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The County Senior Football Championship 2014 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2015

The County Senior Football Championship 2014

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook, 2015

 

The county senior football championship of 2014 made history when it wasn't concluded until St. Stephen's Day. Fixed for the shortest day of the year the contestants, Cahir and Loughmore-Castleiney, played out a draw at Leahy Park, Cashel on that day and had to come back five days later to resolve it.

The championship was run on the same format as in 2013 but the success of the senior hurlers, the draw in the All-Ireland final and the relative success of the senior footballers meant that there weren't enough days on which to play the games involved. After the replay of the hurling All-Ireland the county board agreed to push ahead with the senior hurling championship in order to make the Munster Club deadline and to withdraw from the Munster Club championships in senior football and intermediate football and hurling
 

Format
 

The championship was played in four groups with the winners of the groups making their way to the county quarter-finals and the second place teams facing the divisional champions or the next placed team in the preliminary quarter-finals, or failing that a bye. There was also a relegation element with the bottom team in each group playing off to decide on the two teams to go down to intermediate.

The four groups, two of four teams each and two of five teams, were as follows: 1. Aherlow Gales, Kilsheelan Kilcash, Galtee Rovers, Fethard; 2. Arravale Rovers, Clonmel Commercials, Cahir, Moyne-Templetuohy, Clonmel Óg; 3.Loughmore-Castleiney, J. K. Brackens, Ardfinnan, Thomas MacDonaghs, Ballyporeen; 4. Killenaule, Moycarkey-Borris, Moyle Rovers, Eire Óg.
It took twenty-nine games between May 5 and  October 27 to complete the group games.. The respective group winners were Aherlow Gaels, Cahir, Loughmore-Castleiney and Killenaule and they qualified for the quarter-finals.

The second place teams, Kilsheelan Kilcash, Arravale Rovers, J. K. Brackens and Moyle Rovers played the divisional champions, Thomas MacDonaghs,  Ardfinnan, Eire Óg and Galtee Rovers respectively, with Thomas MacDonaghs,  Arravale Rovers, Eire Óg and Moyle Rovers coming out on top.
 

Quarter-Finals.
 

The stage was now set for the quarter finals. Two of these games were played on November 23.  At Templemore Thomas MacDonaghs defeated Killenaule by 1-9 to 0-8 and Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Arravale Rovers by 0-12 to 0-9 at Holycross. The remaining two games were played a week later. At  Ardfinnan, Aherlow Gaels defeated Moyle Rovers by 1-9 to 0-11 while Cahir 3-6 and Eire Óg 0-15 drew at Cashel. The replay took place at Cashel a week later with Cahir winning by 0-10 to 0-5.

The semi-finals were played on December 14. At Boherlahan Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Ahrlow Gaels by 3-5 to 0-8. The winners scored two goals in the opening quarter and Aherlow were chasing the game after that. Their pursuit wasn't helped by poor shooting with no fewer than eight wides in the seond half.

The second semi-final was played at Templetuohy and Cahir defeated Thomas MacDonaghs by 2-10 to 3-5. The winners were coasting with a lead of nine points midway through the second half when they were hit by 2-2 from MacDonaghs during a five-minute spell and had to use all their craft and experience to secure victory.
 

The Final
 

Fixed for December 21 at Leahy Park, Cashel the final attracted a sizeable crowd of 1,500 in very good conditions for the time of the year, In an exciting game Cahir appeared to have victory in their grasp when Loughmore-Castleiney's Cian Hennessy grabbed an equaliser in the 59th minute of the game. Following an early goal by Cahir's Robbie Costigan,  Loughmore-Castleiney stormed into the game with two goals in the twefth and twentieth minutes to put daylight between the sides but Cahir came back with four unanswered points to lead by 1-6 to 2-2 at the interval. The second half was a close encounter in which the lead changed sides a number of times and a draw was probably a fitting result even though Cahir may have felt they left victory behind them.

Cahir: Brian Enright, Mikey O'Connor, Gerald Hally, Conor Casey, Sean O'Connor, Aidan Casey, Robbie Costigan (1-0), Eddie Kendrick (0-1),  Liam Casey, Benny Hickey (0-3), Paddy O'Flaherty (0-1), Shane Murphy, Padraig Whelan (0-3), Dean Lonergan (0-2), James McGrath (capt.). Subs: Eoin Donaghy for Mikey O'Connor, Niall McKenna for Shane Murphy. Also: Evan O'Dwyer, Diarmuid Tarrant, Johnny McMahon, Tom O'Gorman, Liam Howard, Edmund Meehan, Noel O'Gorman, Ian Flannery.

Manager: Tom McGlinchey. Selectors: Colm O'Flaherty, Paul Frazer.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Dominic Brennan, Lorcan Egan, Willie Eviston, Tomás McGrath (0-2), Tom King, Ciaran McGrath, John Ryan, Noel McGrath, David Kennedy (capt.), Aidan McGrath, Cian Hennessy (1-1), Liam Treacy 0-2), Liam McGrath (1-0), Evan Sweeney, John McGrath (0-2). Subs: Joseph Nyland for Evan Sweeney, John Meagher for Lorcan Egan, Eamonn Connolly for David Kennedy. Also: Richie Maher, Derek Bourke, Tommy Long, Tommy Maher, Joseph Hennessy, Diarmuid Brennan, Shane Hennessy, Bill O'Connell, Henry Maher, Dinny Brereton, Brian McGrath, Paddy Moynihan, Eddie Connolly, Shane Nolan, Johnny Campion.

Manager: Declan Laffan. Selectors: Seamus Bohan, Pat McGrath. Trainer: Alan O'Connor.
Cahir

Referee: Paddy Russell (Emly)
 

The Replay
 

The replay was at Cashel on St. Stephen's Day and 1710 spectators braved the elements to watch an entertaining game, inn which Loughmore-Castleiney were crowned champions for the thirteenth time. Playing with the breeze in the first half they ran up a score of nine points to Cahir's 1-1. It was only in injury time that Paddy O'Flaherty got Cahir's goal but it gave them hope with the elements in their favour after the interval. However, all they could manage was 1-1 as Loughmore-Castleiney's workrate, determination and footballing savvy closed them down and ensured that the defending champions, who failed to score during the period, had a point to spare on a scoreline of 0-9 to 2-2 at the final whistle.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Dominic Brennan, John Meagher, Willie Eviston, Tom McGrath, Tom King, Ciaran McGrath, John Ryan, Noel McGrath (0-2), David Kennedy (capt.), Aidan McGrath, Cian Hennessy, Liam Treacy (0-2), Liam McGrath, Evan Sweeney (0-1), John McGrath (0-4). Subs: Eamonn Connolly, for Liam McGrath (bc), Derek Bourke for Liam Treacy, Joseph Hennessy for Noel McGrath (bc).

Cahir: Brian Enright, Mikey O'Connor, Gerald Hally, Conor Casey, Sean O'Connor, Aidan Casey, Eoin Donaghy, Eddie Kendrick, Liam Casey, Benny Hickey, Paddy O'Flaherty (1-0), Shane Murphy, Padraig Whelan, Dean Lonergan (1-2), James McGrath (capt.). Subs: Diarmuid Tarrant for Padraig Whelan (bc), Tom O'Gorman for Sean O'Connor, Niall McKenna for Conor Casey.

Referee: Sean Lonergan (Moyle Rovers)

 

Relegation
 

Relegation included the bottom team in each group, Fethard, Clonmel Óg, Thomas MacDonaghs and Moycarkey-Borris. Because Thomas MacDonaghs were declared divisional champions in the North, they were not involved.

The three teams involved had to play a round robin of games with the highest team remaining senior. When the three rounds were completed the three teams had one win each. The relegation then went to a sudden death with Clonmel Óg drawn against Moycarkey-Borris.  The latter won by 0-11 to 0-8 at New Inn on December 14 with Clonmel Óg relegated. Moycarkey-Borris then defeated Fethard by 2-9 to 1-4 at Boherlahan on December 21 to send the football team with the greatest number of senior titles into intermediate ranks for 2015!

Drom Inch were crowned intermediate champions at Boherlahan on St. Stephen's Day when they defeated Upperchurch-Drombane in the final and qualified for senior ranks in 2015.

 

Recent Publications - 2013 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2014, pp.50-51

Recent Publications - 2013

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2014, pp.50-51

 

Forging a Kingdom: The G.A.A. In Kerry 1884-1934 is the standout publication among the G.A.A. books this year. Close to 500 pages, it shows how the establishment of the G.A.A. in the county ushered in a sporting revolution and how Kerry had become one of the bastions of the Association by the end of the first fifty years.

This is a scholarly work by Dr. Richard McElligott, a native of of Kilflynn, who completed his Ph.D on the early history of the G.A.A. with the School of History and Archives, U.C.D. He brings to the work a broad range of knowledge on the history of the G.A.A. together with a rigorous academic discipline. It is a major work of history that puts virtually all existing county histories in the shade.

Caid before Football!

In the light of the excellence in football later achieved by Kerry players, the description of the game of caid as played in the county before the foundation of the G.A.A. is revealing:

'Matches were usually played between teams of men from two neighbouring parishes, the ball being thrown up among them at an agreed central point. The game was played cross-country over fields and hedges, and tripping, pushing and wrestling or 'handigrips' were all recognised methods used to try and impede the progress of opponents. Fast runners were often placed on the outside of the large crush of men wrestling for the ball to enable them to gain ground quickly when their side succeeded in moving the ball out to them. The winning team was the one that first managed to bring the ball 'home' to their own parish.' Surprisingly like rugby?

For a county that was later to become such a prominent presence in the association it was late forming a county board. Not until late 1888 was the board formed and this was chiefly due to the efforts of the main founding father, Maurice Moynihan, who went on to spearhead the spread of the association in the county.

According to the author the spread of the G.A.A. in the county was due more to the economic and political climate at the time than to the influence of the I.R.B. He goes on to expand on the diverse reasons for forming clubs in the county. He cites examples of clubs formed by teachers who had trained in Dublin, learned about the G.A.A. and set up clubs where they started to teach. Also, following the tradition of landlord involvement, he cites the case of J. F. Fitzgerald in Cahersiveen, who facilitated the setting up of the club by giving a field.

The Parish

One of the greatest influences in the formation of the club was the parish. The G.A.A. grafted itself on to the parish and by doing so exploited long held traditional local allegiances and rivalries. The club became an integral part of the local community almost immediately. Another influence in the formation of clubs was the National League, the local organisation of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

In many instances the personnel in charge of the club and the league were the same.

It took some time for clubs to learn the rules of the game and there were many examples of differences in interpretation. The author cites the example of a game between Waterville and Cahersiveen when every 'real or supposed infringement of the rules took place . . . (the referee) was immediately surrounded by both teams .... this unseemly practrice became so frequent that ten minutes play alternated with five minutes argument.' Both teams were described as 'utterly oblivious of the functions of the referee', and the 'official himself seemed fairly bewildered.'

The author also has this comment to make on the accepted mantra that the G.A.A eased the tensions in the county following the Civil War, According to him 'The reality, though, was much more complex. While the G.A.A. did play a role in Kerry in helping t heal the wounds of civil conflict, it could not wash away all that enmity through the process of winning All-Irelands. Tensions and conflicts within the Kerry G.A.A. frequently threatened to split the association there in the fifteen years following their All-Ireland success in 1925.'

I have only scratched the surface of this fascinating book. The chapter notes and bibliography extend to over sixty pages and are a study in themselves. The book is published by Collins Press and retails at €17.99

A Great Goalkeeper

I mention My Father: A Hurling Revolutionary by Con Power for two reasons, even though the book was published in November 2009. Sub-titled The Life and Times of Ned Power and written by his son, I somehow missed it at the time it was published.

Most people remember Ned Power because of the famous photograph, a classic action shot that has appeared in numerous locations around the world. The photographer was a man named Louis McMonagle and it was entitled 'Hell's Kitchen'. It's a mixture of 'physical force, danger, speed and pure skill'. I have used the photograph and wrongly attributed it to the 1959 Munster championship game whereas it was taken on June 8th, 1962 in a Munster semi-final match between Cork and Waterford.

It seems as if Ned Power is at the top of his game in the picture. In fact he was far from that. He had been dropped from the county side following an uncharacteristically poor display in 1961 and his playing days appeared over. Then after a frustrating year he got a phone call that he was wanted again. He gave vent to his feelings and said that 'he must have been the best of a bad lot.' 'So along he came and the months and weeks of pent-up frustration and preparation for this moment launched him into a sparkling display that peaked with that famous leap into the sky, caught magically here for eternity.'

The second reason I mention the publication in this yearbook is because Ned Power's widow recently presented his All-Ireland winning medal of 1959, a Munster medal and his Oireachtas medal to Lár na Páirce. The museum was thrilled to get this collection and will display it, together with the famous photograph, in a special case in the near future.

You can read all about the man, the photograph and how Ned Power brought revolutionary ideas to coaching when his playing days were over in this biography.

D. J. & Sean Óg

There are two other books that will while away the winter hours the biographies of D. J. Carey (with Martin Breheny) and Sean Óg Ó hAilpín (with Michael Moynihan, Penguin Ireland).

D.J. A Sporting Legend (Blackwater Press) is a major publishing event. The player left such an impression from his playing days that seven years after he retired, his biography should create such a stir, including an appearance on the Late Late Show. DJ's is a fascinating tale of a hurling genius who had to endure as much invasion of privacy as some of the media stars and whose decision to retire in 1997 drew such an avalanche of letters to him.

The interest in Sean Og Ó hAilpin is different, the public fascination with a player whose father was from Fermanagh and mother from Fiji, neither notable places for hurling, as some commentator remarked. To this fascination was added a player of admirable behaviour who set standards of behaviour on the field of play for all players to follow.

Rover Review 2013

There is a virtual famine in G.A.A. publications from the county this year. The only one I have come across is a publication called the Rovers Review 2013. Produced by Liam Hogan and the Shannon Rovers club, this is really an annual and has appeared since 2006. It has 64 pages of text and pictures relating to the achievements of the club during the year.

G.A.A. Rivalries Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2014, p. 77

G.A.A. Rivalries

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2014, p. 77

 

A friend of mine recalls a customer from Holycross coming into his store in Boherlahan prior to the 1996 county final for which the local club had qualified after many years in the hurling wilderness.

My friend was full of enthusiasm and excitement about Boherlahan's success and was perplexed by his customer's apparent indifference.

'Will you not be shouting for Boherlahan on Sunday?' he eventually asked.

'No,' came the reply. 'If Boherlahan were playing China to-morrow, I'd be shouting for China!'

An extreme example, perhaps, of the intensity of the rivalries that exist between clubs, and also counties, where the G.A.A. is concerned, but such rivalry is the stuff of success, the motivation that drives clubs on.

In fact it has often been said about such local rivalries that the motivation is as much negative as positive. As the man mentioned above put it the important thing was not who won, as long as it wasn't your rival who was successful.

The founding fathers of the G.A.A. pulled a great stroke when they based the club on the territory of the parish. They knew the strength of attachment of Irish people to land and place.

The intensity of this rivalry can be as great between counties. Tipperary is surrounded by more counties than any other in Ireland, eight in all. When it is realised that virtually all the strong hurling counties are included, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Clare and Galway, it is understandable that many rivalries exist.

The feeling is usually more intense in border areas. The Limerick-Tipperary feeling is strongest in the Newport-Castleconnell area and has a long history. The story is told of Tyler Mackey, the father of John and Mick, bringing a team of Ahane players to Newport for a challenge one day. At the time the great Ahane team would normally beat Newport out the gate but on this occasion Newport triumphed. Tyler was so disgusted at this humiliation that he made the players walk home. The great cant at the time was 'Come on Ahane!' The Newportians took pleasure in adding a rider: 'As far as Newport!'

The intensity of the rivalry can ebb and flow depending on the hurling fortunes of the county. When I was growing up in Lorrha, which is in the very north of the county, in the nineteen-forties and fifties, the hurling fortunes of Galway and Offaly were at a low ebb. Then when both counties began to come good in the eighties, I was enthusiastic for their success.

Of course I had left the area for a long time and hadn't realised that whatever latent rivalry was there in my time had now come very much into the open with Galway's and Offaly's emergence as meaningful rivals to Tipperary on the hurling field. My brother was none too pleased with this development: 'Shure you can't go into Portumna or Birr anymore but you have to listen to them!'

I suppose as a true blue Tipperary man he had a point but there was no recollection of them having to listen to Tipperary people doing their shopping in both towns for decades!

Probably the rivalry with Kilkenny is at its most intense at the moment. Tipperary supporters find it hard to live with their rival's many recent successes especially as they remember that Tipperary dominated Kilkenny on the hurling field up to 1967. The boot is very much on the other foot now as Kilkenny are way out in front in achievement and ability. Tipperary's All-Ireland win in 2010 was supposed to break the black and amber monopoly but it failed miserably and Kilkenny, Cody and King Henry were top dogs in the hurling world until this year. It's very difficult for a Tipperary person to accept that the county has seven All-Irelands more than Tipperary.

One of the most interesting hurling rivalries is with Cork. It's as old as the G.A.A., in fact predates it by a number of years. It is unusual in that it carries a high level of mutual respect. But it has gone through periods of great intensity as well. The fifties was a time when this was at its greatest. This was the period of the great Christy Ring, a player most feared by opposing players and supporters. He seemed to be the embodiment of every skill and cunning. It must have been this that caused my mother to get upset. Not a woman for going to matches but she would listen intently to Micheal O'Hehir's broadcasts and occasionally she'd get up off her chair and walk around to stop the palpitations in her heart: 'Oh, that Ring. He's a terrible man!'

 

Tenth Anniversary of the Sean Gael Awards Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp 90-91

Tenth Anniversary of the Sean Gael Awards

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp 90-91

 

The tenth presentation of the Sean Gael Awards will take place in the Dome, Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon, November 18. It will occur without much fanfare, lacking any major hype and attracting modest publicity.

But, for the recipients, it will be a very special occasion, a recognition of a lifetime service to the G.A.A. and, for many of them, a belated honour for work done on behalf of the association, much of it unrecognised and, in most cases, poorly rewarded.

John Moloney

The idea of honouring older members of the G.A.A. originated with the late and great, John Moloney, who became aware of how many people, who had given a lifetime of service to the G.A.A., received scant recognition for their efforts. The idea of honouring such people had been working very well in Wexford for years and why not in Tipperary.

The thinking behind the idea was that members of the association, who had reached the age of seventy years, would be honoured in some way by the county board for their lifetime of service.

John was given the go ahead by the county board and he picked his committee to identify the recipients and organise the presentation. It included John himself, who became chairman of the committee, plus Seamus King, Seamus McCarthy and Pat Moroney from the West division, Michael O'Meara from the South, who became the very efficient secretary of the group, John Costigan from the Mid and Noel Morris from the North.

John Moloney remained chairman until his sudden death in October 2006, when he was succeeded by John Costigan. Since then the committee has six members.

Presentations

The committee decided to hold the presentations in Brú Ború, Cashel because of the centrality of the venue. It also had the advantage of an excellent tiered auditorium, which was ideal for presentations. However, in the course of time this excellent venue began to reveal one major limitation for older people, accessibility: the steps down from the car park could be a bit trying for people in their seventies and the committee looked around for an alternative. Semple Stadium had been developed in the meantime and the development included the magnificent Dome, which became the new venue for the presentations in 2009. It has been a very popular venue since.

