AIB Munster Club SFC Final
NEMO RANGERS 0-16 DR CROKES 0-11
By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Rinn Courtesy of GAA.ie
Luke Connolly scored 0-10 as Nemo Rangers dethroned Munster and All-Ireland champions Dr Crokes to claim provincial honours at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Cork champions on 20 occasions, the city side now have 16 provincial championships to their name and, once they pushed ahead with six consecutive first-half points, they never looked like being denied victory against the side they beat in the 2010 final.
In fact, the 0-9 to 0-5 half-time lead Nemo possessed probably flattered Crokes. Twice, goalkeeper Shane Murphy had to save brilliantly to deny Connolly a goal, while the Killarney side’s corner-back John Payne got vital blocks in on three occasions.
The second of these, in the 11th minute, led to a 45, which Connolly sent over to make it 0-3 each and by the 20th minute they were 0-8 to 0-3 in front, with full-back Aidan O’Reilly and the lively Paddy Gumley also getting on the scoresheet. When Gumley’s outside-of-the-boot pass put Connolly in, a goal seemed likely but Murphy made himself big and the 45 came off the post, with Crokes closing the gap as Cooper and Brian Looney pointed. A big Connolly free put Nemo four in front again and Gumley and Connolly opened up a six-point advantage within three minutes of the restart. Crokes threatened to get back in the game as Looney, Daithí Casey (two) and Cooper pointed, but wides from frees prevented them from getting closer.
Having weathered the storm, Nemo pushed ahead again as Connolly got his eighth from a free and then added his ninth. When Alan and Stephen Cronin combined to set up Paul Kerrigan, he might have netted a clincher, but his shot off the bar and over made it 0-14 to 0-9. Crokes’ task became tougher as Kieran O’Leary was sent off on a second booking, but they might have gleaned something when substitute Tony Brosnan had a goal chance with four points separating the teams, however Micheál Martin made a great save and replacement Conor Horgan made sure of the victory.
Scorers for Nemo Rangers:
Luke Connolly 0-10 (4fs, 2 45s), Paddy Gumley 0-3, Aidan O’Reilly, Conor Horgan, Paul Kerrigan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Dr Crokes:
Colm Cooper (3fs), Daithí Casey (1f) 0-3 each, Brian Looney 0-2, Johnny Buckley, Gavin White, Jordan Kiely 0-1 each.
Micheál Martin; Kevin O’Donovan, Aidan O’Reilly, Alan Cronin; Jack Donovan, Stephen Cronin, Kevin Fulignati; Alan O’Donovan, Jack Horgan; Barry O’Driscoll, Paul Kerrigan, Colin O’Brien; Paddy Gumley, Luke Connolly, Ciarán Dalton.
Subs: Conor Horgan for Gumley (58), Adrian Greaney for Kerrigan (60, injured).
Shane Murphy; Luke Quinn, David O’Leary, John Payne; Gavin White, Fionn Fitzgerald, Michael Moloney; Johnny Buckley, Alan O’Sullivan; Micheál Burns, Gavin O’Shea, Brian Looney; Kieran O’Leary, Daithí Casey, Colm Cooper.
Subs: Paul Clarke for O’Shea (44), Tony Brosnan for Burns (47), Eoin O’Brosnan for Quinn (53), Jordan Kiely for Looney (58).
REFEREE: Seán Lonergan (Tipperary).