Honouring the 1973, 77, 79 & 83 County Champions of Loughmore-Castleiney

County Tipperary Senior Football Final Program, October 26th 2008


In keeping with the practice of the past number of years, the Tipperary county board, in conjunction with the Nationalist and the Templemore Arms, honour the county senior football champions of 1971, 1977, 1979 and 1983, Loughmore-Castleiney, at the county senior football final at Leahy Park, Cashel today. The members of the victorious panel will be given a reception at the Cashel King Cormac's clubrooms at 12:30 pm and will be guests of the county board at the final. At about 3 pm they will be led on to the field by their captains, and introduced to the crowd. After the games they will be taken to Templemore Arms for dinner. Following the meal they will be made a presentation by the Nationalist. The occasion will be a special opportunity for the members of the teams to reminisce about their great exploits on the field of play so many years ago.

The Seventies Were Mighty for Loughmore-Castleiney

When the seventies dawned in Loughmore-Castleiney the record of the club in senior football was anything but impressive. Defeats had been their lot more than victories. Clubs from the parish had qualified for twelve county finals since the foundation of the G.A.A. but victory was recorded on only four occasions in 1913, 1940, 1946 and 1955. In fact following the victory over Arravale Rovers in the 1955 final, Loughmore-Castleiney lost four finals in a row. This record was to change dramatically in the seventies.

There wasn't much anticipation of this change in fortunes in the early part of the decade. In 1971 Loughmore-Castleiney were compeltely outclassed by Commercials in the county semi-final. There was the consolation of winning the Mid against Moneygall. They didn't qualify for the semi-finals the following year and it took them a replay to beat Templemore in the separate Mid final. There was a major change in their performances in 1973.

They qualified for the county semi-finals, in which they defeated Moyle Rovers by 2-13 to 1-4. Their opponents in the county final, played at Cashel on October 21, were Ardfinnan. and they won their first final since 1955 by 2-10 to 0-7. Ardfinnan led by 0-5 to 0-3 at the interval. Halfway through the second half the sides were level at 0-7 each but in a dramatic finish Loughmore scored 2-3 to win easily. One of the stars of the winning side was Eddie Webster.

The team was Michael Maher, Eddie Stapleton, Eddie Webster (0-1), Tom Maher, Tom Hayes (capt.), Pat Stapleton, Martin Kiely, Sean Kearney (1-4), Tom Maher (L) (0-3), Tom Treacy, Gerry Stapleton, Martin Hynes, Jack Walsh, John Burke (1-1), Jim Healy (0-1). Subs: Johnny Brennan for Tom Treacy, John Treacy for Jack Walsh, Walsh for Martin Hynes
Referee: George Ryan (Lattin-Cullen).

Loughmore-Castleiney failed to make it to the county semi-final in 1974 and won the Mid final by virtue of a walkover from Templemore. In 1975 Loughmore qualified for the county semi-finals and defeated Ardfinnan by 3-11 to 1-5 at Cashel on August 10. Their opponents in the final were Kilruane MacDonaghs, who had caused an upset when they defeated Kilsheelan in the other semi-final. The game was played at Nenagh and the North representatives showed fitness, dedication, enthusiasm and an unparalleled win to win. Loughmore dominated the first half but Kilruane were tenacious after the interval and had two points to spare on a scoreline of 3-6 to 1-10 at the final whistle. It was the first time that Kilruane had played in a final and the first time in sixty years for a North club team to be victorious. Loughmore defeated Templemore by 0-8 to 2-1 in the Mid final.


Surprised in 1976

Loughmore-Castleiney were surprised again in 1976 when beaten by Arravale Rovers in the county semi-final by 0-8 to 1-3 at Cashel on August 8. They had the consolation of winning their twelfth Mid title when they defeated Templemore by 1-11 to 2-5.

Matters were to improve in 1977. Loughmore defeated Golden-Rockwell by 0-11 to 1-7 in the county semi-final at Cashel on September 11 and qualified for the final against Galtee Rovers. This game was played at Thurles on October 23 and resulted in a draw at 2-2 each. Heavy drizzle and a fresh breeze combined to make conditions extremely difficult. Galtee Rovers led by 2-2 to 2-1 at the interval but the sides could manage only one point in the second half.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Michael Maher, Eddie Stapleton, Pat Stapleton, Martin Kiely, Michael Maher, Eddie Webster, Mick Webster, Sean Kearney, Tom Kiely, Jim Maher (1-1), Gerry Stapleton, Jim Sweeney, Jim Healy, Tom McGrath (0-1), Michael Walsh (1-0). Subs: John Bourke for Gerry Stapleton.
Referee: Billy Carroll (Clonmel)

The replay was at Cashel on November 19 and Loughmore won by 2-6 to 0-5. Leading by 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval, they weren't flatterd by their seven-points winning margin. They were very well prepared and were going as well at the finish as they were in the opening minutes.

