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7a Tipp GAA Yearbook 80's

1928 Recalled - Tipperary Beat Kerry Footballers Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, pp 82-83

1928 Recalled - Tipperary Beat Kerry Footballers

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, pp 82-83

 

The last time that Tipperary beat Kerry in the Munster senior football championship was sixty years ago this year. The historic occasion was at Tipperary Town on July 8 1928 when the footballers of the Premier County defeated the premier footballers in the county by 1-7 to 2-3. 

Hopes weren't too bright beforehand. The game hadn't been flourishing as well as previously, mainly due to emigration. During the previous four or five years Tipperary footballers were simply streaming out of Cobh and it was claimed that if the emigrants could be brought back, it would be possible to field a team which could well stand up to Kerry. 


Preview 

However, things weren't too bad. A good team had been selected with representatives from Templemore, Fethard, Clonmel, Ardfinnan, Kilsheelan, Mullinahone and Carrick. According to the preview in 'The Tipperary Star' while Kerry would start as favourites, Tipperary could spring a surprise. "The home side tomorrow will have the services of T. Carthy, that robust member of the Garda Siochana, who captained Dublin last year. Con . Keane, the brilliant Cashel hurler, who played so well against Clare in Thurles a fortnight ago, is also on the team. Versatility par excellence! Further powerful aid to the Tipp. side will be lent by the services of T. Lee, that brilliant footballer from 'the Glen' . During his time in U.C.C. Tom Lee played consistently good football and he has already done wonderful work in inter-county games for the old county. Tipeprary can regard itself as being lucky to have him tomorrow". 


Preparation 

A big crowd was expected. Special trains ran from Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel and from Templemore, Thurles via Fethard and Clonmel. There was also a special from Tralee. The Kerry team arrived in Tipperary on Saturday evening and were treated well. Rumour had it they were taken out to the Glen and 'tanked up'! Perhaps their hosts were taking literally an exhortation that appeared in the 'Tipperary Star', which stated: 'It is hoped that a special effort will be made to cater for the excursionists and that nobody will be sent home hungry or thirsty'.

The Game

The match was played in 'Pat McGrath's Field' at the back of the Old Workhouse and although the weather was ideal, only about 4,000 people turned up. Obviously, not many were giving the home side much of a chance. Kerry played with the wind in the fIrst half and were behind by 1-5 to 0-2 at the interval. Tipperary had played well and the goal by P. Kenny of Carrick had given them great heart. However, it appeared that Kerry, with the aid of the wind would get back on top in the second half. They came out a changed team after the interval and began to attack like demons. But they met powerful opposition from a determined Tipperary side and in the course of the thirty minutes could score only 2-1 while the home side notched up two more points to be ahead by 1-7 to 2-3 at the final whistle. 

The result was a sensation. A number of factors contributed to Tipperary's victory. The selection committee had made a good choice. The team stuck to its task with determination for a grueling sixty minutes. There was also the fact that Kerry had approached the game in a casual way and only woke up to the fact of having a fight on their hands in the second half. Finally there was the magnificent defense of the home backs who held out against desperate onslaughts from the visitors in the second half. 

A Pyrrhic Victory

An extraordinary feature of the game was the number of Tipperary casualties. All four reserves were used. Yet the match could not be described as rough. The two worst casualties were purely accidental and the others were attributed to the zeal with which the players got down to their work. Tom Lee one of the last surviving members of the team, recalls the injuries: 'J. Davey of Templemore broke his leg that day. He and John Joe Sheehy were running at the ball from opposite directions. Both drew at it on the ground. John Joe's boot hit Davey in the middle of the shin and the bone broke like a stick. The sound of it was heard around the field. 'It made me sick', I can truthfully say. Davey was, of course, taken off and never played again. He was an awful loss to us, as he beat John Joe completely that day". In fact two hurleys were used as splints for his leg. ' 

Tom Lee continues: "Towards the end of the match Tom Carthy sprained his ankle, having jumped into a hole, made by young lads in the field. In so far as I remember never played again. He was a terrible loss". 


Team

The winning side was as follows: John Watson (Fethard), M. Barry (Bansha), R. Heffernan (Clonmel), R. Mockler (Mullinahone), J. Davey (Templemore), J. O'Leary (Ardfinnan), E. Lonergan (Ardfinnan), T. McCarthy (Guards), T. Lee (Drumcondra), W. Barrett (Mullinahone), C. Keane (Army), D. Mullins (Fethard), P. Arrigan (Carrick-on-Suir), T. O'Keeffe (Kilsheelan), P. Kenny (Carrick-on-Suir). The substitutes were: G. Croke, J. Scott, M. Maher, M. Strapp.

Munster Final

The final against Cork was fixed for Dungarvan on August 5 and Tipperary followers were fairly hopeful after the great display against Kerry. Cork were winners of ten Munster finals and Tipperary were two behind with eight. The result was another surprise. Cork were superior in all points of the game and won comprehensively by 4-3 to 0-4 before an attendance of nearly seven thousand. The defeat was attributed to many causes but the principal one was Tipperary's over-confidence going into the game. The losers were also under trained and lacked completely the fighting spirit displayed against Kerry. On top of all Cork proved a much better team than anticipated. They led by 2-1 to 0-3 at half-time. 


Memories 

Tom Lee recalls: "I have very unhappy memories of that match. I was very tired (having stayed in Ring on Saturday night and walked with Michéal o Cionnghaola (R.I.P.) across the Coinigear on Sunday morning). Also, an unbelievable thing happened during the match, a few minutes before the end. I was about forty yards from our goal. The ball had been kicked in high from midfield and, as it passed over my head, I heard a whistling sound from it. Dick Heffernan, our fullback, ran towards it, caught it, only to find it flatten in his hands, with the air still whistling out of it. It fell to the ground and did not hop. Dick picked it up again and held it up in one hand, shouting at the referee that the ball was punctured. He, of course, didn't understand what was going on and did not blow the whistle. A Cork forward ran in and fisted the deflated ball to the net. We remonstrated but to no avail. The flag was put up and the goal stood. We lost the match". 

"What happened was that the lacing of the ball opened, the nozzle of the bladder had come out and lost its tying. It was useless arguing with the referee. I never heard of such a thing happening before or since. Kildare easily defeated Cork in the subsequent match. Arbh aiteas go dti e?" 

The defeated side was: J. Weston (Fethard), D. Mullins (Fethard), R. Heffeman (Clonmel), M. Barry (Galtee Rovers), R. Mockler, M. Nolan and W. Barrett (Mullinahone), T. Lanigan (Grangemockler), J. O'Leary, E. Lonergan (Ardfmnan), P. Arrigan, P. Kenny (Carrick-on-Suir), T. O'Keeffe (Kilsheelan), C. Keane (Army), T. Lee (Drumcondra).

 

Postscript 

Four members of the panel survive sixty years later. As well as Tom Lee the survivors include Tommy O'Keeffe, Mick Barry and Jack Scott. Tom Lee and Connie Keane were picked for Munster the following year. Ten Kerry players were included. Tom Lee takes up the story: 'Kerry wanted their own centrefield so I had to play in the half-forward line. I kept passing balls to the other Kerry forwards who, strange to say, were making poor use of them. (I never played in the forward line in my life and so had no confidence in my shot). I remember John Joe Sheehy shouting to me to shoot myself. Anyway, Munster were beaten. 

In January 1932, Tom Lee became Professor of History and Geography in St. Patrick's Teacher Training College, Drumcondra. He began playing football with the college team, Erin's Hope, and won the Dublin senior championship in 1933. The team included Brendan Nestor of Galway, Murt Kelly or Kerry, Willie Connolly of Cavan, Colm Boland of Westmeath and Sean Feeney of Waterford. 

While he was still in St. Patrick's someone in Radio Eireann had the bright idea of having an Irish broadcast of the St. Patrick's Day matches. Tom Lee continues: 'They approached me and I consented. It proved no trouble from the language point of view but it was impossible for me to recognise the players on the field - men from different parts of two provinces, most of whom were never before seen in Croke Park. The broadcasting box was very high up in the stand - it was small - water and steam streaming down the panes of glass. The window couldn't be opened because of the shouting. "D'eirigh leis an iarracht, deirtear, ach caithfidh me admháill gur thugas moladh san ait nár tuilleadh agus is eagal lion gur fhágas ina éamais go minic an té a thuill. Ach b'in i an chéad uair o aimsir na bhFianna fado, is d6cha, a craoladh cluiche i dteanga na Gaeilge". 

 

 

 

Ossie Bennett (1958-88) - 30 Years a Rubbing Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, p 65

Ossie Bennett (1958-88) - 30 Years a Rubbing

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, p 65

 

One of the greatest kicks Ossie Bennett got in 1988 was when St. Kieran's won the Kerry senior football championship. The team used train in Carrow, halfway between Castleisland and Farranfore and Ossie was called in to 'straighten out ankles, cartilages, backs and shoulders'. The five­hour round trip from Johnstown didn't cost him a thought. The previous year it was Myshall in County Carlow. They were beaten in the hurling final, but won the football. In 1986 they had been successful in both. . 

These are but two of the impressive number of achievements by this man from Ballinhassig, Co. Cork, now residing in Co. Kilkenny and identified for so long with Co. Tipperary. He has been associated with at least twenty county championship winning sides and has gone into Croke Park with twelve All-Ireland winning teams. They include six with Tipperary, four with Offaly, one with Galway and Cork's football victory in 1973. 

Athlete

Ossie Bennett learned his skill in straightening out bodies from his father, Bill, and his own lengthy experience as an athlete. Bill Bennett was an impressive athlete in the hurdles, 100 yards, high jump and reached 23' 11" in the long jump. His ability was recognised when he was chosen as one of those to lead the parade in the Tailteann Games in 1924. 

Ossie made a similar impact in the world of sport. An all-round athlete like his father his main interests were in cycling and boxing. His cycling interest began as a boy when he cycled thirteen miles a day from his home to school in Cork. During his career he won nerly one hundred cycle races at all distances. 

Professional Boxer

Ossie Bennett had a professional boxing career that stretched from 1933 to 1945. It started when Gerard Egan, a boxing promoter from the U.S. came to Cork looking for 'White Hopes' in boxing around 1933. During his career Bennett beat such boxing luminaries as Tiger Smith, Barney Smith, Manuel Quinn, Eddie Downey, Tommy Upton, Tommy Mallon and Moss Leane in places as far apart as Cork, Belfast, Montreal and South America. He reckons he never reached his full potential as a boxer and, when the war was over, Ossie, who was born in 1916, was too old to resume his boxing career. 


The Tipperary Connection

Until he got married in 1949 0ssie Bennett was an engineer with the Limerick Steamship Company, and plied the route between Limerick and various ports in England. About that time he answered an advertisement for 'an engineer with a knowledge of steam' and got the job with Roscrea Meat Products Ltd. He got a house on the Offaly side of Roscrea, became friendly with Fr. Vaughan and began training the Coolderry team. 

In 1958 John Joe Maher introduced him to Liam Devaney, who was suffering from some injury. He progressed from there to rubbing Tipperary for the Munster final. In 1960 Sean Ryan, Matt Hassett and Jack Hough asked him to train Toomevara, who went on to win the county final. The following year he was called up full time for Tipperary to replace Bion O'Brien, and he has been with the county since. He worked in conjunction with Jerry Doyle, until the latter's death. Jerry did the hurling training and Ossie the physical training. 

Training

Ossie Bennett admits he has no formal training whatsoever but he knows the body thoroughly. He learned firstly from his father and from his own athletic experience he got the rest. There is a strong tradition for healing in the family. His grandmother used to cure people with physical ailments but advised Ossie to keep away from it, as it wasn't lucky. Ossie inherited this gift and he is in demand today, not only from teams but also from a constant stream of people who visit him from the four corners of the country. 

His aim in the training of players is to increase their heart revs. He believes that the player must be able to increase the normal rev count of sixty to eighty or more if he hopes to respond to the demands of a strenuous game. Only training that will increae the rev count is of any value. 

Many Interests

Ossie Bennett is a very busy man. At seventy-two years today he has very few spare minutes. He prefers it that way. He has other interests besides training teams and mending physical ailments. Vintage cars and steam engines are his great loves. 

 Ossie Bennett with Lord Mantague, in the oldest surviving registered car in Ireland

Ossie Bennett with Lord Mantague, in the oldest surviving registered car in Ireland

His interest in vintage cars goes back to the mid-hfties and he got into steam engines in the mid-sixties, soon after Stradbally started. In 1961 he joined Gouldings Fertilizers in Dublin and used to travel to Thurles regularly with Donie Nealon and the other Dublin-based Tipperary players. In 1963, on his way to Thurles, he saw a garage in Johnstown for sale. He examined it, bought the place and retired from Gouldings.

Since then he has led a very full life and enjoyed every moment of it: He has been very happy with the teams he trained and admits to having been treated well. If he has contributed substantially to the success of many teams he is content in the thought that he has received immense enjoyment in return. Retiring from his job with Tipperary team will give him more time to pursue his other interests. One thing is certain though, Ossie Bennett will not sit down and put the feet up.

 

 

 

G.A.A. Publications - 1988 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, pp 62-63

G.A.A. Publications - 1988

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, pp 62-63

 

Whereas the appearance of the 'Tipperary G.A.A. Story' was the most important publishing event in the county over the past year a number of club histories also saw the light of day. It is encouraging to see so many clubs undertaking the task of researching and writing their histories and it is to be hoped that their example may encourage the others to get to work. 


Borrisoleigh 

At the end of 1986, too late for inclusion in the article on publications in the 1987 Yearbook, Borrisoleigh published their G.A.A. history. 'A Century of G.A.A. in Borrisoleigh' is a joint effort by Lar Long and Timmy Delaney and sells for £7. It contains 212 pages. The first three chapters give a cursory glance at the early years up to 1940 and from then to 1986 the history of the club is covered in greater detail. The last chapters include information on Borrisoleigh players who made their names at inter-county level, the club's involvement in Scor, the history of Bishop Quinlan Park and Borrisoleigh players who performed with distinction with other clubs and counties. The strength of the book is in its illustrations, having over eighty pages of photographs between its covers. The book was printed by the Leinster Leader Ltd. 


Boherlahan and Dualla

Back in 1973 Philip Ryan published the 'Tubberadora-Boherlahan Hurling Story', a forty page account of the hurling highlights from the famous parish. The booklet gave people an appetite for more information and that came at the end of 1987 with the publication of 'Boherlahan and Dualla: A Century of Gaelic Games', by John Maher and Philip Ryan. The book, in an attractive dustcover of blue with a gold sash, contains 354 pages, was printed by Litho Press Co., Midleton, Co. Cork and sells for £10. The book is divided into sixteen chapters and twelve appendices. The Tubberadora years are covered in extensive detail and chapter 8 gives a detailed account of the glorious years of Boherlahan. The appendices are a mine of information, especially those dealing with county and divisional finals. The book carries over fifty pages of photographs. 


Eire Óg

In 1943 Eire Óg became the first team from the west division to take the county senior hurling title. That achievement is given pride of place in the history of the club 'Eire Óg: GAA. History: 1886-1986' by Eileen O'Carroll, which was published at the end of 1987. The book, which contains 190 pages, is really about the years in the west division from 1930 to 1986. The earlier period is only glanced at in Chapter 1. An interesting point about the book is the way the author follows each chapter with profiles on the most prominent contemporary personalities. It gives a variety and a human interest to the book. There are over forty pages of photographs and the book is printed by Tipperary Offset Printers. 


Ballingarry

Ballingarry launched their history at Thurles at the end of August and the 216 page production, printed by the Kilkenny People Ltd. is a credit to them. It has a very attractive cover containing colour pictures of recent achievements and sells for £7. Written by a committee it covers the history of the club from 1887 to 1987 in great detail. James Murray was the chairman of this committee and he pays special tribute to the editor, Dick Molloy, who compiled the book and Paddy O'Connell, who worked so assiduously collecting material for it. The book contains over seventy photographs, is very detailed on athletics with plenty on Ballincurry and Coolquill and has interesting memories of teams from Crohane, the Commons and Smith O'Briens. Such books have to be paid for and Ballingarry collected no less than fifty two pages of ads, which form quarter of the book. As well as adding twenty-five percent to the cost of the publication this practice takes from the book as the pages of ads intrude on the enjoyment of reading it. This very fact is bad for the reader but obviously good for the advertiser. It might have been possible to have got these sponsors to agree to a discreet listing at the back of the book. It certainly would have made it more pleasant for the reader. 


Templemore, Clonmore, Killea

Not many readers will be aware that these three clubs are in the same parish. What about the Parish Rule? A brief guide to the situation would be that Templemore is the football end of things, Clonmore is the intermediate hurling side and Killea, of Tommy Treacy fame, is the junior. Any gaps in our information will be adequately filled on December 7 when Martin Bourke's monumental work on the G.A.A. in the parish will be launched at the Templemore Arms. This book, in large format, will approach 600 pages. It is being printed by Litho Press, Middleton and it is hoped, as a result of generous sponsorship to keep the price at under £10. It should make fascinating reading containing, not only a historical account of the years, but profiles of All-Ireland players, Bill Ryan, Jim Ryan, Billy Grant, Arthur Carroll and the legendary Tommy Treacy. As well the parish produced administrators of the calibre of Canon Fogarty, J. K. Bracken and Fr. Lee. There is an extensive section on the schools, with no less than twenty five photographs from Templemore C.B.S. 


Kilsheelan and Kilcash

For the past few years Sean Nugent has been beavering away on the history of Kilsheelan and Kilcash and he is hoping to see it launched on December 8. The interesting thing about this parish is that the first club was formed in Kilcash about 1884 and it continued in existence until 1910. The Kilsheelan club saw the light of day in 1924 and the midwife was Bill O'Keeffe. Before he died in 1984, Bill wrote an account of the formation of the club and that account forms part of this book. Bill himself is profiled in the book as is his brother, Gerry, of colossal fame. Other famous Kilsheelan men were Jack Roche and Paddy Larkin, the father of Tom. The latter is the only native of the parish to win senior All-Ireland honours. Another famous hurler was Jim Kehoe. He won an All-Ireland Intermediate medal and a National League medal. He also has the distinction of winning Railway Cup medals in hurling and football. There are many other things in this book of over three hundred pages, including an account of the Ballypatrick Handball Club and the famous Tony Ryan. The book will sell at £10 in paperback and £15 for the hardback version. 

