Cashel King Cormacs Win County Under-21 A Football Championship for First Time in 1990

25th Anniversary of the Achievement, February 2015


Cashel King Cormacs made history when they won the county under-21 A football title in 1990. The club had been successful in the West on two previous occasions but this was the first time they went all the way for county honours.

Five teams affiliated in the West championship, which was played as a knockout competition. Cashel opened their campaign at Golden on June 23 with a victory over Lattin-Cullen by 2-11 to 0-6. They had to wait over four months for their next game which was a semi-final outing against Arravale Rovers at Clonoulty on October 28. They had an easy victory by 3-5 to 0-2.

Cashel's oponents in the final at Clonoulty on November 25 were Cappa/Eire Óg, who had defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 2-7 to 0-3 in the other semi-final.

Cashel played with the breeze in the first half and led by 0-7 to 0-1 at the interval. Play was held up for a half-hour during the opening half because of an injury to Joe O'Leary. As a precaution the player could not be moved from the pitch because of a suspected neck injiury but, thankfully, it wasn't as serious as feared.

Early in the second half Cashel netted twice, the first from a T. J. Connolly penalty and the second from John Paul O'Dwyer. They now led by 2-7 to 0-2 and this effectively was the end of the contest for Cappa/Eire Óg, who scored a consolation goal by Cathal Creedon near the end to leave the final score 2-7 to 1-4 in Cashel's favour.


Winning Double

Michael Perdue was the winning captain and the victory gave the club an under-21 hurling and football double. Not since Arravale Rovers did the double in 1959, the inaugural year of the under-21 grade, had any club achieved the double.

The Cashel King Cormacs team was as follows: Seanie O'Donoghue, Sean O'Duibhir, Denis Keating, Joe O'Leary, Michael Perdue (capt.), Ailbe Bonnar, Sean Morrissey, T. J. Connolly (1-1), Raymie Ryan, Shane Lawrence (0-1), Conal Bonnar (0-3), Timmy Moloney (0-1), Declan McGrath, John Maher (0-1), John Paul O'Dwyer (1-0). Subs: Jamesie O'Donoghue for Raymie Ryan, Seanie Barron for Joe O'Leary, Kelvin Flanagan for Timmy Moloney. 

Referee: Nicholas Lonergan (Solohead).

Selectors: Denis Fitzgerald, Brian Clancy and coach, Colm O'Flaherty. The latter, from Cahir and a teacher in the Vocational School, was brought in as a coach to help with the final preparations of the team.


County Championship

In the county semi-final at the Ragg on December 9, Cashel defeated Eire Óg, Nenagh by 2-9 to 2-6. Cashel started slowly but then got into their stride and had a goal from John Paul O'Dwyer. They went six points clear but Eire Óg rallied before half-time, at which stage Cashel led by 1-6 to 1-4. Thegame remained tight in the third quarter but then a Timmy Moloney goal put Cashel back into a six-point lead once more. Eire Óg got a goal back in the last minute but it was too little, too late to effect the result, which had Cashel in front by 2-9 to 2-6.

Cashel King Cormacs: Seanie Barron, Sean O'Duibhir, Ailbe Bonnar, Denis Keating, Michael Perdue (captain), Raymie Ryan, Jamesie O'Donoghue, T. J. Connolly, Timmy Moloney, Shane Lawrence, Conal Bonnar, Seanie O'Donoghue, Declan McGrath, John Maher, John Paul O'Dwyer.
Referee: Michael Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill.

The county final wasn't played until January 13, 1991. Originally fixed for Littleton it was changed to Kilsheelan where Cashel, who were very much the outsiders, had to play Clonmel Commercials, who had a convincing win by 2-17 to 1-5 over Loughmore-Cstleiney in the second semi-final on the previous Sunday. 

The match developed into a low-scoring encounter that provided plenty of thrills for the attendance. Cashel led by 0-3 to 0-2 at the interval. Commercials went in front early in the second half but with T. J. Connolly in sparkling form, and points from Declan McGrath and Timmy Moloney, Cashel went in front once more. Commercials levelled but failed to score in the last eight minutes as Cashel substitute, John Maher, twice pointed to ensure a famous victory for Cashel. The final score was 0-8 to 0-5 in their favour as they won their first ever title in the grade. 

Michael Perdue was captain of the history-making side and he received the cup from football chairman, Hugh Kennedy.

Cashel King Cormacs: Seanie Barron, Sean O'Duibhir, Ailbe Bonnar, Denis Keating, Michael Perdue (capt.), Raymie Ryan (0-1), Jamesie O'Donoghue, T. J.Connolly, Sean Morrissey, Shane Lawrence, Conal Bonnar (0-2), Sean O'Donoghue, John Paul O'Dwyer, Timmy Moloney (01), Declan McGrath (0-2). Subs: John Maher (02) for John Paul O'Dwyer, Joe O'Leary for Shane Lawrence. Also: Kelvin Flanagan, James Maher, Pakie McInerney, Michael Delahunty, Trevor McInerney, Michael Brosnan, Andrew Courtney, Justin Irwin.

Clonmel Commercials: Sean Duggan, D. J. O'Dwyer, John Connolly, Sean O'Loughlin, Michael O'Mahoney, Riain Forrestal, Conor English, Ger O'Mahoney (0-1), Ger Deely (0-1), Brian Fahey, Anthony Wall (0-1), John Harvey (0-1),  Mickey Peters (0-1), Brian Cahill, Brendan Kearney. Subs: Pa Burke for Brian Cahill, Declan Pollard for Michael Peters, Liam Phelan for Brendan Kearney.