One of the decisions made by the committee at an early stage was to have a distinguished person as guest to make the presentations. This decision was based on the need to give the event an element of prestige as well as recognising the extent of the contribution made to the G.A.A. by the recipients.

The first guest speaker was the former president of the G.A.A, Joe McDonagh, and former Munster Council chairman, Jimmy O'Gorman, presented this year's awards.

The format of the presentation was decided very early on. The event used to have a 6 pm start but now takes place on a Sunday afternoon. The recipients and their family and friends gather together about 3.30 for tea and sandwiches and a get-to-know-you reception. The formalities commence at 4.30 with a number of speeches followed by the presentations which are preceded by a citation on each recipient. The proceedings conclude with a speech by one of the participants.

A Mixture of Stars and Ordinary Members

Since the first presentation in 2003 the list of recipients has included a mixture of famous names as well as players and administrators not well-known outside their clubs. From the beginning the committee decided to recognise 10 people per division. This figure was reduced to 8 in 2008.

The list of recipients in 2003 included such well-knowns as George Pyke of Clonmel Commercials, Dick Cummins of Fethard, Seamus O'Riain of Moneygall, Tony Reddan of Lorrha, Jim O'Donoghue of Arravale Rovers, Monsignor Christopher Lee of Cashel, Mickey Byrne of Thurles Sarsfields and Bob Stakelum of Holycross-Ballycahill. It also included numerous ordinary members of the association, who had given a great part of their lives to keeping clubs going throughout the county and were getting their first recognition on a county stage.

This formula has worked well and has continued in the meantime. Recipients of the honour greatly appreciate the recognition and make their best efforts to be present on the day. Part of the greatness of the occasion is that it brings together as equals, men and women who won the highest honours and achieved the greatest fame in the association as well as more lowly members whose achievements are indeed modest. For all of these people supported the G.A.A. and gave it a lifetime of service in their own particular way. Each person's contribution was important for the health and success of the G.A.A.

The local newspapers have been very generous with their coverage of the Sean Gael Awards. They give advance publicity of who the recipients are going to be and also coverage of the presentation ceremony. The G.A.A. Yearbook also faithfully records each year's recipients. It is only right and fitting that this should be as all the recipients are worthy of such recognition for a lifetime of service to the Gaelic Athletic Association.

The 2012 awards were presented to the following: Mid: Willie Barneville (Gortnahoe-Glengoole), Michael Murphy (Thurles Sarsfields), Martin Dwan (Drom & Inch), Billy O'Grady (Moyne-Templetuohy), Pat Cullen (Loughmore-Castleiney), Sam Melbourne (Moycarkey-Borris), John Dwyer (Boherlahan-Dualla), Paddy Cooney (Moycarkey-Borris); West: Paddy Verdon (Solohead), Paul McCarthy (Cappawhite), Paddy O'Sullivan (Cashel/Rosegreen), Tom Buckley (Rockwell Rovers), John Cleary (Tipperary Town), Philip Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore), John Stapleton (Golden-Kilfeacle), Mike Dawson (Emly); South: Eddie Ryan (St. Marys), Bertie Sweeney (Fr. Sheehys), Franko Whelan (Ballylooby-Castlegrace), Sean Connolly (Fethard), John O'Neill (St. Marys/Commercials), Dick Goldsboro (Ballingarry), Dick Tobin (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), Patsy Tobin (Carrick-on-Suir); North: Kevin Moloney (Roscrea), Jimmy Cahill (Borrisokane), John Joe Burke (Ballinahinch), Willie Joe Hogan (Shannon Rovers), Tom Moloughney (Kilruane-MacDonaghs), Pat Cleary (Kildangan), Fr, Seamus Gardiner (Portroe/Borrisokane), John Gleeson (Moneygall).

 

 

Recent Publications - 2012 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp.64-67

Recent Publications - 2012

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp.64-67

 

All In My Head: The Autobiography by Lar Corbett will probably create greater interest than any other G.A.A. publication in 2012. Whatever we may say about the player Lar is a national figure and attracts more media attention than any other player in the county. What other Tipperary player gets to appear on the Late Late Show? Side by side with this universal interest is a high level of irritation with the player from Thurles Sarsfields and Tipperary supporters because of his failure to deliver the kind of performances expected of him on key hurling days. It would appear as if this irritation extends to envy at the amount of publicity he garners if we are to interpret the failure of his hurling colleagues on the county team, with the exception of Thurles Sarsfields players, to turn up for the launch of his book in his bar at Thurles on November 1.

All in my Head attemps to explain Lar's side of things and the book does a good job. Lar tells a fine personalised story of getting on the Tipp team and winning the 2001 All-Ireland. He has a great time for Nicky English and his man-management skills. His remarks about English, and later on his huge admiration for Liam Sheedy, Eamon O'Shea and Michael Ryan, tells us a lot about the man. Lar was and is very close to his mother and she has always been his greatest supporter and mentor. The type of care and attention he has always received from her was replicated in the way he was looked after, encouraged and given confidence by the English and Sheedy teams. This kind of care and attention is most important if Lar is to perform well.

In contrast he is critical of the Doyle and the Keating management styles. For him Doyle brought increased decibel levels to the job and not sufficient care and encouragement of players. ' I felt he was always shouting at me and I was always wary of making mistakes.' (P. 59). Babs was given a 2-year term 'and the one thing I can tell you is that we were a broken team by the time the term ended.' (P.84) He adds that 'all we were doing in 2006 and 2007 was turning up and fulfilling fixtures.' He concludes by describing Babs after retiring as 'a verbal gunslinger with both barrells aimed squarely at the the Tipp team.'

These remarks might suggest that Lar himself is a 'verbal gunslinger' in this book. Far from it. In fact he is very gentle in his remarks and extremely fair to his fellow players. He does reveal a bit of frustration at the way he was used and abused by Jackie Tyrell but only in the context that whereas that kind of carry-on may win matches in so far as it stops players from performing, it does nothing for hurling. Other than that there is little or nothing that any of his colleagues could take umbrage from with the exception his claim that a number of key players on the team, as well as the management, went along with the debacle of tailgateing Tommy Walsh in this year's All-Ireland semi-final.

The book is also leavened by some humurous stories none more so than 'Sausagegate', the story of Eugene O'Neill's failure to lose pounds during training. Another is the motivational pep talk given to the team by Pat Shortt before the 2010 All-Ireland.

Lar reveals a lot about himself in the way he describes the effect on himself as much as the panel as a result of the takeover by the 'dream management team' in 2007. They took over a team 'broken down physically and psychologically' and built it up again. They built up his fragile confidence. 'It's all in your head, Lar. Stop thinking. Hurling is instinctive. Just play the breaks.'

There is a great honesty about the book. He admits that he cried after the 'dream team' called it a day after the 2010 All-Ireland. He tells us about the abuse he received after that 2011 defeat. He wasn't even safe from abuse in his own pub. (P. 204) All of this gradually got him down and the catalyst that led to his decision to retire from the panel was the failure of the new management to respond to an injury he received at training at the end of January 2011. He does add that his new business venture was an additional factor. The bar business required his presence at night while his membership of the county panel demaded his presence in Morris Park at the same time.
Going into business was an important development for Lar. He had been 27 months on the dole, following his redundancy in the electrical buisness. Drawing the dole had a terrible effect on his self-belief and confidence. For him hurling and sport are built on confidence but his confidence and self-belief were severely dented as a result of being two years out of work

Initially the breakaway from hurling gave him a new lease of life but gradually he had to deal with more accusations of betrayal and abuse. For a while his new venture kept him going but gradually, as he put it 'My head melted a little bit every day, especially after defeat by Cork in the league semi-final in April.' He made up his mind to give it another shot on May 12: 'I was restless from lack of physical exercise. I missed having a hurley in my hands. It seemed the whole country was on my back at one time or another and there was no let up in sight.'

After his return to the panel for the Limerick game he noticed the difference in the way people reacted to him. He knew then that leaving the squad the way he did was wrong. 'Of course I felt at the time it was right, but I didn't handle it the best.' He continues: 'I immediatly felt at peace being back in the setup. There was a weight taken off my shoulders, a heaviness I didn't ever fully realise was there in the first place.'

And what of his 2012 tactics with his bete noire, Jackie Tyrell. According to Lar it was 'to prevent another 2011 scenario of being scragged and dragged and jostled' and no match official doing anything about it. He's in no way repentent: 'Despite all the abuse flying since, I thought we were doing okay in the first half.'

This book is a great read, a page turner that's almost impossible to lay aside. Tribute has to be paid to RTE and Tipperary journalist, Damien Lawlor, who has done a brilliant job writing it. The title may be ironic but it would concur with many readers belief that Lar is a bit like Hamlet in that he thinks too much, while hurling, as Eamon O'Shea said to him, is an 'instinctive game.'

Let Lar have the last word: 'The season that has just passed will not define me. Not as a hurler, not as a man. It is just part of my story.' (P. 277). Published by Transworld Ireland the book retails at €17.99
 

The Dan Breen Cup: Tipperary County SH Finals 1931-2011 by Jim Fogarty does what it says in the title, gives an account of all the county finals after which the Dan Breen Cup was presented. First presented by Dan Breen to the county board in 1931 the cup was presented to the Toomevara captain, Martin Kennedy, following success against Moycarkey-Borris in the county final of that year. The game wasn't played until February 14, 1932. (Captain Johnny Leahy of Boherlahan, wearing a blue and gold sweater with a light blue cap, a souvenir of the AmericanTour, refereed.'
Apart from the general information on the county finals it is the snippets of information like the above about the games that add to the attraction of this book. There are photographs of virtually all the teams that won and in the later finals of the runners-up as well, making it a fine visual record as well. From 1972 onwards the pictures are in colour. Team lineouts, giving first name of players, are also included, which makes it a great reference book.

There is a final chapter entitled, Miscellaneous, which brings together lists of the Man-of-the Match awards, which appeared first in 1979, a list of all the final referees – would you believe that John Moloney refereed 13 finals? - and the top scorers in all the finals. While most finals have been played at Thurles, no fewer that twenty have been played in other venues. Nenagh leads with six.

Jim Fogarty has produced a very interesting book and has done a marvellous service to program producers with a handy reference book of information on county finals. The book contains 266 pages, was launched by Micheal Ó Muircheartaigh at the Horse and Jockey Hotel on October 19 and retails for $20.
 

A Lorrha Miscellany by Seamus J. King was launched in the Abbey Tavern, Lorrha on October 10. It's the author's second book on his native parish. The first, Lothra agus Doire 1984-1984: Iomaint agus Peil was published in 1984 and was one of the first full G.A.A. club histories in the county.
Since then the author has written a good number of pieces about the parish and he has collected them together in A Lorrha Miscellany. The book is divided into three sections. The first includes historical pieces on events in the parish the most important of which has to be the article on Martin O'Meara, a parish native who emigrated to Australia in the second decade of the 20th century, fought in World War 1 with the Australian Expeditionary Force and won a Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery in France.

The second section contains profiles of the eight senior All-Ireland senior hurling winners from the parish. Some of these have appeared already in publications but a number of them have been re-written and others are completely new. The final section profiles other players from the parish, many of them childhood heroes of the writer.

The book, which contains 264 pages is well illustrated and retails for €15.
 

The Godfather of Modern Hurling: The Father Tommy Maher Story by Enda McEvoy is a great book and a must for all Tipperary supporters concerned about the almost complete dominance of hurling by Kilkenny in the present Millennium. When Tommy Maher took over the Kilkenny senior team in 1957 he first set about analysing Tipperary's hurling success to find out what special ingredients it had to be such a dominant force at that time in the game. Need I say that the boot is very much on the other foot now and we need Eamon O'Shea, or some other hurling guru, to analyse why Kilkenny are such a dominant force now.

Tommy Maher was the first man to use 'tactics'. 'Surely,' he concluded, 'there had to be more to training than this delirium of effort for its own sake. Surely there had to be room for thought, for logic, for imagination, for the cultivation of science, for the identification of problems, for the improvement of weaknesses and the coaching of skills.'

He revealed so much of himself as a trainer and coach of St. Kieran's in the All-Ireland Colleges final against St. Flannan's at Thurles in 1957. On that day, according to the author 'he demonstrated that the small things were the big things, that success in hurling was about the mastery of the basic skills, that practising the skills was not only desirable but crucial and that practice – proper practice – could mean the difference between victory and defeat.'

The 'plan' he had for the day didn't go well in the first half and St. Flannan's looked likely winners.
'Back in the sanctuary of the dressingroom silence reigned. The players half-expected Fr. Maher to denounce them from a height. After all, many another trainer would have – and, what's more, would have been well-entitled to do so in the circumstances. But Fr.Maher wasn't many another trainer. He wasn't any other trainer. No ash plants were splintered, no bottles fired at walls. In truth he barely uttered a word. His voice was ever soft, gentle and low, an excellent thing in a coach. 'I've trained ye to hurl in a certain way – now do it,' was about as much as he said.'
No need to tell you who won!

This is an outstanding biography, a brilliant read, a page turner in places from a writer who knows his hurling but, equally important, can write so well about it. Go out and buy it for a mere €15.
 

The G.A.A. v Douglas Hyde: The Removal of Ireland's First President as G.A.A. President by Cormac Moore (The Collins Press, €14-99, 259 p) On November 13, 1838 just months after his inauguration, President Hyde attended a soccer match between Ireland and Poland. The G.A.A. responded to the action by declaring that by attending a 'foreign game' the President had broken Rule 27 and he was removed as Patron of the Association on December 17.

The decision was ratified at the annual G.A.A. Congress the following April. The action of the G.A.A. was badly received by De Valera and his Government. The book examinbes why the G.A.A. took this course of action when they had a precedent for avoiding it. Earlier Guard George Ormsby had been suspended for attending a soccer match but won his appeal because he was there in an official capacity. The President might have been allowed attend for the same reason. The author examines the double standards and hypocrisy shown by the G.A.A. regarding their bans. There are examples of the lip service the G.A.A. paid to the Irish language, the open fouting of the 'foreign dance' rule by G.A.A. clubs and the haphazard way in which the 'foreign games' ban was administered and yet their main defence in removing Hyde was that they had no option. The episode is far removed from current attitudes and the book casts an interesting light on these far off days. The publication has some very interesting photographs.
 

Mid Tipperary G.A.A. 1884 –2007, A History. On November 23rd, the book - Mid Tipperary G.A.A. 1884 –2007, A History, was launched in Younge's, The Ragg, Thurles. In 2007, Mid Tipperary G.A.A. celebrated the centenary of its formation. A centenary committee was formed and one of the main tasks undertaken was the compilation of a photographic and written record of the role of the clubs and players of Mid Tipperary in the progress of the G.A.A. through the decades. The research work commenced in 2005. In 2008 and 2009 two volumes of photographs were published and this history book completes the trilogy.

To compile the history of the division has been a mammoth but proud task spearheaded by its editor - Martin Bourke, Clonmore. ably assisted by John Maher-Boherlahan/Dualla, Liam Ó Donnchú-Thurles Sarsfields, Ed Donnelly, Jimmy Fogarty -Moycarkey/Borris and John Smith of Dúrlas Óg. There were many others who helped in various ways to see the project to fruition.
The book, which costs €20, contains a detailed chronological account of all the happenings of the Association in the Mid division since 1884. Of particular interest is the extensive statistical section, which lists all the winning teams in all grades. The book also contains a selection of photographs, reflecting the great teams and players through the years.

All four divisions in Tipperary have now published their history and together they form an essential source of information for the researcher of the future or the Tipperary G.A.A. enthusiast.


Horse and Jockey Remembers its Past – A Pictorial Record. This pictorial record, compiled by Horse and Jockey Remembers its Past committee was launched on November 24th, at Horse and Jockey Hotel. It is an amazing collection of some five hundred photographs, in both colour and black/white. The photographs span many decades with images of local people at work, at play, at home, at school, in group settings, social and sporting occasions or involved in club activities. The memories of the older generation will be stirred and the younger generation will glean a glimpse of the lives and times long past. This is not 'strictly speaking' a history book about the 'most famous cross-roads in Ireland', but 'moments in time' captured forever by the camera lens. It is also a visual record of the profound changes that have occurred in this area during the past one hundred years.

Liam Ó Donnchú, who was Tipperary Yearbook secretary for many years, is a member of the committee along with Tom Egan, John Hassett, Mary Roche, Richard O'Keeffe, Connie O'Keeffe and Averil Clarke.

This unique collection sells for € 20 and is available in local outlets.


It's only right to mention the Boherlahan-Dualla Historical Journal 2012 in this article, even though it's not a G.A.A. publication. The reason is that this excellent production, in its fifteenth year of existence, contains three important articles in connection with the centenary of the foundation of the Boherlahan G.A.A. Club.

Current chairman, of the club, Lar Devane, writes about the foundation and the founding members and how their posterity keep cropping up in the ranks of later club teams. Seamus Leahy writes of the Walshes of Tubberadora and how the family immigrated to the parish from Ballybacon and contributed to the success of the famous team. The Walshes were joined by John Connolly, also from Ballybacon, and he also figured in the successful Tubberadora teams. So a significant number of the team came from outside the parish. Is this unique for rural teams of the period?

Equally fascinating is Philip Ryan's account of the Thomas Francis Meagher Football Club from the townslands of Thurlesbeg, Freighduff and Cl,onmore. This was the home of Meaghers and the families had various identifying names to distinguish them. The TFM football club was one of four teams from the parish of Boherlahan-Dualla to affiliate to the G.A.A. in the early days and it took part in a number of tournaments, which were the forerunners of properly organised championships.

In one of these tournaments the team was reputed to include seventeen Meaghers out of a total of twenty-one players. The team had a short existence and by 1888 had amalgamated with Boherlahan but while it existed it attracted big crowds to its games

The Journal is available for €10 at local outlets.

 

The 2012 County Senior Football Championship Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp. 76-79

The 2012 County Senior Football Championship 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp. 76-79

 

Clonmel Commercials won their first senior football title in ten years when they defeated reigning champions, Thomas MacDonaghs, by 1-9 to 0-5 at Semple Stadium on November 4. Following a pedestrian first half, at the end of which the sides had managed only two points each,

Commercials upped their performance and a goal, eleven minutes into the second-half, when only two points separated the sides, set Commercials on the road to victory. The North representatives continued to battle hard for the remainder of the game but they failed to get the goal that would have ignited their rally and helped them to retain their crown. In the end the winners, with an important sprinkling of players from their successful three-in-a-row minor sides on board, fully deserved their seven-point victory.

Nineteen teams affiliated in the senior football championship for the O'Dwyer Cup. The competition was run on an open draw basis with the four winners from the separately-run divisional championships coming in at the quarter-final stage.

There was a preliminary round in order to reduce the number of teams to sixteen. This round of three games was played in June. Two games were played on June 1. Killenaule defeated Galtee Rovers by 2-10 to 0-10 at Cashel, and Eire Óg defeated Kilsheelan-Kilcash by 3-15 to 1-10 at New Inn. The third game was played at Templemore on June 13, when Loughmore-Castleiney were too good for Thomas MacDonaghs on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-5.

Round 1
Round 1 of the championship proper, between the three winners of the preliminary rounds and the thirteen remaining teams, was played between the end of July and the end of September. The long delay in completing the round was due to the hold-up in the West championship.