There are three other club histories in the can, but for various reasons haven't yet been published. They are Thurles Sarsfields by Donie O'Gorman, Fethard by Mick Ahearne and Galtee Rovers by Seamus McCarthy. 

On the question of publications I hope all readers collect the fine programmes produced for Tipperary matches last year and this year. Some of them are already collector's items. Our county final programmes of 1987 and 1988 were a credit to Donie O'Gorman and his committee. I should like to refer to the cover of this year's programme with the photograph of Hill 16 on All-Ireland day. How many of you picked yourselves out? 

Finally, I refer you to a new publication on Gaelic games that made its appearance first in July 1986. Called 'Gaelic Review' it appeared with great fanfare and sold for £1, with a postal subscription of £12 for the year. Published by Victory Irish Publications Ltd., 82 Upper Georges St., Dun Laoghaire and edited by Martin Breheny of the 'Irish Press' Group, it hasn't lived up to expectations and has appeared sporadically. It's a pity because such publications are rare indeed.

 

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship (1988) Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, pp 25-27

The County Senior Hurling Championship (1988)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1989, pp 25-27

 

Michael Ryan of Fennor, a nephew of Jim of Loughmore and Bloody Sunday fame, was so thrilled with the result of the county final that he invited the whole panel, selectors and their girls to a meal in Thurles. Tomsey Gleeson, a native of Cugilla but now residing in London, phoned up that he would supply a set of jerseys. The team on arrival at the Four Roads boarded a float and were played by the local band to the village amidst scenes of wild enthusiasm, where the celebrations continued until the early hours.

Those happenings were representative of the tremendous feelings of joy and enthusiasm that filled every native of Loughmore-Castleiney when the final whistle sounded in the replayed county senior hurling final. The two points advantage in the mid team's favour was a great reward for the dedication and determination of a small parish of twelve hundred and fifty people. It was a just return for a team that went senior for the first time in 1981, won four mid titles and qualified for three county finals in the intervening years.

 Loughmore Castleiney captain Eamon Sweeney lifts the Dan Breen Cup following this teams victory in the County Final 

Loughmore Castleiney captain Eamon Sweeney lifts the Dan Breen Cup following this teams victory in the County Final 

Loughmore-Castleiney's victory, like Cappawhite's last year, gave hope to all those clubs that have never achieved the highest honour in county hurling. It also revealed that hurling dominance in the county is no longer the preserve of a few clubs.

PROSPECTS

Earlier in the year there were a number of expected contenders for the title. Cappawhite were regarded as good enough to make it two-in-a-row, many believing them to be unlucky in the Munster club final. Borrisoleigh, with their impressive array of talents would be in the shake-up if they could get out of the north. Loughmore-Castleiney would also be there or
thereabouts.

The first big shock came in the first round of the west when Clonoulty Rossmore summarily dismissed the county champions and installed themselves as favourites to succeed.
Cashel had other ideas and, in a very impressive display at Dundrum, sent Clonoulty crashing to defeat. Cashel went on to win the west in an unimpressive display against Kickhams
at Cappawhite .


THE OTHER DIVISIONS

Meanwhile in the South Killenaule ended a twenty-five year famine when they took the south title for the first time since 1963, beating St. Mary's at Fethard. On the same day Borrisoleigh were taking their twelfth title in the north, providing their supporters with a fine display of hurling to defeat Roscrea by seven points . A week later, at Templemore , Loughmore-Castleiney completed a hat-trick of mid senior hurling titles when they beat Holycross Ballycahill by three points in one of the best finals for years.


QUARTER-FINALS

Three of the county quarter-finals were scheduled for the weekend of August 13-14. The fourth was delayed because of the north play-off to decide on the second team to represent that division. In that game Roscrea seemed coasting to victory when they led ten points to seven with thirteen minutes remaining. Then a fortuitous goal by Michael Cleary revitalised Nenagh's effort and they had six points to spare at the final whistle.

Two quarter-final games of very mediocre quality were played at Boherlahan on August 14. Joe O'Dwyer, playing at corner-forward, was the star of Killenaule's easy victory over Kickhams. He scored 2-5 of his side's total of 5-14 and Killenaule dominated the game for most of the hour . Kickhams got two goals in the last eight minutes to give a look of respectability to a rather dismal performance . Their final tally was 4-6.

In the second game , Cashel were unimpressive against an injury-hit St. Mary's. The South runners-up kept in touch with the West champions all through because of Cashel's failure to translate superiority on the field into scoring opportunities. In the end Cashel had eight points to spare on a score of 3-11 to 2-6.

On the previous evening at Templemore Borrisoleigh were very lucky to survive by one point against Holycross-Ballycahill. In a thrilling game the mid runners-up squandered a number of first class chances of forcing a draw in the final few minutes and were beaten by 1-9 to 1-8. ln contrast the north champions could be thankful for the efforts of Noel O'Dwyer, who was deadly accurate from the placed ball, scoring six points in all.

It seemed as if Eire Og would be victorious.  Although playing against the breeze in the first half, they led Loughmore Castleiney by four points to three at the interval.  In fact they should have been more in front but for many wasted scoring chances.  Soon after the resumption Philip Kennedy put them further ahead with a point from a sixty five.  But then the game turned completely about when a Pat McGrath sideline puck seemed to go all the way to the Nenagh net.  A further point and a goal followed and Loughmore Castleiney hurled very well for about 15 minutes, building up an eight point lead.  Nenagh came back somewhat into the game in the final quarter but a last minute goal by Seamus Bohan had the mid champions in front by 3-8 to 0-9 at the final whistle. 


A FOUR DIVISION DRAW

Not since 1967 were all divisions represented in the county semi-finals. The draw brought Borrisoleigh against Cashel and Loughmore-Castleiney against Killenaule. Because of the All-Ireland football final the games were split with north versus west at Thurles

On Saturday evening September 17th and the mid versus south encounter on Sunday September 18th. 

Borrisoleigh were favourites to beat Cashel but the latter had other ideas.  The west champions started off well and were three points to one ahead after eleven minutes.  Then a sixty yard free by Noel O’Dwyer was touched to the net by Aidan Ryan while the Cashel goalkeeper and full back stood indecisively.  The blow seemed to knock the fight out of Cashel who were further stunned in the eighteenth minute with a second Borrisoleigh goal by Paddy Kenny.  At half time Borrisoleigh were ahead by 2-5 to 0-4.  On the resumption the north men added a goal and two points to open a twelve point lead.  Only at this stage did Cashel regain the fluency they showed in the opening ten minutes. In a great last quarter they reduced the lead to five points.  But for superb goalkeeping by Noelie Maher in the Borris goal and the ineffectiveness of the Cashel inside forward line the result could easily have been different than the final score of 3-8 to 2-6.  

The second semi-final at Cashel on Sunday evening finished a very one sided affair after a first close first half. At the end of this stage Loughmore Castleiney had a two point advantage over Killenaule in a score of eight points to six. However, the mid men changed to a much faster gear after the interval and scored 2-3 in the third quarter. They dominated the game and were ahead by 2-18 to 1-9 at the final whistle. The Killenaule goal came in the dying minutes and gave a slight respectability to Killenaule's performance.


COUNTY FINAL

Borrisoleigh were fancied for the final and most people believed that their class would tell in the end and that they would take their seventh senior title. They were coached for the encounter by Paddy Doyle while Loughmore Castleiney had the services of the wider
known, Jimmy.

A great game was expected but, as so often happens, it didn't materialise. In damp conditions, with Semple Stadium totally lacking in any liveliness, the game developed into an intense but scrappy encounter, kept interesting by the closeness of the scores. It was a game of appalling misses and poor hurling.

The first half was undistinguished except for a great free from a sideline cut by Tom McGrath from seventy yards and a goal by Seamus Bohan two minutes from half time which gave Loughmore-Castleiney a 1-3 to 0-3 lead at the interval. Borrisoleigh played their best hurling in the third quarter and went into the lead. LoughmoreCastleiney came back into the game and
went two points ahead, but Noel O'Dwyer and Conor Stakelum points brought the sides level with six minutes to go, and that's how it finished with Borrisoleigh nine points to one-six for Loughmore-Castleiney. It was the northmen's third successive county final appearance without scoring a goal.

The replay was fixed for six days later, October 8. lt was the first replayed final since 1982 and the first time for a senior final to be played on a Saturday. The replayed All-Ireland senior football final prevented a Sunday fixture. Flowery Ryan' s wedding and Liam Cormack's emigration made a later date impossible.

The replay will be remembered for its sensational ending. Two minutes to go Borrisoleigh seemed almost certainties. They were two points up and set for victory. Loughmore-Castleiney kept plugging away. The ball was making its tortuous progress along the Kinane Stand side of the field. At the far side Pat McGrath was following its progress and keeping parallel with it. When Liam Cormack's shot was blocked out by Noellie Maher, McGrath was present to slap home an all-important goal. Michael McGrath shot another point from the puck-out and devastated Borrisoleigh were left without time to redress the situation.

 Borrisoleigh goal keeper Noelie Maher clears despite close attention of Seamus Bohane of Loughmore Castleiney

Borrisoleigh goal keeper Noelie Maher clears despite close attention of Seamus Bohane of Loughmore Castleiney

It was a victory for the never-say-die spirit of Loughmore-Castleiney. With the benefit of the breeze in the first half Loughmore-Castleiney, as a result of many misses, could tum over with a lead of only two points in a scoreline of 1 -2 to 0-3. The wise heads around the stand were predicting that it would only be a matter of time before Borrisoleigh stamped their superiority on the game. Not only had they the advantage of a stiffish breeze but they also had the heavy mist that began to fall at the interval. A deflected goal by Aidan Ryan in the nineteenth minute of the second half seemed to confirm this opinion. However, Borrisoleigh didn't  seem to be able to deliver the decisive blow and were only two points up when Pat McGrath delivered his killer punch.


POOR HURLING

The game was more memorable for tension and excitement and the spectacular finish than for quality hurling. In fact, with the exception of the final ten minutes, the fare was as poor as in the drawn game. Borrisoleigh forwards let their side down. Even Noel O'Dwyer, who had done so much to get the team past Holycross-Ballycahill in the quarter-final, couldn't find his shooting form. Among the backs Michael Ryan, Gerry Stapleton and Richard Stakelum were the pick of the bunch. On the winning side Jim McGrath must stand out for a very solid performance at centre-back. He was well assisted by Pat McGrath and Peter Brennan in the backs and Ned Ryan, Michael McGrath and Liam Cormack upfield.

To the question were there any county men hanging around the answer must be in the negative. Apart from the established players, who added no cubits to their statures, there was little else in the line of county talent. What the game showed was that success at this
level can be gained by a bunch of middling players, knowing one another and combining well with grit and determination. Loughmore-Castleiney set out to win and to erase from the minds the memory of two previous defeats at this stage. They succeeded in their task and their joy was immense.


The successful side was: F. McGrath, P. Cormack, P. Brennan, E. Brennan, P. McGrath, ]. Maher, E. Swe eney (capt.), N. Ryan, T. McGrath, M. McGrath, P. Treacy, S. Bohan, L. Cormack, J.Cormack, T. Larkin. 
Subs : M. Meagher for Larkin; J. Treacy for Bohan. 
Other subs: D. Kiely, T. Gleeson, ]. Nolan, J.Kennedy, T. McGrath, S. Maher, J.Mockler, P. Gleeson, P. Morris, M.McGrath, D. McGrath, T. Cullen. 
Coach: Jack Walsh. 
Selectors: Pat Cullen, Tommy Egan, Jo e Grady, Mick McGrath.

The Borrisoleigh side was: N. Maher, B. Kenny, T. Stapleton, M. Ryan, R. Stakelum, G. Stapleton, B. Ryan (capt.), T. Ryan, C. Stakelum, N. O'Dwyer, J. McGrath, S. Devaney, A. Ryan, P. Kenny.
Subs: J. Maher, J. Glasheen, J. Ryan, C. Reid, P. Delaney, J. Loughnane, J. J. Maher, F. Doolan. Coach: Paddy Doyle.
Selectors: M. Coen, Brendan Kenny, Tommy O'Dwyer. 

Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan.

Man of the match: Pat McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney ) .

 

RESULTS AT A GLANCE

County Final

October 2, 1988 - Thurles : Borrisoleigh 0-9, Loughmore Castleiney 1-6. Referee : Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan .

Replay, October 8, 1988 - Thurles : Loughmore -Castleiney 2-7, Borrisoleigh 1-8. Referee : Willie Barrett, Ardfinnnan .


Semi-Finals: 

September 17, 1988  
Thurles: Borrisoleigh 3-8, Cashel King Cormacs 2-6. Referee : Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan .

September 18, 1988
Cashel : Loughrnore-Castleiney 2-18, Killenaule 1-9. Referee :John Moloney, Bansha.


Quarter-Finals: 

August 14, 1988
Boherlahan : Killenaule S-14, Kickhams (W) 4-6. Referee : John Maher, Boherlahan -Dualla. Cashel King Corrnac's 3-11, St.
Mary's (S) 2-6. Referee : Johnny McDonnell , Roscrea .

August 13, 1988
Templemore: Borrisoleigh 1-9, Holycross-Ballycahill 1-8 .Referee : Willie Barrett,Ardfinnan.

September 11, 1988
Cashel: Loughmore-Castleiney 3-8, Eire Og (N) 0-9. Referee: George Ryan, Lattin.


Divisional Finals:

July 24, 1988
Fethard: Killenaule 1-14, St. Mary's 2-6. Referee : Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan. 
Cappawhite : Cashel 1-12, Kickhams 1-4. Referee : Paddy Russell, Ernly. 
Nenagh : Borrisoleigh 1-14, Roscrea . Referee : Michael Cahil, Kilruane-MacDonaghs .

July 31, 1988  
Templemore : Loughrnore-Castleiney 3-9, HolycrossBallycahill 0-1 S. Referee : Donie O'Gorrnan Thurles Sarsfields .

Play-off:
August 14, 1988 (North) Borrisoleigh : Eire()g 2-10, Roscrea 0 -10. Referee : Gerry Long, Knockshegowna .

 

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship - 1987 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1988, pp 57-59

The County Senior Hurling Championship - 1987

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1988, pp 57-59

 

Michael Ryan of Fennor, a nephew of Jim of Loughmore and Bloody Sunday fame, was so thrilled with the result of the county final that he invited the whole panel, selectors and their girls to a meal in Thurles. Tomsey Gleeson, a native of Cugilla but now residing in London, phoned up that he would supply a set of jerseys. The team on arrival at the Four Roads boarded a float and were played by the, local band to the village amidst scenes of wild enthusiasm, where the celebrations continued until the early hours. 

Those happenings were representative of the tremendous feelings of joy and enthusiasm that filled every native of Loughmore-Castleiney when the final whistle sounded in the replayed county senior hurling final. The two points advantage in the mid team's favour was a great reward for the dedication and determination of a small parish of twelve hundred and fifty people. It was a just return for a team that went senior for the first time in 1981, won four mid titles and qualified for three county finals in the intervening years. Loughmore-Castleiney's victory, like Cappawhite's last year, gave hope to all those clubs that have never achieved the highest honour in county hurling. It also revealed that hurling dominance in the county is no longer the preserve of a few clubs. 


Prospects


Earlier in the year there were a number of expected contenders for the title. Cappawhite were regarded as good enough to make it two-in-a-row, many believing them to be unlucky in the Munster club final. Borrisoleigh, with their impressive array of talents would be in the shake-up if they could get out of the north. Loughmore­Castleiney would also be there or thereabouts. 

The first big shock came in the first round of the west when Clonoulty­Rossmore summarily dismissed the county champions and installed themselves as favourites to succeed. Cashel had other ideas and, in a very impressive display at Dundrum, sent Clonoulty crashing to defeat. Cashel went on to win the west in an unimpressive display against Kickhams at Cappawhite. 


The Other Divisions

Meanwhile in the South Killenaule ended a twenty-five year famine when they took the south title for the first time since 1963, beating St. Mary's at Fetha'rd. On the same day Borrisoleigh were taking their twelfth title in the north, providing their supporters with a fine-display of hurling to defeat Roscrea by seven points. A week later, at Templemore, Loughmore-Castleiney completed a hat-trick of mid senior hurling titles when they beat Holycross­Ballycahill by three points in one of the best finals for years. 


Quarter Finals

Three of  the  county  quarter-finals were scheduled  for  the  weekend  of  August 13-14. The fourth was  delayed because of the north  play-off to  decide  on  the  second team to  represent that  division.  In that  game Roscrea  seemed coasting  to  victory  when  they led ten points  to seven  with thirteen minutes  remaining.  Then a fortuitous  goal by Michael  Cleary revitalised  Nenagh's  effort and  they had six points to spare at  the final  whistle.  

Two quarter-final games of very mediocre quality were played at Boherlahan on August 14. Joe O'Dwyer, playing at corner-forward, was the star of Killenaule's easy victory over Kickhams. He scored 2-5 of his side's total of 5-14 and Killenaule dominated the game for most of the hour. Kickhams got two goals in the last eight minutes to give a look of respectability to a rather dismal performance. Their final tally was 4-6. 

In the second game, Cashel were unimpressive against an injury-hit St. Mary's. The South runners-up kept in touch with the West champions all through because of Cashel's failure to translate superiority on the field into scoring opportunities. In the end Cashel had eight points to spare on a score of 3-11 to 2-6. 

On the previous evening at Templemore, Borrisoleigh were very lucky to survive by one point against Holycross-Ballycahill. In a thrilling game the mid runners-up squandered a number of first class chances of forcing a draw in the final few minutes and were beaten by 1-9 to 1-8. In contrast the North champions could be thankful for the efforts of Noel O'Dwyer, who was deadly accurate from the placed ball, scoring six points in all.

