbarr's fightback to earn replay against Nemo
Nemo Rangers 0-14 St Finbarr’s 0-14
St Finbarr’s captain Ian Maguire is hoping for a better start when they meet Nemo Rangers again in next Sunday’s Cork SFC final replay.
Stephen Sherlock scored three late points at Páirc Uí Chaoimh to set up a replay, which will take place before the county senior hurling final between Blackrock and Imokilly.
The Barrs conceded the first eight points of the game to a rampant Nemo Rangers and trailed by seven, 0-12 to 0-5, after four minutes of the second period, but they clawed their way back into contention.
“We started the game poorly and then we were driving on in the second half,” Maguire said.
“We had a couple of chances but we couldn’t put them away. We’re just hungry again for the replay. We’ll go back, do our homework and try to start better.”
Maguire’s Cork colleague Luke Connolly was the star as Nemo blitzed the Barrs early on, with little going right for the Togher side.
“There were a few small things,” Maguire said.
“There were two kick-outs, the ball popped out and into a Nemo hand, maybe they wanted it more at the start.
“In previous games, we got lucky, the ’keeper was palming balls over the bar, today they were going into Micheál Martin’s hands.
“One thing you don’t do is let Nemo build from the back because they’re so patient. We couldn’t break their momentum.
“We need to do a better job at the start the next day, go and drive on again.”
Eventually, points from Sherlock, Cillian Myers Murray and Maguire opened the Barrs’ account, but Paddy Gumley and Colin O’Brien were on target to ensure that Nemo were comfortable with a 0-10 to 0-4 advantage at half-time.
Barry O’Driscoll and Ciarán Dalton extended the Nemo lead soon after the restart.
From such a position, seven ahead with 26 minutes remaining, a record 20th title looked assured, but instead they went 18 minutes without a score. The Barrs ate into the advantage point by point, two each from Sherlock and Colin Lyons before Denis O’Brien brought them back to within two.
Alan O’Donovan finally ended Nemo’s drought and, when Sherlock got his fifth, Nemo had a response as O’Brien knocked the ball over from a tight angle to make it 0-14 to 0-11 on 55 minutes.
That was to be their final score though and Sherlock, from a free and then from play, brought the Barrs back to within one before sub Roy Leahy set him up for the equaliser in injury-time.
Nemo attacker Paul Kerrigan chalked it down as a missed opportunity.
“I suppose we threw it away, to be honest,” he said.
“We could have been ahead by more at half-time and then they dominated midfield, we didn’t deal with it quickly enough. We had two chances to put them away, myself and Ciarán Dalton, but we didn’t.”
In 2015, Nemo beat Castlehaven in the final after a replay and Kerrigan hopes they can emulate that.
“We’ll learn an awful lot,” he said.
“We showed what we can do to them, we targeted the first ten minutes because they have beaten teams early.
“In the second half, we felt like we could score when we got into position but we couldn’t win the breaks and get the momentum going forward.”
“We’ve been here before so we can draw on that experience.”
Scorers – Nemo Rangers: L Connolly 0-4 (2f), B O’Driscoll, J Horgan, C O’Brien, P Gumley 0-2 each, A O’Donovan, C Dalton 0-1 each. St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock 0-8 (6f), D O’Brien, C Lyons 0-2 each, I Maguire, C Myers Murray 0-1 each.
NEMO RANGERS: M Martin; A O’Reilly, A Cronin, C McWhinney; T Ó Sé, S Cronin, K Fulignati; A O’Donovan, J Horgan; B O’Driscoll, P Kerrigan, C O’Brien; C Dalton, P Gumley, L Connolly. Subs: J O’Donovan for Fulignati (53), M Dorgan for J Horgan (53), C Horgan for O’Driscoll (58).
ST FINBARR’S: D Murphy; A McCarthy, G O’Connor, D Quinn; C Lyons, S Ryan, J Burns; I Maguire, E Comyns; D O’Brien, M Shields, E Dennehy; C Myers Murray, R O’Mahony, S Sherlock. Subs: R Leahy for O’Mahony (47, injured), C Keane for O’Brien (53), A O’Connor for Lyons (60).
REF – C Lane (Banteer).