The first game was played at Dundrum on July 29. Cahir had a narrow victory by 1-19 to 3-12 for Fr. John Kenyon's, the second of the two group teams from the North to affiliate.

Two games were scheduled for the weekend of August 5/6. J. K. Brackens received a walkover from Carrick Swans at Cashel. In the second game Commercials defeated Aherlow by 1-11 to 1-8 at Cahir.

Three games were played on the weekend of August 10/11. At Littleton Killenaule scored a record victory over Moyne-Templetuohy by 7-11 to 0-3 on August 10. Moyle Rovers had an equally facile victory over Clonmel Óg by 4-16 to 0-5 in a double fixture at Clonmel on August 11. The second game was much closer with Fethard just pipping Ardfinnan by 0-11 to 0-10,

The seventh game in the round was played at Gortnahoe on August 21 with Loughmore-Castleiney defeating Mullinahone by 0-13 to 1-3.

Over a month was to elapse before the final game was played. Arravale Rovers defeated Eire Óg by the minimum of margins on a scoreline of 0-9 to 0-8 at Lattin on September 29.

Round 2
Round 2 saw the eight winners in Round 1 reduced to four. Again it took a long time, seven weeks in fact, to complete this round. Killenaule defeated J. K. Brackens by 1-12 to 0-10 at Dundrum on August 21. Commercials defeated Cahir by 0-14 to 1-9 at Ardfinnan on September 2. The next game wasn't played until September 28 when Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Fethard by 1-6 to 1-5 at Littleton. The final game was played on October 7 when Arravale Rovers defeated Moyle Rovers by 1-12 to 1-11 at Cahir.

Quarter-Finals
In the quarter-finals the four divisional winners were to play the four winners from Round 2, with divisional winners kept apart. However, the competition regulations stated that if a team won a division final and also won Round 2 of the county championship, that team would progress to the semi-final.

The winners of the divisional finals were as follows: North – Thomas MacDonaghs; South – Killenaule; Mid – Loughmore-Castleiney; West – Eire Óg. Two of these teams, Killenaule and Loughmore-Castleiney, were dual winners and so progressed to the semi-finals.

This left four teams to contest two quarter-finals. Both were played on October 20. At The Ragg Thomas MacDonaghs and Eire Óg were level at the end of normal time and were still tied at 1-12 to 2-9 after the extra time. In the second game, played at Cahir, Commercials defeated Eire Óg by 0-14 to 0-8. In the replay of the first game at Templetuohy on October 26, Thomas MacDonaghs defeated Eire Óg by 0-10 to 0-7.

Semi-Finals
The semi-finals were played on the weekend of October 28/29. In the first of these games Commercials defeated Loughmore-Castleiney by 4-11 to 4-9 in a high-scoring game after extra time at Cashel. At the end of normal time and indeed into added time Commercials led by six points and seemed certain of victory. But two goals by Liam McGrath from close-in frees in the 62nd and 64th minutes won a most unlikely draw for Loughmore-Castleiney The score at full-time was 4-7 each.

Commercials, favoured by the breeze in the first half, led by 2-5 to 1-4 at half-time. Extra time had to be played. At half-time Commercials led by 4-9 to 4-8 having played with the breeze and Loughmore's chances looked the brighter but Commercials got two more points against the breeze to Loughmore's one and won by 4-11 to 4-9.

In the second game, played at Templemore, Thomas MacDonaghs, whose two games against Eire Óg in the quarter-final had brought them on dramatically as a team, got the better of Killenaule and won by 1-5 to 0-6. There were two key moments in this game. Philip Austin goaled from a penalty in the twelfth minute of the game after he was fouled in the goal area. This enabled MacDonaghs to lead by 1-4 to 0-4 at the interval. Then in the forty-second minute John O'Dwyer of Killenaule was red-carded and even though the result was to ignite the Killenaule challenge, they found scores difficult to come by and were behind by 1-5 to 0-6 at the final whistle.

The Final
The final, between Commercials and Thomas MacDonaghs, was played at Semple Stadium before 780 spectators on November 4. It was an un usual pairing between the holders, a combination team drawn from seven clubs in the North division, not regarded as a stronghold of football, and the traditionalists, Clonmel Commercials, coming from the footballing end of the county. The latter were hoping to get back on track with a victory after ten years in the wilderness, while the MacDonaghs were striving to emulate the achievements of a previous North selection, which won back to back titles in 1958 and 1959.

The first half was a dull affair with Commercials getting the first two points by Ian Barnes and Colman Kennedy and MacDonaghs not scoring until the twenty-second minute, when Joe Carroll scored. Padraic O'Meara added a second before the interval to leave the sides level at two points each.

Commercials resumed a different outfit and added three points through Aldo Matassa and Ian Barnes (2) in a seven-minute spell. MacDonaghs responded with a Seamus Hennessy point but then came Colman Kennedy's fine goal followed by another Barnes point and Commercials were now leading by 1-6 to 0-3 entering the last quarter. With ten minutes to go they were still six points ahead and while MacDonaghs tried their best they found scores very difficult to come by and, perhaps, tried too hard to work a goal when points were there for the taking.

Commercials stayed in front and substitute, Alan Lonergan, had their last point to give them a 1-9 to 0-5 victory and their fifteenth county title.

Colman Kennedy's display with 1-2 was crucial to Commercials success and others to influence the result were Seamus Kennedy, Danny Madigan, Kevin Harney, Ian Fahy, Ian Barnes and Michael Quinlivan.

Although MacDonaghs enjoyed a reasonable amount of possession they got a poor return in their number of scores. Best for them were Philip Austin, Seamus Hennessy, David Buckley, Fergal Hayes and Tommy Connors.

Clonmel Commercials: Evan Comerford, Fergal Condon (capt.), Donal Lynch, Ciaran O'Connell, Danny Madigan, Seamus Kennedy, Jamie Peters, Kevin Harney, Aldo Matassa (0-1), Luke Moore, Colman Kennedy (1-2), Ian Fahy, Ian Barnes (0-4), Michael Quinlivan, John Harney. Subs: Jason Lonergan (0-1) for Luke Moore, Richy Carroll for Ian Fahy, Alan Lonergan (0-1) for John Harney, Shane Taylor for Aldo Matassa, Eamon Hanrahan for Colman Kennedy. Also: Paul Nolan, Brian O'Hara, Stephen Buckley, Colm Nolan, Noel O'Mahoney, Shane Power, Brian Walsh, Kevin Fahy, Conor Walsh, Niall Kelly, Fergal O'Callaghan.

Management team: Philly Ryan (manager), David Kennedy (trainer), David Lavin (selector), Anthony Shelley (selector), Martin Quinlivan (selector). Backroom team: Hugh Daly, Davey Fitzgerald. Kit: Eddie Hanrahan.

Thomas MacDonaghs: Jim McDonnell (Inane Rovers), (joint capt.), Martin Minehan (Kildangan), David Buckley (Inane Rovers), Ruairi Gleeson (Kildangan), Fergal Hayes (Kildangan), Niall O'Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Joe Carroll (Inane Rovers), (0-1), Liam England (Inane Rovers), (joint capt.), George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers), Joe Gallagher (Kildangan), Philip Austin (Borrisokane), (0-2), Padraic O'Meara (Shannon Rovers), (0-1), David Young (Toomevara), Seamus Hennessy (Kilruane MacDonaghs), (0-1), Tommy Connors (Kildangan). Subs: Andrew Austin (Borrisokane) for Liam England, Alan Hannigan (Shannon Rovers) for Padraic O'Meara, Aaron Ryan (Inane Rovers) for David Young. Also: Keith McMahon (Inane Rovers), Shane Dooley (Borrisokane), Rory Whelan (Kildangan), Diarmuid Cahill (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Peter McSherry (Borrisokane), Declan Barrett (Kilrua ne MacDonaghs), Jack Loughnane (Kildangan), Tadhg Gallagher (Kildangan)

Management team: Chris Conway, Kevin Mulryan, Paddy O'Flaherty, Pat Murphy, Ollie Hennelly, Joe Hannigan. Physio: Jimmy Cunningham. Backroom: Viv Dooley, Declan Russell, Paddy Heenan, Shane Brophy.

Man of the Match: Colman Kennedy (Commercials)

Referee: Tom McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney).
 

Senior Football Championship at a Glance

Preliminary Rd
01/06/2012 Cashel Killenaule 2.10 Galtee Rovers 0.10 Michael Duffy
01/06/2012 New Inn Eire Óg Anacarty 3.15 Kilsheelan Kilcash 1.10 Sean Lonergan
13/06/2012 Templemore Loughmore Castleiney 1.10 Thomas MacDonaghs 0.05 Derek O'Mahoney

Round 1
29/07/2012 Pairc Ciocaim Cahir 1.19 Fr. John Kenyon's 3.12 Brian Tyrell
05/08/2012 Cashel JK Brackens W/O Carrick Swans SCR Brian Tyrell
06/08/2012 Cahir Commercials 1.11 Aherlow 1.08 Paddy Russell
10/08/2012 Littleton Killenaule 7.11 Moyne Templetuohy 0.03 Tom McGrath
11/08/2012 Clonmel Moyle Rovers 4.16 Clonmel Óg 0.05 Derek O'Mahoney
11/08/2012 Clonmel Fethard 0.11 Ardfinnan 0.10 David Grogan
21/08/2012 Gortnahoe Loughmore Castleiney 0.13 Mullinahone 1.03 Sean Lonergan
29/09/2012 Lattin Arravale Rovers 0.09 Eire Óg Anacarty 0.08 Derek O'Mahoney

Round 2
21/08/2012 Kickham Pk Killenaule 1.12 JK Brackens 0.10 Michael Duffy
02/09/2012 Ardfinnan Commercials 0.14 Cahir 1.09 Keith O'Brien
28/09/2012 Littleton Loughmore Castleiney 1.06 Fethard 1.05 Michael Duffy
07/10/2012 Cahir Arravale Rovers 1.12 Moyle Rovers 1.11 David Grogan

Quarter Final
20/10/2012 The Ragg Thomas McDonagh's 1.12 Eire Óg Anacarty 2.0 Keith O'Brien AET
20/10/2012 Cahir Commericals 0.14 Arravale Rovers 0.08 Tom McGrath

Quarter Final Replay
26/10/2012 Templetuohy Thomas McDonagh's 0.10 Éíre Óg Anacarty 0.07 Tom McGrath

Semi Final
28/10/2012 Cashel Commercials 4.11 Loughmore Castleiney 4.09 Derek O'Mahoney
29/10/2012 Templemore Thomas McDonagh's 1.05 Killenaule 0.06 David Grogan

Final
04/11/2012 Semple Stadium Commercials 1.09 Thomas McDonagh's 0.05 Tom McGrath

 

The 2012 County Senior Hurling Championship Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp. 69-75

The 2012 County Senior Hurling Championship 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2013, pp. 69-75

 

Thurles Sarsfields won their 32nd county senior hurling title at Semple Stadium on October 14 when they defeated Drom-Inch by 1-21 to 2-15 in the final, played before an attendance of 6,937.
In winning the 125th county senior hurling title Sarsfields confirmed their standing as the most successful club in the county and justified their rating as favourites going into the final.

Losers Drom Inch went into the game as defending champions, having won their first title in 2011, but their loss was their fourth final defeat in eight seasons. It was their third loss to Sarsfields at this stage of the championship, having lost previously to them in the 2005 and 2009 finals. Their remaining loss was to Loughmore-Castleiney in the 2007 final.

Drom and Inch trailed by seven points at half-time but their challenge was ignited with a goal by David Butler in the first minute after the resumption and the second half became a gripping encounter during which a draw seemed likely at times. Drom and Inch missed a couple of chances for goals near the end but the more composed Thurles side held out and deserved their three-point victory.

The Senior Hurling Championship

The format for the championship was the same as the previous year. The 32 senior teams in the county played in their respective divisional championships down to semi-final stage. The 16 teams that qualified for the divisional play-offs went straight into the Dan Breen Cup. The remaining 16 teams went into Round 1 or a qualifier for the Dan Breen Cup, with 8 qualifying and the 8 losers going into the Seamus O'Riain Cup. The 4 losers in the first round of the O'Riain went into the relegation competition.

The 8 winners of Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup joined the 8 losing divisional semi-finalists in an open draw with repeat games avoided for Round 2. The 8 winners from Round 2 played off among themselves in Round 3 and the winners joined the four divisional final losers in Round 4. The four winners played the four divisional final winners in Round 5.

The virtue of these arrangements was that divisional achievement was recognised. Beaten divisional finalists came back in Round 4 while the winners came in in Round 5.

Ultimately the whole format was to give as many chances as possible to teams to find their feet and for the best teams to come to the top. The other side of the coin was to give the public 31 games in all, a potential feast for the punters but, in reality, many of them so bad that they gave senior hurling a bad name, and small attendances suggested that supporters regarded many of them as meaningless.

Round 1
 

Round 1 was played between June 30 and July 22 with the following teams coming through: Burgess, Kildangan, Lorrha, Moneygall, Roscrea, Templederry, Borrisokane and Kilruane MacDonaghs. In the light of the North division's later failure to have a team in the semi-finals, this was an impressive performance with all seven of their teams qualifying for Round 2

Round 2

The eight winners joined the beaten divisional semi-finalists in an open draw. These games were played between July 21 and August 21. Again the North were well represented among the winners. The teams were: Lorrha, Templederry. Kildangan, Borrisoleigh, Drom Inch, Cappawhite, Roscrea and Burgess.

Round 3

The eight winners of Round 2 played off among themselves in Round 3 between August 23 and September 2.

The winners were Borrisoleigh, who defeated Cappawhite, Kildangan, who defeated Templederry, Drom Inch who defeated Burgess and Roscrea, who defeated Lorrha..

Divisional Finals
 

In spite of the large number of senior teams, the North were first with their divisional final. Played at Nenagh on July 20, Portroe made history by winning their first senior title, when they defeated no less opponents than Toomevara by 3-16 to 1-19. It was a sensational result and well-deserved. It didn't appear possible at half-time when Portroe trailed by a point on a scoreline of 0-11 to 1-7 in spite of playing with the breeze. However, they came good in the second half, led by 3-15 to 0-16 after fifty-seven minutes and held out for an historic victory in spite of a late Toomevara rally that yielded 1-3. It was a great occasion for the club when captain, Jimmy Creamer, raised the Frank McGrath Cup before the delighted supporters.

Thurles Sarsfields went on the rampage in the Mid final, played at Templemore on July 27 when they obliterated the defending champions, Loughmore-Castleiney, by 7-16 to 2-13. Three goals by Pa Bourke from close-in frees in the first ten minutes of the game were a body blow to Loughmore-Castleiney from which they never recovered. Sarsfields led by 5-7 to 1-5 at the break and went on to win in style by 7-16 to 2-13.

On the same day and at the same time that Sarsfields were offering Loughmore up for sacrifice, Mullinahone retained the South senior hurling championship by 1-17 to 2-9 for Carrick Swans at Clonmel. It was their eleventh title and they were the slicker and sharper team from beginning to end. The winners led by 0-11 to 0-5 at the interval and, while the Swan reduced the deficit to three points soon after the resumption, there was never any doubt as to the better team and Mullinahone well-deserved their 1-17 to 2-9 victory, 1-11 for which was scored by Eoin Kelly.
Unusual for the West final it was the last of the four up for decision and was played at Golden on August 26. Clonoulty-Rossmore made it six-titles-in-a-row when they defeated Eire Óg by 1-22 to 1-11. It was a game that failed to live up to expectations as Clonoulty proved beyond a doubt that they were top dogs in the division and Eire Óg failed to produce the kind of performance that might have challenged the champions.

Round 4
 

Round 4 matched the winners of Round 3 with the divisional runners-up and these games were played on the weekend of the 15/16 September. The results saw two of the divisional runners-up survive and two eliminated. Eire Óg surprised a lot of people when they defeated Borrisoleigh by 1-17 to 0-17 at Cashel, which hosted a double header. In the second pairing Drom Inch defeated Carrick Swans by 2-19 to 1-13. The remaining two games were played at Nenagh. Kildangan had a comfortble win over Toomevara by 2-19 to 0-15 and Loughmore-Castleiney eliminated Roscrea by 1-14 to 2-10.

Quarter-Finals
 

The quarter-finals were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of September 22/23. Three of the divisional champions were eliminated from the championship over the two days with only Thurles Sarsfields surviving

On Saturday Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Mullinahone by 0-22 to 2-11. Mullinahone started well and led by 2-7 to 0-11 at the interval but the second-half belonged to Loughmore, who outscored their opponents by 11 points to 4. In the second game Clonoulty-Rossmore were completely disappointing and were no match for a dominant Drom-Inch, who won by 2-22 to 0-13 having led by 2-11 to 0-8 at the interval.

On Sunday Thurles Sarsfields confirmed their credentials as favourites to take the title, when they gave an impressive display in defeating Kildangan by 3-22 to 1-12. They led by double scores, 2-12 to 1-6, at the interval. In the second game Eire Óg confirmed their good form of the previous weekend in beating Borrisoleigh when they dominated their game with Portroe to win by 1-15 to 1-10, after leading by 1-9 to 1-2 at the break.

Semi-Finals
 

There was a two-week gap to the semi-finals in order to accommodate the replayed minor hurling All-Ireland. The two games were played at Semple Stadium on October 7 with Thurles Sarsfields and Drom Inch emerging as winners.

Thurles Sarsfields' opponents were Eire Óg, who were very much underdogs going into the contest. In a fine first-half performance they kept the favourites in touch and were behind by four points, 1-11 to 0-10, at the interval. They reduced it to three early in the second-half but then they went for twenty-four minutes without a score at the end of which Sarsfields were in front by 2-21 to 0-11. Eire Óg added 1-2 in the remaining minutes, chiefly through the good work of Conor O'Brien, but it was too little too late.

The second semi-final between Drom Inch and Loughmore-Castleiney was a close encounter that went to extra time. A resolute Loughmore pushed the county champions to the limit. Drom-Inch got off to a flying start and were 0-7 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter. Loughmore came more into the game during the second quarter and were behind by three points, 0-10 to 0-7 at the interval. Loughmore's improvement continued during the second half and they led by 1-12 to 0-13 with nine ninutes to go. It looked as if they were heading in the right direction but a goalkeeping error in the fifty-second minute allowed Seamus Callanan in for a vital goal. Drom Inch went ahead by three points but Loughmore clawed themselves back with vital points and eventually got the equaliser from Eddie Connolly in the sixty-sixth miuute of play for a final score of 1-18 each..

That was the best it got for Loughmore. Four minutes into extra time Liam Treacy was shown a straight red for a tangle with Seamus Callanan. The latter converted the following free and then tipped home a David Butler sideline puck for a goal. Drom led by 2-20 to 1-19 at the interval and there was no doubt about their victory during the second half when they added further scores to win by 2-26 to 1-21.

The Final
 

Thurles Sarsfields were installed as hot favourites to win the final. Fans of Drom Inch gave them a chance if Seamus Callanan and Johnny Ryan delivered top performances. Drom Inch did get off to the better start and led by 0-3 to o-1 after five minutes but Sarsfields hit back with a run of seven unanswered points to lead by 0-8 to 0-3 as Drom went twelve minutes without a score until their best player, Johnny Ryan, scored a point in the seventeenth minute. This started a slight recovery and Drom trailed by four points, 0-11 to 0-7, approaching half-time. Then they were hit with a sucker punch in the shape of a goal by Sarsfields' lethal forward, Aidan McCormack, to leave the favourites in front by 1-11 to 0-7 at the interval.