The fourth quarter-final wasn't played until September 11. It seemed as if Eire Óg, Nenagh would be victorious. Although playing against the breeze in the first half they led Loughmore-Castleiney by four points to three at the interval. In fact they should have been more in front but for many wasted scoring opportunities. Soone after the resumption Philip Kennedy put them ahead with a point from a sixty-five. But then the game turned completely about when a Pat McGrath sideline puck went all the way to the nenagh net. A further point and a goal followed and Loughmore-Castleiney hurled very well for about fifteen minutes, building up an eight-point lead. Nenagh came back somewhat into the game in the final quarter but a last-minute goal by Seamie Bohan had the Mid champions in front by 3-8 to 0-9 at the final whistle.


A Four Division Draw

Not since 1967 were all divisions represented in the county semi-finals. The draw brought Borrisoleigh against Cashel and Loughmore-Castleiney against Killenaule. Because of the All­Ireland football final the games were split with north versus west at Thurles on Saturday evening, September 17, and the mid versus south encounter on Sunday, September 18.

Borrisoleigh were favourites to beat Cashel but the latter had other ideas. The west champions started off well and were three points to one ahead after eleven minutes. Then a sixty-yard free by Noel O'Dwyer was touched to the net by Aidan Ryan, while the Cashel goalkeeper and fullback stood indecisevely. This blow seemed to knock the fight out of cashel, who were further stunned in the eighteenth minutes with a second Borrisoleigh goal by Philip Kenny. At half-time Borrisoleigh were ahead by 2-5 to 0-4. On the resumption the northmen added a goal and two points to open a twelve-point gap. Only at this stage did Cashel regain the fluency they showed m the opening ten minutes. In a great last quarter rally they reduced the lead to five points. But for superb goalkeeping by Noelie Maher in the Borris goal and the ineffectiveness of the Cashel inside forward line the result could easily have been different than the final score of 3-8 to 2-6. 

The second semi-final at Cashel on Sunday evening finished a very one­sided affair after a first close first half. At the end of this stage Loughmore­Castleiney had a two-point advantage over Killenaule in a score of eight points to six. However, the mid men changed to a much faster gear after the interval and scored 2-3 in the third quarter. They dominated the game and were ahead by 2-18 to 1-9 at the final whistle. The Killenaule goal came in the dying minutes and gave a slight respectability to Killenaule's performance. 

 

County Final

Borrisoleigh were fancied for the final and most people believed that their class would tell in the end and that they would take their seventh senior title. They were coached for the encounter by Paddy Doyle while Loughmore­Castleiney had the services of the wider known, Jimmy. 

A great game was expected but, as so often happens, it didn't materialise. In damp conditions, with Semple Stadium totally lacking in any liveliness, the game developed into an intense but scrappy encounter, kept interesting by the closeness of the scores. It was a game of appalling misses and poor hurling. 

The first half was undistinguished except for a great free from a sideline cut by Tom McGrath from seventy yards and a goal by Seamus Bohan two minutes from half time which gave Loughmore-Castleiney a 1-3 to 0-3 lead at the interval. Borrisoleigh played their best hurling in the third quarter and went into the lead. Loughmore­Castleiney came back into the game and went two points ahead, but Noel O'Dwyer and Conor Stakelum points brought the sides level with six minutes to go, and that's how it finished with Borrisoleigh nine points to one-six for Loughmore-Castleiney. It was the northmen's third successive county final appearance without scoring a goal. 

The replay was fixed for six days later, October 8. It was the first replayed final since 1982 and the first time for a senior final to be played on a Saturday. The replayed All-Ireland senior football final prevented a Sunday fixture. Floury Ryan's wedding and Liam Cormack's emigration made a later date impossible. 

The replay will be remembered for its sensational ending. Two minutes to go Borrisoleigh seemed almost certainties. They were two points up and set for victory. Loughmore-Castleiney kept plugging away. The ball was making its tortuous progress along the Kinane Stand side of the field. At the far side Pat McGrath was following its progress and keeping parallel with it. When Liam Cormack's shot was blocked out by Noellie Maher, McGrath was present to slap home an all-important goal. Michael McGrath shot another point from the puck-out and a devastated Borrisoleigh were left without time to redress the situation. 

It was a victory for the never-say-die spirit of Loughmore-Castleiney. With the benefit of the breeze in the first half Loughmore-Castleiney, as a result of many misses, could turn over with a lead of only two points in a scoreline of 1-2 to 0-3. The wise heads around the stand were predicting that it would only be a matter of time before Borrisoleigh stamped their superiority on the game. Not only had they the advantage of a stiffish breeze but they also had the heavy mist that began to fall at the interval. A deflected goal by Aidan Ryan in the nineteenth minute of the second half seemed to confirm this opinion. However, Borrisoleigh didn't seem to be able to deliver the decisive blow and were only two points up when Pat McGrath delivered his killer punch.


Poor Hurling

The game was more memorable for tension and excitement and the spectacular finish than for quality hurling. In fact, with the exception of the final ten minutes, the fare was as poor as in the drawn game. Borrisoleigh forwards let their side down. even Noel O'Dwyer, who had done so much to get the team past Holycross-Ballycahill in the quarter-final, couldn't find his shooting form. Among the backs Michael Ryan, Gerry Stapleton and Richard Stakelum were the pick of the bunch. On the winning side Jim McGrath must stand out for a very solid performance at centre-back. He was well assisted by Pat McGrath and Peter Brennan in the backs and Ned Ryan, Michael McGrath and Liam Cormack upfield. 

To the question were there any county men hanging around the answer must be in the negative. Apart from the established players, who added no cubits to their statures, there was little else in the line of county talent. What the game showed was that success at this level can be gained by a bunch of middling players, knowing one another and combining well with grit and determination. Loughmore-Castleiney set out to win and to erase from the minds the memory of two previous defeats at this stage. They succeeded in their task and their joy was immense. 

The successful side was: F. McGrath, B.  Cormack, P. Brennan, E.  Brennan, P.  McGrath,J. Maher,  E. Sweeney (capt.), N. Ryan, T. McGrath, M.  McGrath, P. Treacy, S. Bohan,  L.  Cormack, J. Cormack, T. Larkin. Subs: M.  Meagher for Larkin; J. Treacy for Bohan. Other subs: D. Kiely, T. Gleeson, J.  Nolan, J. Kennedy, T. McGrath, S. Maher,  J. Mockler, P. Gleeson, P. Morris, M.  McGrath, D. McGrath, T. Cullen. Coach: Jack Walsh. Selectors: Pat  Cullen, Tommy Egan, Joe Grady, Mick McGrath.  

The Borrisoleigh side was: N. Maher, B.  Kenny, T. Stapleton, M.  Ryan, R. Stakelum,  G. Stapleton,  B. Ryan (capt.), T. Ryan, C. Stakelum,  N. O'Dwyer,  J. McGrath, S. Devaney, A.  Ryan, P. Kenny. Subs: J. Maher, J. Glasheen,  J. Ryan, C. Reid, P. Delaney, J. Loughnane, J. J. Maher, F. Doolan. Coach:  Paddy Doyle.  Selectors: M. Coen, Brendan Kenny, Tommy  O'Dwyer. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan.  Man of the match: Pat McGrath  (Loughmore-Castleiney).  

 

Results at a Glance

County Final,

October 2, 1988 - Thurles: Borrisoleigh 0-9, Loughmore­Castleiney 1-6. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan. 

Replay, October 8, 1988 - Thurles: Loughmore-Castleiney 2-7, Borrisloeigh 1-8. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnnan. 


Semi-Finals, 

September 17, 1988 - Thurles: Borrisoleigh 3-8, Cashel King Cormacs 2-6. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan. 

September 18 1988- Cashel: Loughmore-Castleiney 2-18, Killenaule 1-9. Referee: John Moloney, Bansha. 


Quarter-Finals, 

August 14, 1988 - Boherlahan: Killenaule 5-14, Kickhams (W) 4-6. Referee: John Maher, Boherlahan-Dualla. 

Cashel King Cormac's 3-11, 8t. Mary's (S) 2-6. Referee: Johnny McDonnell, Roscrea. 

August 13, 1988 - Templemore: Borrisoleigh 1-9, Holycross-Ballycahilll-8. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan. 

September 11, 1988 - Cashel: Loughmore-Castleiney 3-8, Eire Og (N) 0-9 Referee: George Ryan, Lattin. 


Divisional Finals,

July 24, 1988 - Fethard: Killenaule 1-14, St. Mary's 2-6 Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfinnan. 

Cappawhite: Cashel 1-12, Kickhams 1-4 Referee: Paddy Russell, Emly. 

Nenagh: Borrisoleigh 1-14, Roscrea. Referee: Michael Cahil, Kilruane-MacDonaghs. 

July 31, 1988 - Templemore: Loughmore-Castleiney 3-9, Holycros-Ballycahill 0-15. Referee: Donie O'Gorman, Thurles Sarsfields. 

Play-off, August 14,1988 (North) Borrisoleigh: Eire Og 2-10, Roscrea 0-1. Referee: Gerry Long, Knockshegowna.

 

G.A.A. Publications - 1987 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1987, p 107

G.A.A. Publications - 1987 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1987, p 107

 

The past year hasn't been the greatest for publications relating to the county. Leading the field by a long shot must be The Story of the G.A.A. in the Parish of Newport: by the Mulcaire Banks by Michael Collins and Denis Floyd. This is an excellent production of 528 pages printed by The Clare Champion and sells for £10. It contains an introduction outlining the history of Newport at the time of the foundation of the G .A.A., continues with accounts of the many teams that represented the parish and concludes with a number of appendices that give a completion of the work. It is a model of what a club history ought to be. 

Of a totally different nature is The History of Clengar G.A.A. Club and Area by D. J. Treacy. This 36 page production costs £2 and the first print of 400 copies sold out very quickly. A second print of 200 is now available and anyone interested should get his copy quickly. Glengar was a club from 1933 to 1979 and represented the area of Doon parish that exists in County Tipperary. The book is a short record of the club and contains a few interesting photographs, particularly one of a 1929 St. Louis team which included five of the Ryan-Coyles from the area. 

Another production of great interest to Tipperary G.A.A. followers is the Munster G.A.A. Story by Jim Cronin, with special assistance from Seamus O'Ceallaigh and Patrick C. Walsh. As well as giving a history of Munster championships and affairs since the beginning it contains a number of appendices of outstanding value. Appendix A contains the results of all championship results in every grade, a task of mammoth proportions and a record of inestimable value. Appendix B contains the winning teams in every grade and Appendix C the members of every Railway Cup team from 1927 to 1984. This work is a 'must' for every follower of hurling or football and great value at £10. 

Programmes

Nearer home the divisional and county convention handbooks for 1986 are valuable records of events during the previous year. The annual report of the football committee is also valuable and a credit to the work of Michael Power. All four divisions produced programmes for their divisional hurling finals. The north and mid productions contained forty-eight pages but over half the space was covered in advertisements. The west final programme was a very fine production and carried the results of all the senior finals since the west was formed in 1930. 

The Cashel club produced programmes for the county quarter­-finals between the mid and the west teams and for the county semi-final between Kilruane and Loughmore-Castleiney. The former carried the results of all quarter-final games since the Open Draw was scrapped in 1977 and the latter, the semi-final results from 1968-85. 

The Thurles Sarsfields club were responsible for the county senior hurling final programme. This carried the minor hurling results from 1931-85 and an interesting piece on the Borrisoleigh mascot entitled 'The Cocks of the North Rule the Roost'. This twenty-four page production also included pen pictures of the Kilruane and Borrisoleigh teams. 

Other programmes of interest to Tipperary people include one produced in Ennis for our Munster championship game with Clare and the Munster final programme in KilIarney where the minors drew with Cork. Fermoy produced a commemorative programme for the official re-opening of Pairc Mhic Gearailt on May 18 where Tipperary and Cork played in a tournament game. 

Team sheets were produced for the inter-county hurling challenge at Littleton on February 2 and for our under-21 hurling semi-final game against Limerick at Thurles in July. There was a team sheet for the Tipperary-Down game at Thurles on March 9 and for the All-Ireland junior hurling final between Limerick and Kilkenny at the same venue on August 24. 

Major Games

There were four major games at Thurles during the year for which programmes were produced, the Ford National League hurling semi-finals on April 27, the final on May 11, the All­-Ireland hurling semi-final on August 10 and the Under-21 hurling and football finals on September 14. 

At the football level there was much less on offer. Michael O'Meara produced a programme for the county senior football final at Clonmel on October 19. There was an interesting programme for the Tipperary-Kerry Munster senior football championship game at Clonmel on June 6. It contains all the facts and figures from previous meetings between the sides. There was also a programme for the Tipperary-Cork under-21 football championship game at Clonmel on May 5. 

Two other publications deserve mention. The first is a new magazine on coaching published at Croke Park. Entitled 'Coaching News' it costs fifty pence and will appear on a regular basis. 

The second publication is now defunct and more's the pity. The 'Book of Gaelic Games', to appear in twenty-four instalments, was launched with great hype in 1984. Published by Berkeley Publications, Kilkenny, in association with RTE, it was to be a comprehensive account of Gaelic Games from earliest times to the present day. A very scholarly production with many fine photographs and illustrations, it ceased appearing after seven issues. There was no reason given for the cessation though it was suggested that costs and lower sales than expected were accountable. Whatever the reason it is still possible to get the seven issues that appeared in an attractive binder for the same price as the magazines originally cost. The set makes an attractive addition to one's G.A.A.library. 

 

County Senior Hurling Championship - 1986 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1987, pp 28-29

County Senior Hurling Championship - 1986

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1987, pp 28-29

 

As it turned out, history had to be made in the 1987 county senior hurling final. Not only was it the centenary final, but neither of the contestants had ever won it before. Winners, Cappawhite, were making their first appearance. Runners-up, Loughmore-Castleiney, had been there once before in 1983 when they lost by 0-17 to 1-11 to Borrisoleigh. Another interesting thing about the final pairing was the absence of a team from north Tipperary. Not since 1965, when Thurles Sarsfields defeated Carrick Davins by 3-10 to 0-7, was there a final without a northern team. Finally, it is arguable that never before was a final played between two less-populous parishes.

 

Divisional Finals

Fethard was the venue for the south final on August 23 when neighbours Ballingarry and Killenaule fought it out before a good crowd on a dry afternoon. In a hard-fought encounter Ballingarry scored two goals in a late flourish to win their third title by 2-11 to 2-3.  
Two finals were decided on September 13. In one of the best mid finals for years, at Holycross, Loughmore-Castleiney held on in a thrilling final quarter to beat Thurles Sarsfields by 2-11 to 2-10. Nine miles away at Cashel, Cappawhite took the west title in an amazing contest with Clonoulty-Rossmore. It was a game of two halves. The first was Clonoulty's who led by 3-7 to 1-4 at half time. The second was Cappawhite's, who turned that nine-point deficit into an eight point victory in a final scoreline of 4-15 to 3­10. Clonoulty's eclipse in the second half was as swift as it was incredible. 

The result of the north final at Nenagh on September 20 was most unexpected. Lorrha, conquerors of All-Ireland champions Borrisoleigh and last year's defeated north finalists, Toomevara, were fancied to win but, in an inept display, they were well-beaten by a Kilruane team, badly decimated by injury and suspension. The final score was 2-14 to 0-12. Lorrha's tale of woe continued the following Sunday at Borrisokane when they lost to Roscrea, league winners, in a play-off to decide on the second team to represent the division in the quarter finals. 

Quarter Finals

Three quarter-fmal games were played on September 27. There was a double bill at Cashel where the mid played the south representatives. Loughmore-Castleiney made heavy weather of beating Killenaule, who performed much better than people expected of them. They suffered the loss of Joe O'Dwyer early in the game and put up a great performance, especially in the third quarter. In the end Loughmore-Castleiney were in front by 2-13 to 3-6. The second game was more clearcut. Except for a brief period in the second half, Thurles Sarsfields controlled the game against Ballingarry and ran out easy winners by 4-12 to 1-8. 

Holycross was the venue for the Kilruane-MacDonaghs versus Clonoulty­Rossmore game. A large crowd turned up to see an indifferent first half transformed into an exciting final thirty minutes during which the lead changed several times. In the end a draw was the fairer result with Clonoulty-Rossmore 2-9 and Kilruane 0-15. 

The game was replayed at Boherlahan on October 4 in conjunction with the fourth quarter-final between Cappawhite and Roscrea. Kilruane­MacDonaghs took a grip on proceedings from very early and won easily by 1-18 to 0-9 from a very disappointing Clonoulty side. Cappawhite gave one of their finest performances for some time when they defeated a depleted Roscrea side by 1­20 to 1-14. The game was wide open for three quarters of the hour but the west side pulled away in the final quarter to record a six-point victory. 

Semi-Finals

The semi-final pairings for Thurles on October 18 were Kilruane MacDonaghs versus Loughmore-Castleiney and Thurles Sarsfields versus Cappawhite. 

Both games were undistinguished from a hurling point of view but both were redeemed bv the closeness of the scoring and by the fact that neither was decided until the last five minutes. 

Thurles Sarsfields looked good at half-time having kept Cappawhite to a point lead, 1-7 to 1-6, with the wind in the first half. However, they missed the boat with two goal chances in the middle of the third quarter. The first was fluffed and the second disallowed. Either of these might have given them control of proceedings. Instead, Cappawhite re-established themselves, especially by the move of Conor Ryan to centreback and had the edge in the final quarter to win by 2-15 to 1-14. 

Loughmore-Castleiney's victory was dramatic. A few minutes from time Pat McGrath pointed from about ninety yards to level the scores. But he undid the good work by fouling Seamus Hennessy soon after and the latter made no mistake with the resultant free to put the north men ahead again. But from the puck-out, Eamon Brennan sent to Liam Corrnack, who passed to Michael McGrath and the full-forward turned and crashed the ball to the net. Liam Corrnack added another point for good measure to give the mid champions victory by 1-12 to 0-12. 