The team was as follows: Michael Maher, Eddie Stapleton, Pat Stapleton, Martin Kiely, Tom Treacy, Eddie Webster, Michael Webster, Michael Maher, Gerry Stapleton, Tom McGrath, Jim Sweeney, Tom Kiely, Jim Maher, Sean Kearney, Michael Walsh. Subs: Michael McGrath for Tom Treacy, Michael Maher for Tom Treacy, Michael Maher for Tom Kiely, Martin Hynes for Michael Walsh.
Referee: Billy Carroll (St. Mary's).

Loughmore-Castleiney lost the semi-final by 2-13 to 1-10 to Fethard at Cashel on September 10, In the Mid championship Loughmore made it fourteen titles in a row when they defeated Templemore by 1-9 to 2-4 at Thurles on November 12.

Another Victory

Loughmore were back with a bang on 1979. They beat Kilruane-MacDonaghs by 3-14 to 2-8 in the county semi-final at Thurles on July 29. Their opponents in the final at Clonmel on August 26 were Galtee Rovers and they won by 2-11 to 1-9. They led by 1-8 to 0-4 at the interval but Galtee put on the pressure in the second half and came within two points of the winners. However, Loughmore got the decisive second goal which put the verdict beyond doubt.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Michael Maher, Sean Fogarty, Eddie Webster, Martin Kiely, Tom Ryan, Pat McGrath, Eamonn Brennan, Gerry Stapleton, Jim Sweeney, Tom McGrath, Sean Kearney, Tom Kiely, Jim Maher, John Treacy, Michael McGrath.
Referee: Billy Carroll (Clonmel).

Loughmore-Castleiney qualified for the 1981 final when they defeated Commercials by 1-10 to 0-8, after leading by 0-5 to 0-3 at the interval, in the semi-final at Cashel on August 3. The final was played at Fethard on August 31 and Galtee Rovers were making their fifth successive appearance in the final, having won their first in 1977. Though the game was close the crowd got little to enthuse about. Loughmore had most of the possession in the first half but wasted much of it and were in front by only a point at the interval. About midway in the second half, Galtee took the initiative and went ahead. They resisted strong Loughmore pressure in the final minutes to win by 0-11 to 0-10. Loughmore had an easy victory in the Mid final when they trounced Moycarkey-Borris by 4-12 to 0-4 in the final on December 6.

In 1982 Loughmore qualified for the semi-final and played Commercials at Thurles on August 29 and the match ended in a draw at Loughmore 0-6 Commercials 1-3. Loughmore lost the replay at the same venue a week later by 0-8 to 0-6. Loughmore took the Mid title when they defeated Moycarkey-Borris by 1-8 to 3-0 at Templemore on November 28.

As a result of the decision of county convention the system of running the county senior football championship reverted to the old one of two teams from each division playing quarter-finals. Loughmore defeated Arravale Rovers by 1-10 to 0-4 at Cashel on August 7 and qualified to play Kilsheelan in the semi-final. This game was played at Cashel on September 11 with victory going to Loughmore by 1-10 to 1-7. They led by 1-6 to 1-3 at the interval.

Sensational End to Final

There was a sensational ending to the final played at Cashel on October 8. Loughmore-Castleiney were trailing Fethard by seven points with four minutes to go and had all the looks of a beaten team. However, like Lazarus from the grave, they resurrected their act to score two goals and a point during the final period and grab a draw.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Jim Kiely, Sean Fogarty, Martin Kiely, Richard Stapleton, Tom Ryan, Michael Maher, eamonn Brennan, pat McGrath, Gerry Stapleton, Tom McGrath, Michael McGrath, Pat Treacy, Peter Brennan, John Treacy, Michael walsh; Subs: Jim Gorman for sean Fogarty.
Referee: Paddy Russell (Emly).

Two weeks late the replay was at the same venue and Loughmore won by virtue of a Pat McGrath point from a free three minutes from time. Playing against the wind they were behind by the manageable margin of 0-5 to 1-1 at the interval. A couple of switches, that brought Martin Maher to centrefield and Pat McGrath to centreback, revitalised their challenge and never allowed Fethard to get a grip on the game. In the end they won by 0-8 to 1-4.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Jim Kiely, Tom Ryan, Martin Kiely, Sean Fogarty, Pat Treacy, Michael Maher, Eamonn Brennan, Gerry Stapleton, Tom McGrath, Michael McGrath, Pat McGrath, Jim Cormack, Peter Brennan, John Treacy. Michael Walsh. Subs: Frank McGrath for Jim Cormack, Tom Connolly for Pat Treacy, Jim Cormack for Gerry Stapleton.
Referee: Paddy Russell (Emly).

Loughmore's busy year continued with the Munster Club championship. They beat Croom by 0-9 to 1-4 in the first round at Croom on November 6. Three weeks later they played the Clare champions, Doonbeg, at Holycross and the sides drew at 0-8 each. In the replay at Ennis on December 11 Loughmore were beaten by 1-7 to 1-3 in a game that went to extra time.