Referee: Michael Maunsell (Moneygall)


Cashel Jubilant at County Final Triumph
(Cashel Page, The Nationalist, January 19, 1991.)

Jubilation enveloped Cashel on Sunday afternoon and evening as news quickly spread than Cashel King Cormacs under-21 team had taken the county football championship – a first-ever for Cashel – in a tussle with hot-favourites, Clonmel Commercials.

Earlier on Sunday at the Rock Club, the clubhouse for Cashel King Cormacs, team manager, Denis Fitzgerald, had no doubt about the outcome of the game in his pre-match pep talk to the players. Denis, making light of the ominous record of the opposition and the vaunted status of Commercials as a top team, said 'he had seen Cashel going all the way to the county championship from the first game.' Continuing he predicted: 'I have no doubt about the cup coming back to Cashel today.' The team had it in them, he felt. It was a case of getting out on to the field, despensing with personal complaints between each other or altercating about the referee's decisions, to bring out the championship ability he knew the team was made of. The crown would be there for the taking and he confidentally expected it to be won by Cashel.
Other mentors, although more cautious about predicting the outcome, had the same hopeful and confident message to impart to the would-be champions.

Seamus King, chairman of Cashel King Cormac's G.A.A. Club, advised the Cashel lads: 'Give it your all,' cautioning against a fancy approach especially in rough, cold weather conditions. He advised the players to play 'direct football'.

Fr. Bernie Moloney, wishing the team well, pointed to the fact that the team was formed around the nucleus of teams who had won county championships at school level and who had now come to fruition at under-21 level. Putting Commercials' daunting tradition to the side, he said: 'You yourselves have done much to build up the tradition of football in the town.'

Brian Clancy, the energetic selector, assured the players that from a psycholiogical point of view 'we have the support of all thecounty outside Clonmel.' If the team paid attention to discipline he said they could definitely win.

Colm O'Flaherty, team trainer, who gave a detailed tactical talk to the players, exuded a sense of confidence to them. He felt that finals are won by the 15-18 fellows, who most want to win.
As they left the clubhouse on a bitterly cold and windy Sunday afternoon in January, one felt that the young players had it in their hearts to come back to the 'City of the Kings' with nothing less than the county cup --- and they did. Denis Fitzgerald, as it happened, had spoken the most prophetic words of the day and, perhaps, of his lifetime.

A spokesman for Cashel King Cormacs, expressing delight at the outcome of the game, praised Kilsheelan G.A.A. Club for the excellent condition of the playing field. The 0-8 to 0-5 scoreline was a comfortable win and Cashel had played a hard game especially in the first half. Cashel were very happy, he said, with the performances of T. J. Connolly, Michael Perdue (captain),  and Declan McGrath in the first half, which ended with Cashel 0-5 to 0-3 ahead at half-time.
Cashel had reason to be worried when the enlivened Commercials had levelled withing ten minutes of the second half. The introduction of John Maher, who scored a spectacular point, and of Joe O'Leary made all the difference, and it was sweet for Cashel supporters when Declan McGrath brought Cashel back in front again. Conal Bonnar, James O'Donoghue, Joe O'Leary and Seanie O'Donoghue were also all roundly congratulated for the spokesman for helping to achieve a fantastic win or Cashel.

The evening was rounded off for Cashel's returning heroes with a meal at Grant's Castle Hotel, followed by further inevitable hours of celebration. Cashel King Cormac's had completed a remarkable year with at least one highly cherished county final success.


Satisfaction for the the King Cormacs
(Westside, The Nationalist, January 19, 1991.)

First a full-throated three cheers for Cashel King Cormacs. When you've won the hurling and football double in both senior and under-21 in your division it would indeed be rough justice not to claim one county addition.

If Cashel had their choice from the four I don't think under-21 football would be the selection but nevertheless, when the others failed it must have been sweet solace to win the under-age football from such reputable opponents as Commercials.

Adding to its flavour was the fact that it was a first for the club in the under-21 grade, either hurling or football. That sounds surprising given the quality of their undersage output over the years. Their upcoming teams of the mid-seventies stopped short of under-21 success after minor wins in both codes. A hurling loss to Kilruane still hurts from that period and on Sunday they were recalling a loss in football to Commecials in 1977. Revenge (in the sporting sense) was sweet indeed.

In their victory Cashel gave much credit to team trainer/coach, Colm O'Flaherty, principal of the local vocational school. Colm's Cahir background would have been quite useful in anticipating Commercials strengths and weaknesses as would his involvement with Tipp underage sides.

Reports on the game indicate a Cashel win somewhat handier than the scoring would indicate.


Path to County Championship Success

23/06/90  Golden:  Cashel King Cormacs 2-11  Lattin/Emly 0-6  (John Moloney, Galtee Rovers))
30/09/90  Dundrum:  Cappa/Eire Óg 2-7  Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-3  (James O'Donnell, Rockwell Rovers)
28/10/90  Clonoulty: Cashel King Cormacs 3-5  Arravale Rovers 0-2  (Paddy Lonergan, Galtee Rovers)
25/11/90  Clonoulty: Cashel King Cormacs 2-7  Cappa/Eire Óg 1-4  (Nicholas Lonergan, Solohead)

09/12/90  The Ragg: Cashel King Cormacs 2-9  Nenagh Eire Óg  2-6  (Michael Doyle, Holycross-Ballycahill.
13/01/91  Kilsheelan:  Cashel King Cormacs 0-8  Clonmel Commercials 0-5  (Michael Maunsell, Moneygall)