Final Day

Semple Stadium was the venue on November 1 for the Centenary final. Gerry Long of Knockshegowna was given the opportunity of refereeing his first county final. Before the game the Moycarkey Pipe Band played the teams around the field. Also in that parade were juvenile representatives of all the clubs in the county, carrying their club colours. Patron of the G.A.A., Archbishop Thomas Morris, was escorted onto the field before the throw-in by county chairman, Michael Lowry, and introduced to the respective captains, John O'Neill of Cappawhite and John Cormack of Loughmore­Castleiney. The game got underway at 3.06. 

Everybody had forecast a fairly close game with the verdict at the end of the hour in favour of Loughmore-Castleiney. People from the west, particularly, believed that Cappawhite hadn't delivered their best during the year and were not as good as in 1984, when they should have taken Moycarkey-Borris. The optimists believed that Cappawhite had yet to deliver the goods but that this would be the day. 

Cappawhite's opening efforts confmned the fears of the most persistent pessimist: they were just plain bad and Loughmore-Castleiney looked brilliant as they raced into an eight point lead within twenty minutes. Pat McGrath looked superb as he chalked up a personal tally of 1-4 of his side's 1-7. But, if the players were anxious and unsure on the field, the Cappa mentors were certain where the trouble lay. They took off Miley Coughlan and tried John Ryan on McGrath, but to no avail. There was only one solution, to send Ger Ryan Bawn back to police the Loughmore danger man, even if it involved upsetting the half-back line. This was done and the game began to stabilise for Cappawhite and they had reduced the deficit to 1-8 to 1-6 at the interval. 

However, the best laid plans began to go awry early in the second half, Loughmore opening up a five-point gap in the ninth minute with a Liam Cormack goal. Soon after came a second Cappawhite move that had a major impact on the eventual outcome - the moving of Ger O'Neill to centreforward. Added to this was the loss of Loughmore of their full-back, Peter Brennan. Cappawhite surged back and drew level with eight minutes to play. Loughmore retaliated with a Pat McGrath point to go ahead. Pat O'Neill came back to level and, with a minute to go, Austin Buckley got a brilliant point to give the west champions victory. A final effort by Pat McGrath to level was in vain. 

Cappawhite deserved a county final. For the past five years they have entertained their supporters with some tantalising hurling. They have dominated hurling in the west and their victory was but rightful consolation for past failures outside the division. Apart from their hurling ability they are a fine club, a model of what a club should be and a bunch of players and officials who give trouble to nobody. 

And what of Loughmore-Castleiney: they will find consolation in no words of condolence. Such words might have substituted for victory in 1983 when they lost on their first county final appearance. But, in 1987, they wanted victory and had it in their grasp only to see it roll away from them in the end like Sisyphus and the rock. 

Pat O'Neill was given Man of the Match and scored ten points of his side's total. Following closely behind were Ger O'Neill and Ger Ryan (B). Others to impress were Michael Buckley, about whom doubts were cast beforehand, and Simon Ryan, who did a power of hurling at centrefield. For Loughmore-Castleiney, Pat McGrath must stand out as well as Eamon Sweeney, Jim Maher and Liam Cormack.

Cappawhite - D. O'Neill, M. Coughlan, M. Buckley, D. Ryan (P), D. Hennessy, A. O'Neill, G. Ryan, E. Ryan, S. Ryan, A. Buckley, C. Ryan, P. O'Neill,J. O'Neill (Capt.), G. O'Neill, M. McDermott. Subs: J. Ryan (for Coughlan), E. Maguire (for J. O'Neill). 

Loughmore-Castleiney - F. McGrath, R. Stapleton, P. Brennan, J. Maher, P. Cormack, L. Cormack, M. McGrath, P. McGrath. Subs: J. Treacy (Capt.) for S. Bohane, T. Larkin for P. Brennan, S. Bohane for N. Ryan. 

Results at a Glance:

County quarter-finals: 

Cashel, September 27 

Loughmore-Castleiney 2-13, Killenaule 3-6. Referee: Michael Cahill (Kilruane-MacDonaghs). 

Thurles Sarsfields 4-12, Ballingarry 1-8. Referee: George Ryan (Lattin-Cullen). 

Holycross, September 27. 

Clonoulty-Rossmore 2-9, Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-15. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfmnan. 

Boherlahan, October 4. 

Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-18, Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-9 (Replay). Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfmnan. Cappawhite 1-20, Roscrea 1-14. Referee: John Maher, Boherlahan-Dualla. 

 

County semi-finals: 

Thurles, October 18 

Cappawhite 2-15, Thurles Sarsfields 1-14. Referee: Willie Barrett, Ardfmnan. 

Loughmore-Castleiney 1-12, Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-1 Referee: George Ryan. Lattin-Cullen. 

 

County final: 

Thurles, November 1 

Cappawhite 1-17, Loughmore-Castleiney 2-13. Referee: Gerry Long (Knockshegowna).

 Cappawhite: County and West S.H. Champions 1987  Back row. left to right: N. Buckley, G. O'Neill, T. Coughlan, S. Ryan (L), J. Ryan (P), C. Ryan (H), G. Ryan (B), D. O'Neill, M. Ryan (L), A O'Neill, J. Barry,, E. Maguire. Front row, left to right: A. Buckley, P. Buckley, P. O'Neill, M. Buckley, J. O'Neill (capt.), M. McDermott, M. Coughlan, D. Hennessy, D. Ryan (P), E. Ryan (B), D. Quirke

Cappawhite: County and West S.H. Champions 1987

Back row. left to right: N. Buckley, G. O'Neill, T. Coughlan, S. Ryan (L), J. Ryan (P), C. Ryan (H), G. Ryan (B), D. O'Neill, M. Ryan (L), A O'Neill, J. Barry,, E. Maguire.
Front row, left to right: A. Buckley, P. Buckley, P. O'Neill, M. Buckley, J. O'Neill (capt.), M. McDermott, M. Coughlan, D. Hennessy, D. Ryan (P), E. Ryan (B), D. Quirke

 

 

 

 

County Senior Hurling Championship - 1985 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986, pp 18-21

County Senior Hurling Championship - 1985

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986, pp 18-21

 

Kilruane-MacDonaghs went into the 1986 senior hurling final as favourites to a Borrisoleigh team which had given too many indifferent performances during the year and, in fact, since they previously won the championship in 1983. As well, Kilruane had beaten them twice during the year, in the north league final by 0-14 to 2-6 and in the championship by 1-15 to 0-7. Many saw the latter performance as one of the worst by Borrisoleigh for a long time. On the other hand, Kilruane came to the final with an impressive record. In twenty-seven matches they had lost only once, by a point to Lorrha in the 1986 league, and they had won seven finals in a trot: the All-Ireland 7-aside in 1984, north and county finals, Munster and All-Ireland club finals in 1985 and the north league and championship in 1986. 

But there were straws in the wind. 

Some of Kilruane's victories were not very impressive. They just got there against Toomevara and they were unimpressive against Loughmore-Castleiney in the county semi-final at Cashel. Len Gaynor was worried at the prolonged pressure on the team. The intensive championship and league programme was beginning to take its toll on the side. And there was the loss of Dinny Cahill through injury. On the other hand, Borrisoleigh were growing in confidence. They impressed in the north play-off against Toomevara. They gave a slick performance against Carrick Swans in 'the county quarter' and they pushed Holycross-Ballycahill aside easily in the county semi'. Their trainer, Paddy Doyle, had established a good rapport with the players and they were giving a tremendous response. 


North Final

Kilruane-MacDonaghs had taken their ninth north title at Nenagh on August 17. They met a tough match in Toomevara, who were seeking their twenty-third title but their first since 1962. Not until the last five minutes did Kilruane clinch it. Toomevara had a young team, over half of whom were twenty-one or less, and would have won but for inexperience and wasted chances. They were unlucky to lose two players - Michael O'Meara and Pat King - through injury in the first twenty minutes. At half-time Toomevara led by 1-5 to 0-4 but in the end Kilruane had a three-point advantage in a scoreline of 1-12 to 2-6. On a sunny Sunday afternoon a good attendance saw the ball thrown in by John Joe Maher of Roscrea. 


South Final

On the same day Carrick Swans and Eire Og were fighting it out in the south. Both teams had easy victories in the semi-finals. The Swans overwhelmed Ballingarry by 5-13 to 2-7 and the Killenaule/Mullinahone combination were equally impressive against Carrick Davins by 5-11 to 2-8. The final was played at Clonmel and never reached great heights. The closeness of the scoring kept the crowd interested. The Swans had three points to spare at the finish, 0-13 to 2-4, having led 0-6 to 1-2 at the interval. It was the Swans' fourth title in a row and their nineteenth in all. 


Mid Final

The third final to be played on August 17 was the Mid at Littleton. The contestants were Loughmore Castleiney and Holycross-Ballycahill. This was a most extraordinary game. Loughmore started like an express train and had 1-6 on the scoreboard within nine minutes without reply. Holycross then came into the game and at half-time Loughmore had a seven-point lead, 1-10 to 0-6. During the second half Holycross whittled away at the lead and were only a point behind with a couple of minutes left. Then, in the twenty-ninth minute, Loughmore got their only score, a point from a line ball. This was the final score, to leave Loughmore ahead by 1-11 to 0-12 and give them their second Mid title. 


West Final

As usual, the West had its final played at an earlier date, July 27 at Dundrum. It was an unusual pairing, Eire Og and Golden-Kilfeacle. None would have predicted this clash in the beginning of the year when Cappawhite and Cashel were hot favourites to meet in the decider. Eire Óg were seeking their eighth title while Golden were looking for their third. There was a good crowd to see a ding-dong struggle in which Golden got off to a flying start with four points. However, Eire Og got into their stride and led 2-4 to 0-4 at the interval. Good defensive play in the second half and some flying movements by corner-forward John Quinn kept Eire Óg in the hunt and they had two points to spare in the end, 2-9 to 1-10. 


Quarter Finals

Three quarter-finals were decided on August 24. The Mid teams were drawn against the West and the venue was Cashel. Loughmore-Castleiney had an easy victory over Golden-Kilfeacle. For the first fifteen minutes the contest was close enough but the Mid champions then went on a scoring rampage and impressed everyone with the accuracy of their shooting. At half-time they led by 2-13 to 0-4 and were ahead 3-23 to 1-7 when the final whistle sounded. 

In the second game Holycross-Ballycahill had an equally impressive victory over the West champions, Eire Og. In a reasonably close first half the Mid men were ahead 1-7 to 1-3 at hall time. Eire Óg had a point within a minute of the resumption but it was to be their last score. Holycross went on to dominate the game and emerge victorious by 2-16 to 1-4. 

Kilruane had little difficulty in overcoming the South runners-up at Holycross on the same day. Two goals in the first quarter put the North champions firmly in control and their dominance was further increased when Eire Og's Joe Dwyer was sent to the line midway through the first half. At half time the score was 2-6 to 1-4 in favour of Kilruane and they went on to win by 4-13 to 1-6. 

The fourth quarter-final wasn't played until the following Sunday because of the necessity of a play-off in the North to decide the second team. Borrisoleigh, as runners-up in the league, and Toomevara, as runners-up in the championship, played off at Roscrea on August 24. In a smooth performance Borrisoleigh had thirteen points to spare in a score of 3-19 to 2-9. Borrisoleigh met the South champions at Boherlahan and showed by their performance that they were firmly back on the road to county honours. Carrick put up a good show in the opening half but Borrisoleigh took their chances better and led 2-7 to 1-3 at the interval. Three goals by Carrick in the third quarter kept Swan interest alive but Borrisoleigh were able to come back after each goal with fluent scores. In the end they had eight points to spare on a scoreline of 3-17 to 5-3. 


Semi-Finals

Because the All-Ireland under-21 finals were fixed for Thurles on September 14, the county semi-finals had to be refixed. In a solution that wasn't welcomed by anyone the games were split to separate venues on separate evenings. Kilruane and Loughmore played at Cashel on Saturday evening, September 13. During the first half Kilruane dominated and led by 1-10 to 0-2 at the interval. 

Loughmore seemed totally out of their depth and they had the misfortune to lose one of their players, Pat Treacy, who was sent to the line just before halftime. At that stage there was hardly anyone present who gave the Mid men a chance. But Loughmore came out in the second half and gave a determined and aggressive performance that made them a totally changed side from what they were in the first half. They fought for every ball and harried Kilruane and in the end almost overcame the handicap of being a man short. The final score was 1-14 to 2-8 in favour of Kilruane and some question marks about their performance. 

The second semi-final was played at Templemore on the evening of September 14. Borrisoleigh had a comfortable nine points victory over a very disappointing Holycross. The North men were in control from the beginning and showed far greater sharpness than the Holycross men. The latter had the wind in the first half but squandered chance after chance and were behind 0-4 to 0-6 at the interval. Within five minutes of the restart Borrisoleigh had two goals to their credit and they killed whatever hope Holycross had. In the end, Borrisoleigh were victorious by 3-10 to 1-7. 


The County Final

About ten thousand spectators attended the county final at Thurles on September 28. Brilliant sunshine made it the warmest day for a county final for years. A month's dry weather had the Thurles pitch at its liveliest. The clergy had the V.I.P. section to themselves as the politicians weren't invited as part of the G.AA protest against V.AT. on hurleys and D.I.R.T. on the Association's deposits. The mascot of the Borrisoleigh team, a cock, was in attendance, under the charge of Shane Tierney. 

The game was too tense to be a classic but was gripping all through. Right up to the final minutes one had the feeling that Kilruane would smash home a couple of goals and just get there as they had done so many times during the year. But such was not to be the case. As time wore on and Borrisoleigh gained in confidence the likelihood grew less and less. By the end it was obvious that Kilruane had nothing left and Borrisoleigh were undoubtedly champions. 

In such a closely-fought encounter the scoring was low. Borrisoleigh had the breeze in the first half and led by 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval. It didn't seem enough. However, they scored first in the second half and as time progressed certain things became obvious. The Borrisoleigh backs were not giving anything away. The North men had the pull at centrefield and Philip Kenny was giving veteran Dinny O'Meara a most unhappy hour. 

The dry sod and the hot day didn't suit the defending champions. Especially at centrefield Enda Hogan' was caught again and again for pace. Neither side scored a goal, which made it the first goal-less final since 1887. Paddy Williams, who had done so much for the team in the past, never got going and was replaced by David Quinlan. Borrisoleigh were the faster, hungrier and more determined team and well deserved their seven-point victory in a scoreline of 0-14 to 0-7. County chairman Mick Lowry presented the Dan Breen cup to winning captain Mick Ryan. Philip Kenny was presented with the Man of the Match award by Donie Shanahan, representing Frost's Garage, Nenagh. 

The Borrisoleigh team was:

Noel Maher, Francis Spillane, Timmy Stapleton, Mick Ryan (capt.), Richard Stakelum, Gerry Staple ton, Bobby Ryan, Timmy Ryan, Francis Collins, Aidan Ryan, Noel O'Dwyer, Conor Stakelum, Mick Coen, Phi lip Kenny, John McGrath. Trainer: Paddy Doyle. 

The Kilruane MacDonagh team was: 

Tony Sheppard (capt.), John Cahill, Dinny O'Meara, Seamus Gibson, Michael Hogan, Jim O'Meara, Gilbert Williams, Joe Banaghan, Enda Hogan, Gerry Williams, Jim Williams, Philip Quinlan, Pat Quinlan, Paddy Williams, Eamon O'Shea. Subs.: Seamus Hennessy for Banaghan, Dave Quinlan for P .. Williams. Trainer-coach: Len Gaynor. 

Referee: John Maher, Boherlahan. 

 

DIVISIONAL FINALS

West: Dundrum, July 27 - Eire Og 2-9, Golden-Kilfeacle 1-10

Mid: Littleton, August 17 - Loughmore-Castleiney 1-11, HolycrossBallycahill 0-12

South: Clonmel, August 17 - Carrick Swans 0-13, Eire Og 2-4 

North: Nenagh, August 17 - Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-12, T oomevara 2-6

Play-off: Roscrea, August 24 - Borrisoleigh 3-19; Toomevara 2-9


COUNTY QUARTER-FINALS

Cashel: August 24 - LoughmoreCastleiney 3-23, Golden-Kilfeacle 1-7 

Cashel: Ausust 24 - Holycross Ballycahill 2-16; Eire Og 1-4

Holycross: Ausust 24 - Kilruane MacDonaghs 4-13, Eire Og 1-6 

Boherlahan: August 31 - Borrisoleigh 3-17; Carrick Swans 5-3


COUNTY SEMI-FINALS

Cashel: September 13 - Kilruane MacDonaghs 1-14, LoughmoreCastleiney 2-8

Templemore: September 14 - Borrisoleigh 3-10, Holycross-Ballycahill 1-7


COUNTY FINAL

Thurles: September 28 - Borrisoleigh 0-14, Kilruane-MacDonaghs 0-7 

 

A G.A.A. Biobliography for County Tipperary Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986, pp 101-102

A G.A.A. Biobliography for County Tipperary

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986, pp 101-102

 

When preparing this article I spoke to a man who had been recently offered the program of the 1930 All-Ireland hurling final for £30. It was an eight page production in a small format and my friend had got the seller to come down to £25. Philip Ryan of Boherlahan told me some time ago that he had no copies of 'The Tubberadora-Boherlahan Hurling Story' left and how he would love to have a few dozen. Many Tipperary people would give anything to own a copy of Canon Fogarty's 'Tipperary G.A.A. Story' but it is out of print. 

All of this is by way of introduction to a list of books relating to the G.A.A. in the county. For a place so steeped in the tradition of hurling and so rich in achievement the library is surprisingly bare. It may be due to the kind of people who played and followed the game over the past century. They were predominantly of oral rather than literary bent. They followed the game, spoke of the players and the contest before and after and read the account of the local hack or the national scribe in the following week's papers. But their impressions and opinions were given no permanent form except in the fallibility of oral transmission. 

Even the great stars were given little literary treatment. They did get exposure on the hungry Sunday newspapers especially when the latter realised the value for sales from the late forties onwards. A number of magazines came into being and they were avidly read for their accounts of epic encounters and dramatic displays. But other than those transient accounts there is little permanent record. It is significant that only two Tipperary stars, Tommy Doyle and Tony Wall, have books written about them. 