Drom bounced back with a goal from David Butler on the resumption and this resurrected their challenge and put themselves in front by a point, 2-14 to 1-15, by the fiftieth minute. However, it was Sarsfields who had the better finish with four unanswered points and a three-point victory by 1-21 to 2-15.

Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack. Stephen Maher, Kevin O'Gorman, David Maher, David kennedy, Padraic Maher (capt.) 0-1, Michael Cahill, Michael Gleeson 0-1, Johnny Enright 0-3, Pa Bourke 0-6, Jim Corbett 0-1, Lar Corbett, Michael O'Brien 0-2, Denis Maher 0-1, Aidan McCormack 1-6. Subs: Ger O'Grady for Michael O'Brien, John Maher for Jim Corbett, Richie Ruth for Johnny Enright, John Lawlor for David Maher. Also: Kevin Smith, Michael Russell, Barry O'Dwyer, Pa Dunne, Tom King, Tommy Doyle, John Joe Bourke, Cian Treacy, Eoin Russell, Rory O'Shea, Michael Collins, David Corbett, Michael O'Dwyer, Pa Crone.

Drom & Inch: Damien Young, Eddie Costello, Micxhael Butler, Mike Costello, Enda Walsh, Eamoin Buckley, Liam Ryan, Shane Delaney, James Woodlock 0-1, Seamus Callanan 1-3, Johnny Ryan 0-9, Pat Lupton, David Butler 1-1, Joe Lupton, Seamus Butler 0-1. Subs: Paul Stapleton for Eddie Costello, Paddy kennedy for Joe Lupton, Jamie Moloney for Shane Delaney, Kevin Butler for Pat Lupton, David Collins for Jamie Moloney. Also: Shane Hassett, James Ryan, Matthew Ryan, Paul Collins, Eric Woodlock, Philip Looby, Joe Egan, Martin McGrath, Nicky Ryan, Padraig Butler, Padraig Stapleton, Cathal Ryan, Michael Campion.

Man of the Match: Aidan McCormack (Thurles Sarsfields)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Kickhams)
 

Senior Hurling Championship at a Glance

Round 1
30/06/2012 The Ragg Burgess 1.14 Moycarkey Borris 0.10 Ger Fitzpatrick
30/06/2012 The Ragg Kildangan 2.11 Holycross Ballycahill 0.16 John McCormack
01/07/2012 Templemore Lorrha Dorrha 4.15 Carrick Davins 0.13 Michael Hassett
01/07/2012 Templemore Moneygall 1.18 Upperchurch Drombane 2.11 Fergal Horgan
01/07/2012 Littleton Roscrea 1.15 Boherlahan Dualla 1.09 Sean Bradshaw
02/07/2012 Drombane Templederry Kenyons 3.23 Golden Kilfeacle 0.10 Keith Delahunty
07/07/2012 The Ragg Borrisokane 0.15 Aherlow 0.14 Paddy Ivors
22/07/2012 Templetuohy Kilruane MacDonaghs1.20 Knockavilla Kickham 0.16 Martin Ryan 

Round 2
21/07/2012 Templemore Lorrha Dorrha 2.24 Ballingarry 2.11 Anthony Sherlock
22/07/2012 Borrisoleigh Templederry Kenyons 2.15 JK Brackens 1.17 Phil Ryan
29/07/2012 Templetuohy Kildangan 2.12 Killenaule 0.13 John O'Brien
29/07/2012 Toomevara Borris-ileigh 0.21 Kilruane MacDonaghs0.16 Johnny Ryan
29/07/2012 Borrisoleigh Drom & Inch 1.14 Moneygall 2.07 Fergal Horgan
03/08/2012 Newport Cappawhite 0.20 Borrisokane 2.13 Martin Ryan
12/08/2012 Templemore Roscrea 4.13 Cashel King Cormacs 1.09 Paddy Ivors
21/08/2012 Dolla Burgess 2.09 Nenagh Eire Óg 0.13 John McCormack

Round 3
23/08/2012 Clonoulty Borris-ileigh 4.25 Cappawhite 0.14 Johnny Ryan
26/08/2012 Dolla Kildangan 0.20 Templederry Kenyons 0.18 Philip Kelly
26/08/2012 Dolla Drom & Inch 0.22 Burgess 0.11 Fergal Horgan
02/09/2012 Cloughjordan Roscrea 2.12 Lorrha Dorrha 1.14 Kieran Delaney

Round 4
15/09/2012 Cashel Eire Óg Anacarty 1.17 Borris-ileigh 0.17 Martin Ryan
15/09/2012 Cashel Drom & Inch 2.19 Carrick Swans 1.13 Phil Ryan
16/09/2012 Nenagh Kildangan 2.19 Toomevara 0.15 Fergal Horgan
16/09/2012 Nenagh Loughmore Castleiney 1.24 Roscrea 2.10 John O'Brien

Quarter Finals
22/09/2012 Semple Stadium Loughmore Castleiney 0.22 Mullinahone 2.11 Fergal Horgan
22/09/2012 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 2.22 Clonoulty Rossmore 0.13 Philip Kelly
23/09/2012 Semple Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 3.22 Kildangan 1.12 Paddy Ivors
23/09/2012 Semple Stadium Eire Óg Anacarty 1.15 Portroe 1.10 Johnny Ryan

Semi Finals
07/10/2012 Semple Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 2.22 Eire Óg Anacarty 1.13 Anthony Sherlock
07/10/2012 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 2.26 Loughmore Castleiney 1.21 John O'Brien

Final
14/10/2012 Semple Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 1.21 Drom & Inch 2.15 Fergal Horgan

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship 2011 Tipperary GAA Yearbook, 2012 pp59-65

The County Senior Hurling Championship 2011 

Tipperary GAA Yearbook, 2012 pp 59-65

 

A new club was added to the list of county senior hurling champions when Drom Inch won the 2011 championship following victory over Clonoulty-Rosmore at Semple Stadium, Thurles on October 16. It was fourth time lucky for the winners having lost in 2005 to Thurles Sarsfields by 1-17 to 0-15, in 2007 to Loughmore-Castleiney by 0-22 to 0-13 and in 2009 to Thurles Sarsfields by 0-14 to 0-5. The bookies made Drom Inch favourites by the smallest of margins at 10/11 as against 6/5 on Clonoulty-Rossmore and the result confirmed their prediction with a two-point win for Drom on a scoreline of 1-19 to 2-14. They overcame a sluggish start to finish in fine style with their key player and captain, Seamus Callanan, giving a storming performace in the second-half.
Format

The format of the county senior hurling championship was changed in 2011. The number of teams participating remained at 32 with new intermediate champions, Borrisokane, replacing combination team, Galtee/Treacys

As in 2010 the 32 teams played in their respective divisional championships down to semi-final stage, The 16 teams who reached this stage automatically qualified for the Dan Breen Cup. Unlike 2010, when the remaining 16 went into the O'Riain Cup and the two finalists only were granted entry, all 16 teams who failed to make the divisional semi-finals, were given a crack at the Dan Breen in the 2011 championship,

The 16 teams went into the round 1 of the Dan Breen cup among themselves. The 8 losers went into the Seamus O'Riain cup and the 4 losers of the first round went into the relegation competition..

The 8 winners went into round 2 of the Dan Breen together with the 8 losing divisional semi-finalists. This was an open draw with repeat games avoided.
The 8 winners from round 2 played off among themselves in round 3 and joined the four divisional final losers in round 4. The four winners played the four divisional final winners in round 5.

The virtue of these arrangements was that divisional achievement was recognised. Beaten divisional finalists came back in at round 4 while the winners came in at round 5.

Round 1

Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup was played on the third and fourth weekends in July with Borrisoleigh, Lorrha, Upperchurch-Drombane, Burgess, Roscrea, Thurles Sarsfields, Kilruane MacDonaghs and Portroe coming through. Significantly this represented 6 North and 2 Mid teams.

Round 2

The winners joined the 8 beaten divisional semi-finalists in an open draw. The teams that came through were Templederry, Burgess, Borrisoleigh, Thurles Sarsfieds, Eire Óg, Nenagh Eire Óg, Upperchurch-Drombane and J. K. Brackens. These games with one exception were played on the last weekend of July, when the championship went into recess because of divisional finals and Tipperary's involvement in the All-Ireland games. The exception was the J. K. Brackens game with Carrick Davins, which was held up because of fixture delays in the South. It was played on September 10.

Divisional Finals

The Mid final was the first to be played and it took place on July 22 between Loughmore-Castleiney and Drom Inch at Templetuohy. Drom led at halftime and went further ahead soon after the resumption but a hat-trick of goals by Miceal Webster put paid to their chances and set Loughmore on the road to their eleventh title by 3-15 to 2-14. It was the first time a senior hurling final was played at Templetuohy and a large crowd turned up.

The West and North finals took place on July 30. Toomevara claimed their 33rd title when they defeated Kildangan by 1-18 to 0-13 at Nenagh. Six points up after as many minutes Toomevara were never headed and deserved their eight-point victory in a disappointing final.

In the West final Clonoulty-Rossmore made it five-in-a-row when they enjoyed a 1-26 to 0-13 victory over Cappawhite. The winners led by 0-15 to 0-7 at the interval and were impressive all over the field.

Because of an objection and a dispute about fixtures the South final wasn't ready to take place and was eventually played on October 9. In a game that didn't matter both sides played intensively and it was a tight affair until the last quarter when Mullinahone pulled well clear to win by 2-20 to 0-11.

Round 3

Three of the four Round 3 games were played on September 11, with victories going to Nenagh Eire Óg, Thurles Sarsfields and Burgess. Borrisoleigh and J. K. Brackens played on September 14 at Semple Stadium with victory going to the former.

Round 4

Meanwhile the divisional finals, with the exception of the South, who nominated Carrick Swans, had taken place and the beaten finalists joined the four winners of round 3 for the next round. Drom Inch defeated Burgess by 2-16 to 1-18 at Templemore on September 17. On the same day and at the same venue, Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kildangan by 2-20 to 1-15. Also on the 17th Nenagh Eire Óg defeated Cappawhite by 1-16 to 0-14 at Newport. The final game was played at Semple Stadium on September 19, when Borrisoleigh defeated Carraick Swans by 0-17 to 1-9.

Quarter-Finals

The quarter-finals were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of September 24/25. In spite of a two-month lay off Clonoulty-Rossmore made light work of disposing of Eire Óg, Nenagh. Clonoulty were ahead by 1-9 to 0-6 at the break but two goals in the 43rd and 49th minutes set them up for a comprehensive victory by 3-18 to 0-14.

The second game, between Thurles Sarsfields and Loughmore-Castleiney was a more exciting affair in which Sarsfields gave their best display of the year. The sides scored five goals in the first half and left Sarsfields two points up at the interval on a scoreline of 3-7 to 2-8. They extended their lead to six during the second half but at the end of an exciting game had to be content with a 3-17 to 2-16 victory.

On Sunday Toomevara made a shock exit from the race when they were well-beaten by Drom Inch for whom Seamus Callanan was on song and scored an impressive 1-12. The sides were level enough during the first half and Drom led by 1-9 to 0-12 at the interval. However, the sending off of David Young and the upping of the Drom Inch performance gave the latter early control in the second-half and they won comfortably by 1-23 to 1-13.

Mullinahone and Borrisoleigh ended up level at 1-12 to 0-15, following a late penalty by Eoin Kelly for Mullinahone. The sides remained close during the first half of extra time but Mullinahone took over in the second half and were in front by 2-21 to 0-21 at the final whistle. Kelly scored 2-13 of the winners total.

Semi-Finals

The semi-finals were played as a double fixture at Semple Stadium on October 2.. Drom Inch looked impressive in defeating Mullinahone by 1-20 to 0-14. They led by 1-14 to 0-5 at the break. However, they let Mullinahone back into the game during the second-half by failing to score for nineteen minutes but they won comfortably in the end by a nine-point margin.

Clonoulty-Rossmore caused a shock in the second game when they knocked out hot favourites Thurles Sarsfields by 2-14 to 0-15. The expectation that Sarsfields would win was increased by the knowledge that a number of key players on the Clonoulty team were out through injury. Clonoulty's victory was due to a tremendous workrate and close marking of their opponents. They started in a whirlwind and established a physical dominance on the field. They led by 2-5 to 0-8 at the break and they continued to dog Sarsfields in the second-half. The losers had one period of dominance during this period when they scored five points without reply and cut the gap between the sides to 3 points, 2-12 to 0-15, in the fifty-fifth minute, But it was Clonoulty's day and they deserved their unexpected, five-point victory.

Final

And so it was to the final at Semple Stadium on October 16, a good sunny day and an expectant crowd of 7,038. The teams had never met at this stage before. Drom Inch were going for their first, having lost three times at this stage. Clonoulty-Rossmore were going for their fourth having lost the previous year to Thurles Sarsfields. The game was preceded by the Seamus O Riain Cup final between Moycarkey-Borris and Kickhams and also by honouring the Kilruane-MacDonaghs victorious team of 1985.

Clonoulty, aided by the breeze, had the better of the opening exchanges and scored three points in the opening seven minutes, before David Butler registered Drom's first score. The game came alive in the tenth minute when a good movement involving Clonoulty's Padraig Heffernan, Ciaran Quirke and Sean Maher combined for the game's first goal. It wasn't long, however, before Woodlock, Collins and Lupton hit back with Drom's retort to leave the score 1-4 to 1-2 for Clonoulty. Points were exchanged during the remainder of the half as Drom edged more into contention and were only a point in arrears at half-time on a scoreline of 1-9 to 1-8. Both sides had goal chances during this period and Clonoulty will probably rue the missed chances more..
Clonoulty resumed the stronger after the interval. Following a point by Hammersley, John O'Neill took advantage of some indecision among the Drom backs to rifle a goal in the thirty-second minute and stretch Clonoulty's lead to five points. It was to be the the high point of their performance and, significantly, they were to score only four more points in the game.
Drom moved Callanan into full-forward and they upped the ante. By the forty-fifth minute they had drawn level at 1-15 to 2-12 and the momentum was now with them. Their forwards were increasingly dangerous. As well as Callanan, David Collins was playing a very influential role. At centrefield Johnny Ryan was lording it and had hit an inspirational, long-range point to bring the sides level,. As well the backs were stymying the best efforts of the Clonoulty forwards.

As the game progressed the result seemed more and more inevitable as Drom eased in front and Clonoulty failed to regain the initiative. Because there was so little between the sides there was always the possibility of the Clonoulty goal but it failed to come and at the end Drom were deserving winners of the 115th county senior hurling championship on a scoreline of 1-19 to 2-14.

Drom Inch: Damien Young, Martin Butler, Micheal Butler, Mike Costello, Paul Stapleton, Eamon Buckley, James Ryan, Johnny Ryan (0-2), James Woodlock, Seamus Butler (0-2), Seamus Callanan (capt.) 0-6, David Collins (0-3), Pat Lupton (1-2), Declan Ryan, David Butler (0-4). Subs: Kevin Butler for Declan Ryan, Liam Ryan for Martin Butler, Matthew Ryan for Johnny Ryan. Also: Shane Hassett, Paddy Kennedy, Donncha Kennedy, Joe Lupton, Mike Everard, Macdara Butler, Eddie Costello, Eric Woodlock, Paul Collins, John Kennedy, Shane Delaney, Enda Walshe, Jerome Ryan, Phillip Looby, Martin McGrath, Matthew Buckley, Jamie Moloney, Mike Purcell, Padraig Stapleton.

Clonoulty-Rossmore: Declan O'Dwyer, Kevin Horan, James Heffernan, Joey O'Keeffe, Padraig Heffernan, John O'Keeffe, John Devane (capt.), Sean O'Connor, Tom Butler (0-1), Sean Maher (1-2), Conor Ryan (0-2), Jamie Moloney (0-1), John O'Neill (1-1), Timmy Hammersley (0-6), Ciaran Quirke. Subs: Martin Sadlier of Kevin Horan, Andrew Kearney for Sean O'Connor, Fiachra O'Keeffe for Jamie Moloney, Micheal Coen for Conor Ryan, Michael Heffernan for Ciaran Quirke.. Also: Jimmy Maher, Andrew Quirke, Liam Devane, Diarmuid Cullen, Aaron Ryan, Kieran Hammersley, Seamus Carew, Ciaran Carroll, Kevin Maher, Niall Shanahan, R. D. Martin, Aidan White, Thomas Butler, Paudie White, Conor Hammersley, Jason Forrestal.

Referee: Pat Gibson (Burgess)

Man of the Match Award: Johnny Ryan (Drom Inch).

Attendance: 7,038


The Seamus O Riain Cup

When this competition was introduced in 2008 it was a stand-alone one with a prestigious trophy to be won and it worked very well with Carrick Swan defeating Kilruane MacDonaghs in the final. The success of the first year didn't satisfy the powers-that-be because they introduced a change for the second year. The finalists were allowed back into the Dan Breen cup in order, it was claimed, to give the competition more stature. Instead of giving the competition more stature it was suggesting that the O Riain Cup was no longer capable of standing alone by making it a limited qualifier for the county championship proper. The same practice obtained for the 2010 competition.

There was further change in 2011 when the O Riain Cup became a fully fledged, back door qualifier for the McCarthy Cup. All 16 teams who failed to qualify for the Dan Breen Cup by virtue of failing to make the semi-final stage in their divisions were now given a second chance in Round 1 of the Dan Breen Cup. The eight teams that won Round 1 went on to play in Round 2, while the eight losers qualified for the O Riain Cup.

The make up of this group of eight teams was as follows: north – Borrisokane & Moneygall, south - Ballingarry and Ballybacon Grange, mid – Boherlahan & Moycarkey Borris, west – Cashel King Cormacs and Kickhams.

Following a draw for opponents two games in the quarter-finals were played on the last weekend in July. Kickhams defeated Borrisokane by 1-16 to 2-11 at Templederry on July 29, and Moycarkey-Borris defeated Ballingarry by 1-24 to 2-14 at Cashel on July 31. A week later at Holycross, Boherlahan-Dualla defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 4-17 to 3-19 after extra time. The final game in the quarter-finals wasn't played until September 10 when Moneygall defeated Ballybacon-Grange by 1-14 to 0-12 at Cashel.

On the same weekend the first of the semi-finals took place at Holycross and Moycarkey Borris defeated Boherlahan by 3-21 to 1-9. The second semi-final took place two weeks later at Templederry and Kickhams defeated Moneygall by 3-17 to 3-15.

Final

The final was played at Semple Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the Dan Breen Cup final on October 16. The game was close enough in the first half with Moycarkey-Borris on top by 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval. Kickhams goalkeeper Paddy Ryan pulled off an early save to keep out Moycarkey full-forward Robert Doran after six minutes but he was helpless in the eleventh minute with the winners struck for the only goal of the game. Doran was again involved and the ball was finished to the net by corner-forward Anthony Healy. Kickhams responded well and were level after seventeen minutes, 0-6 to 1-3. However, Moycarkey had four of the next five scores and were ahead by the goal at the interval, despite playing against the breeze.

