Tipperary Senior Footballers - All Ireland Senior Football B Champions 1995
Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 26-27
Tipperary senior footballers made history on August 27 when they defeated Longford by seven points in the All-Ireland 'B' Championship final at Birr. The win was most welcome for football followers in the county after a woeful league campaign, which saw the team failing to record a win in Division III.
In the three post-Christmas games they lost to Longford, Antrim and Wexford respectively and these failures were followed by a massive McGrath Cup trouncing at the hands of Clare. It was more in hope than expectation the team looked forward to the Munster championship.
Tipperary had a bye to the semi-final and the preparation of the team was hampered by injuries, curtailed by clashes with club fixtures and, to add to the tale of woe, the selectors had to do without the services of Anthony Crosse in the attack, as a result of an injury received in the hurling semi-final the previous Sunday.
So the team travelled to Tralee on June 24 to take on Kerry, a team they hadn't beaten in a Munster championship game since 1928. The resultant defeat by 7-12 to 1-13 does not do justice to a fine performance from an injury-hit team. Tipperary went from being 0-2 to 0-1 up after ten minutes to being 5-2 to 0-2 down after seventeen minutes. The goals kept coming and coming during this six-minute period.
However, between then and six minutes into the second half, Tipperary came thundering back and reduced the deficit to four points. But this fine effort did not last. Kerry gradually recovered their composure and by the final quarter were completely in charge, hammering home their superiority for a seventeen-point win.
The losing side was as follows: P. Ryan, T. Macken, P. Gleeson, B. Lacey, J. Owens, J. Costello, T. Anglim, B. Burke, D. Foley, D. Hogan, P. Maguire, M. Sheahan, P. Lambert, C. McGrath, B. Cummins. Subs: L. Cronin for Anglim, G. Maguire for Costello.
It is against this background, then, that the success in the 'B' All-Ireland must be viewed. The final was played on the same evening which saw the unveiling of a monument to the great Tubberadora team of a century ago. The game got little publicity and the attendance of less than a thousand people hardly did justice to the endeavours of the players and the significance of the win.
An indication of this significance of this win is the fact that it's the first major win in county senior football since 1971. In that year Tipperary won Division 2 of the National Football League and were presented with a special trophy by the President of the Association, Pat Fanning. The team achieved a 100% success, defeating Carlow, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Clare and Kilkenny along the way.
Victory was clinched when they defeated Waterford by 0-10 to 1-6 at Clonmel on May 16th. Babs Keating, the captain, punched a point five minutes from the end to give the team a one-point victory. The victorious side was: J. O'Donoghue, J. Harney, E. Webster, M. McCormack, D. Fitzgerald, D. O'Gorman, P. O'Donoghue, D. Burke, S. Kearney, P. Blythe, M. Keating, P. O'Connell, J. Cummins, D. Strang, C. McElwee. Subs: P. Moroney for Fitzgerald, L. Myles for McAlwee.
The selectors were Mick Frawley of Emly, Rev. Dr. Marsh of Ardfinnan, Michael O'Meara of Clonmel, Dick McGrath of Loughmore-Castleiney and Tom Larkin of Kilsheelan.
But back to '95. Having beaten Wexford and Waterford, Tipperary qualified for the All-Ireland 'B' final. The victory over Wexford was of particular importance as it represented a tremendous bounce back after the championship defeat by Kerry. It was Longford's second appearance in the final, having lost to Clare in the 1991 decider.
There was never any doubt about the outcome. Longford had no answer to Tipperary, whose appetite for the fray and technical ability were far superior. Playing with the breeze in the first half they established an eight-point lead, 1-7 to 0-2, after eleven minutes.
Derry Foley was in inspirational form at centrefield while Sean Brett and Tom Macken were on top in defence. Davy Hogan scored the first-half goal while substitue Mark Leonard got the second. Longford notched 1-3 in the last ten minutes but there was never any doubt about the outcome. The final score was 2-12 to 2-5 in fvour of Tipperary.
The captain, Philly Ryan, was presented with the cup by Albert Fallon, Vice-President of the G.A.A. and chairman of the Leinster Council.
The sucessful side was as follows: P. Ryan (Commercials) capt., S. Brett (Mullinahone), B. Lawlor (Mullingar Shamrocks). P/Gleeson (Arravale Rovers), M. Sheehan (Nenagh Eire Óg), T. Macken (Ballyporeen), T. Anglim (St. Patrick's), B. Burke (Fethard), D. Foley (Moyle Rovers), B. Cummins (Ardfinnan), P. Lambert (Nemo Rangers), F. O'Callaghan (Commercials), J. O'Dwyer (Killenaule), J. Costello (Kilmacud Crokes), D. Hogan (St. Patrick's). Subs: M. Leonard (Aherlow), for Hogan; C. O'Reilly (Cashel) for Anglim, P. Costello (Garda) for Foley.
The selectors were: Seamus McCarthy (Galtee Rovers) manager; D. J. Gleeson (Eire Óg), Michael Power (Newcastle), Petee Savage (Ardfinnan).