Canon Fogarty

What then is available to the bibliophile on the G.A.A. in CountyTipperary? Leading the list by a long puck must surely be Canon Fogarty's 'Tipperary's Hurling Story' which was printed by the 'Tipperary Star' in 1960. Containing 380 pages it covers the history of the G.A.A. in the county from 1884-1934. There are nineteen pages of appendices at the end of the book containing the highlights of the county's achievements between 1934-1956. It is a compreensive account of the first fifty years and should be the starting point for any one contemplating a history. It lists the achievements of every club and gives the names of the outstanding personalities. It has been unfairly criticised for errors and too little praised for its mine of information. 

Pre-dating Canon Fogarty was another publication by the 'Tipperary Star' in 1938 of 'Conventions or a Dozen Years with the Gaels of Tipperary' by Rev J.J. Meagher. The author was chairman of the county board and the book contains his addresses to county convention from 1928 to 1938 inclusive. Also included in this 146 page production are miscellaneous pieces by Fr Meagher including addresses to a number of Thurles Sarsfield club conventions. 

Of course every follower of Tipperary hurling should read 'Tour of the Tipperary Hurling Team in America, 1926', by Thomas J. Kenny, (George Roberts, London), 1928. 112p.p. This is an entertaining and highly readable personal account of the first tour of a Tipperary team to the U.S. 

Conventions

A vital source of information on the G.A.A. in the county is, of course, convention handbooks. These include not only county conventions but also divisional ones. These handbooks vary in quality and comprehensiveness but they have improved dramatically in latter years. The west division handbook for the past few years is a credit to dlvisional secretary, Gerry Ring. The quality for the earlier years was sometimes so bad that much better accounts of what took place are available in the local papers. County convention hand-books are available back to the thirties at least, but contemporary newspaper accounts are an important alternative source of what transpired. 

The greatest source of information on G.A.A. events is undoubtedly, the minutes of club, divisional and county board meetings. The quality of these can vary enormously and depend totally on the efficiency and conscientiousness of secretaries. In fact, from the point of view of history the secretary is the most important individual in the club or on the board. As important as the taking of minutes is the storing of them. In this respect there are some sad tales to relate. Dick Bracken was a most efficient secretary of the Lorrha and Dorrha G.A.A. club for about twenty years and kept good minutes but they have been lost. Another Lorrha man, Michael Moylan, was secretary of the North board for over forty years and all but three years of his minutes have been mislaid. The west board is in existence since 1930 and all minutes since 1935 are intact, though varied in quality. The minutes of the county board also go back to the thirties. 

Programs

Programs, especially county and divisional final productions, can be rich in information on the clubs involved. Some followers of the game are avid collectors and have fine collections. County secretary, Tomas O'Baroid, has a comprehensive collection of programs. Liam O'Donnchu, who was program editor at Semple Stadium for the past decade, has another good collection. These are all valuable collections and the owners are normally loath to give them on loan. 

Other recommended reading for the followers of Gaelic Games in the county should include the following books. Raymond Smith has quite a lot of material between covers and much of it is of relevance to the Tipperary man. Four of his productions deserve mention' 'Decades of Glory' (1966), 'The Football Immortals' (1968), 'The Clash of the Ash' (1972) and 'The Hurling Immortals' (1984). 

Two books that give us information on the great period of Tipperary hurling between 1945 and 1965 are by stars from that period, Tommy Doyle and Tony Wall. 'My Lifetime in Hurling', by Tommy Doyle (as told to Raymod Smith), was published by Hutchinson and Co., London in 1955 and contains 178 pages. Tony Wall's book entitled 'Hurling' contains 120 pages and was printed by Cityview Press Ltd, Dublin in 1965. 

The Yearbook

Since 1970 a committee has been producing an annual yearbook. Seamus 'Riain was the inspiration behind this project when he was county chairman and the original editor was an enthusiastic Gerry Slevin. The production has come out faithfully since and has expanded and become more comprehensive. The special Centenary Edition was an extremely comprehensive account of everything that happened in the G.A.A. in the county for Centenary year. It is a collector's item and should be in every household. The fourteen Yearbooks that have been produced to date contain records for the year that has past and important historical flashbacks and obituary notices. 

Another interesting publication is the Report of the Commission on the G.A.A. in Tipperary which came out in 1978. The commission was set up to examine what was wrong with the state of the game in the county and the report of 46 pages, edited by Michael 'Riain of Tipperary, was printed by he 'Guardian', Nenagh. 

Club Histories 

It has been stated that a comprehnsive history of the county cannot be written until club and divisional histories have been researched. If this is so it will be a long time before Canon Fogarty's work is completed. Of the seventy clubs in the county fewer than twenty percent have produced either club or selected club histories. At the divisional level only the mid has produced something. 'A Century of Gaelic Games in Mid-Tipperary', edited by Michael Dundon and printed by 'The Tipperary Star' in 1984 is an one hundred and twenty page account of the highlights of the first hundred years in that division. In preparation at the moment is a more detailed account of the west division since its foundation in 1930 by J. J. Kennedy. 

The following is a list of club and selected club histories to date. 

'Moneygall Hurling Story 1885-1975', by Seamus O'Riain. Wellbrook Press, Freshford, 1975. 44pp. 

'Official Opening of Thurles Sarsfield Social Centre', Wellbrook Press, Freshford, 1977. 

'The Tubberadora-Boherlahan Hurling Story', by Philip F. Ryan, N.T., 'The Tipperary Star', Thurles, 1978. 46pp. 

'Kilcommon My Home: Mountainy People at Play', by Bill O'Brien, Slater Bros, Clonmel, 1978. 24p.p. 

'Official Opening of Dressing-rooms and Dedication of Seamus Gardiner Memorial Park, Borrisokane', Walsh Printer, Roscrea, 1978. 

'Aherlow G.A.A.: Official Opening of. O'Gorman Park', Dalton, Printers, Limerick. 1979. 

'Official Opening of Pavilion at St. Cronan's Park, Roscrea', J. F. Walsh, Printer, Roscrea. 1980. 

'Cappawhite G.A.A.: Official Opening of Pairc na nGaedhael', Fitzpatrick Bros, Tipperary. 1983. 

'Lothra agus Doire: 1884-1984: lomaint agus Peil', by Seamus J. King, The Brosna Press, Ferbane. 1984. 420p.p.· 

'The Red Years: A Roscrea G.A.A. Publication' by Seamus O'Doherty, Modern Printers, Kilkenny. 1984. 32p.p. 

'Moycarkey-Borris G.A.A. Story', by T. K. Dwyer and Jimmy Fogarty, 'The Tipperary Star', Thurles, 1984. 416p.p.

'Ballybacon-Grange Hurling Club 1928-1984', by Fr Pat Moran, O.S.A., Kennedy Print Ltd, Clonmel, 1985. 58p.p .

'The History of Gortnahoe-Glengoole G.A.A. 100 Years', by John Guiton, C.N.B. Press, Cork, 1985. 128pp. 

'Ballingarry Parish Sportsfield: Official Opening. Commemorative Programme and Brief History of Parish', Conmore Press, Kilkenny. 1985. 

'Kilruane Mac Donaghs and Lahorna De Wets 1884-1984', by Very Rev. Edward J. Whyte, P.P., The Brosna Press, Ferbane, 1985. 202p.p. 

'G.A.A. History of Cashel and Rosegreen, 1884-1984'. by Seamus J. King, The Leinster Leader Ltd, Naas, 1985. 567p.p. 

'The Green and Golden Years of Toomevara G.A.A.', by Donal Shanahan, The Brosna Press, Ferbane. 1985. 200p.p. 

The Ideal World

The ideal situation for anyone interested in information on the G.A.A. in the county would be to have one central location where all information would be stored. The obvious place is the county library in Thurles and the new centre for local studies would be the ideal location. The problem with records is storage and the problem in the past, and, to a great extent still, is that clubs have no proper filing facilities. Everything falls back on the shoulders of the secretary whose business it is to protect the minutes and club correspondence. He may be short of space or his house may be damp or the dog or the child may want to have fun with the minutes. There is too much dependence on him and there should be another system. 

I would like to see the day when a copy of the minutes of every club and every division and of the county board, would be handed over to the county library at the end of each year. Such a development would secure them for posterity but it would also make them easily available for any researcher in the future. That refers to the future. The past is equally important and the quicker existing minutes, however partial or flimsy they may be, are also copied and stored in the library, the better. There are plenty of youth employment schemes at the moment under which the work of getting existing minutes into typescript form could be undertaken. The Centenary Year brought about a new awareness of the past and the writing of club histories has made many people conscious of the need to keep proper records. It is to be hoped that this new awareness will ensure that the records of the next hundred years will provide a more complete picture of what happened in the G.A.A. in the club and the county than those of the past century. 

 

The 1985 County Senior Hurling Championship Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986, pp 18-21

The 1985 County Senior Hurling Championship 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1986, pp 18-21

 

When Kilruane-MacDonaghs won the county final in Semple Stadium on October 13 it was the fifth time that the senior hurling title had gone to the parish Cloughjordan. The first occasion was 1902 when the famous Lahorna De Wets won the title. There was a long time until 1977 for the second title and that was the start of a three-in-a-row. However, there was at least one connection between the two teams, the secretary of the De Wets team was Michael Gaynor of Rapla, the grand uncle of Len, who contributed so handsomely to victories of 1977-78-79. Many would agree that his hand was very much responsible for the 1985 success as well. Kilruane's success was at the expense old rivals Roscrea. The teams had already met in the north final at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh, when Kilruane were successfull on a scoreline of 2-10 1-10. The basis was laid for the success with two goals in the first five minutes and the Cloughjordan men led all through. However, although their display left a lot to be desired they revealed a toughness which was going to be an important factor in winning the county final. It was Kilruane's eight divisional title and Roscrea were seeking their seventeenth. 

Meanwhile, Holycross-Ballycahill were marking their Centenary Year with victory in the mid division at Boherlahan. The win gave them their sixth title in the grade and their first since 1978. On both occasions the opposition was provided by Thurles Sarsfields. Before the game there was plenty of talk that this was the match to see. On the day it was a miserable, boring affair, bearing not even a ghost of a relationship with the contests between the sides back in the fifties. The game retained interest for the spectators only because of the fact that the teams were locked so closely together. In the end only two points separated them in a scoreline of 2-8 to 1-9. 

In the west Eire Og-Cappawhite were in for their third divisional title in a row. The setting was Bansha with the backdrop of the Galtees darkened by clouds. Their oppenents were Cashel King Cormac's whom they had defeated in the two previous years. This was a game that Cashel lost rather than Cappaawhite won. They outhurled the champions in most departments for almost the entire hour and then they gave away scoring chances, goals and points, with prodigal abandon. In the end Cappawhite were four points ahead in a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-9. The victors' performance was a shadow of the great displays they had given their followers in 1984. 

In the south division Carrick Swans were taking their third-in-a-row and their eighteenth since they won their first in 1933. Their victims were St Mary's, Clonmel, going for their second ever. Previews of the game had the Swans hot favourites. On the day, however, St. Mary's, a young team, came within an inch of success. Only lack of scoring power deprived them of victory. The game was played in picturesque Kilsheelan. 

Quarter Finals

The draw for the quarter-finals had the north against the mid and the west against the south. The latter games were played at Bansha on a pleasant, sunny Sunday. Cappawhite were first to the fray against a St Mary's team that seemed to lack faith in itself. The west champions played some stylish hurling and with a hat-trick of goals from Ger O'Neill they led by nine points, 3-5 to 0-5, at the interval. They maintained their advantage in the second half and, with three minutes to go, were still only eight points ahead. But two St Mary's goals by Derek Williams and substitute Tommy Walsh suddenly changed everything. In the end Cappa survived and qualified for the semi-final with a score of 4-8 to 2-12. 

In the second game Cashel King Cormac's continued the squandermania they had indulged in the divisional final. Without taking from the Swans victory, it has to be said that Cashel were totally inadequate when it came to scoring. In the first half they shot an incredible fourteen wides to the Swans' four. With the exception of a drive by Tommy Grogan in the second half the Swans' goalie, Willie Barrett, was otherwise untroubled. The result, a victory of 3-9 to 0-10 for the Swans, left it difficult to evaluate the southeners' true worth. 

North V Mid

The other two quarter-final games took place at Semple Stadium on September 21. In the first game Kilruane MacDonaghs had a seven point victory over a very disappointing Thurles Sarsfields. In fact the winning margin did not do justice to the north men's superiority. Kilruane dominated the first half and led by 1-9 to 0-2 at the interval. It took Sarsfields ten minutes to score and they got their second point just before the interval. Thurles improved in the second half but they revealed a shortage of scoring power and, in the end, were behind by 2-10 to 2-3. 

In the second game Holycross-Ballycahill's dream of adding the county to their mid title came unstuck when, in spite of a wholeheated performance, they went down by a four point margin to Roscrea in a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-10. Because the game was keenly competitive and the sides close, the game was interesting and entertaining. Holycross had the benefit of the wind in the first half but failed to make use of their chances. Two Roscrea goals at vital stages saw them ahead by 2-3 to 0-5 at half-time. The mid men produced their best hurling in the second half, but their effort wasn't sufficient to get the better of Roscrea. 

Semi-Finals 

And so the stage was set for the semifinals at Semple Stadium on the last Sunday in September. The first game was between the north champions and the west champions. By any standards this was a disappointing game with little of a competitive edge about it. It was marked by a complete failure on the part of Cappawhite to make use of the scoring opportunities they got. One looked around for the forward line that had moved with such speed and purpose during the 1984 championship. As an indication of their poor performance Cappawhite scored only two points in the first fifty-three minutes of the game. When their two goals came, Kilruane's place in the final was already secure. Cappawhite shot ten wides in the first half and were behind by 1-4 to 0-1 at the interval. The final score was 2-8 to 2-2 in favour of Kilruane. The other point about the game was the relatively poor performance by the north men. 

This poor performance contrasted with a very fine display by Roscrea in the second semi-final when they overwhelmed Carrick Swans by 4-17 to 2-8. One of the great performances of the game was given by veteran Francis Loughnane, who had a personal tally of 2-4 and who posed a constant threat to the Swans' back line. The first half was close enough with only three points between the sides at the interval. The score was 0-10 to 1-4 in favour of Roscrea. In fact the Swans squandered a number of scoreable opportunities during this period and did not seem to be hurling with the same confidence as they had shown in the quarter-final. In the second half it was all Roscrea after Eamon Bergin got a goal four minutes into the second half. After that the south men lost all composure and gradually faded from the scene. 

The County Final

Ten and a half thousand people turned up for the county final at Semple Stadium on October 13. There were many children present. They had been invited along as guests of the county board from schools throughout the county. The day was pleasant and dry and all the arrangements contributed to an enjoyable occasion. 

As a result of the semi-finals, Roscrea were regarded as the more skillfull out fit with greater scoring ability. And during the course of the first half they seemed to justify that projection. In contrast the Kilruane performance was pedestrian and without imagination. Roscrea had three points on the board before there was a reply from the north champions. They dominated at centrefield where Peader Queally was king and Bergin, Scully and Loughnane, looked dangerous in the forwards. However opportunites were not taken, no goal was scored and what seemed to be a victorious Roscrea first half resulted in a lead of only 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval. Not enough by a long shot. 

Kilruane resumed with a new centrefield of Dinny Cahill and Joe Banaghan and the move soon brought results. Queally's influence declined and Roscrea never re-established control in the area. On the top of that was the move of Eamon O'Shea to centre-forward. Gradually gaps began to appear in the Roscrea centre-back line and Kilruane points, two from O'Shea, brought them within a point of their opponents. But the game was dogged and the result still hung in the balance. That was, until the fifty-first minute when O'Shea burst through to set Pat Quinlan up for a goal and the lead for the first time for Kilruane. Two minutes later O'Shea sealed Roscrea's fate when he doubled on a dropping ball, from a long range free from Gilbert Williams, and scored Kilruane's second goal. Roscrea's challenge came to an end and it is significant that they scored only two points in the second half to leave a final score of 2-11 to 0-10 in favour of the north champions. 

The teams for the final were as follows: Kilruane MacDonaghs: T. Sheppard (capt), J. Cahill, D. O'Meara, S. Gibson, M. Hogan, J. O'Meara, G. Williams, S. Hennessy, E. Hogan, Jerry Williams, Jim Williams, E. O'Shea, D. Cahill, P. Williams, P. Quinlan. Subs: J. Banaghan for E. Hogan, Pat Quinlan for S. Hennessy. 

Roscrea: K. Moloney, J. Bergin, V. Ryan, T. O'Connor, P. Delaney, D. Kealy, K. O'Connor, P. Queally, G. Ryan, J. Stone, G. O'Connor, L. Spooner, M. Scully, F. Loughnane, E. Bergin. Subs: F. Fletcher for E. Bergin, J. pyne for T. O'Connor. 

The referee was Donie O'Gorman of the Thurles Sarsfields. The cup was presented to Tony Sheppard by county chairman, Michael Lowry. The man of the match award, sponsored by Frosts Garage, Nenagh, was presented to Eamon O'Shea by Donal Shanahan, representing the sponsors. 

The victory was a great achievement for the Kilruane MacDonagh club. It was the best possible success to have in the Centenary Year of the club. But it wasn't the club's only achievement during the year. They also won the county junior championship and the divisional senior football championship. To top it all the parish priest of Cloughjordan, Fr Eddie Whyte, produced a fine club history which told the story of the G.A.A. in the parish up to the present year. The only task that remains to be done at the end of 1985 is to write another chapter that will properly chronicle the great achievements of the year. 

 

Cashel C.B.S. - 1984 Tipperary G.A.A. Centenary Yearbook, pp 107-108

Cashel C.B.S. - 1984

Tipperary G.A.A. Centenary Yearbook, pp 107-108

 

Cashel C.B.S. continues to be one of the strongest bastions of hurling in the county, and even beyond. Its successes during the past year have been impressive by any standard and the strength of the game at the underage levels gives reason to believe that these successes will continue. This past year the school was beaten in the semi-final of the Rice Cup (under 14), by Nenagh C.B.S. and in the under-15 Munster 'B' championship they lost the final to Ard Scoil Ris of Limerick. 