Having trailed by just three points at half-time, 0-8 to 1-8, Kickhams could only muster five points in the second half as Moycarkey-Borris tacked on ten points to claim an impressive win. Kickhams kept plugging away and were still only two points adrift, 0-13 to 1-12, in the forty-ninth minute, when Johnny Ryan sent over his third free of the afternoon. However, it was to be Kickhams last score after which Moycarkey hit six points without reply to secure a well-deserved victory on a score-line of 1-18 to 0-13

Moycarkey Borris: John Kelly; James Power, Paul Dempsey, David Morris; Rory Ryan, Pat Molloy, Willie Dempsey; Patrick Carey (0-2), Brian Moran (0-2); Robert Doran (0-1), Phil Kelly, Pat Ralph (0-2); Ciaran Clohessy (0-1), Kieran Morris (0-9, 2f), Anthony Healy (1-1). Subs: John Bergin for Kelly , Ailbe Power for Healy, James Bourke for Clohessy,, Kevin Moran for Rory Ryan , Lorcan Ryan for David Morris. Also: James Doran, James Bourke, John Bergin, Mossy Bracken, Gerry Maguire, Daniel Kirby, Paudi Doran, Niall O'Sullivan, Michael Cussen, Stephen Kirwan, Conor Hayes, Eamonn Flanagan, Jamie Barry, Michael Roche, Donie Bergin, Eamon Clohessy, Joe O'Sullivan, Peter Kinane, Gerry O'Connell, Peter O'Brien.

Kickhams: Paddy Ryan; Michael Shanahan, Brian Horgan, Cathal Morrissey; Damien McGrath (0-1), Eoin Carew, Patrick O'Brien (0-1f); David Butler (0-3), Tommy Comerford; Johnny Ryan (0-4, 3f), Daniel Breen, Paudie Slattery; Patrick Ryan, Fergal Horgan (0-2), Peter Comerford (0-2). Subs: Aidan Heney for Tommy Comerford, Niall O'Brien for Johnny Ryan . Also: Damien Hayes, James Shanahan, Shane Heelan, Shane Morrisey, David Shanahan, Brendan Farrell, Gary Heelan, John O'Brien, Conor Horan, Rory O'Dwyer, Noel O'Brien, Thomas Ryan.

Referee: Paddy Ivors (Ballingarry).

 

Senior Hurling Relegation

The four teams that lost in the quarter-finals of the O Riain Cup took part in the senior hurling relegation battle. Following a draw among the four, Ballingarry defeated Borrisokane by 3-13 to 1-9 at Holycross on September 11. In the second game two weeks later, Ballybacon-Grange defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 3-19 to 3-17 at Cahir after extra time.

Because there was no provision for extra time in the original regulation or in the notification of the game sent to the two clubs and the referee, Cashel objected to the result, although they had agreed to play when the match ended in a draw, and lodged an objection. Their appeal was thrown out by the county board and Cashel appealed to Munster Council. The latter ordered a re-play, which was to be played on December 11, but that was postponed. Stalemate developed and, as the year came to a close, it appeared as if relegation wouldn't be implemented for the year

 

 

Results at a Glance

County Senior Hurling Championship

Quarter Final
24/09/2011 Semple Stadium Clonoulty Rossmore 3.18 Nenagh Eire Óg 0.14 Michael Hassett
24/09/2011 Semple Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 3.17 Loughmore Castleiney 2.16 Fergal Horgan
25/09/2011 Semple Stadium Mullinahone 2.21 Borris-ileigh 0.22 Ger Fitzpatrick AET
25/09/2011 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1.23 Toomevara 1.13 Paddy Ivors

Semi Final
02/10/2011 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1.20 Mullinahone 0.14 Fergal Horgan
02/10/2011 Semple Stadium Clonoulty Rossmore 2.14 Thurles Sarsfields 0.15 John Cleary

Final
16/10/2011 Semple Stadium Drom & Inch 1-19 Clonoulty Rossmore 2-14 Pat Gibson

 


Seamus O'Riain Cup
 

Quarter Final
29/07/2011 Templederry Borrisokane 2.11 Knockavilla Kickhams 1.16 Johnny Ryan
31/07/2011 Cashel Ballingarry 2.14 Moycarkey Borris 1.24 John Ryan Bob
06/08/2011 Holycross Boherlahan Dualla 4.17 Cashel King Cormacs 3.19 Pat Gibson AET
10/09/2011 Cashel Moneygall 1.14 Ballybacon Grange 0.12 Martin Ryan

Semi Final
10/09/2011 Holycross Moycarkey Borris 3.21 Boherlahan Dualla 1.09 Philip Kelly
24/09/2011 Templederry Knockavilla Kickhams 3.17 Moneygall 3.15 David Grogan

Final
16/10/2011 Holycross Moycarky Borris 1.18 Knockavilla Kickams 0.13

 

Senior Hurling Relegation

Semi Final
11/09/2011 Holycross Ballingarry 3.13 Borrisokane 1.09 Johnny Ryan
25/09/2011 Cahir Ballybacon Grange 3.19 Cashel King Cormacs 3.17 Johnny Ryan AET

Final
Not played

 

 

The Silvermines Silver Cup – the Oldest G.A.A. Trophy? Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2012 pp. 54-55

The Silvermines Silver Cup – the Oldest G.A.A. Trophy?

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2012 pp. 54-55

 

Recently Fr. Brendan Moloney, P.P., Silvermines presented a silver cup to Seamus J. King, chairman, Lár na Páirce. The cup, which is the property of the Parish of Silvermines, was given on loan to the Thurles museum until further notice.

The cup has rested in the Parochial House, Silvermines since 1935 when it was handed over on St. Patrick's Day to the then Parish Priest, Fr. Enright with instructions that 'the trophy was to be kept as a souvenir by the parish and that future P.P.s would be the trophy's custodians.'
There's an interesting story about this silver cup.

The tale starts on a February Tuesday in 1886, not much more than a year after the foundation of the G.A.A. and a year before the first All-Ireland was played. At this time a cup was donated by Coster, Johnston & Co., Dublin for a competition to be played under 'the new rules' as the G.A.A. rules were called then. The teams involved were North Tipperary and South Galway.
(Who were Coster, Johnston & Co. and why did they donate the cup? The simple answer is: we don't know, but we can hypothesise. The company is listed in Thom's Dublin Street Directory 1887, page 1400. The entry states: '16 & 17 (Ormond Quay, Lr.) Coster, Johnston & Co., Ormond Printing Works, wholesale paper and bag merchants, stationers, twine merchants, and account book manufacturers and London, S.E.' Overhead the premises a number of solicitors are listed as having their offices and they include Thomas W. Coster and

Arthur Johnston.

At the time Michael Cusack was principal of the Civil Service Academy, 4 Gardiners Place, some distance away from Ormond Quay. It is quite possible that Cusack was a customer of Coster, Johnston and Co. for printing, stationery and other requirements for his academy. Is it too fanciful to suggest that he had the company sponsor a cup (a fairly modest effort, I might add) for his great hurling challenge?)

This would be regarded as the first inter-county game and it reflected the advent of authoritative rules for hurling and that the games could now be organised at a wider level. Prior to this time all hurling rules were local and prevented the game being organised outside the immediate area of the team.

The man responsible for organising the game was 'Mr. Hurling' himself, Michael Cusask, and he was keen to spread the gospel of hurling. His contact in Tipperary was Frank Moloney, the secretary of Nenagh Hurling Club and he would have been familiar with the strength of the game in Galway from his time teaching there.

Played in the Phoenix Park

The game was fixed to be played in the Phoenix Park, Dublin on Tuesday, February 9. The two teams travelled by train to Dublin the previous day and met up at Broadstone Station at 10 pm. They spent the night in the Clarence Hotel and received instructions on the rules of play. The players marched out to the field the following day.

The fifteen acres in the Phoenix Park was the venue for the game and it had been laid out and stewarded by members of the Dublin and Wicklow clubs. Cusack was the referee and the game lasted eighty minutes. There was a silver cup and twenty-one silver medals for the winners
To begin the match the arch of hurleys was formed by the teams facing each other. The Tipperary ball was used for the first half. For forty minutes the game waxed fast and furious during which the Tipperary men drove twenty-six wides and resisted every attempt by Galway to transfer the sphere of operations to the other end. In the second half the Galway ball, which was smaller, was introduced. The play was less one-sided but the Galway team failed to make an impression on Tipperary. After about twenty minutes a great Tipperary attack, spearheaded by Charles McSorley of the Silvermines, resulted in a goal and deafening cheers from the crowd. During the remaining twenty minutes Galway made some brilliant dashes but without avail and the final whistle left Tipperary victorious by a solitary goal.

The cup and the medals were presented to the victorious side by Mrs. Fitzgerald, then Lady Mayoress of Dublin. The team were given a torchlight procession on their return to Nenagh and about four thousand people turned up in front of the Castle Hotel to listen to Frank Moloney's address.

Some embarrassments

There was also a fine turnout at Gort to greet the defeated Galwegians. The side had been selected from Gort, Kilmacduagh, Kiltartan, Peterswell, Kilbecanty and Tubber. The team had two major embarrassments during the event. The team had special knickerbockers made for the occasion to satisfy a request made by Cusack that they wear a distinctive dress. Dan Burke of Gort, to whom Cusack had written to get a team together, bought a roll of corduroy on special offer in Huban's drapery and had Pake Shaughnessy, a tailor in Church Street, make up the knickerbockers. His thread wasn't equal to the strain of the contest and many of the knickerbockers ripped, causing amusement and embarrassment!

Further embarrassment was caused when on Wednesday, February 17, 1886 the whole town of Gort with its Brass Band thronged to welcome their heroes home. Only four of the team arrived. The rest, unaware that there was a second station in Dublin, took the train from Kingsbridge and didn't discover their mistake until they reached Limerick Junction. They arrived home on Thursday!

A challenge was issued by the victorious North Tipperary side to all counties to take on the winners of the 'Hurling Championship of Ireland' at a sports meeting at Castle Field, Nenagh on August 9. Ogonelloe Club from Clare was the only outside club to respond and North Tipperary defeated them on August 9 and later defeated Moycarkey Borris.

The success of North Tipperary may have been due to good preparation beforehand. Frank Moloney had organised a trial game at Ballincor, Lorrha on New Year's Day between a Nenagh 21 and the pick of the Lorrha clubs. This game gave Moloney an idea of the talent available. Practice sessions were held in Ardcroney on January 3 and at Borrisokane on January 21 as well.

When the team came to be picked eight clubs were represented. The team was as follows: John Walsh, James Hanly, Pat O'Meara, Nenagh, Martin Gleeson, Dan Gleeson, Pat McGrath, Martin Gleeson, Charles McSorley, Silvermines, Matt Costelloe, Pat Gleeson, Matt Hayes, Knigh, Patrick O'Meara, Pat O'Meara, Lorrha, John Ryan, Pat Guinnane, Pat Buckley, Youghalarra, Mike Grace, Pat Reidy, Pat O'Brien, Carrigtoher, John Kennedy, James Clarke, Ardcroney, James Brooder, Kilbarron.

Silvermines win the Silver Cup

Silvermines had the biggest number of players of any of the clubs and the club was to feature strongly in the history of the Silver Cup.

Later in 1886 the cup was offered for competition amongst the North Tipperary teams and there was an entry of twenty. The games commenced in October and the final between Silvermines and Holycross was played in Nenagh Castle Field on St. Patrick's Day 1887. In a thrilling contest Silvermines carried the day on a scoreline of 1-5 to nil. The cup was presented to the captain, Dan Gleeson, who immediately gave it to Fr. Cunningham, C.C. for safe keeping as a token of appreciation for the work he had done for the club.

Later still Fr. Cunningham transferred as P.P. of Templederry and took the cup with him. Nearly a half-century later, in 1935 to be exact, he decided to return the cup to the surviving members of the original Silvermines team.

The cup was received back in Silvermines on St. Patrick's Day and re-presented to the parish. A faded picture exists of the procession which took place in honour of the homecoming. The cup was handed over to Martin Gleeson, one of the playing members of the team, on behalf of the surviving five members. In agreement with their wishes Martin Gleeson then presented the cup to Fr. Enright, P.P. and his successors to be its custodians and it has occupied pride of place in the Parochial House since then. The five surviving members were presented with a replica of the cup made in the new Aluminium factory in Nenagh.

The victorious Silvermines team which won the Silver Cup was as follows: Dan Gleeson (capt), (Boherbawn), Pat McGrath (Shragh), Little Mikey McGrath (Shragh), Jack McGrath (Shragh), Long Mick McGrath (Shragh), Daniel Hogan (Shragh), Mick Hogan (Shragh), Charlie McSorley (Ballygown), Denis Flanagan (Erinagh), Mort Darcy (Garrymore), James Fogarty (Lisbrien), Maurice Feehily (Bawn), Pat Hughes (Mucklin), Ed Hill (Logg), Pat Ryan (Mucklin), Long Martin Gleeson (Boherbee), Will Butler (Logg), Pat Gleeson (Logg), Dan Collins Curryquin). Edward Cooney (Ballinnoe), Martin Gleeson (Cranahaurt). Subs: Brian Power (Bawn), Con Fitzgerald (Shallee).

 

 

Recent G.A.A. Publications 2011 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2012, pp 92-93

Recent G.A.A. Publications 2011

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2012, pp 92-93

 

Probably the most satisfactory thing to report in the area of publications during the year was the winning of a McNamee Award for the best G.A.A. Programme. The Tipperary senior hurling final programme ' was chosen as the winning entry as it showed effective planning, design and layout on top of its excellent content which would have been of great interest to GAA patrons at the game'.

Congratulations are due to Ger Corbett for this excellent production. While one is delighted with his achievement one has to ask why the honour has taken so long to come his way. He has been producing county final programmes of the highest quality for a number of years. They are all exciting productions in content, colour and layout and, may I say, so much more exciting than the monotonous productions that we get when we attend All-Ireland finals, Keep up the good work, Ger!

And, of course, Ger did that with another super production for this year's senior hurling final. One of the things to note about this production was the glimpses into the past. For instance there were six pages devoted to the Kilruane-MacDonagh's team that won the 1985 final. There was also a piece on the fiftieth anniversary of the county senior hurling All-Ireland of 1961

While on the subject of programs it is important to mention the West senior football program, which was produced for the final at Golden on September 25. This was a 32-page production masterminded by former secretary, Jerry Ring, and the Golden-Kilfeacle club and it was the first time that a program of such size was produced for the final

Toomevara Abú

Pride of place among G.A.A. productions in the county must go to Toomevara G.A.A. 25 Glorious Years 1986-2010, which continues the story begun in The Green and Golden Years of Toomevara G.A.A. 1995-1985, published in 1986. This is a more substantial volume than the original with 350 pages. It covers the great modern period of the club when they won 11 county senior hurling finals since 1992, as well as numerous other finals. Written on a year by year basis the information is very accessible. Each year starts with the officers elected for the year, then progresses to senior hurling, followed by all the other grades, adult and juvenile and finishes with any ballads or poems composed during the year and obituaries. Program makers of the future will thank the history committee under the chairmanship of Paddy O'Brien, who did the work. The book was printed by the Nenagh Guardian and retails for €15.

The Rattler

One of the publishing events of the year was The Rattler Mickey Byrne Tipperary Hurling Legend by Michael Dundon and the Byrne Family. This book attracted huge publicity and brought an overflow crowd to the Anner Hotel for the launch in May. The book does justice to Mickey because it's as much about the man as it is about his hurling. The earlier part is devoted to his litany of quips and stories and this drags the reader into the nitty-gritty of his hurling story. It will be of interest to readers to learn that the name 'The Rattler' was not earned from the sound of ribcages rattling as a result of contact with Mickey on the hurling field but rather from the name of a contemporary baddy in cowboy films, that Mickey used to side with, when he was growing up. One of the strong features of this book are the pictures.People of Mickey's vintage were not well-served with cameras and photographs are few and far between. However, the editors must have scoured the highways and byways to come up with the large number of images that pepper this production. All of them may not be of the best quality but they make a big impact in the book and add to the larger than life subject. Micheal O Muircheartaigh, another larger than life character, was along to launch the book, many hurlers from the period also attended and all together made it a night to remember. The book is a fitting tribute to the hurling legend, who has a record of achievement that is unlikely to be ever equalled in having won 14 county senior hurling medals, as well as many All-Ireland, Railway Cup and others. The book retails for €20 and the proceeds of the sale went to charity.

The Runaí

The sub-title of this book by Susan Max on Tommy Barrett is '50 Years of G.A.A. Memories'. It was launched to a full house in the Sarsfields' Social Centre, Thurles on November 11, coinciding with Ireland's play-off game with Estonia in the European Cup! The launch was done by the very eminent, past president of the association, Peter Quinn, who developed a good rapport with Tommy over the course of the years. The book emphasises Tommy's republican side from his birth in Killenaule in 1924 and his great love of the G.A.A., expressed in his close involvement with the association since he arrived in Thurles in the early fifties. This is a beautifully produced book, with an outstanding photograph of Tommy on the front cover, very readable print and well-told by Susan Max. If I have any complaint it is the shortage of photographs. There is a good representative sample but I thought there should be more. The proceeds of the book, after expenses, will go to the hospice movement. It retails for €20.

Ardfinnan Club G.A.A. History

It's always the same around Christmas. Books come thick and fast and we had two in one week during the last week of November. The first of these was the 'Ardfinnan G.A.A. History 1910-2010' by Micheal O'Meara and it was launched by G.A.A. President, Christy Cooney in Ardfinnan Community Hall on November 23. The hurling side of the parish, Ballybacon-Grange, recorded its history in a slim volume in 1984. This is a much more substantial production of 360 pages. and it traces the football history of the parish over the century. It also recognises the achievements of the hurlers over the period because there is always a big overlap of players. The front cover of the book features the 1910 football team, the first photograph of any team from the club, and a good clear picture it is also. There are many great stories in this book and one of the greatest is the first county senior final in 1935. Like all clubs there are plenty of famous families who had contributed down the decades and the two most prominent players to wear the jersey were Babs Keating and Brendan Cummins. The book retails for €45 and is only available from the club.

The Greatest Hurling Story Ever Told

This is the sub-title to the biography of John Doyle, written by John Harrington and published by Irish Sports Publishing for €15.99. It contains about 300 pages. It was launched in the Anner Hotel, Thurles on November 24 by Michael Maher, the only one left of Hell's Kitchen without a biography. I heard of a Kilkenny man who saw the blurb on a poster about the launch in Phil Murray's pub in Upperchurch and exhaled in disdain at the arrogance of the claim! I suppose it does hurt black and amber followers to hear such claims from the natives of the 'Home of Hurling'. Incidentally Upperchurch is the home of the author, John Harrington, and he brought his professional training as a journalist to the writing of this book. It is all the more readable for that. It was a brave task to take on the writing of the biography of a hurler who strode the stage of Tipperary hurling like a collossus for over two decades. On the other hand it was most important that such a figure be written about and we must thank John Harrington for his fine achievement. The book retails for €15.99.

I would like also to mention two annual publications, the Shannon Rovers publication on the year just past and the Roscrea production called The Year in Red. Both are important in recording the achievements of the club and continue to exhibit a high standard of production.
Outside Publications

One of the biggest books to come my way during the year is Clare G.A.A. - The Club Scene 1887-2010, a massive tome of close to 900 pages. Compiled by Seamus O'Reilly, a regular photographer at matches in Semple Stdium and the owner/editor of the Clare County Express, it covers the Clare senior hurling and football championships from the beginning. A compact book it tells the number of teams that participated in each championship, the progress to the final and a detailed account of the final, including the names of the finalists. There are also pictures of the winners, where these exist, and other interesting club photographs. This is a great reference work, the product of many hours of research and a tribute to the author. The book is available for €20.

