Muskerry 1970

Senior football Championship Final October 18th 1970
Muskerry take first title in dramatic style
Muskerry 3-10 Nemo Rangers 4-06

The first County Senior football Championship title to go to the Mid-Cork division could hardly have been won in more extraordinary fashion at the Cork Athletic Grounds yesterday. Hail mighty Muskerry, trailing for almost 50 minutes before they recovered dramatically to snatch a sensational victory in lost time but spare a thought for Nemo Rangers.

 The winning team with the cup

They were the unlucky losers in a game which throbbed with excitement all through before it exploded into a thrilling climax as Muskerry goaled to lead for the first time, conceded a goal immediately but rallied for match-winning points which shattered Nemo and silenced their near-jubilant supporters.

Seldom if ever, has a County final produced such a cliffhanger of a finish. Nemo were the more stylish footballers they had great strength behind a winning midfield pair and their forwards had the ability to find gaps in the Muskerry defence. But on reflection, it is obvious that Nemo failed to annex their first title because of lost scoring chances in the periods before and after half time when they led by 2-4 to 1-1 and because a gallant Muskerry side played with such determination all through.

Nemo stunned their opponents with their third goal straight after the resumption of the second half-when smoke from behind the Muskerry goal might have clouded the goalkeeper's view of the ball. But just when they should have pushed home their advantage when Muskerry struggled to get into the game, without ever panicking, Nemo conceded scores which allowed the divisional players to get nearer them on the scoreboard.
And in view of the fact that Nemo scored just one point, after Denis Allen's opening goal of the second half, in over 25 minutes, they must realise they had the winning of the game but allowed it to slip from their grasp.

Nemo were given a decided edge at midfield by Donal Barrett who tackled hard and worked tremendously well while Mick O'Donoghue fetched very well and distributed the ball well. Surprisingly, Cork senior Jim Curtin was never able to threaten this supremacy, probably because of an injured knee. But his partner Denis Murphy had much more success from limited chances. This was typical of the Muskerry forwards and their ability to capitalise on less possession proved a deciding factor in their win.
Nemo sparkled in the opening 15 minutes. Frank Cogan had won the toss and had decided to play into the Blackrock end. Jimmy Barrett opened the scoring after two minutes, from a free, after he was fouled himself, and Nemo had scored four points inside eight minutes before Muskerry forced an attack. Quite apart from their advantage at midfield, Nemo's defence looked solid under occasional pressure and right halfback and captain Frank Cogan was a masterly figure as he overshadowed Muskerry's best forward Michael Mehigan covered off the entire half back line.

Muskerry did well to be only four points behind at the end of the first quarter but while the fill back line was able to minimise the threat from Nemo's full forwards-although Denis Allen in the left corner was quite successful -Jerry Lucey was too easily beaten by Jimmy Barrett. Nemo frequently worked the ball, cleverly and constructively, down the middle, but they did not have such success on the wings. Der Cogan on the right was closely shadowed by John Dunlea, after he had scored two great points in the sixth minute, while twin brother Billy on the left had no Buckley and later switches did not help.

In the 10th minute Nemo came very close to snatching the goal they badly wanted. Donal Barrett dropped a high ball into the Muskerry goalmouth and goalkeeper Sean O'Mahony did very well to punch the hopping ball away from Billy Cogan. But after Connie Kelly, Muskerry's best forward, had worked his way through for an opportunist point in the 16th minute, Nemo had their goal.

Again Donal Barrett had a hand in this as his lobbing ball from the middle of the field was punched clear by the Muskerry keeper but Nemo full forward Sean McGann got his fist to the ball as it hovered about in midair to punch it to the net.

Surprisingly, this score seemed to benefit Muskerry more than Nemo. Mick Scannell, the under 21 full back, came from the left corner to swop with Jerry Lucey and as Nemo slackened off the pace Muskerry came gradually more into the game and in the 22nd minute they were rewarded with a goal. Connie Kelly was fouled going through - Nemo conceded 15 frees in the first half, eight more than Muskerry - and midfield Denis Murphy ran in to punch Buckley's 35 yards kick past a bewildered Billy Morgan.