The dream of Cashel C.B.S. has always been to capture the Harty Cup but only in the last few years has this become a viable proposition. This year it seemed within grasp until it was snatched away by the Farranferris goalkeeper in Clogheen on March 9. 

Cashel started their preparation, early in December, under the guidance of John Gleeson and Mattie Finnerty. They played four practice matches, winning all of them including one against St. Kieran's, Kilkenny, the eventual Leinster champions. All was ready for their first outing against Thurles C.B.S. at Boherlahan on February 15. They looked in dire trouble with ten minutes remaining and a five-point deficit but a three-goal blitz by Waiter Carroll, in a period of four minutes, saw them through. 

The team now met Farranferris in the quarter-final, with ten of the team that had made their exit at that stage the previous year. The game was played in Clogheen and the opening ten minutes were tempestuous, as both teams were over-eager, over-aggressive and over-motivated. Three players found themselves on the sideline, two of them from Cashel. This thirteen-man team found themselves three points in arrears at the interval but fought back to be a point ahead with two minutes to go. They were deprived of victory when DJ. Kiely of Farna pointed a sideline puck to level the scores at 0-10 each. 

The replay was a classic Harty Cup tie and was played before a large attendance. Cashel were unlucky early on when a Michael Browne shot hit the crossbar. Just before halftime a defensive blunder let Farna in for a goal and a three-point interval lead. Cashel came back in the second half to level the game but gave away some unnecessary frees to let Farna go five points in front. They brought this back to two and it was then that Waiter O'Carroll raced through to have his blistering shot stopped by Kingston, of Farna fame. The whistle blew soon after to leave Cashel two points behind a scoreline of 1-13 to 1-11. Farranferris went on to win the Harty Cup and the All-Ireland. 

The class of the Cashel players was revealed when two of them, Pat O'Donoghue and WaIter O'Carroll, were selected on the Munster Colleges team for the revived inter-provincial competition. They were the first two Cashel C.B.S. players to receive this honour. Four of the team were picked on the county minor team, the above two plus Philip Ryan and Thomas Leamy. The complete panel was as follows: Pat O'Donoghue, Donal Ryan, Michael Moloney, Michael Perdue and Joseph McGrath of Cashel, Neil Fitzgerald, Phil Shanaghan, Declan Ryan, Dan Quirke, of Clonoulty, Philip Ryan and David Delaney of Boherlahan, Francis Ryan of Golden (capt.) Andrew O'Dwyer, Sean Alley, Seamus Furlong, Seamus O'Dwyer, WaIter O'Carroll, Pat Fitzgerald, Michael Browne, John Doherty, Paul Hennessy, D.J. Butler and Pat O'Farrell of Knockavilla. 

There was some consolation for the school when they retained the Canon Fitzgerald Cup on April 8. If they were unfortunate to lose the Harty Cup they were fortunate to defeat Thurles C.B.S. in this final. Cashel started well and were ahead by 2-5 to 0-8 at the interval, thanks to two splendid goals by corner forward Michael Moloney. The second half was all Thurles and with two minutes remaining they led by 1 -12 to 2-8. But luck was with Cashel as Dan Quirke levelled and substitute, Robert Hanly, goaled before the final whistle to leave them winners by 3-9 to 1-12. 

Cashel had previously won the cup in 1972, 1973, 1976, 1981 and 1983. They drew with Borrisokane in the first round, were level again at the end of the second day and had to play a third time before Cashel emerged winners by 2-6 to 0-9. This victory was achieved as a result of two late goals by Declan Ryan. It took two games to overcome Nenagh C.B.S. in the quarter final. The first day's game was abandoned by referee, Gerry Ring, with fifteen minutes remaining, because of the heated exchanges. Cashel won the replay by 1-12 to 1-6. The semi-final against Tipperary C.B.S. proved to be a stroll into the final, with Cashel winning by 3-12 to 1-1. 

Cashel C.B.S. competed in the Dean Ryan Cup (under 16 1/2 A) for the first time and were beaten in the semi-final by De La Salle of Waterford. On their way they defeated Farranferris and Nenagh C.B.S. The team was on the young side with thirteen eligible again for next year. 


Croke Cup

Cashel captured the Croke Cup (county under-16) for the fifth time' when they defeated Thurles C.B.S. in the final. Previous wins were in 1959, 1962, 1973 and 1980. The path to the final included victories over Roscrea C.B.S., Templemore C.B.S. and Nenagh C.B.S. In the final they had two points to spare over a fancied Thurles C.B.S. team in a scoreline of 3-6 to 3-4. 

And so, Cashel C.B.S. can look back on a splendid year, even if the greatest of all the hurling prizes eluded them. Despite the size of the school, about 270, they have a great depth of talent from under-14 upwards. As well they have a bunch of dedicated mentors in Mattie Finnerty, John Gleeson and Jack Ryan, who can inculate their enthusiasm in the players. Finally, they have a management that gives the game the required backing and a community that follow their fortunes with interest and support. 

 

Convention Day - Hayes Hotel Thurles, 1984 Tipperary G.A.A. Centenary Yearbook, pp 28-29

Convention Day - Hayes Hotel Thurles, 1984

Tipperary G.A.A. Centenary Yearbook, pp 28-29

 

One of the highlights as well as one of the earliest events of Centenary Year was the County Convention. As was only fitting the historic Hayes's Hotel in Thurles was the venue and the date was a cold and sleety February 5, 1984. It was one of the best attended conventions with almost three hundred delegates present. 

The keynote address was by the President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Paddy Buggy, who said that 'Tipperary had much to be proud of and much to celebrate in the Centenary Year of the Association'. He called for a united front in everything undertaken in 1984 and for greater co-operation to run a disciplined organisation. 'Think before we speak and see that the G.A.A. rekindles the idealism and energy that saw the infant G.A.A. thrust to life here in Thurles and which will send it into orbit for another great century of community involvement. Let's run an organisation that will be an example to all others and that we will be proud to belong to, proud of its origins, proud of its distinctive Celtic and Irish involvemnent. Keep the G.A.A. a community organisation working well for its people and supporting everything that is for the well-being of its area,' he said. 

Officers

In the only contest of the convention, Liz Howard defeated outgoing Gerry Long by 150 votes to 126 for the office of County P.R.O. The other officers re-appointed were chairman, Michael Frawley, secretary, Tommy Barrett, treasurer, Martin O'Connor, Munster Council delegates, Tim Maher and Michael McCarthy, Central Council representative, John Doyle, development officer, Fr. Pierce Duggan, youth officer, Liam O Donnchú, Oifigeach na Gaeilge, Eamonn de Stafford.

The patron of the Association, Most rev. Dr. Thomas Morris, celebrated Mass at the cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles for the repose of the souls of deceased Gaels of the county before the start of convention. After the mass the members of the county board and representatives of every club in the county assembled in the grounds of St. Patrick's College. They marched to St. Mary's Cemetary behind the Thurles Silver Band and under the banners of the clubs. A wreath was laid on the grave of Tom Semple, the great Thurles and Tipperary hurler, after whom Semple Stadium is called. The wreath was laid by County Board Chairman, Michael Frawley, who gave a short address on Tom Semple. The prayers for the dead were recited by Right Rev. Dean C. Lee, P.P., Cashel. 

After the ceremony the delegates re-assembled and paraded back to Liberty Square where they were officially welcomed outside Hayes' Hotel by Mr. Frank Dwan, Vice-Chairman of Thurles Urban Council, who was deputising for the Chairman and former Tipperary hurler, Mr. John Delahunty, who was not available. The parade through the town was an extremely colourful and comprehensive display of club banners, many of which had been designed and made specially for Centenary Year. As the parade wound its way round the square and the intrepid club members controlled the banners against the gusting wind, their effort went unnoticed by the vast majority of Thurles people and unrecorded by either still or video 

 

Convention

County Chairman, Michael Frawley, welcomed the delegates to the Convention and they were given a short address by Archbishop Morris. A number of presentations were made. An illuminated scroll was presented to the President of the County Board, Willie O'Dwyer of Boherlahan, who was hale and hearty at ninty-five. In a strong voice he informed the delegates that he attended his first Convention in 1914. Another presentation was made to Tommy Barrett to mark his twenty-first year in office as County Secretary. 

In the course of his address County Chairman, Michael Frawley, told the assembled delegates: 'On our shoulders rests the responsibility of consolidating and strengthening what has been handed down to us. As we prepare to enter the second year of our existence, there still exists the same dire need for loyalty as regards what the Association stands for - sacrifice and input on the part of us all' . 

The Borrisoleigh Problem, about representation on the County Senior Hurling Selection Committee, surfaced in the form of motions from the club. They asked that the county senior hurling champions for this and future years be empowered to nominate the senior hurling selection committee. The motions were ruled out of order by the Chairman. Michael Delaney of Borrisoleigh said that his club had decided to withdraw the motion relating to this year's selectors, as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity and an exercise in closing ranks, but he would like to have Convention consider the motion for future years. His request was not allowed. 

John Doyle, who was re-appointed Central Council representative on the withdrawal of Michael Maguire, called for the closing of ranks behind all the county teams and an end to the constant knocking of our best endeavours. Fr. Pierce Duggan assured Convention that Tipperary would not be found wanting in coping with the practical tasks involved in the staging of the Centenary All-Ireland hurling final. He was returned unopposed as Development Officer. Motions from Clonmel Commercials and Silvermines clubs for an Open Draw for 1984 in football and hurling were defeated. 

Overall then a more formal and ceremonial occasion than the usual Convention. To the delegates conscious of the historic aspect it was an impressive event that revealed an Association in a confident, self-assured and forward-looking state. To those who cast their minds back a hundred years there was the realisation of how far the organisation had come from the small and tentative beginnings at Miss Hayes's Commercial Hotel on November 1,1884. 

 

 

The Genius of Tony Reddin Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1984, pp. 61-63

The Genius of Tony Reddin

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1984, pp. 61-63

 

To write about Tony Reddin is no easy task. Not because his exploits are few­ - they are indeed many- but because of the difficulty of describing adequately the greatness of the man and the multitudes he inspired. I have a friend from Westmeath for whom Tony Reddin was a childhood hero who blazed across the horizon of his young years 

and left an impression that is still indelible thirty years later. He is one of many whom Tony inspired by his goal­-keeping brilliance inside and outside Tipperary and far and wide in the world.

Who was this man who made the name of Lorrha a household word the length and breadth of Ireland? The parish of Lorrha became the kingdom of Tony and to say one was from there was sure to bring the response: "Oh! Tony Reddin's country." But Tony wasn't from Lorrha but was born on the other side of the Shannon in Mullagh, Co. Galway about fifteen miles as the crow flies from the parish of his adop­tion. It was in February 1947 that Tony cycled across the bridge of Portu­ma to start a new chapter in his life. 


A Galway Career

Some people are of the impression that Tony had no pre-1947 hurling existence. This is to miss a chapter of his life that is important. He has many hurling medals in his possession but one that he cherishes and has a special place for is a county juvenile medal he won h Mullagh in 1933. It is the only county medal he won and he is immensely proud of it. He played centrefield. He won a divisional junior medal with Mullagh in the late thirties and found his place on the Galway junior team of 1940. They beat Roscommon in the Connaght final but went down narrowly to Cork 3-3 to 3-1 in the All-Ireland at Limerick. In 1941 he was promoted to senior ranks and played with Galway against Dublin at Roscrea. On that day Lorrha man, Christy Forde, played a blinder in the Dublin goal. IIn the same year Tony made the Connaght Railway Cup team that was trounced by Munster. 

An impressive if not spectacular record. For the next few years he lost interest in the game and doesn't appear again until 1946 when he played full-forward with Galway in the Monagh­an Cup game at London against Tipperary. Tony scored a point and Galway lost by a narrow margin. At the opposite end of the field for Tipperary 

that day was Tony Brennan, who was later to form such a harmonious partnership with Reddin. Later that year we find Tony sub-goalie on the Galway team that went down to Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final at Birr. 

The man who crossed the Shannon the following year has been variously known. Programmes and newspapers have called him Tony or Anthony and Reddan, Reddin and even Redden. Probably, the most common usage has been Tony Reddan. How did a man, who was christened Martin Charles Reddington end up with the name of Tony Reddan? Despite what his birth certificate states the family were always known as Reddins. Tony's father, Mick, was never known as anything except Mick Reddin. Tony had a pet name, 'Thaudy', and when he came to Lorrha people thought it was "Tony" and they began to call him by that name. As Tony himself says: 'Nobody ever asked me what I was called: they just called me "Tony Reddan" and the name stuck'. Tony is known by his birth certificate name on his first passport, got in 1950. On his current one he signs himself 'Tony Reddin', the name by which everybody knows him. And this clarifies the second point: his name is Reddin, nothing else. It's the name of his wife and children. 


First Games in Tipperary

Tony's reputation as a goalkeeper had preceded him and he got his first opportunity to show his prowess when Fr O'Meara went to him in Holy Week and asked him to play on Easter Sunday. St Vincents of Dublin were coming to Rathcabbin to play Lorrha in a chal­lenge game that was to be the beginning of a long friendship between the two clubs. Tony turned up, had a good game and Lorrha were beaten by a point. It is interesting to record that this was his first match in Tipperary, in the quiet backwater of Rathcabbin. His last match for Tipperary was to be in the bustling city of New York in October ten years later. 

Tony won his first medal in Tipperary when Lorrha won a tournament against Kilruane in May of that year. The Lorrha team had just gone senior, having been intermediate for the pre­vious six years. Tony played in the championship, had some fine saves in the first round against Borrisokane and against Roscrea 'brought off some wonderfuI close clearances'. In the semi-final against Borrisileigh, Reddin had a poor game and was taken out to centre-field in the second-half. Lorrha lost and that put an end to activity for that year. 

1948 was a memorable year for Lorrha. After twenty-one years they won the North final and the man who led the revival was none other than Tony Reddin. They beat Borrisokane, Roscrea and Kiladangan on the way to the final. Against Kiladangan Reddin was 'man of the match.' 

However, it was in the North final against Borrisileigh on 22 August at Nenagh that Reddin became famous. With a gale force wind in the first-half Lorrha ran up a lead of 4-3 to 0-4. I n the second-half Borrisileigh had a downpour behind them and they attacked the Lorrha goal with every­thing in their arsenal in an attempt to get back on top. They tried for goals again and again, when points went abegging, and Reddin stopped the ball with mechanical ease and flung it back in their face. Borrisileigh scored twice, early and late in the half, but it wasn't enough. Lorrha had won, scoring 1-1 on top of their half-time tally, and the parish and further afield sung the praises of a new goalkeeping star. Lorrha won the semi-final against Cashel but went down heavily to Holycross in the final. In both games Reddin's contribution was way above that of average men. 


His Genius

Why was Reddin so brilliant? It may be a good place to analyse the quality of his greatness. Many people remember Reddin as a big man going high for the ball, catching it securely and bursting out amid a welter of hurleys, to clear well up the field. It will come as a surprise to learn that Tony is not a big man. He stands 5'9" and, at the height of his career in the early fifties he never weighed more than eleven and a half stone! He was a very fit man. He trained for the position as keenly as another might train for centre-field. Running crosscountry, jumping over hedges and ditches and building up his arms made him the strong player he was. He had the eye of a hawk, some might even say of compensatory quality, for defects in his oral and aural senses. Neighbours have commented on how sharp that eyesight was and is in spotting someone at a distance. He was no mere ball stopper but a player who completed the act by clearing the ball down the field. He was equally good on the right or the left side and this again came from constant practice. He sharpened his reflexes by belting a ball against a rough stone wall from short distances and catching the ball in his hand as it rebounded in different directions. Prob­ably his greatest ability was a sensitive touch allied with the tilting of the hurley's face at an angle which enabled him to kill even the fastest ball dead so that it rolled down the hurley into his hand as if by the genius of a master magician. Finally, Tony used no 'half­door' of a hurley to stop the ball. His was of ordinary size and he had the same stick for most of his hurling career, a heavy, many hooped, ugly-­looking affair. 


Promotion to County

Reddin's proven ability in the cham­pionship won him his place on the county team. His first appearance was at Birr (significantly the last place he played with Galway) against Offaly in the league. He had a fine debut. He played the delayed 1947-48 league final against Cork on 31 October and Tipperary lost but one of the redeeming features of the game was 'the splendid goalkeeping of Reddin'. The report on his next match against Clare stated that 'Reddin has a quick eye, a keen sense of anticipation and he is very lively on his feet'. Tipperary played Limerick on 21 November and we read: "Very soon they (Limerick) got a taste of the excellence of Tony Reddin in our goal. A loose forward picked up a ball fifteen yards out and let fly. Believe it or not Reddin trapped down the ball and cleared it to the left. Not since a historic day in Thurles long ago when Pat Scanlan saved point blank from Tommie Treacy had I seen a save like that'. The last match of the year was against his native Galway and again the reports sang his praises. 'Reddin has certainly captured the popular imagination. His saves are all of a colourful variety. It was not an uncommon thing to see the Lorrha man emerge from a crowded goalmouth to clear well outfield or to stop a point blank shot that seemed to be going all the way for the back of the net'. And, in his column in the 'Tipperary Star' Winter Green wrote: 'In Tony Reddin we have a smashing goalie. On Sunday he lived up to all the nice things I have been writing about him of late. He is coolness personified, has the eye of a hawk and has a hefty clearance'. Opposite him Sean Duggan looked moderate by comparison and Duggan was the best goalie in the game until now! The League final was on 27 February and it was Tony's first outing at Croke Park. It was also the first day that Tony Brennan played in front of him at full-back, the beginning of a great partnership. Tipperary won by two points and Tony won his first medal for Tipperary. The victory ended Tipperary's four years in the hurling wilderness. 


His Achievements

Reddin was to win five more league medals with Tipperary plus two in the American series against New York. He travelled to the U.S. in 1950 and, to play his last match, in October 1957. On both occasions mechanical troubles interrupted their take-off from Shannon. He won three Munster and three All-­Ireland medals. And, they might have been six but for Cork! He was picked for Ireland on five occasions, which was the equivalent of Carroll's All-Stars and won four cups. He won two divisional medals. In the context of the present barren period of Tipperary hurling a veritable treasure trove of achievement. 