The People's History

Last year saw the publication of one of the most stunning books on the G.A.A. entitled The People's History. It outlined how Gaelic games and the social world which revolves around the Association, has shaped the lives of generations of Irish people at home and abroad. If you didn't buy a copy at the time, do so before it goes out of print. It retails for €29.99.

This year there is a sequel to this book called The G.A.A. County by County. People and place, sport and identity lie at the heart of this book, telling the story of how the GAA has left a unique imprint on every Irish county and Irish communities overseas. Organised county by county, the highs and lows of on-field activity are charted and the various forces that have shaped the personality of the GAA across each county – social, economic, geographic and political – are examined. With a compelling mix of text, images (many previously unseen) and first-hand accounts from participants in the GAA Oral History project, this is a seamless blend of the scholarly and the popular, providing fascinating insights into why the GAA has developed as it has in different places. It contains 432 pages and retails for €29.99.

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship 2010 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2011

The County Senior Hurling Championship 2010

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2011

 

Thurles Sarsfields justified their favourite's tag with a comprehensive win over Clonoulty-Rossmore in the county senior hurling final played in murky and damp conditions at Semple Stadium on October 31. The smallness of the crowd, the second lowest in twenty years, was an indication of how the general public expected things to go. Clonoulty had done nothing during the year to indicate that they would pose a serious problem to the star-studded Sarsfields side. The only hope for them was to produce the top class performance that the team seemed capable of but hadn't delivered during the year. As it turned out there was no inspirational performance and, apart from the ten minutes before half-time, Clonoulty did not threaten the Sarsfields, whose four county senior players delivered fine performances on the day. The game itself never reached any great heights of enjoyment and the subdued crowd were probably happy when the final whistle sounded.

Similar Format to Last year

The format of the county senior hurling championship remained essentially the same in 2010 as it had been in 2009. There were a number of voices raised against the increase in the number of senior teams in the county but they didn't carry much volume. The championship was divided into two competitions, the Dan Breen Cup and the O Riain Cup. All teams that made it to the divisional semi-finals qualified for the former while all the remaining teams took part in the latter competition.

There was a bit of variation on 2009 with thirty-two rather than thirty teams taking part, as 2009 intermediate champions, Carrick Davins, and new combination team, Galtee Rovers/Sean Treacys, were added. The voices raised against this format wondered where it would all stop as the number of senior teams increased every year and the number of intermediate teams declined. The option open to any senior team to relegate to intermediate level, which was allowed in the 2008 format, wasn't taken up by any club.

The granting of entry to the Dan Breen Cup to the finalists of the O Riain Cup continued. Nenagh Eire Óg and Loughmore-Castleiney were the two clubs involved. In order to accommodate them, they were allowed in at Round 2. Round 1 brought together the eight beaten divisional semi-finalists and the four beaten finalists in a playoff of six games. The six winners were joined by the two O Riain Cup finalists in Round 2 to produce four winners. The four winners played the four division champions in Round 3 to produce the semi-finalists.

As stated above thirty-two teams in all participated in the senior hurling championship 11 from the North, 8 from the Mid, 7 from the West and 6 from the South. The sixteen teams who didn't qualify for the divisional semi-finals entered the O Riain Cup, Round 1

The teams that qualified for Round 1 of the McCarthy Cup were the eight beaten divisional semi-finalists and the four beaten finalists. The losing semi-finalists were Kickhams and Galtee/Treasys from the west, Mullinahone and Carrick Davins from the south, Upperchurch-Drombane and Holycross-Ballycahill from the mid, and Burgess and Kildangan from the north.

Beaten Divisional Finalists

The beaten finalists in the south were Killenaule, who lost, 1-16 to 2-11, to Carrick Swan. The latter bridged a ten-year gap to claim their 22nd South senior hurling final in an exciting encounter at Fethard on August 22. Killenaule led by 0-8 to 0-7 at the break but the Swan had the greater reserves in the second half and deserved their two-point victory.

Eire Óg lost out to Clonoulty Rossmore in the West final, played at Sean Treacy Park on the same day. Clonoulty had nine points to spare at the end, having led by 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval, and thoroughly deserved their victory, which gave them a fourth-in-a-row title. Defending champions Drom Inch lost to Thurles Sarsfields by 1-16 to 2-11 in the Mid final at Templemore on September 19. Sarsfields led by 1-10 to 1-6 at half-time in a tight encounter, which went down to the wire before they could claim their 41st title.

Borris-Ileigh went down to Toomevara by 1-12 to 0-13 in the north final, played at Nenagh on September 19. This was a close game in which Borris-Ileigh held a one point lead, on a scoreline of 0-6 to 0-5, at the interval but Toomevara just about deserved their two-point victory in the end.

Round 1

Four of the Round 1 games were played on the weekend of September 18/19 and two on September 23. There was a double bill at Boherlahan on the 18th in which Galtee/Treacys defeated Carrick Davins by 1-13 to 1-9 and Upperchuch-Drombane had an easy win over Killenaule by 1-19 to 0-9. On the following day at Holycross, Kildangan defeated Eire Óg Annacarty by 3-13 to 1-15, while Burgess defeated Holycross-Ballycahill by 1-20 to 0-15 at Borris-Ileigh.

The two games on the 23rd were played under lights at Semple Stadium. In the first game Borris-Ileigh proved too good for Kickhams, defeating them by 1-20 to 0-8, while Mullinahone had a good victory over Drom Inch by 2-15 to 1-12.

Round 2

The six winners in Round 1 were joined by the finalists in the O Riain Cup, Nenagh Éire Óg and Loughmore/Castleiney, to produce four games in Round 2. These games were played on the weekend of September 26/27. The two games on Saturday were played at Templemore. Kildangan came out on top by 3-15 to 2-13 against Galtee/Treacys. Burgess got the better of Upperchurch-Drombane by 1-21 to 0-14.

The two games on Sunday were played at Semple Stadium. Mullinahone took another important scalp when they defeated Nenagh Eire Óg by 2-15 to 1-15, while Loughmore-Castleiney got the better of neighbours, Borris-Ileigh, by 1-16 to 1-13.

Quarter-Finals

All was now set for the quarter-finals of the championship with the four winners of Round 2 facing the four divisional champions, The four games were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of 2/3 October.

On Saturday Carrick Swans played Kildangan. A 59th minute goal by sub Brian Kelly helped the North side to a 1-14 to 1-9 win over the south champions. Kildangan led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval and just kept in front during the second-half but a Danny O'Hanlon goal for the Swans in the 57th minute left only a point between the sides. However, in a dramatic finish Kelly turned a Tommy Connor delivery into the net to clinch Kildangan's place in the last four.

The second quarter-final was a much more one-sided affair. In this game a Timmy Hammersley inspired Clonoulty-Rossmore had an easy win by 2-21 to 1-13 over Burgess. Hammersley scored 1-11, 1-9 from play, as the winners recovered from a bad start to finish in style. Burgess led by 1-7 to 0-4 after Damien O'Brien's 17th minute goal. This score inspired Clonoulty rather than Burgess and goals by Tom Butler in the 19th minute and Hammersley five minutes later helped Clonoulty to a 2-9 to 1-7 interval lead. There was only one team in the second half with the outstanding Hammersley scoring eight points to help Clonoulty to a comfortable victory.

On Sunday Toomevara faced Mullinahone in the first of the remaining quarter-finals. Mullinahone came into the game with expectations on the back of impressive victories over Drom Inch and Nenagh Eire Óg. However, they were a disappointment on the day and failed to match Toomevara in most facets of the game. In the end Tommevara well deserved their sixteen point victory on a scoreline of 1-26 to 0-13.

Despite trailing 0-3 to 0-1 in the opening minutes, Toomevara upped gears and led by five points, 0-12 to 0-7, at the break. Within four minutes of the restart they led by double scores and even though Mullinahone fought back to trail by four, it was all in vain.

Toomevara raised the pace and struck ten points to Mullinahone's two before Willie Ryan sealed their victory with a fine goal in the 29th minute. One of the stars of Toom's victory was midfielder, Ken Dunne, who hit eight points in the course of the hour.

In the last quarter-final Thurles Sarsfields defeated Loughmore-Castleiney by 2-19 to 2-13. Sarsfields were four points adrift after five minutes but improved considerably after a slow start and led by 0-10 to 0-8 at the interval. Denis Maher was excellent, grabbing four points from play and he was ably assisted by and impressive Ger 'Redser' O'Grady.

Sarsfields hit the net within two minutes of the re-start when Lar Corbett finished off some good work by Pa Bourke. Loughmore hit back with a Liam McGrath goal but Sarsfields held a six-point advantage with ten minutes remaining, and the game appeared very much in Sarsfields hands.

A Johnny Campion goal gave Loughmore-Castleiney hope but then Sarsfields hit back quickly when Richie Ruth netted following a build-up involving Michael Cahill and Lar Corbett. In the end it was the winner's superiority in attack which was the difference between the sides.

Semi-Finals

As a result of the quarter-finals Sarsfields and Toomevara were installed as having the better chances of winning out so the draws were looked forward to with interest. As it was an open draw the two couldn't be separated and when the draw took place on the Monday after the quarter finals the two were drawn againt one another and Clonoulty-Rossmore and Kildangan were drawn in the second semi-final.

The semis were played at Semple Stadium on October 17 and expectations came to nought as the whole afternoon was a disappointment to the expectant crowd. Probably the only real excitement was reserved for the final minute of the second game, when Pa Bourke converted a controversial 20-metre free to give Thurles Sarsfields victory by one point over Toomevara, who were leading by two points at that stage. Following the score a melee erupted in the middle of the field as the tension between the sides, which had erupted twice in the course of the hour, found more ugly expression. It contrasted with the united euphoria which had enveloped the county following the double All-Ireland victory in September.

In the first game Clonoulty-Rossmore claimed the spoils by 1-19 to 1-16 despite having played second fiddle to Kildangan for long spells. The latter, All-Ireland intermediate champions in 2005, who had never won a senior title and had last qualified for one in 1938, raced into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead after five minutes, the goal from Eoin Gleeson Kildangan went further into the lead but were gradually hauled back to two points, 1-9 to 0-10, by half-time. Clonoulty had taken a long time to get into any kind of scoring rhythm but scored five crucial points during the last seven minutes of the half.

Kildangan resumed as they had during the opening of the first half and looked impressive as they went into a five-point lead. But Clonoulty dug deep and improved performances by John Heffernan and John Devane closed off Kildangan's route to goals. By the 48th minute Kildangan were still in front by 1-13 to 0-13 but then a super leap by Fiachra O'Keeffe in a crowded square, to grab a perfect delivery by John O'Neill, and finish to the net with a one-hand flick had the sides level. Building on that goal Clonoulty went on to win getting six points to Kildangan's three during the remaining minutes to leave the final score 1-19 to 1-16 at the final whistle. Clonoulty can thank goalkeeper Declan O'Dwyer who, following one slip, went on to perform extremely well making some key saves during the remainder of the game. Another major contributor to the victory was John O'Neill, who returned to some of his former glory with a dazzling display that produced four points from play.

Sarsfields Just Make It

Thurles Sarsfields qualified for the final by the minimum of margins over Toomevara on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-16. Sarsfields were favourites going into the game and justified the tag with a good start, which saw them lead by 0-7 to 0-3 after the first quarter.. Four players contributed to Sarsfields total while Kenny Dunne had done all the scoring for Toomevara. The latter had the better of the second quarter, during which Dunne added five more points to Sarsfields two to leave only a point between the sides, 0-9 to 0-8, at the interval. It was a poor game livened up only by virtue of a couple of skirmishes, which resulted in several yellow cards.

Toomevara resumed better and had gone into a 0-11 to 0-9 lead within five minutes. The introduction of Eoin Brislane at full-forward improved their chances and they began to play long and direct ball up the middle. He was off target with a number of shots initially and during this period Sarsfields had re-established their momentum and retaken the lead, 0-15 to 0-13, by the 48th minute. At this point Brislane collected a long delivery from Benny Dunne before coolly finishing to the net. It put Toomevara back in front but crucially it led to the red-carding of Redser O'Grady as a result of an incident following the goal. Everything seemed set up for a Toomevara march to victory. However,Thurles retained their composure and with Pa Bourke, Michael Gleeson, Michael Cahill and Padraic Maher driving things on, they levelled matters twice in the remaining minutes. Then in the 59th minute John O'Brien gave Toomevara the lead point and Brislane landed another on the hour mark. Toomevara were denied a likely victory when in the 63rd minute Denis Maher was deemed to be fouled and from the resultant 20-metre free Pa Bourke grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat for Sarsfields and gave them the chance of retaining their title. Toomevara did have one final opportunity to rescue the game when Paddy O'Brien hit a wonderful sideline puck from fifty-five metres but Paraic Maher cleared the danger and the final whistle blew seconds later.

Thurles Retain Title

Thurles Sarsfields won back-to-back county senior titles for the first time since 1965 when they defeated Clonoulty-Rossmore by 1-16 to 1-7 at Semple Stadium on October 31. Sarsfields were out of traps very quickly and were six points to nil in front after thirteen minutes. Their forwards had the Clonoulty backs at sixes and sevens and it looked as if Sarsfields were going to win in a canter. However, Clonoulty eventually got their show on the road with the inspiration coming from captain and wing-forward, Tom Butler, who hit over a hat-trick of points. Timmy Hammersley added a point and, in the 29th minute, John O'Neill goaled from a twenty-metre free to leave just two points between the sides, 0-9 to 1-4, at half-time. It should have been closer but for poor free-taking by Clonoulty.

Any hope that Clonoulty were about to create a surprise evaporated early in the second half. A great block by Padraig Heffernan, denied Lar Corbett a certain goal. Denis Maher, who had moved in centreforward, began to impose himself on the game and hit three fine points. Aidan McCormack, who came on as a sub, added two more and then in the 46th minute, centrefield Gleeson, hit a pin point accurate shot into the hand of Corbett, who duly finished it to the net. The score put Sarsfields practically out of sight at 1-14 to 1-5. However, Clonoulty did not die easily. They created three goal-scoring opportunities in the final minutes of the game. A combination of good goal-keeping and great defence contrived to prevent a last minute shock and when the final whistle sounded Sarsfields had nine points to spare on a scoreline of 1-16 to 1-7.

Sarsfields have a good outfit with a lot of talent round the field and they will go into the Munster championship with the confidence to go one better than they have before. If they have a problem it's the tendency to go out of games in which they seem to have total control and they fail to put teams away when they're on top. It was a frustrating final for Clonoulty. They too have a lot of talent but they failed to deliver to their true potential during the year and failed again in the final.

Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack,Michael Cahill, Kevin O'Gorman, David Maher, Barry O'Dwyer, Padraic Maher, David Kennedy, Michael Gleeson, Alan Kennedy, Stephen Lillis (0-2), Lar Corbett (1-0), Denis Maher (0-4), Richie Ruth (0-2), Pa Bourke (0-4), Johnny Enright (0-2). Subs: Alan McCormack (0-2) for Johnny Enright, Jim Corbett for Alan Kennedy, John Joe Burke for for Richie Ruth, Michael O'Brien for David Maher, Patrick Leahy for Barry O'Dwyer. Others: Bill McCormack, Garry Mernagh, Stephen Maher, John Maher, Tony Ruth, Philip O'Dwyer, John Lawlor, Eoin Russell, David O'Dwyer, Michael Collins, Michael Russell, Pa Dunne, Rory O'Shea.

Clonoulty-Rossmore: Declan O'Dwyer, Liam Devane, John Heffernan, Kevin Horan, Joey O'Keeffe, John Devane, Padraig Heffernan, Sean O'Connor, John O'Keeffe, Tom Butler (capt.) (0-3), Michael Heffernan, Timmy Hammersley (0-3), Fiachra O'Keeffe, Thomas Butler, John O'Neill (1-1). Subs: Anthony Kearney for Liam Devane, Paudie White for Sean O'Connor, Conor Ryan for Michael Heffernan, Sean O'Connor for Fiachra O'Keeffe. Others: Diarmuid Cullen, Jason Forrestal, Micheal Coen, Martin Sadlier, Conor Hammersley, Brian Ryan, Paddy Ryan, John Heffernan, Andrew Quirke, Niall Shanahan, Donncha Ryan, Kieran Ryan, Aaron Ryan, Kieran Hammersley, Aidan White, Davy White, Jamie Moloney, Seamus Carew.

Referee: Keith Delahunty (Moyle Rovers)

Man of the Match Award: Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

Attendance: 6,224.

 

Seamus Ó Riain Cup

Sixteen teams qualified for the Seamus Ó Riain Cup as a result of their failure to qualify for the semi-finals in their respective divisions. There were seven teams from the north, Roscrea, Monegall, Nenagh Eire Óg, Templederry, Kilruane-MacDonaghs, Lorrha, Portroe. The south had two qualifiers, Ballingarry and Ballybacon-Grange. There were four from the mid, J. K. Brackens, Loughmore-Castleiney, Boherlahan-Dualla and Moycarkey-Borris, and three from the west, Cappawhite, Cashel King-Cormacs and Golden-Kilfeacle.

As a matter of interest six of the seven north teams survived the first round, the only failure was Moneygall who were beaten by Loughmore-Castleiney. Of the four mid teams Loughmore-Castleiney was the only survivor. Neither of the two south teams made it to the second round and Cashel King Cormacs was the only team from the three from the west.

The first round games were played over the period July 16 to August 2. The eight teams that came through were Roscrea, Cashel King Cormacs, Loughmore-Castleiney. Nenagh Eire Óg, Templederry Kenyons, Kilruane MacDonaghs, Lorrha and Portroe. There was an open draw for the quarter-finals, which were played on Monday and Tuesday, 13/14 September. All the games were played at Semple Stadium.

Quarter-Finals

On a miserable Monday evening Templederry scored a comprehensive win over Portroe by 2-24 to 2-12. Star of the winner's performance was Eanna Murray, who scored 0-13 of his side's tally. It was an even game in the first half and Portroe led by a point at the interval, 1-9 to 0-11, but Templederry took over in the second half and deserved their comprehensive victory.

In the second game on the same evening Nenagh Eire Óg strolled to victory over an out-of-depth Lorrha. They led by 1-11 to 0-3 at half-time and blew Lorrha away in the second half, adding 3-8 to Lorrha's 0-1. Kevin Tucker scored 0-11 for the winners.

None of the newspapers carried reports of the remaining two quarter-final games, which took place on the following night. They weren't in time for the September 16 edition of the papers and since the semi-finals were to follow at the weekend they would have been appearing at the same time as the semi-final reports. So, a most unusual situation of two senior hurling games not reported. In the first of these Loughmore-Castleiney had a comprehensive victory over Cashel King Cormacs of 5-22 to 0-20 and, in the second, Roscrea surprised Kilruane MacDonaghs, defeating them by 2-19 to 1-11.

Semi-Finals

The semi-finals were played at separate venues on September 19. Loughmore-Castleiney defeated Roscrea by 2-13 to 2-13 at Toomevara. The winners were five points behind with fourteen minutes remaining but they put in a storming finish with goals from Noel McGrath and Cian Hennessy to claim a place in the final. Roscrea led by 1-7 to 1-6 at the interval and had pushed on to lead by 2-9 to 1-7 as a result of their second goal in the 46th minute, but they were outscored by 2-6 to 0-4 in the last quarter of the game.