Nemo brought their tally of first half wides to ten as they failed from a few frees and a succession of chances from play. But they had the great boost of a minute before half time. Denis Allen just managed to get fist to a ball which had bounced awkwardly for him on the left wing and he placed it into the hands of Jimmy Barrett who tooh it confidently on the run before gaoling from about 30 yards. This score gave Nemo an interval lead of six points 2-4 to 1-1
Nemo resumed in determined fashion. Mick O Donoghue was awarded a free from the throw in and he found Jimmy Barrett who switched the ball out to Sean McGann on the wing. The full forward crossed from the left and Denis Allen met in the flight to punch it to the left corner. Nemo conceded two frees from which Noel Dunne pointed in the second and third minute, but held their grip at midfield until the three quarter stage when their was a noticeable slackening off in Nemo pace and in between they wasted invaluable scoring chances.

Jimmy Barrett pointed a free in the sixth minute but significantly Nemo did not score again until Der Cogan pointed 20 minutes later. Muskerry had still a lot of leeway to make up on the scoreboard but they increased their challenge at a time when it should have faded. Gerry Lynch at left half forward and later at midfield. Connie Kelly and Denis Murphy were the dominant figures as Muskerry worked them into a steady rhythm and they worried the Nemo defence with their improved play
Dunne pointed Muskerry success against a brilliant Donal fifth point after 12 minutes and as space began to tell on Nemo, Seamus McCarthy and Dunne again, with further scores reduced Nemo to four points. Then in the space of four minutes Muskerry now playing with greater confidence and showing more penetration had drawn level. And Billy Morgan could have been at fault for the goal in the twenty minute, which went all the way from John Dunlea free 50 yards out. A rampant Muskerry were level a minute later from Denis Murphy.

Three minutes later Jimmy Barrett missed a vital free in front of the Muskerry goal, but in the 26th minute Der Cogan, now operating in the left corner, restored Nemo's lead with a point from Allen's pass.

Then, quite remarkably, Muskerry goaled in the 27th minute to take the lead for the first time and go two points in front. Denis Murphy dropped a free into the goalmouth, and after Billy Morgan came off his line to challenge, the ball broke loose to Noel Dunne, who first timed it on the ground into the net.

Nemo's third goal, which came after the kick-out, was even more astounding. Left corner back Ray Twomey was fouled as he tried to work the ball up field, but he was allowed the advantage and a brilliant interpassing movement between Billy Cogan and Sean McGann, saw Noel Morgan flash the ball past the Muskerry keeper.
This surely was the end for Muskerry, but amazingly, they showed great reserves of energy and enthusiasm to stage a dramatic recovery. In the 29th minute Michael Mehigan missed the chance to level the game, but a minute later left corner back Mick Scannell hovering in the middle picked up a loose ball and from 50 yards shot the equalising point.

A minute after lost time after Nemo had defended desperately Jerry Lucey made the winning score with another highball from midfield. Full forward Seamus McCarthy was fouled in possession and free taker Noel Dunne a dominating influence in Muskerry path to the final sunk Nemo with his free from the 21

Muskerry: S O Mahony,(Canovee) N Cronin,(Kilmurry) D McCarthy, ,(Kilmurry) M Scannell(01)(Ballyvourney), D Buckley(Ballincollig), J Lucey)(Ballyvourney), J Dunlea(1-0) ,(Canovee), J Curtin, ,(Kilmurry) D Murphy(1-1) ,(Kilmurry), G Lynch(01) )(Ballyvourney), C Kelly(01) ,(Canovee), M Mehigan, ,(Canovee) F Copper(Our Lady's Hospital), S McCarthy(01) ,(Kilmurry), N Dunne(1-5 )05 from frees), ,(Canovee) subs C Twomey)(Ballyvourney), for Mehigan, Mehigan for Curtin. other panel members J O Donoghue,(Canovee), F Long,(Kilmurry), J Murphy,(Kilmurry), S Mullane, (Ballyvourney), B O Connor(Our Lady's Hospital), J McCarthy(Our Lady's Hospital),
Selectors John Joe Hinchion (trainer) ,(Canovee), Jack Fitzgerald, (Kilmurry) Myles McSwiney,( Kilmurry) Neil Moyihan ,(Canovee),and John Weir (Ballyvourney)

Nemo Rangers: B Morgan, B Murphy, E Brophy, R Twomey, F Cogan (Capt.), S Buckley, J O Leary, D Barrett, M O Donoghue, D Cogan (03), J Barrett (1-03) 03 from frees), B Cogan, N Morgan (1-0), S McGann (1-0), D Allen (1-0), sub D O Driscoll, for O Leary
Referee: F Halbert, Glenville
The Chairman of the County Board Mr Jack Barrett presented the Andy Scannell Cup to the winning Captain Seamus McCarthy