Reddin's first championship match with Tipperary was against Cork at Limerick on 29 May 1948. Tony was then thirty years of age and many another sportsman would be retiring. It is interesting to mention that Mick Roche retired at twenty-nine! In Tony's case the most brilliant chapter in his career was just beginning. The game was barely started when Tony was awakened to the realities of Munster championship hurling when Gerry Murphy found the net from a Christy Ring centre. He recovered as did Tip­perary and went on to draw the game. The replay was a month later and 'Winter Green' reported: "It was the roughest and toughest exhibition of unclean hurling that has been seen for many a long day'. It has been referred to as the 'Match of the Bandages', so many were wrapped in white headgear by the end of the game. And, at that end, it was another draw! Extra time had to be played and it was the only time that Tipperary outwitted Cork! Paddy Leahy ushered the Tipperary players into the dressingroom to await the resumption. There they were washed, refreshed, redressed and re­bandaged and returned to the field after twenty minutes reasonably re­freshed men. In contrast the Cork players had remained on the field in the blazing sunshine and were now wilting from exhaustion. One Tipperary man was also wilting: Reddin. He got a knee injury at the end of the first-half and was barely able to walk. He spent the half-time trying to keep the knee from stiffening up. He wanted a substitute to replace him but he was persuaded to resume and had the satisfaction of helping Tipperary to win by a mere two points. In that replay John Doyle made his senior debut for Tipperary and completed the last line of defence which was to be such a solid phalanx for a number of years. 


Some Highlights

It is not the intention of this article to trace the fortunes of Tony over the next seven years but to mention a few of the high points. He remembers the Munster final on 23 July 1950 against Cork at Killarney as the toughest match he ever played. The last ten minutes are vivid in his memory when the game hung in the balance. The overflow crowd of 55,000 had encroached on to the pitch so much that referee, Bill O'Donoghue of Limerick, had to stop the game for ten minutes until the pitch was cleared. No sooner had the game restarted than the encroach­ment resumed around Tony's goal and became so bad that, as he looked left and right, he found himself in the horn of a half moon. Bottles, cans and sods were raining on his goals. Anytime a ball came in he was teased, barracked and even pushed. He remembers in particular one spectator, whom he refers to as 'Black Coat', catching him by the jersey as he ran out to clear a ball. He drew back with his hurley and contacted. He got away from the grip and cleared up the field. Ring appealed to the crowd to relent but they ignored him. He flattened Lynch during one clearance and a little later, as Tony was clearing, Lynch ran at him. At the final moment before contact Tony swerved and saw Lynch crashing into the goalpost. 

Still another time as he was saving a ball a topcoat was thrown at him. He cleared the ball and then began to belt the coat on the ground with his hurley in an attempt to cut it to ribbons He regrets that the instrument wasn't sharp enough for the job and the coat escaped. The final attack on him was to collapse the net from which Tony escaped in the nick of time. Tony had one satisfaction during the whole unruly period. A Cork forward sent in a high ball. It was close to the post. As a result of pressure from the crowd the goalpost had been loosened. Tony swung on the post and in pulling it towards himself made the ball wide. When the final whistle sounded to a Tipperary victory, Tony found himself under the protection of a number of priests. Fr O'Meara gave him a hat and a short coat and covered him up as best he could but he was unable to leave the field until well after the game. As fitting a tribute as there could be to the quality of his play! 

It is at the end of his career that the next match was played, 6 May 1956 at Dublin and the opponents Wexford. Tipperary were leading by 2-10 to 0-2 at half-time with a gale in their backs. Nobody believed Wexford could get back into the game but they did and crashed home five goals in the second-­half, the first from Nicky Rackard within three minutes of resumption. Tony remembers the day only too well. He wasn't in good shape, his back was at him. He didn't have the power or the agility that were usual for him. The newspapers said he was gone. In the 'Tipperary Star', the reporter said: 'Now the sad fact must be faced that Reddin is not as good as he was. ,In his best form he would have saved at least three, if not the whole five, of the shots that beat him on Sunday. He was at fault for two of the goals and the second miss proved disastrous'. A big change from the glowing notices he had been accustomed to! However, everyone did not agree. In the same paper 'Winter Green' was of this opinion: 'Others blame Tony Reddin. True he was beaten five times in the second half but what goalie could have saved any of the five balls which beat him'. Regardless of this defence the selectors believed that Tony had gone over the top and gave expression to that belief when they dropped him for the Monaghan Cup two weeks later in favour of Blackie Keane. The latter had a good game and was chosen for the championship match against Cork. Tipperary lost this>game in which Keane wasn't really tested. 


Indian Summer

However, Tony was not gone. In that Summer of 1956 he played some of the finest hurling of his career and confounded his critics. Toomevara and Borrisileigh in the semi-final and final respectively. The scores in these games are revealing. Against Toomevara it was 5-1 to 1-10 and against Borrisileigh it was 4.-8 to 0-18. Both games were a tribute to Tony's brilliance and they have become part of the folklore of the parish. 

This Indian Summer brilliance was enough to get Reddin back on the Tipperary team. He played in the league against Galway on 14 October but wasn't tested. The only shot that beat him was doubled on overhead from close range. In the next match against Antrim he had a mediocre game and let in one easy shot. He was adequate against Westmeath the following Feb­ruary but was dropped again, in favour of Blackie Keane, for the match against Clare on 31 March. Tipperary won the league in May 1957 with Keane in goal. It was Tony's sixth league medal and won him a trip to New York the follow­ing October. He played one game in the U.S. and this was his last match with Tipperary. In the Munster championship the previous Summer Tony wasn't even a substitute on the Tipperary team that was beaten 5-2 to 1-11. Blackie Keane let in three goals in the first-half and was replaced by Eddie Moloughney at half-time. I n the course of his account on the Tipperary Star the reporter stated: "

How the Tipperary supporters longed on Sunday for a goalkeeper of Tony Reddin's calibre." 

1957 was the last year that Tony appeared in a hurling jersey. He was already a legend. The previous year, after the North final, he had married Maura Smyth of Lelagh, Rathcabbin, and had settled down to live at the Pike, where he farmed a little, con­tinued to make hurleys and provided a hackney service in a car, ARI 791, that was known far and wide. In 1960 he got a job with Bord na Móna and he was with the company until he retired. 

In 1963 the Reddins moved to Banagher and built a house in Cuba Street where they live to this day. I n the early seventies Tony offered his services to the local St Rynagh's club and under his tutelage the club has had tremendous success. Since his involvement began the club has won eight county finals and is a house­hold name in the club championship competition. 

Tony is still a fresh man and has worn his years well. He is an enthusias­tic talker on hurling and can recall with vividness highlights of his career. He is an unassuming man who hasn't been changed by his high place in the pan­theon of great hurlers. Was he the greatest goalkeeper of all time? Without a doubt he towered above all others in his own time and it is difficult to imagine anyone better at any other time. His natural ability allied to his professional preparedness made him unique. It is probably this memory of his own training habits that makes him put coaching first in his priorities for building up a team. But, whether he was the greatest or not doesn't matter. What does matter is the enter­tainment he gave people, the magic he flashed before their eyes as he stopped impossible shots ,and charged like a whirlwind through backs and forwards to send the ball back into enemy territory. We were all immensely proud of Reddin. He put our remote parish firmly on the map of hurling. He helped us to win two divisional finals. He gave us a pride in where we belong. I n the wider arena he was foremost in the long battle with Cork for supremacy in Munster hurling. It is difficult to leave the man because memories keep flashing and they are the most brilliant we have known. 

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship (1984) Centenary Year Book pp. 35-37

The County Senior Hurling Championship (1984)

Centenary Year Book pp. 35-37

 

The county quarter-finals saw the teams from the north play the west and those from the mid against the south. The north representatives were Lorrha and Eire Og. Lorrha had defeated Eire Og to win their first divisional final since 1966. The west representatives were Cappawhite, who had won the west for the second year in a row and had done so impressively under the watchful eye of Theo English, and Eire Og, the winners of the Crasco Cup. Both teams had defeated Kickhams in the finals. 

In the mid Drom-Inch had created something of a sensation in beating Moycarkey-Borris in a replay of the divisional final. The south sent out the same teams as in 1983, Carrick Swan, who had won the title for the second year in a row, and Eire Og, a combination of Killenaule and Mullinahone, under the tutelage of Phil Shanahan.

The north-west encounters took place at Templemore on September 9 in stormy and wet conditions. Lorrha played Eire Og in the first game and faced the wind in the first half. Wasted chances by Eire Og and good goalkeeping by Lorrha's Ken Hogan, ensured that Eire Og had only a 0-6 to 0-3 lead at the interval. Lorrha took over after the interval and within fifteen minutes they put paid to Annacarty's challenge. They eventually won by 3-11 to 0-7, Eire Og's only point coming eleven minutes after the interval.

Conditions were appalling for the second game. Cappawhite were against the wind in the first half but led by two points at the interval. Their good performance was mainly due to the mobility of their centrefield pair, Mike McDermott and Deasun Hennessey, and the flair of their half-forward line.  Eire Og on the other hand had too many weak links exposed and their younger players were not suited to the heavy going.  In the second half they could only manage 1-1 against a rampant Cappawhite team who went on to win by 5-6 to 1-6.  

The mid-south clashes took place at Cashel on September 16. Moycarkey Borris recorded an easy victory over Carrick-Swan, who never captured the form that brought them the south title.
The loss of Sean Fitzpatrick at centre forward was a major blow to their challenge. 

The second game, between Drom-Inch and Eire Og, ended in a draw 3-10 to 2-13. Tommy Butler scored the equalising point for Dram-Inch, from a sixty five metre free, in the last minute. The game was made exciting by the closeness of the exchanges and the tension all through. Drom-Inch had gone into the game as favourites but they never reproduced the form which had brought them the mid title the previous Sunday. 

In the replay two weeks later Drom-lnch had the upperhand, chiefly due to two goals which they scored, one four minutes before the interval and the second two minutes after the resumption. The mid champions were much improved and they finished much sharper and took their chances in the last quarter. However, their margin of success did not due justice to the efforts of Eire Og, who had to turn out without their top defender, Joe O'Dwyer, who had injured his collarbone in the drawn game. The final result read 2-12 to 0-11.


SEMI-FINALS

The county semi-final draw pitted Moycarkey-Borris against Cappawhite and Lorrha against Drom-lnch. The first of the two games was played at Cashel on September 30, in conjunction with the replayed quarter-final game. The result was another draw when Moycarkey scored two points in the final minutes to give them 2-10 against Cappawhite's 1-13. The game will be remembered for some brilliant points by Austin Buckley for Cappawite in the first half. Moycarkey were lucky to be only two points, 0-9 to I - 4, behind at the interval. John Flanagan, got a goal in the twenty-fifth minute and showed that all he needed was the smallest of space and the shortest of time. During the second half the sides were locked together with Moycarkey just slightly ahead when Cappawhite got a goal, from a goalkeeping error by Moycarkey 's Doran, and left them two points ahead with only minutes to go. In that final period Moycarke y scored twice, drawing on all their reserves of experience, to snatch a draw.


REPLAY

The replay took place in Nenagh, in conjunction with the other semi-final, on October 7. Moycarkey-Borris put in a storming performance to win by 3-14 to 2- 12. Without doubt it was Moycarkey's best performance of the year. They were sharp and keen and far more aggressive than in previous encounters. The decisive period of this game began in the end of the first quarter , when Cappa white were ahead by 0-4 to 0-1. In a five-minute period Moycarkey scored three goals and they never subsequently relinquished their lead, despite the best efforts of the west champions. Moycarkey hovered between a one and four point advantage throughout the third quarter but only a goal separated them with six minutes to play. Cappawhite threw everything into those final minutes but they failed to get the goal they so badly needed and it was Moycarkey who got the insurance points that gave them five-point victory.

In the second semi- final the result hung in the balance until ten minutes from the end. Lorrha had the breeze in the first half and, despite plenty of possession their forward s failed to take the chances. At half-time the score stood at 0-6 to 0-4 in their favour. During the first twenty minutes of the second half each side could only manage a point and the Lorrha backs were under heavy pressure. Then in the nineteenth minute Tommy Butler got possession on the Lorrha 20 metre line and seemed certain of a goal. However, he was blocked, the ball was cleared up the field, Ciaran Hough got possession and raced for goal. His shot was blocked and eventually finished to the net by Aidan McIntyre. This score gave Lorrha the upper hand and they eventually won by 2-7 to 0-6.


COUNTY FINAL

All was in expectation for the county final at Thurles on October 14, with Moycarkey-Borris favourites and heading for their sixteenth title and Lorrha heading for their first. Lorrha had suffered a number of injuries in their semifinal clash with Drom-Inch and looked for a postponement. A special sitting of the county board on Tuesday night turned down their request. Lorrha considered the refusal and decided there was no way they could play the county final on the date fixed. The club, therefore, informed the county secretary on Thursday night of their inability to field a team and their withdrawal from the final. The county board met the following Monday night and refixed the game for October 21. Both teams agreed with the decision.

Moycarkey-Borris were firm favourites going into the game but they got a shock in the first twenty minutes when Lorrha put on a magnificent performance against the wind and led by 0-6 to 0-2. Moycarkey gradually found their rhythm and came back into the game before the interval with two points to leave the half-time score 0-6 to 0-4 in Lorrha 's favour. 

By the end of the third quarter Lorrha were three points ahead with neither side being able to establish superiority. Then Moycarkey struck a blow from which Lorrha never recovered: they scored two goals in the space of four minutes to take the lead and they went on to win by 2-8 to 0-9. In the end they were the fitter team and worthy champions for the Centenary Year. For Lorrha there was the unsatisfactory consolation of a good display and the memories of chances that were and goals that might have been. 

The centenary champions were: T. Doran, J. Hackett, W. Ryan, T. Mullens, E. Darmody, J. Bergin (Capt), J. Leahy, L. Bergin and L. Dempsey, T. Cullagh, J. McCormack, D. Fogarty, N. Slattery, D. Quigley, J. Flanagan.
Subs: R. Hayes, for J. Leahy, J. Flanagan for J. Hackett. 

The defeated Lorrha team was as follows: K. Hogan, M. Young, M. Brophy, P. Kennedy, E. Sherlock, J. McIntyre, E. Maher, P. Kelly, B. Mannion, J. Kennedy, J. O'Sullivan, C. Hough (Capt), A. McIntyre, J. Shelly, W. Fogarty. 
Subs: C. McIntyre for Maher, D. O'Donoghue for A . McIntyre.

 

RESULTS IN BRIEF


DIVISIONAL FINALS: 

North -   Lorrha 4-11, Eire Og (Nenagh) 3-9.
South - Carrick Swan 2-8 Eire 0g (Killenaule/Mullinahone) 0-13.
Mid - Drom-Inch 0-13. Moycarkey- Borris 2-7.  Replay: Drom-Inch 1-9, Moycarkey Borrls 1-8.
West - Cappawhite 2-18, Kickhams 3-7.
Crosco Cup - Eire og (Annacarty) 0-11, Kickhams 0-9.

 

COUNTY QUARTER FINALS:

Lorrha 3-11, Eire Og (Annacarty) 0-7.
Cappawhite 5-6, Eire Og (Nenagh) 1-6.
Drom-Inch 3-10, Eire Og (Killenaule Mullnahone) 2-13.  Replay: Drom-Inch 2-12, Eire Og
(Killenaule-Mullinahone) 0-11.
Moycaikey-Borris 1-15, Carrick Swan 3-1

 

COUNTY SEMI-FINALS:

Moycarkey-Borrls 2-10, Cappawhite 1-13.  Replay: Moycarkey-Borris 3-14, Cappawhite 2-12.
Lorrha 2-7, Drom-lnch 0-6.

 

COUNTY FINAL:

Moycarkey-Borris 2-8, Lorrha 0-9.

A Tipperary Stalwart - Michael F. Cronin Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1983, pp 44-45

A Tipperary Stalwart - Michael F. Cronin

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1983, pp 44-45

 

One of the stalwarts of the Tipperary All-Ireland Hurling team of 1930 was Mick Cronin of Lorrha, who died on 11 January, 1982 after a short illness. He was eighty years of age having been born in Lorrha on 26 September 1982. Seventeen years previously his father, Felix, had come to the parish as a National Teacher, all the way from Kilgarvan, Co. Kerry, where his parents had the Post Office. Three years after arriving at Lorrha Felix married a girl called Mary Dalv from Kenmare and they had ten children, eight boys and two girls. Mick was the seventh son. One of his brothers, Felix, became a Major General in the Irish Army. Another brother, Tom, lost his life in a shooting accident while out fowling. Two other brothers made their names on the hurling field: Gerard hurled for Clare and played against Mick;. Phil played for Dublin.

Mick was educated in his father's school and went to secondary at De La Salle, Waterford. After completing the secondary course he transferred to the Teacher Training College. He got a fine gold medal in recognition of his position as De La Salle Hurling Team Captain, 1922. (Incidentally, Rody Nealon holds a similar medal for occupying the same position four years previously). On completing his teacher training he got a job at Lorrha and succeeded his father, almost immediately, as Principal. This was a controversial appointment as the practise was for a teacher to need five years teaching experience before he could become Principal. At any rate the Manager ignored the controversy, claiming that Mick was the best man for the job. The result was that when Mick Cronin retired in 1969 he must have been the longest serving National School Principal in the country. Later, he studied for his B.A. by driving to Galway after work with, among others, Jack O'Donovan of Toomevara. He was conferred in 1932 and received his Higher Diploma in Education the following year. He received an M.A. in 1935. He was also a fluent Irish speaker.

