Nothing to separate Castlehaven and Nemo Rangers in Cork SFC final
The two sides will have to meet again after it finished 10 points each at Pairc Ui Rinn
Castlehaven’s Damien Cahalane tackles Paul Kerrigan of Nemo Rangers Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Castlehaven 0-10 Nemo Rangers 0-10
Castlehaven and Nemo Rangers will have to meet again to decide the Cork senior football championship after failing to resolve Sunday’s final at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Veteran Dylan Mehigan ensured Nemo a second opportunity with his left-footed equaliser three minutes from the end of regulation time before the city club lost skipper Paul Kerrigan to a second yellow card moments later.
The Cork player was one three players yellow carded at the start of the second-half following a melee as the teams jogged to the dressing rooms at half-time. His inter-county colleague Brian Hurley and Castlehaven midfielder Sean Dineen were also cautioned.
Nemo goalkeeper Micheal Aodh Martin came to his side’s rescue with a stunning save in the 51st minute, when he dived smartly to his left to stop a Brian Hurley shot from close-range with the Haven a point in front.
In the first of three additional minutes Mark Collins had an opportunity to snatch glory, but his effort just veered wide, the Haven’s 13th in all, six more than their rivals.
The Haven led by 0-7 to 0-5 at half-time, having started slowly and building to nine wides in the period. Nemo suffered a blow, when ace marksman Luke Connolly had to hobble off with an ankle injury after the opening quarter with his side leading by 0-4 to 0-1.
His opening ‘45 was quickly followed by a couple of James Masters’ frees as their opponents continued to struggle to find the target before Mark Collins eventually hit the spot after 13 minutes only for Barry O’Driscoll to respond with a booming point.
Nemo still enjoyed an appreciable advantage with eight minutes’ remaining, when the game took a huge swing in the Haven’s direction, prompted by a Brian Hurley free after Tomas O Se lost possession following a sweeping run through the middle.
That triggered a golden spell for the west Cork side as the Haven pounced for five points in four minutes with Michael Hurley, a Brian Hurley free, two from play from Shane Nolan and a fisted Mark Collins changing the game’s complexion, the Haven now 0-6 to 0-4 ahead.
Wing-back Jack Donovan ended Nemo’s 16-minute drought with a point entering injury-time, but there was still room for Damien Cahalane to sweep up field and kick a glorious point to complete the half’s scoring.
Nemo sorted their midfield issues in the early stages of the second-half, when David Niblock and Alan O’Donovan broke the Haven’s grip to set up three successive points, two from Kerrigan and another from O’Driscoll, 0-8 to 0-7 to Nemo after 38 minutes.
The introduction of the evergreen Dermot Hurley wrestled control back again for the Haven in the middle and it was their turn to assert themselves by also scoring three points without response, Mark Collins firing over their 10th point after 48 minutes, but they wouldn’t score again.
Nemo’s spirit was evident as an O’Driscoll free cut the margin to the minimum before Mehigan came up with his superb equaliser to ensure a second meeting between the great rivals.
Castlehaven: P Hurley; R Whelton, D Limrick, captain, T O’Leary; J O’Regan, D Cahalane (0-1), C Hayes; M Collins (0-3), S Dineen; S Collins, S Hurley, S Cahalane; S Nolan (0-1), B Hurley (0-3 from frees), M Hurley (0-2). Subs: D Hurley for S Collins (39 mins), Darragh Cahalane for S Hurley (46 mins), D Hegarty for Nolan (53 mins).
Nemo Rangers: M Martin; C O’Shea, A O’Reilly, A Cronin; J Donovan (0-1), T O Se, K Fulignati; D Niblock, A O’Donovan; C O’Brien, B O’Driscoll (0-3, one from a free), D Mehigan (0-1); J Masters (0-2, frees), P Kerrigan (0-2), L Connolly (0-1’45). Subs: C Dalton for Connolly (15 mins), C Horgan for Masters (47 mins), D O’Donovan for O’Reilly (53 mins), S Martin for Donovan (56 mins), B Twomey for Mehigan (58 mins).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).