The second semi-final between Nenagh Éire Óg and Templederry Kenyons, which was played at Dolla, was in no way as exciting. In fact Nenagh had a clearcut win by 0-24 to 1-6. Nenagh's victory was facilitated by the dismissal of the Templederry corner-back, Paudie Ryan, after twenty-six minutes. The winners led by 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time. Templederry got some hope when Matthew Ryan converted a penalty in the 48th minute but it was Nenagh who pushed on to a facile victory by fifteen points.

The Final

Some might claim that this competition was debased by giving the finalists entre to the Dan Breen Cup rather than allowing it to stand on its own strength. It was further debased by the decision of Loughmore-Castleiney to field a depleted side on the day, giving priority to their date with Aherlow in the senior football final the following Sunday.

As the curtain-raiser to the Dan Breen final it provided little in the way of entertainment for a sparse crowd as a rampant Nenagh Eire Óg easily overcame the feeble challenge of the Mid representatives. After a dominant first quarter, Nenagh Eire Óg relaxed a bit but still led by double scores, 2-8 to 1-4, at the interval. The supremacy of Nenagh was even more pronounced in the second half as they added 1-9 to Loughmore's 0-2 and finished a non-event on a scoreline of 3-17 to 1-6.

Nenagh Éire Óg: Willie Bolger, Daire Quinn, Shane Maher, Mark Flannery, Hugh Flannery, Richie Flannery, Noel Moloney, John Flannery Alan Kelly, Paul Ryan (1-4), Hugh Moloney (capt.), 0-2, Michael Heffernan (0-1), Kevin Tucker (0-3), John Slattery, Pearse Morris (2-1). Subs: Brian Quinn for Hugh Flannery, Thomas Heffernan (0-1) for Kevin Tucker, Mark Tuite (0-1) for Hugh Moloney, Eoin Fitzgibbon for John Flannery, John Brennan (0-1) for John Slattery. Others: Michael McNamara, Michael Hynes, Eddie Tucker, Brian Maxwell, Stephen Ryan, Sean Geaney, Sean Healy, David Cleary, Mark Grace, Donncha Heffernan, Joe Geaney, Edward Darcy.

Loughmore Castleiney: Shane Nolan, Kevin Johnson, Eoin Ryan, Martin Ryan, Dara Butler, John Meagher, Henry Maher, Paddy Moynihan (1-0), Eamon Connolly (0-1), Martin Gleeson, Seamus Bohan (0-4), Shane Hennessy, Darren Danagher, James Connolly Johnny Campion (0-1). Subs: Ger Morris for Darren Danagher, Pauric Egan for Johnny Campion, Brian McGrath for Shane Hennessy, Kieran Kiely for James Connolly. Others: Kevin Stapleton, Thomas Quinn, Richard Maher, Eamonn McGrath, Kevin O'Connell, Craig Cleary.

Referee: Phil Ryan (Kickhams)

Man of the Match: Daire Quinn (Nenagh Eire Óg).

 

 

Co. Senior Hurling Championship 2010 at a Glance

 

Round 1

18/09/2010 Boherlahan Galtee / Treacys 1.13 Carrick Davins 1.09 Denis Curtis

18/09/2010 Boherlahan Upperchurch Drombane 1.19 Killenaule 0.09 Ger Fitzpatrick

19/09/2010 Holycross Kildangan 3.13 Éire Óg Anacarty 1.15 Keith Delahunty

19/09/2010 Borrisoleigh Burgess 1.20 Holycross Ballycahill 0.15 Sean Bradshaw

23/09/2010 S Stadium Borris-Ileigh 1.20 Knockavilla Kickhams 0.08 Johnny Ryan

23/09/2010 S Stadium Mullinahone 2.15 Drom & Inch 1.12 Richie Barry Round 2

26/09/2010 Templemore Kildangan 3.15 Galtee / Treacys 2.13 Pat Ivors

26/09/2010 Templemore Burgess 1.21 Upperchurch Drombane 0.14 Noel Cosgrave

27/09/2010 S Stadium Mullinahone 2.15 Nenagh Eire Óg 1.15 Fergal Horgan

27/09/2010 S Stadium Loughmore Castleiney 1.16 Borris-Ileigh 1.13 Seamus Roche

 

Quarter Finals

02/10/2010 S Stadium Kildangan 1.14 Carrick Swans 1.09 Johnny Ryan

02/10/2010 S Stadium Clonoulty Rossmore 2.21 Burgess 1.13 Noel Cosgrave

03/10/2010 S Stadium Toomevara 1.26 Mullinahone 0.13 Richie Barry

03/10/2010 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 2.19 Loughmore Castleiney 2.13 Tommy Ryan

 

Semi Finals

17/10/2010 S Stadium Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-19 Kildangan 1-16 W Clohessy

17/10/2010 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 1-17 Toomevara 1-16 Seamus Roche

 

Final

S. Stadium Thurles 1-16 Clonoulty-Rossmore 1-7 Keith Delahunty

 

 

Seamus Ó Riain Cup 2010 at a Glance

 

Round 1

16/07/2010 The Ragg Roscrea 1.18 Cappawhite 2.10 Noel Cosgrave

18/07/2010 Holycross Cashel King Cormacs 3.16 JK Brackens 1.20 TP Sullivan

30/07/2010 Borrisoleigh Loughmore Castleiney 4.18 Moneygall 3.10 Sean Bradshaw

30/07/2010 Drombane Nenagh Éire Óg 4.30 Golden Kilfeacle 2.04 Tommy Ryan

01/08/2010 Templemore Ballingarry 1.14 Templederry 1.17 Richie Barry

01/08/2010 Templemore Kilruane MacDonaghs 4.20 Boherlahan Dualla 3.17 John O'Brien

01/08/2010 The Ragg Ballybacon G 1.13 Lorrha Dorrha 2.11 Martin Ryan

02/08/2010 Templederry Portroe 1.21 Moycarkey Borris 1.19 Ger Fitzpatrick

 

Quarter Final

13/09/2010 Semple Stadium Templederry Kenyons 2.24 Portroe 2.12 Seamus Roche

13/09/2010 Semple Stadium Nenagh Éire Óg 4.19 Lorrha 0.04 John O'Brien

14/09/2010 Semple Stadium Loughmore Castleiney 5.22 Cashel King Cormacs 0.20 Pat Gibson

14/09/2010 Semple Stadium Roscrea 2.19 Kilruane MacDonaghs 1.11 Phil Ryan

 

Semi Final

19/09/2010 Toomevara Loughmore Castleiney 3.13 Roscrea 2.13 Fergal Horgan

19/09/2010 Dolla Nenagh Éire Óg 0.25 Templederry Kenyons 1.06 Noel Cosgrave

 

Final

Semple Stadium Nenagh Éire Óg 3-18 Loughmore Castleiney 1-6 Phil Ryan

 

 

Recent and Forthcoming Publications - 2011 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2011, pp 104-107

Recent and Forthcoming Publications - 2011

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2011, pp 104-107

 

Local G.A.A. publications are scarce on the ground this year. Jimmy Morris got the ball rolling with the launch of The Morris Code at the Hibernian Hotel, Nenagh on September 30 with no less an eminence that the president of the association, Christy Cooney, to do the honours. Born in Borrisokane, Jimmy immersed himself in the G.A.A. in his native parish, first as a player and later as an administrator before moving to Nenagh in 1964 where he continued his involvement with the Eire Óg club. Throwing in his lot with his new club was natural because, as he says in the book 'Nenagh would now be my home and I felt it only right and proper that whatever I had to contribute, be it little or great, should be given to the club attached to the town where I now lived.' This personal memoir is about Jimmy's attachment to the G.A.A. over many years – he is now 81 years of age – but it's also about what the G.A.A. has done for people and communities all over Ireland.

This book is a lively read, written in conjunction with Gerry Slevin, it started out as an article and evolved into a book and is on sale for €20. It is published by the Nenagh Guardian.

A significant publication is the history of the the Galtee Rovers/St. Peacaun's Club, which was launched on December 4. Too late to review for this publication, it is the work of Seamus McCarthy and Liam Bergin. The significance of this book is that it includes portraits of a number of national figures, such as St. George McCarthy, who was one of the founders of the G.A.A.. William Cullinane, who was an M.P. and an early referee in the G.A.A., Darby Ryan the Bansha Bard, etc. The club is also the home of the famous referee, John Moloney, and the recently retired Governor of Mountjoy Jail, John Lonergan. As well the model for the Tipperary Hurler, the famous painting by Sean Keating, is none other than Ben O'Hickey, also from the parish. We look forward to the book.

On Friday, 11th December, 2009, too late for the 2010 Yearbook, the Cahir G.A.A. Club held the launch of its club history entitled Memories and Achievements, 124 years of the G.A.A. in Cahir. The launch was performed by Sean Kelly M.E.P and former G.A.A. President. A large crowd of present and past club members supported the function. There was a special welcome for John F. O'Donnell who had played such an important role in the revival of the club in the 1940s and had as a player and officer of the club made a lifetime's contribution to the club. His fellow life president Willie Kiely was also present. Willie also had played a significant role in club administration over many decades. Tom Kelly who was on the club's first championship winning team, i.e. the minor footballers of 1943, was also present. Indeed every decade of the club's history was represented by former players from the late 1930s to the present. The night was kindly sponsored by Gerry Enright, of Eurospar, Dungarvan. Gerry was a former club player and had also represented Tipperary in all grades of football and indeed was a Munster Railway Cup player.

The book was compiled by Colm O'Flaherty and Mattie Hussey from a variety of sources e.g. press-cuttings, minute books etc. Extensive use was made of the Thurles library local-studies facilities, where extracts from past local newspapers were accessed. The book also contained almost 300 photographs. However, a unique feature of the book was the contribution from captains of county winning teams. This ranged from John O'Meara, captain of the county minor winning team of 1953 to Liam Meehan captain of the county minor winning team of 2008. All these contributions were unique in their style and content and gave an insight into life during each period recalled.

The McNamee Award

The value of the club's history was recognised at national level, with the award for "the best G.A.A. history publication 2009" As 2009 was the 125th anniversary of the founding of the G.A.A., there were significantly more entries in this category, so the award was all the more meritorious. The citation for the award was as follows

"As well as the men who wrote the background of the story of the presence of the G.A.A. in Cahir most recent decades were illuminated by the contribution of successive generations of players and officials."

From the lovely piece written by John O'Meara (who was born in 1936) to the brilliant funny gossipy contribution on the 2003 Tipperary senior football winning team, there is a wonderful chorus of opinions" it concluded.

Club representatives attended the awards night function in Croke Park, which was hosted by the G.A.A. President Christy Cooney. Club representatives were also guests of the G.A.A. at the inter-county games in Croke Park i.e. Dublin versus Louth and Kildare V Derry.

Secrets of Kerry . . . A Captain's Story: Celebrating almost a Century of Kerry All Ireland Triumphs 1903 – 2009 is a DVD rather than a book and that fact may make it all the more interesting.

For the past two and a half years, one of Ireland's most knowledgeable GAA experts, Award Winning Radio Kerry Broadcaster Weeshie Fogarty, together with close friend Christy Riordan, C/R Videos Caherciveen, have been working on a major project, the biggest GAA project of its kind, documenting the triumphs and near misses of Kerry's journeys to Croke Park since 1903, when Kerry won it's very first All-Ireland championship.

The project, a DVD set called Secrets of Kerry . . . A Captain's Story is now completed and was launched in Cáitíns Pub, Kells on Friday 22nd October and at The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney Tuesday 26th October.

Each of the 36 Kerry wins and some of the near misses have been documented by the captains of the Kerry teams – in their own words – or in the words of their closest living relatives in a 4 hour documentary, that spans 2 DVD's of the highest quality production. The project includes some amazing stories with over 100 interviews in total – tales never heard before, well known legends brought to life and behind the scene dramas of the various journeys to the All Ireland, the battle on the pitch and what happened to the various captains after the cup was lifted, including the desolation of the near misses since 1903.

Fogarty and Riordan trace each of the 32 winning captains, 16 of whom are still alive. Of the captains that have passed on, their relatives recount their story after each of their famous wins.

Updating Club Histories

There has never been a better time for updating club histories. Many existing histories were written during the eighties and need updating badly. Toomevara are already engaged in updating their history which was brought out in 1986. So also are St. Mary's, Clonmel.

What makes the work so much easier today are the outstanding records that are available. Three of the divisions now have histories and they give the general picture of the story of Gaelic Games in their areas. They include the achievements of every club in a general way. The next important source are divisional reports, compiled by secretaries at convention time. They contain a wealth of information on games played in the division during the previous year. Of particular importance are the dates of games, which allow the researcher to go directly to the match report in the local newspaper. There are the local newspapers, whose coverage of games has expanded dramatically and, whereas every game won't be covered in detail, there will be some reference to every game. All adult games are covered in detail. Then there is the County G.A.A. Yearbook, which strives annually to give as comprehensive coverage as possible to all G.A.A. activity in the county.. Many clubs will have efficient secretaries who will keep a detailed account of what transpired during the year, but will also produce a comprehensive record of the club's achievements at convention time. Such reports can be another valuable resource. Since we live in a visual age any club history must include plenty of pictures. The club may be lucky to have a good snapper, who attends most of its games. If they are not so lucky we are blessed with many photographers in every division, who have comprehensive collections of photographs. Overall then the material for club histories is there in abundance. All that is required is someone with the ability to bring it all together in a decent club history. This might be the time to look around to see if you have such a person in your midst. There are many educated people around and some of them are unemployed.

Other Publications

One of the most important contributions to our knowledge of what is happening in the hurling world is The Agony and the Ecstasy by Damien Tiernan. This book provides an account of the emergence of Waterford as a major hurling force in the late 1990s and the endeavours of the county's hurlers to win an All-Ireland over the last decade. This is a tale of a team that produced outstanding displays, usually one a year, but were usually denied crucial victories by the narrowest of margins. Many may well believe now that some of the greatest hurlers of our generation may never win the elusive Celtic Cross. Tiernan's book recounts the many selectorial blunders, organisational cock-ups, misunderstandings, misfortune and inability to learn, which dogged the team. Because the book is based predominantly on the testimony of players, there are contradictory versions of events. What comes across is the sheer difficulty team management faces in melding into a single fighting unit the great variety of individuals who make up a county senior panel – people who differ in terms of age, experience, ability, personality, education, social background and urban/rural upbringing. The book seems to indicate that Justin McCarthy failed in this very task concentrating on what he regarded as his primary duty getting the players to master the skills of the game and performing them to the best of their abilities on the day of a match.

A related book is If you Don't Know Me, Don't Judge Me by Dan Shanahan. Dan Shanahan is a legend in modern hurling, a three-time All Star and winner of 'Player of the Year' in 2007. His time as an inter-county senior hurler coincided with the remarkable revival in Waterford's fortunes, which saw them win the Munster final four times in the last decade. He's probably best remembered for his refusal to shake Justin McCarthy's hand after being taken off in the Munster championship of 2008, though that episode me be eclipsed by his goal in extra time in the 2010 Munster final. The title of the book is taken from a tatoo on Dan's arm.

Another Waterford book is My Father: A Hurling Revolutionary by Conor Power. This is a biography of one of the greatest goalkeepers from one of the most golden eras of hurling, written from the perspective of his son, the journalist Conor Power. Many readers will recall seeing that great photograph of Ned Power overleaping Christy Ring to grab the ball in the 1959 Munster championship. Having played at the highest level from 1957 until 1966, Ned Power won one All-Ireland medal, three Munster medals, an Oireachtas medal and a National League medal with his native Waterford. But it was as a skills coach and motivator that he made a lasting impact on the hurling scene. From the very beginnings of formal coaching at Gormanstown in the mid-1960s, Ned was a revolutionary bringing change firstly and most dramatically to his native Tallow and then to many more places he visited.

More Books

Other books of interest include My Club by Christy O'Connor who followed St. Joseph's Doora-Barefield for a season in 2009 as they looked to re-establish themselves as force in Clare hurling. One of Clare's finest hurlers Tony Griffin tells his remarkable story and his gruelling charity cycle across Canada in Screaming at the Sky. 100 G.A.A. Greats by John Scally celebrates the most significant players the Gaelic games have brought us in their 125-year history. He selects those footballers, hurlers, managers and camogie players who have lit up Irish sport, becoming national treasures in the process, and highlights their remarkable skills.

For 16 years, Darragh Ó Se has worn the number 8 jersey for Gaelic football's most celebrated county. With six All-Ireland medals, he is the most decorated of the present batch of Kerry footballers. Darragh's name is synonymous with his county's unrelenting appetite for success, but throughout his illustrious career he has held his counsel, allowing his football to do the talking. He now claims to reveal all that his tight lips kept quiet over his playing career in Darragh: My Story.

Voices from Croke Park by Sean Potts is a series of articles by leading G.A.A. writers on great hurlers and footballers, who have exhibited their talents in the great arena. The emphasis is more on football and there is no Tipperary representative.

A special word of praise for Ger Corbett and company, who excelled themselves once again with their programme for the county senior hurling final. This publication gets better by the year and is a wonderful keepsake for the winners, Thurles Sarsfields.

Finally, many readers will be interested in GAA Gold, an important archive of All-Ireland hurling finals from the 1950s, which has been compiled by the Irish Film Institute from a series of films shot by the National Film Institute for distribution to cinemas.

The original films have been digitised and the sound clarified. The DVD will be of particular interest to Tipperary people as it contains four All-Irelands featuring Tipperary in the period covered, 1948 to 1959. This is the first of GAA highlights releases, and an equivalent DVD featuring football finals is due next year followed by similar discs covering the 1960s. GAA Gold is available from the IFI shop and all leading DVD retailers, priced €19.99.

A handy present for Dad or Grandad!

 

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship - 2009 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 41-47

The County Senior Hurling Championship - 2009

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 41-47

 

The Dan Breen Cup

Thurles Sarsfields won their thirtieth county senior hurling title when they defeated Drom Inch by 0-14 to 0-5 in the final at Semple Stadium on October 18. Drom Inch, who were appearing in their third final, suffered their third defeat since 2005

It was expected to be a great final, with two Mid teams contesting it. Thurles Sarsfields may have been slight favourites, some of the thinking behind it based on their superior fire power. On the other hand Drom Inch were given a chance based mainly on their impressive defeat of Toomevara in the semi-final. As well it was their third final so any first-time nerves should be absent.It was expected to be a good game with free-flowing play and a feast of scores.

In stead it was one of the worst finals for years, a game that never sprang to life. Drom Inch were dreadful and Thurles Sarsfields not much better. Most of the players, bar Padraic Maher and Michael Cahill, seem to have been inhibited by the occasion. Sarsfields adopted the tactic of a hectic workrate that closed down the opposition and gave them neither time not space to hurl at ease. This was exemplified in the play of Michael Cahill, who stuck to Seamus Callanan like a leech and prevented him from performing. Since Callanan was the main hope on which a Drom Inch victory rested, preventing him from playing was the greatest contribution to a Sarsfields victory. On this basis Cahill probably deserved the Man of the Match, doing more than anyone on the field to prevent Drom winning.

