Cork Senior Football Final Replay – Nemo Rangers 4-12 St. Finbarr’s 3-13

Nemo Rangers defeated St. Finbarr’s by 4-12 to 3-13 in the Cork Senior Football Final Replay on Sunday October 22nd at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Nemo Rangers recover from slow start to win Cork SFC final replay

Nemo Rangers 4-12 St Finbarr’s 3-13

Four superbly crafted goals enabled Nemo Rangers edge St Finbarr’s in the Cork SFC replay at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today, writes Ger McCarthy for the Irish Examiner newspaper/

St Finbarr’s got off to a dream start, scoring 1-1 without reply. Nemo’s cause wasn’t helped by an injury to Cian McWhinny that saw the corner-back stretchered off. Yet, the Capwell club recovered from their slow start to level when Ciarán Dalton (point) and Jack Horgan (goal) got their names on the scoresheet.

The remainder of an evenly-fought half saw both sides exchange scores ahead of 10 minutes of injury time where Nemo surged 2-6 to 1-5 in front courtesy of a marvellous Luke Connolly goal.

After the break, Paul Kerrigan and Adrian Grainey found the net to seemingly confirm Nemo as champions, but a late St Finbarr’s comeback including Eoin Finn and Stephen Sherlock goals setup a grandstand finale.

Nemo Rangers manager Larry Kavangh said he had experienced a mixture of emotions in Pairc Ui Chaoimh’s press room shortly after guiding the club to the 2017 Cork SFC title.

Aftwerwards, it was difficult for the Nemo bainisteoir to process a county final replay in which Nemo appeared home and dry before St Finbarr’s staged a late but ultimately unsuccessful comeback.

When asked what he remembered, in the immediate aftermath, a relieved Kavanagh struggled to make sense of what he had just witnessed.
“I remember very little of it to be honest,” Kavanagh said.

“I don’t know where the last 15 minutes went. I looked up to the scoreboard at one stage when we were 11 or 12 up and said we are home and dry. The last 15 minutes were a bit of blur to me and we probably had emptied the bench at that stage so there wasn’t a whole lot we could have done.

“I don’t know how they got that goal from the free, Micheal is over there talking at the minute, but look, we hung on, and it’s all about winning.”

The cliché that goals win games was never more apt on an afternoon seven green flags were raised, but Larry Kavanagh was just thankful his players were able to find the net when it mattered most.

“I’d say it was a great game for the neutral as there were lots of goals going in,” the Nemo Rangers manager commented.

“Jack Horgan got a bullet although I thought he might have overdone it in the buildup. I thought he would put over but it was a goal. Luke’s (Connolly) one, you’d say don’t be taking it on from such an impossible angle but again, a great goal.

“Paul Kerrigan and Adrian Grainey showed great composure but their chances were there to be finished. It is something we have been working on because in some of our other games we haven’t been finishing.

“I thought Paul Kerrigan had a huge game for us today and I’m delighted for him. How do you quantify his experience though? I’m delighted as the semi-final didn’t go too well for him when maybe he was trying too hard. I’m absolutely thrilled for him.”

St Finbarr’s reaction

Meanwhile, disappointed St Finbarr’s coach Ray Keane paid tribute to his young charges after their narrow defeat, writes Barry Coughlan.

Having drawn the first game after coming back from six points down, St Finbarr’s clawed back 10 points in an astonishing last quarter and only just fell short on a scoreline of 4-12 to 3-13.

Two points was the losing margin and Keane praised his troops for what he described as “a typical performance.” “If I asked these guys to go to the top of a mountain 10 times in succession they would do it for me.

“They have huge heart in them, they dug deep again, it never surprises me what they’re capable of. From that point of view I don’t ever think we’re gone out of a game.

“Very simply, I always thought they would get stuck in and give Nemo a fright and they did just that in the last quarter – a very big fright.

“We started very well but unfortunately, and it was unfortunate given there was a bad injury to one of their players. That disrupted the flow of the game, our flow a bit, because we had got the start we needed and they got a wonder goal from Luke Connolly.

“Look, at the end of the day there were just two points, small margins, but I take my hat off to Nemo – they have been there and done it before, and you could see that in the last couple of minutes.”

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: P Kerrigan (1-2), L Connolly (1-1), J Horgan (1-1), A Grainey (1-0), C Dalton and P Gumley (0-2 each), T Ó Sé, K Fulignati, A O’Donovan and B O’Driscoll (0-1 each).

Scorers for St Finbarr’s: S Sherlock (2-7, 3f), E Finn (1-0), R O’Mahony (0-2), D O’Brien, C Lyons, D Quinn and E Dennehy (0-1 each).

NEMO RANGERS: M A Martin; C McWhinney, A O’Reilly (captain), A Cronin; T ÓSé, S Cronin, K Fulignati; A O’Donovan, J Horgan; B O’Driscoll, P Kerrigan, C O’Brien; L Connolly, P Gumley, C Dalton.
Subs: K O’Donovan for C McWhinny (8, inj), J O’Donovan for K Fulignati (36), A Grainey for C O’Brien (37, inj), M Dorgan for J Horgan (54), K Fulignati for A Cronin (54), C Horgan for P Gumley (57).

ST. FINBARR’S: D Murphy; D Quinn, J Burns, A McCarthy; A O’Connor, S Ryan, G O’Connor; I Maguire (captain), C Lyons; D O’Brien, M Shields, E Dennehy; R Leahy, R O’Mahony, S Sherlock.
Subs: E Finn for D O’Brien (42), C Myers-Murray for R Leahy (46), C Keane for C Lyons (46), I O’Callaghan for R O’Mahony (52), R O’Dwyer for S Ryan (57), P Kennedy for G O’Connor (59).

Referee: J Bermingham (Bride Rovers)