All-Ireland club SFC: Nemo blitz Slaughtneil in extra-time to reach final

February 24, 2018

Nemo Rangers' Paul Kerrigan celebrates a point against Slaughtneil during the All-Ireland club SFC semi-final in Portlaoise ©INPHO/Donall Farme

Nemo Rangers (Cork) 2-19

Slaughtneil (Derry) 1-14

After extra-time

Luke Connolly netted twice as Nemo Rangers outscored Slaughtneil by 1-7 to 0-2 in extra-time to win an absorbing All-Ireland club SFC semi-final at O'Moore Park.

The Cork kingpins will face Corofin on St. Patrick's Day in what will be their first All-Ireland final in a decade. The evergreen Tomás Ó Sé and Barry O'Driscoll were excellent for the winners who were denied victory in normal time when Christopher Bradley equalised from a last-gasp free.

The seven-time Andy Merrigan Cup winners hit the turbo button in the first period of extra-time when they reeled off seven points without reply, including four from Connolly, who top-scored with 2-5. And they finished off a tiring Emmet's side in the final minute when the talented full forward grabbed his second goal.

Slaughtneil, who were seeking to reach their second successive All-Ireland final, raced into an early 0-4 to 0-0 lead thanks to points from Shane McGuigan (two), Brian Cassidy and Christopher Bradley. Connolly eventually opened the winners' account from a 20th minute free before further scores from Paul Kerrigan and 39-year-old Ó Sé left the minimum in it. But the Derry champions replied with a trio of points from Bradley (two) and Cassidy before a Barry O'Driscoll free left three between the sides at the interval, 0-4 to 0-7.

Nemo turned the game on its head with an unanswered 1-5 between the 34th and 44th minutes to take a 1-9 to 0-8 lead. Ó Sé scored his second point and was also involved in Connolly's 44th minute goal which he finished to the net after the Slaughtneil defence had failed to deal with Conor Horgan's high ball.

Slaughtneil dug deep and and got themselves back into contention thanks to Cormac O'Doherty's 50th minute goal. Substitute Jack O'Donovan looked to have won it for Larry Kavanagh's men when he edged them back in front in the final minute, but Bradley's 64th minute free, following a foul on Karl McKaigue, forced extra-time.

Nemo Rangers - M A Martin, A Cronin, A O'Reilly, K O'Donovan; T O Se (0-2), S Cronin (0-1), K Fulignati; A O'Donovan, J Horgan (0-1); B O'Driscoll (0-5, 4f), P Kerrigan (0-3), C O'Brien; P Gumley, L Connolly (2-5, 0-3f), C Dalton. Subs: C Horgan (0-1) for P Gumley, J O'Donovan (0-1) for J Horgan, M Dorgan for A O'Donovan, C Kiely for C Dalton, R Donovan for M A Martin, A Grainey for L Connolly.

Slaughtneil - A McMullan; P McNeill, B Rodgers, K McKaigue; K Feeney, C McKaigue, F McEldowney; Patsy Bradley, P Cassidy; Shane McGuigan (0-2), R Bradley, M McGrath; C Bradley (0-9, 6f), C O'Doherty (1-0), B Cassidy (0-2). Subs: B McGuigan for F McEldowney, Se McGuigan (0-1) for M McGrath, G Bradley for R Bradley, C McAllister for K Feeney, Padraig McGuigan for C O'Doherty.

Referee - M Deegan.

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