 

Hurling Career

mick-cronin.jpg

Mick Cronin doesn't seem to have hit the headlines in hurling until 1926. After the disruptions of the War of Independence a reorganisation meeting was called in Nenagh in March 1922 and he was in attendance. He appears on the Lorrha team in 1923, captained by Tom Duffy, and they give the 'Greyhounds' an annoying hour before being defeated by a goal. The following year Lorrha won the North final by a large margin over Neangh but Cronin's name does not appear nor on the North selection that took part in the Divisional Championship that year. Similarly, in 1925, his name does not appear on either the Tipperary Junior or Senior teams. His name appears on the selection for the All-Ireland Junior Hurling semifinal at New Ross on 12 December 1926. When the team arrived for the match the previous day they were given a civic reception and, after beating Wexford 5-3 to 1-1- they were entertained to dinner on Sunday evening when the guest speaker was Alderman Corish, T.D. Tipperary played Galway in the final at Thurles the following March. The selectors met the previous month to select the team and, among other things, heard the Rev. Chairman draw attention "to the rule which prohibited betting on the field and it was decided with the cooperation of the civic guards to take drastic action against offenders". Because of the similarity of colours Tipperary changed jerseys for the match, which they won 6-2 to 2-3. Galway supporters for the game came by motor-buses which were a novelty in Thurles at the time.

 


League Winner

In the following year Mick Cronin graduated to the senior ranks and we read of him playing in the League campaign. (The League began the previous year and it was played over the year with the first games in Spring and the remainder after the championship was completed. There was no knockout section like there is today). Tipperary beat Kilkenny, Limerick, Cork and Clare in the opening rounds. In June we read about Cronin travelling to London with Tipperary to play Cork. In the same month, in the first round of the County League, Lorrha beat De Wets by 13 points to 5 and the mainstays of the victors are Tom Duffy and Mick Cronin.

This run of successes came to a halt in the first round of the championship when Tipperary went down to Limerick, 3-4 to 3-1. Cronin played centre-forward. Tipperary won the League that year by beating Offaly and drawing with Dublin, who were also in the running and were All-Ireland champions. This match was regarded as the 'final' even though Tipperary still had to play Galway and Laoise. The match against Dublin on 16 October created great excitement. In a preview to the game the 'Tipperary Star' had the following to say about Cronin: 'M. F. Cronin, Lorrha: plays on the 40 yard mark, a position which he filled with credit in all National League and other games during the past season. A fast and accurate striker he is always safe for a record when in possession'.

A week after the game with Dublin, Lorrha had a great victory over Roscrea in the North Championship, 7-2 to 2-3. According to the report: 'Cronin got down to play a good game (second half) and his continuous appearances from nowhere saw him score goal after goal for Lorrha'. In that year 1927 Mick Cronin also won a Great Southern Railway Cup medal with Munster.
In 1928 Tipperary won the first round of the championship against Limerick, getting four goals 'in a dash' in the second-half. Mick Cronin got Tipperary's final goal which gave them a victory of two points. In a poor display in the second round at Thurles they were beaten by Clare. In the following year Tipperary reversed the verdict in the first round against Clare but went down to Cork at Cork in the semi-final. According to "Carbery": 'The hurling was fierce but not foul, a struggle without poisoned gas. Men crashed into one another. One, two, three, four men went down in sequence. Virile manhood was manifested in all its power and glory. Willie Gleeson, the referee, knew his men well and let them flake away. . . . ' Some of the greatest tussles then and again were between Mick Cronin and Jim Regan, (also recently deceased, R.I.P.)

 

All-Ireland

1930 was the highpoint of Mick Cronin's hurling career when he won an All-Ireland medal. While his Junior Hurling All-Ireland medal was won on 13 March the first round of the championship in 1930 was on 13 July against Waterford at Dungarvan. Tipperary lead at halftime and early in the second half a scuffle took place between the two captains and referee, Sean Og Murphy, sent both off. The Waterford captain refused to go and the crowd invaded the pitch. After order was restored the game was about to restart when Waterford suddenly left the field. According to the report on the game 'Cronin was also in fine fettle and, up to the time when he was forced, through an injury, to retire, was responsible for much of Tipperary's lead'. Tipperary were awarded the game.

Clare were favourites for the Munster final, having disposed of Cork but Tipperary were triumphant by 6-4 to 2-8 on a day that Cronin had a particularly fine game especially in the second half. It was a victory for 'the old dash of Tipperary'. In the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway at Birr there was a continuous downpour. Tipperary won well and Cronin, who had a good game throughout, 'scored a beautiful goal from an awkward angle'.

The final was against Dublin with John Joe Callanan captain. Before 22,000 people 'it was a fiercely contested struggle, grim and determined hurling rather than brilliant or classic'. "The forward line had a stiff proposition to tackle. Kennedy, Callanan and Cronin were well marked and the result was that a considerable number of their efforts went wide." Tipperary won 2-7 to 1-3. There was great and widespread jubilation. The team got an invitation to visit the United States. Cashel poet, Francis Phillips, composed a poem for the occasion, the last stanza of which went;

Some thought that Knocknagow was gone
And ashen handles stout and strong,
That brawn and bone lived but in song,
Like tales of Ghost and Fairy.
'Me Sowl' we're there like Slievenamon,
'Magnificent Tipperary'
.

 

Contemporary Portrait

The Tipperary team eventually went to the U.S. on 8 September, 1931. Mick Cronin played in the League games at the end of 1930 and the beginning of 1931. We find him playing with the National University selection against the All-Ireland champions in April 1931. He played in a tournament in London in May and had 'a rattling good game' against Cork in the League on 31 May. He won the first round of the championship against Limerick. Early in June he won a Thomond Feis medal against Cork. (This was his third medal in this competition, the other two having been won in 1927 and 1930). Before the semi-final of the championship against Cork on 26 July, the following portrait of Cronin appeared in the Tipperary Star'. It gives a good picture of the man at his prime.

'Michael is the son of a Kerryman and a cousin of Jerry Beckett, Cork, the famous sprinter. Michael first made his appearance on the 1926 Junior All-Ireland team and since then his head of bushy black hair has been conspicuous in all Tipperary's outings. He played with the inter-provincial team in 1927. Michael's position is centre-forward behind Kennedy. He is noted as a tough hurler and has probably broken more enemy hurleys than any other man on the Tipperary team'.
 

Sadly for Michael Tipperary were beaten 3-5 to 2-3 before a record crowd. Mick Cronin was one of the panel of twenty players, Captain Johnny Leahy, County Chairman, Fr Meagher and Diocesan Examiner Fr Lee, who made up the Tipperary party for the U.S. Tour, which was to last almost nine weeks. All efforts to secure permission from the Department of Education to travel failed but he went anyway. Thirty-five thousand people saw the first game in New York and, for the second, before twenty thousand 'On the Irish (sic) forward line Cronin and Callanan were well in the spotlight'. At Chicago 'Michael Cronin had the scoring honours for the visitors registering two goals'. And in the final game at New York 'Leahy, Treacy, Kennedy and Cronin were dominant'. Mick Cronin continued to play for Tipperary until 1935, with the exception of 1932 when Toomevara had the selection and picked eleven of their own team, excluding Cronin among others. In 1933 Tipperary were beaten by Waterford in the championship and by Cork in 1934. He continued to play for Lorrha until 1938.


Handballer

He was also an outstanding handballer. In fact all the eight boys of the Cronins were keen exponents of the game. They had fierce contests at the local alley before large crowds. There is mention of his name at a meeting held during the second half of 1921 to revive and reorganise handball in North Tipperary. Rody Nealon told me that whenever he met Cronin at Nenagh it was always to the alley they went where they spent hours at play.

Mick was also a delegate from Lorrha for many years in the twenties and thirties to Divisional and County Conventions. In 1932 he was appointed a delegate to the All-Ireland Congress. In the voting at the County Convention he got the sixth highest vote and was elected. At the North Convention in 1930 he was appointed a referee though I'm not sure if he used this new qualification too often.

Many times he was requested to become a selector in his club but all requests were in vain. He went to matches, formed his opinions and recognised what talent was available and was always willing to share his point of view if he were asked for it.

After his playing days were over he continued to attend matches. But as time went on his attendances were fewer, not because of any declining interest but because of his new interest in politics. He was one of the early members of Clann na Poblachta and fought two elections on their behalf. He did very well in 1948 coming close to election an, less well in 1954. He was first elected t, the County Council in September 1951 and remained a member until 1967. He was well got by all who knew him in politics and was noted for his loyalty. He was a member of the Library Committe and the Vocational Education Committee. His family- he married Madge Hoctor of Sharragh in 1938 and had three children, Clare, Felix and Mairead, who was tragically drowned in 1954- relate how avid a reader he was and how he enjoyed his membership of the Library Committee. He was a great racing enthusiast with a day at the races his idea of relaxation.

 

Outspoken

Mick Cronin was a man we all looked up to. He was an outspoken man who feared neither friend or foe. He was also a well-informed man whose opinion was respected not only on the subject of hurling but on a wide variety of subjects. Two incidents are related of his outspokenness on the American Tour. One related to Fr Lee, who was inclined to upbraid the players occasionally about their behaviour in public places. He was taken to task by Mick Cronin. On another occasion a cup, won in Chicago was presented to Phil Cahill because it had been sponsored by his brother. When the team got back to their hotel Cronin called them together and had the cup presented to the rightful man. He was a very strong hurler who gave his all to to the game. Whenever Lorrha were in trouble with G.A.A. officialdom or had an objection to make Mick Cronin was called in to present their case. We were all aware that it would be presented well because he was a very able man. We all believed, and rightly, that he could hold his own with anyone and that, if anything was to be gained, he would get it. May he rest in peace.

 

Tom Duffy, Lorrha Veteran Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1981, pp 82-83

Tom Duffy - Lorrha Veteran

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1981, pp 82-83

 Tom Duffy

Tom Duffy

One of the few remaining members of the famous Tipperary team that toured America in 1926 is Tom Duffy of Lorrha. Tom is 86 years old since May 4 last and is still mentally and physically active. A favourite occupation of his during summer is sitting on a small tank at the end of the house with the gun on his knees, waiting for the occasional pigeon or crow. He follows the GAA games as avidly as ever and was in Thurles for the Tipperary-Cork match and for the Munster final. "It's not hurling at all now. You can't draw your breath or you're pulled. You can't knock a man down on the broad of his back anymore. These lady rules have ruined a man's game." According to Tom there is an awful shortage of skill. So many players today don't know how to rise the ball. "If you can't rise it the first time, hit it on the ground. There's a trade in rising a ball and, if you haven't got it, don't try it." Something else is necessary. "You need a head. Horgan's got a head. He's my kind of man, always knowing where the ball is going to be."

 

Hurling Career

Tom's career with Tipperary was from 1924-26. He would have been on in 1923 but he was serving time in jail. Altogether, he spent 18 months behind the wire. He was a member of the Fourth Battalion, Offaly Brigade. His prison time was spent in Birr Castle, Templemore, eight months in Maryborough and three months in the Curragh. He thought he would be released for the 1923 championship which Tipperary lost to Limerick. Tom was in great form at the time as he hurled every day in the Curragh. He believes that had he been there that day Tipperary would have won.

He got his chance in 1924. Tipperary beat Kerry in the frist round by double scores, 6-2 to 3-1. They overwhelmed Cork in the semi-final and beat Limerick in the Munster final by two points. Tipperary played Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final in November 1924. Galway had played Limerick in the 1923 All-Ireland, played two months previously. According to the press "Tipp's display was a poor contribution to the traditions of a historic county. They never had such a bad defence and Galway might have won by fifteen points to one." In fact they won 3-1 to 2-3. To add salt to Tipperary wounds Galway were beaten by Dublin in the final.

 

First Hurling

Tom was born in Graigue, Rathcabbin on 4 May, 1894. He was one of two boys and went to school to a Mr Cahill in Rathcabbin N.S. He played hurling and football in school and hurled his first senior match for Lorrha in Borrisokane against Toomevara at the age of 17. Hurling was much tougher in those days. The hurleys were better also. "A rounded boss was great for ground hurling. There's no balance in a hurley now. The weight isn't in the boss. It's more top heavy than boss heavy."

Tom's favourite position was right half-back though he did play wing-forward in 1925. He won two North Tipperary divisional championships with Lorrha in 1914 and 1924.

 

Injuries

I asked Tom did he ever get injured. "No. I never let anyone hit me." He did admit he got a belt on the left knee from Mooney of Cork and had to go off. "But I came back on later in the game." He suffers a slight pain in that knee in the winter. "Paddy Leahy hit me in the

eye in a trial in Nenagh. I was beating the socks off Paddy, especially in the second half with the wind. Off the ball he gave me a belt over the eye which necessitated five stitches. Ever after that day whenever I met Johnny Leahy he would say "I don't think Paddy struck you deliberately." "Ohl I used to say, maybe so, maybe so." This used to happen occasionally. Eventually, about two months before he died, I met Johnny in Thurles. "Do you know something, Tom. I think Paddy meant to get you that day in the trial." "Did it take you over forty years to find that out?" said I. And I walked out. Later he added. "But the Leahys were great lads to be with. And they never let me down. They used always come down for me."

 

Tom Duffy

 

All-Ireland

1925 was the high point of Tom Duffy's hurling career. Tipperary accounted for Kerry in the first round and had their toughest encounter in the semi-final against Cork, eventually winning by 5-3 to 5-1. The Munster final was easy against Waterford and they eliminated Antrim in the All-Ireland semi-final.

For the All-Ireland against Galway there was collective training for a fortnight at Mount St Joseph's, Roscrea. "1 trained at home. I couldn't afford to be away from here for two weeks. I used to hurl with someone in the evening or just puck the ball against the gable wall. Training isn't everything. If the stuff isn't in you no training will bring it out. I played with fellows who smelled a lot. But embrocation isn't enough. If you work hard and are young you don't need any training. In fact you should layoff the hurley for a week before a match. Put the hurl under the bed and when you get it in your hand you'd be mad for it."

All-Ireland day was September 6th. Tipperary won comfortably by 5-3 to 1-5. According to the report the following day in the 'Irish Indepentent' "Galway were outclassed in nearly all the strategy of hurling and the performances of the Tipp team were frequently bewildering in their brilliance." The band of the Artane Industrial School marched through the streets to the grounds about 2 o'clock and gave a display of physical drill. Thirty special trains brought 14,000 from the south and 10,000 from the west. Tipp supporters outshouted Galway which "was a testimony to the popularity of the Munster team but also to the immense proportion of the Tipperary players resident in Dublin." The Liam McCarthy cup was presented for the fifth time by Mr P. D. Breen, President of the GAA to Johnny Leahy, the Tipperary captain. The rest of the team was: Paddy Leahy, Arthur O'Donnell, Paddy Dwyer, Jack Power, Paddy Power, J. J. Hayes, Bill Ryan, Martin Mockler, Martin Kennedy, Stephen Hackett, Mick Darcy, Jack Darcy, Tom Duffy, Phil Cahill. Tom had a fine game scoring a total of 2-3.

 

American Tour

Tom had a finepuck of a ball. He scored a couple of goals against Clare in Nenagh and Tommie Daly reported to his local curate after the match: "I'll tell you the truth, Father, I never saw them." For Tom, Martin Kennedy, Phil Cahill and Stephen Hackett were outstanding players, the last "the best corner forward of them all. They were all good or we wouldn't have won anything at all" Of his opponents he reckons Bob McConkey to be the smartest man of the lot. And Dinny Barry Murphy was a 'grand hurler.'

The Tipperary team went to America in May 1926 on an eleven weeks' tour, during which they played six games, two in New York, one at each end of the tour, and one each in Boston, San Francisco, Buffalo and Chicago. They were victorious in all and attendances were big with 30,000 in New York and 15,000 in San Francisco. The aim of the tour was to popularise Irish games in the U.S. and to try to internationalise the game of hurling. Tom doesn't remember much about the games but recalls prohibition and the speakeasies. He remembers fun and games with Jim O'Meara on Coney Island and a mystery tunnel tour with Stephen Kenny. "We nearly died from the heat. I remember us sitting on the verandas with our mouths open panting like dogs. 'Twas too hot to put our coats on our shoulders."

 

Tour Book

Tom Kenny wrote an account of the tour and Tom Duffy features more often in it than any other member of the party. There are about twenty references to him. He was the life and the soul of the party. In one place the party plan to take over the ship. In the plan Duffy is to be Captain. In another place "the wit and humour of most of them, especially Duffy, is most enjoyable." The entry for 7 June reads: "Tom Duffy is singing that song 'The next I met was a fairhaired lady, standing at a cottage door'." And on 9 June there is a discussion between Jack Power and Tom on the state of the country: "A crock of a country", says Duffy. "Sure we haven't seen a tram of hay, a ditch, nor a hedge since leaving the old country, but it is a fine country in other ways, Jack- they do everything the big way." Duffy thinks the Yanks made a mistake to set the country dry. "That hooch is rotten stuff, Jack, and if it continues as plentiful as it seems to be it will make mad men, blind men or dead men of all of them that drink it." On 19 June there is a party on the train and Duffy dances a jig. Later Paddy Leahy and Tom try to sing the last verse of the Star-Spangled Banner at the Eucharistic Congress in Chicago. Later still we learn that five hurlers are found in Duffy's Chicago hotel room saying the rosary. On the ship home he is constantly playing his favourite deck game and won 'Chalking the Pig's Eye' in the ship's sports. Truly a man of many sides!

 

Final Appearances

Tom was among the reserves for Tipperary in the 1926 championship. There were three games against Cork that year, the first in the Athletic Grounds and the others in Thurles. Cork finally won with a score of 3-6 to 2-4. His final apprearances were in the early league games that winter. He got ill and was dropped for the final games and so missed getting a medal. "Only one point was scored off me during my years with Tipperary." He continued to hurl for Lorrha. "I was going on for forty before I retired." Later he acted as a club officer and was on the selection committee when Lorrha won the North championship in 1948. A farmer by occupation Tom got married in 1924 and had nine children, six boys and three girls. One of the boys was killed in England. He's interested in cards, especially '25. "I won four turkeys last year in Birr Golf Club. If we hadn't turkeys I wouldn't have won at all." He has always enjoyed everything sporting. A serious fowler all his life he remarks how "everyone tells you what they shot, not what they missed." He kept greyhounds in his time and had some successes. He smokes and takes a pint."I never drank to do myself harm." He goes out for the pint still. In fact Tom is amazingly active and interested in life and time sits very lightly on his stout shoulders.