Prolific St Finbarr's attacker Steven Sherlock.
Prolific St Finbarr's attacker Steven Sherlock.

Cork SFC: Barrs and Nemo to contest final

The Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC final will be an all-city affair between holders St Finbarr’s and Nemo Rangers after they triumphed in semi-finals at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday. 

The Barrs faced Castlehaven for the third year in a row in the last four but, while penalty shootouts were required in 2020 and 2021, each club winning once, second-half goals from Steven Sherlock and Brian Hayes gave the Togher club victory on a scoreline of 2-17 to 1-16. 

It was a game where the sides were level on 12 occasions, with Sherlock and Brian Hurley the main scorers for their sides in the first half. While the latter netted as half-time time approached to open up a 1-8 to 0-8 lead, the Barrs kicked three points to tie by the break and repeated the trick on the resumption as Sherlock, Eoin McGreevey and Jamie Burns opened up a 0-14 to 1-8 lead. 

Back came the Haven through Hurley, Cathal Maguire and Damien Cahalane and the teams traded blows until Sherlock netted as the final quarter dawned for a 1-16 to 1-13 advantage. 

While Michael Hurley replied with a Haven point, the second Barrs goal from Hayes opened up the game’s biggest lead and they saw things out. 

The final will be a repeat of the 2017 decider, the first at the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which Nemo won after a replay. 

The champions of 2019 and 2020 were 1-16 to 0-9 winners over Ballincollig in the first semi, a goal from a penalty by Luke Connolly midway through the second half was key for them.

The green flag, from a spot-kick awarded following a foul on Mark Cronin after a mazy run, gave Nemo daylight for the first time as it put them 1-11 to 0-8 in front after Ballincollig – who had beaten Nemo at the same stage in 2014 and 2016 – had contended well before that.

In the opening half, Nemo, who top the roll of honour with 22 previous wins, were often frustrated by Ballincollig’s well-organised defending and the Mid-Cork side counter-attacked well too. Three points in quick succession from Cian Kiely, Cian Dorgan and Darren Murphy had them 0-5 to 0-4 in front by the 20th minute but Nemo came back well and Jack Horgan, Connolly and Alan O’Donovan all scored as the city side retired with a 0-7 to 0-6 half-time advantage.

The excellent Conor Horgan had two points as Nemo moved three ahead by the 41st minute and the penalty, awarded on 43, doubled that advantage. While Ballincollig sub Peter O’Neill replied with a point, Nemo had the game’s final five points through Connolly (two), Conor Horgan, Kevin O’Donovan and Barry Cripps to reach a 26th final.