NEMO RANGERS edged out a scrappy affair in Mallow to advance to the Munster Senior Club Football semi-finals thanks to a 1-9 to 0-9 win over Limerick champions Newcastle West.
A second-half goal from the Ciaran Dalton, four minutes after the break, proved to be the difference for Nemo who faced a spirited performance from their West Limerick opponents.
Nemo Rangers showed their superiority from the get-go and were four points to the good with 10 minutes gone on the clock.
Credit to Newcastle West, Mike Qulligan’s side responded well and stuck to their plan to hit their Cork opponents on the break.
An Eoin Hurley free in the 18th minute kick-started a mini revival for the Limerick Senior Football champions and five minutes later Stephen Brosnan scored from deep to grab the Magpies’ first point from play to narrow the deficit to two.
Moments later, Iain Corbett coolly slotted over to make it a one-point game.
But the south Cork City side grabbed their first point in 12 minutes as the impressive Luke Connolly broke through a resilient Newcastle defence.
Both sides exchanged further points to make it 0-6 to 0-4 at half-time in favour of the Cork champions.
Nemo Rangers recorded four wides in the opening thirty minutes compared to just one wide from Newcastle West but with a strong breeze behind them after the break, the 2017 Munster Senior Club Football champions edged further ahead.
A well-worked goal four minutes into the second-half saw Nemo extend their lead to five.
Ciaran Dalton latched on the end of a superb through ball from Luke Connolly to palm home and find the back of the net.
A Stephen Cronin point gave Newcastle a mountain to climb but Mike Qulligan’s charges showed great character to give themselves a fighting chances against a sloppy Nemo side.
Frees from Eoin Hurley and Thomas Qulligan and a Hurley point from play left three points between the two sides heading into the final ten minutes.
The two sides grabbed two points apiece in the latter stages as Nemo held on to secure a 1-9 to 0-9 win and their place in the Munster Senior Club Football semi-finals.
The game proved not to the stroll in the park many predicted for 16-time Munster champions who await the result from today’s Kerry Senior Football final to see who they face in the semi-final stage
NEWCASTLE WEST: Eoin Hurley 0-3 (two frees), Iain Corbett 0-3, Stephen Brosnan 0-1, Thomas Qulligan 0-1, Sean Murphy 0-1
NEMO RANGERS: Ciaran Dalton 1-1, Luke Connolly 0-4 (one ’45), Mark Cronin 0-2 (one free), Kevin O’Donovan 0-1, Stephen Cronin 0-1
Newcastle West: Michael Qulligan Jr; Mike O’Keeffe, Darren O’Doherty, Michael O’Leary; William Hurley Jr, Seamus Hurley, Stephen Brosnan; Sean Murphy, Iain Corbett; Thomas Qulligan (capt), Brian Hurleu, Jamie Lee; AJ O’Connor, Mike McMahon, Eoin Hurley.
Subs: Bryan Nix for AJ O’Connor (43 mins); Lee Woulfe for William Hurley Jr (50 mins); Diarmuid Kelly for Brian Hurley (52 mins); James Kelly for Mike McMahon (58 mins); Brian Hurley for Eoin Hurley (60 mins).
Nemo Rangers: Micheal Martin; Brian Murphy, Aidan O’Reilly, Alan Cronin (capt.); Kevin O’Donovan, Stephen Cronin, Jack Horgan; Alan O’Donovan, James McDermott; Luke Connolly, Paul Kerrigan, Colin O’Brien; Mark Cronin, Ciaran Dalton, Conor Horgan.
Subs: Kevin Fulignati for Jack Horgan (52 mins); Ronan Dalton for Colin O’Brien (58 mins).