At the end of the day the quality of the game didn't make a bit of difference to the Sarsfields players. Whereas playing the game and performing well may be the noble ideal, winning is why players go out to play and in the vast number of cases it doesn't make much difference to them whether it was pretty or not.

Winning captain Johnny Enright, touched on these matters in his speech afterwards. He had no argument about it being a poor final, but there was no apology either. 
He said: "It was, but I still felt our work-rate was phenomenal, we closed them down. We missed chances, they missed chances, but it’s all about getting that cup and taking the next step forward. We lost enough good finals – I remember one that finished 3-19 to 3-16, played great and lost. You win whatever way you can, and I thought our attitude and our work-rate was fantastic today. We felt if we could match them on work-rate we had the hurlers to come through, and that’s how it turned out. This one was huge for Thurles; everyone was talking about Drom & Inch having lost in 05 and 07, no title won yet, but we lost six finals this decade, four-in-a-row early on and then last year again, so this was as important to us as it was to them, though I know the pain they’re feeling now." 


Similar Format as in 2008

The format of the county senior hurling championship remained essentially the same in 2009 as it had been in 2008. It was divided into two competitions, the Dan Breen Cup and the Seamus Ó Riain Cup. All teams that made it to the divisional semi-finals qualifed for the former while all the remaining teams took part in the latter competition.

There was a bit of variation on 2008 with thirty rather than twenty-nine teams taking part, as 2008 intermediate champions, Templederry Kenyons, joined the senior ranks. Under the new structures brought in in 2008 any club had the right to enter the senior hurling championship. With the intermediate winners advancing to senior ranks every year there may come a day when there won't any longer be an intermediate grade! On the other hand any senior team had the right to be relegated intermediate if it felt it wasn't strong enough to be in senior ranks. As of yet there are no takers of this option.

Another change from 2008 was the granting of entry to the Dan Breen Cup to the finalists of the Ó Riain Cup. This was done in order to give greater stature to the Ó Riain Cup even though there was a belief in many quarters that the competition had proven itself in 2008 and Carrick Swans' success and the euphoria it generated had established the competition as capable of standing by itself, without the prop of qualification to the Dan Breen Cup.

As a result of this change it was necessary to find a way to bring the two Ó Riain Cup finalists into the Dan Breen Cup. In 2008 the eight beaten divisional semi-finalists played the eight divisional finalists in the first round of the Dan Breen Cup. The change made in 2009, in order to allow the entry of the Ó Riain finalists, was to give recognition to the divisional winners by excluding them from rounds 1 and 2 of the Dan Breen Cup. Round 1 therefore brought together the eight beaten divisional semi-finalists and the four beaten finalists in a playoff of six games. The six winners were joined by the two Ó Riain Cup finalists in Round 2 to produce four winners. The four winners played the four division winners in Round 3 to produce the semi-finalists.

As stated above thirty teams in all participated in the senior hurling championship 11 from the North, 8 from the Mid, 6 from the West and 5 from the South. The fourteen teams who didn't qualify for the divisional semi-finals entered the Ó Riain Cup.


First Round

The first round of the Dan Breen Cup was played on the weekend of the 12/13 September. Two games were played at Boherlahan on September 12 and resulted in victories for the two North teams over two from the South. Portroe defeated Ballybacon-Grange by 3-13 to 0-19 and Toomevara defeated Carrick Swans by 3-20 to 1-10.

Four games were played on September 13, two at Templemore and two at Cashel. At Templemore Upperchurch-Drombane defeated Cappawhite by 2-18 to 0-17, and Borrisoleigh defeated neighbours and rivals, Loughmore-Castleiney by 1-20 to 0-14. At Cashel, Killenaule proved too good for Golden-Kilfeacle on a scoreline of 1-21 to 0-11. while Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kickhams by 0-18 to 1-8.


Second Round

The six winners joined the finalists in the Ó Riain Cup, Kilruane MacDonaghs and Lorrha, for the second round and this produced four games. Two of these were played at Templemore on September 19. Upperchurch-Drombane defeated Portroe by 1-16 to 0-11, and Toomevara overcame Killenaule by 4-16 to 1-14. The other two games were played on September 20. At Dolla Thurles Sarsfields defeated Kilruane MacDonaghs by 2-22 to 1-10, and Borrisoleigh defeated Lorrha by 2-16 to 1-13 at Nenagh.


Quarter-Finals

All was now set for the quarter-finals in which the winners of round two played the four divisional champions. All the divisional finals were played on August 23. In the Mid final at Holycross Drom-Inch retained their title when they weathered a great challenge from Upperchurch-Drombane, who were appearing in their first ever senior final, to win by 2-11 to 0-14 in one of the best finals of recent times.

There was also a first in the North final at Nenagh where Portroe were playing in their first North senior final. There was no dream ending for them as Nenagh Éire Óg bridged and eight-year gap to take the title comfortably on a scoreline of 2-24 to 2-12.

In the South final at Kilsheelan, Killenaule were dreaming of a third-in-a-row but had victory snatched from them in the final minute when Mullinahone sub, Donal Cody, sent over the bar for the winning point on a scorline of 1-17 to 1-16.

In the West final at Golden Clonoulty-Rossmore completed a hat-trick of titles, when they defeated Cappawhite by 2-11 to 0-12 in a game that appeared to be going Cappa's way at the interval, when they led by ten points to four.

Only one divisional champion came through the quarter-finals, which were played at Semple Stadium on the weekend of September 26/27. On the 26th Thurles Sarsfields defeated Nenagh by 1-18 to 0-18, chiefly through the good marksmanship of Pa Bourke, who hit ten points, six from play. Nenagh Éire Óg had the better of the exchanges in the first half, leading by 0-10 to 0-5 at the interval and looked likely to win, but Thurles were the superior outfit in the second-half.

Drom Inch were the only divisional champions to make it through to the semi-finals. It didn't look likely after forty-five minutes when their opponents and near neighbours, Borrisoleigh, led by 0-15 to 1-9 and looked poised for victory. But Drom Inch levelled with a goal soon after and Seamus Callanan's ability to get points when they mattered, helped them on to a 2-15 to 0-19 victory.

Toomevara proved too good for Clonoulty-Rossmore in their quarter-final. In a classy display they led by 1-10 to 1-5 at the interval, went further ahead on the resumption, were hauled back to level following a couple of goals by Clonoulty, but then reeled off some fantastic points to win comfortably by 1-24 to 4-8.

Upperchurch-Drombane made no mistake when they defeated Mullinahone by 3-23 to 3-17 to qualify for their first senior semi-final in history. It did take extra time after the sides finished 3-12 to 2-15 in normal time but Upperchurch came on strongly in the second period of extra time to run out deserved six-point winners.


Semi-Finals

The county semi-finals were played as a double-header at Semple Stadium on October 3. Drom-Inch drew the county champions, Toomevara, and went into the game as underdogs, on the basis of the brilliance shown by the North side the previous Sunday. However, the mid champions, the only divisional champions still in contention, proved themselves powerful contenders for ultimate honours by taking the scalp of the Greyhounds.

They led by 2 points at the interval, 0-10 to 1-5 and put in a great performance in the second-half to keep the county champions at bay. They fully deserved their 4-point victory on a scoreline of 0-19 to 1-12. The major contributor to the victory, as he was the previous Sunday, was Seamus Callanan, who contributed twelve points of the total, five of them from play.

The second semi-final was less gripping as Thurles Sarsfields showed too much class for Upperchurch-Drombane, who had shocked them in the Mid semi-final. Sarsfields led by 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval and were well ahead by 2-17 to 0-10 at the final whistle. Pa Bourke, with nine points, played a leading role for the winners..


The Final

And so it was on to the final at Semple Stadium on October 18, 2009. A crowd of close to 10,000 turned up for the occasion. The day was fine but dull and there was an expectation in the air that this might be a special final, because of the number of talented players on the field.

The tension between the sides broke out in a bit of argy-bargy between two of the centrefield players even before the ball was thrown in. And, eventually the game was on its way.

It never really took off. Drom never got moving. By the twelfth minute Sarsfields were 5 points to nil in front. Drom got their first score in the fourteenth minute. They made something of a fightback in the second quarter if you could term three points a fightback, but Thurles had four themselves to lead by 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval.

The second half brought no great change. The sides shared two points in a very poor third quarter and another two over the next ten minutes. Ger 'Redser' O'Grady, whose year had been dogged by injury, came off the bench in the closing stages to grab two great points for Sarsfields and give a lift to a very flat game.

Thurles finished nine points to the good. They had two stars in Padraic Maher and Michael Cahill, while Johnny Enright, Pa Bourke and Denis Maher deserve mention. It was a game that Drom Inch will want to forget as there wasn't a single memory from it that they will want to remember.


Thurles Sarsfields: Patrick McCormack, Kevin O'Gorman, Padraic Maher, Barry O'Dwyer, Liam Cahill, Michael Cahill, Stephen Lillis, Alan Kennedy, Michael Gleeson (0-1), Pa Bourke (0-4), Shane Ryan, Denis Maher (0-1), Richie Ruth (0-1), Lar Corbett, Johnny Enright (capt.), 0-5. Subs: David Kennedy for Shane Ryan, Ger O'Grady (0-2) for Richie Ruth, John Lalor for Liam Cahill, David O'Dwyer for Alan Kennedy, Michael Collins for Kevin O'Gorman. Also: Bill McCormack, Colm Rourke, John Maher, Patrick Leahy, Eoin Russell, Tommy Collins, Stephen Mason, Wayne Cully, Jim Corbett, Tony Ruth, Garry Mernagh, John Connors.

Drom Inch: Damien Young, Matin Butler, Edward Costello, Michael Costello, Donncha Kennedy, Paul Stapleton, Micheál Butler, James Woodlock (capt.), Seamus Butler, Eric Woodlock, Seamus Callanan (0-2), John Kennedy (0-1), David Butler, Michael Long, Johnny Ryan (0-2). Subs; Eamonn Buckey for Paul Stapleton, Declan Ryan for Michael Long, Matthew Ryan for Eric Woodlock, David Collins for Declan Ryan, James Ryan for James Woodlock. Also: Ciarán Hassett, Liam Ryan, Paddy Kennedy, John Lillis, Shane Delaney, Paul Collins, Philip Looby, Enda Walsh, Michael Everard, Tom Cantwell, Padraig Butler, Matthew McGrath, Paul Connors, Brian Costello, Kevin Butler, Paul Ryan.

Man of the Match Award: Padraic Maher.

Referee: Sean Bradshaw (Kickhams).

Attendance: Approx. 10,000

 

Country Senior Hurling Championship

Round 1

12/09/2009 Boherlahan Portroe 3.13 Ballybacon G 0.19 John Ryan Bob

12/09/2009 Boherlahan Toomevara 3.20 Carrick Swans 1.10 Richie Barry

13/09/2009 Templemore Upperchurch D 2.18 Cappawhite 0.17 Ger Fitzpatrick

13/09/2009 Templemore Borrisoleigh 1.20 Loughmore C 0.14 Noel Cosgrave

13/09/2009 Cashel Killenaule 1.21 Golden Kilfeacle 0.11 John Cleary

13/09/2009 Cashel Thurles Sarsfields 0.18 Knockavilla K 1.08 Seamus Roche

19/09/2009 Templemore Upperchurch D 1.16 Portroe 0.11 Keith Delahunty

19/09/2009 Templemore Toomevara 4.16 Killenaule 1.14 Johnny Ryan

20/09/2009 Dolla Thurles Sarsfields 2.22 Kilruane MacD 1.10 Paddy Russell

20/09/2009 Nenagh Borrisileigh 2.16 Lorrha Dorrha 1.13 Seamus Roche

 

Quarter Finals

26/09/2009 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 1.18 Nenagh Eire Óg 0.18 Seamus Roche

26/09/2009 S Stadium Upperchurch D 3.23 Mullinahone 3.17 Tommy Ryan AET

27/09/2009 S Stadium Drom & Inch 2.15 Borrisoleigh 0.19 Sean Bradshaw

27/09/2009 S Stadium Toomevara 1.24 Clonoulty Rossmore 4.08 Noel Cosgrave

 

Semi Finals

04/10/2009 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 2.17 Upperchurch D 0.10 John Cleary

04/10/2009 S Stadium Drom & Inch 0.19 Toomevara 1.12 Seamus Roche

 

Final

18/10/2009 S Stadium Thurles Sarsfields 0.14 Drom & Inch 0.05 Sean Bradshaw

 


Seamus O Riain Cup

As stated above all teams that failed to make their divisional semi-finals qualified for the Seamus Ó Riain Cup, fourteen in all. Two teams, Moycarkey-Borris and Kilruane MacDonaghs, got byes to the quarter-finals, while the remaining twelve played first round games. These games were played earlier than in 2008 because of the need to have the finalsits ready to join the Dan Breen Cup in the third round.

Five games in the first round of the Ó Riain Cup were played on the weekend of July 18/19. Boherlahan-Dualla defeated Ballingarry by 1-16 to 0-10 at Cashel on the 18th. Two games were played at Templemore on the 19th. Moneygall defeated Holycross-Ballycahill by 1-16 to 2-8 and Lorrha defeated Cashel King Cormacs by 3-17 to 1-9. The remaining two games were played on the same day. At Nenagh Roscrea defeated Burgess by 1-10 to 1-7 and at the Ragg J. K. Brackens defeated Templederry Kenyons by 0-17 to 1-12.

The final game in the first round was played at Boherlahan on July 26 when Kildangan defeated Eire Óg by 1-15 to 2-9.


Quarter-Finals

Three weeks separated the quarter-finals. Two games were played on August 1 and were won by 1-point margins. At Toomevara Roscrea defeated Moneygall by 4-8 to 1-16 and Kilruane-MacDonaghs defeated Moycarkey-Borris by 1-13 to 1-12 at Templemore.

The remaining two quarter-finals were played on August 22. Kildangan defeated J. K. Brackens by 1-12 to 0-12 at Toomevara, and Lorrha defeated Boherlahan-Dualla by 0-26 to 2-4 at Moneygall.


Semi-Finals

The stage was now set for the semi-finals, which were played on the weekend of September 12/13. At Toomevara Kilruane-MacDonaghs had little difficulty in disposing of Roscrea by 3-14 to 1-8. Three first-half goals gave Kilruane a 3-9 to 0-6 lead at the break and though Roscrea fought back well in the second-half they found it difficult to get through the stout defending of Seamus Hennessy at centre-back.

There was a lot of tension in the second semi-final between Lorrha and Kildangan over a refusal by Kildangan to accede to a Lorrha request to put back the starting time in order to allow three of the panel to return from a family wedding in Spain. As it was they returned early and missed the wedding. Lorrha had the better of the exchanges in the first half and led by 1-8 to 0-5 at the break. Lorrha went further ahead in the third quarter but Kildangan fought back and only three points separated the sides at the final whistle, Lorrha 1-16 Kildangan 0-16.


Final

It was a case of second time lucky for Kilruane-MacDonaghs when they defeated Lorrha by 1-21 to 0-17 in the final of the Ó Riain Cup, which was played ar Borrisokane on October 11. In the previous year's final they lost to Carrick Swan. However, it was Lorrha who got off to the better start and were six points clear after ten minutes but some poor marking allowed Kilruane back into the game and they led by 1-10 to 0-11 at the interval. Kilruane confirmed their superiority in the second half, when Lorrha could only score six points. Many good point opportunities were wasted as players tried for goals. Kilruane thoroughly deserved their seven-point victory after a very impressive display.


Kilruane MacDonaghs: David Reddan, Brian Gaynor, Stephen Murphy, Gavin McAvinchy, Liam Gibson, Seamus Hennessy (capt.),0-1, Niall O'Meara (0-1), Mark O'Leary (0-2), Ray Moloughney (0-4), Kevin Quinlan (0-2), Brian O'Meara (0-6), Jonathon Cahill, Darren Killackey (0-1), Shane Quinlan (0-2). Subs: Diarmuid Cahill for Jonathon Cahill, Declan Barrett for Darren Killackey,, Denis Cahill for Shane Quinlan. 

Lorrha: Kevin Hough, Graham Houlihan, Rory Coen, Tadhg Nevin, Ciaran Hough, Stephen Hogan, Kevin Maher, Patrick Maher, Noel Hogan (capt.) 0-6, Michael Cleary (0-1), Ronan O'Meara (0-6), William Maher (0-2), Cian Hogan, Trevor Hogan, Ciaran Duggan (0-2). Subs: William Hough for Trevor Hogan, Donal Kennedy for Stephen Hogan.

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla).

 

Seamus O'Rian Cup

 

18/07/2009 Cashel Boherlahan Dualla 1.16 Ballingarry 0.10 Richie Barry 

19/07/2009 Templemore Moneygall 2.18 Holycross Ballycahill 1.16 Phil Ryan

19/07/2009 Templemore Lorrha Dorrha 3.17 Cashel King Cormacs 1.09 Tom McGrath

19/07/2009 Nenagh Roscrea 1.10 Burgess 1.07 Michael Cahill

19/07/2009 The Ragg JK Brackens 0.17 Templederry K 1.12 Keith Delahunty

26/07/2009 Boherlahan Kildangan 1.15 Eire Óg Anacarty 2.09 Martin Ryan

 

Quarter Finals

01/08/2009 Toomevara Moneygall 1.16 Roscrea 4.08 Willie Clohessy

01/08/2009 Templemore Kilruane MacD 1.13 Moycarkey Borris 1.12 Seamus Roche

22/08/2009 Toomevara Kildangan 1.12 JK Brackens 0.12 Seamus Roche

22/08/2009 Moneygall Lorrha D 0.26 Boherlahan Dualla 2.04 Paddy Russell

 

Semi Finals

12/09/2009 Toomevara Kilruane MacD 3.14 Roscrea 1.08 Sean Bradshaw

13/09/2009 Nenagh Lorrha 1.17 Kildangan 0.16 Johnny Ryan

 

Final

11/10/2009 Borrisokane Kilruane MacD 1.22 Lorrha Dorrha 0.17 Johnny Ryan

 

 

Recent G.A.A. Publications Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 92-93

Recent G.A.A. Publications

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 92-93

 

First of all I should like to address publications within the county. The good news is that two more club histories are nearing completion. The most immediate is the Newcastle club history, which is due for publication at the Park Hotel, Clonmel on November 28. I haven't seen the book but understand it contains about 300 pages and is a comprehensive history of the club in the Newcastle area since it was founded in the late 1920s.

The second history is of the Cahir club and it isn't clear yet whether it will be ready this side of Christmas. Colm Ó Flaherty and Mattie Hussey have been working away on this work for some time. Mattie Hussey is a distinguished ex-patriate of the town, living in Dublin, and has numerous books to his credit so we can expect a high standard with this publication.

The county 125 committee exhorted clubs during the year to get working on their club histories where these didn't exist or, where they were written around the time of the Centenary Year, to update them. Sean O'Donnell is working away on an update of the history of St. Mary's. The original volume covered the first sixty years of the club, 1929 to 1989, and Sean is covering the next twenty years. He hopes to have it completed during 2010.

Another update is the Toomevara club history, which appeared first in 1985. Paddy O'Brien and a team of researches are working on this. The work involved on such updates is made easier by the availability of records and published material now, in contrast to the early years of a club. In some cases this ease is offset by the sheer number of competitions being played.


Work in Progress

Work is in progresss on a number of publications. Liam Ó Donnchú is hoping that the first volume of the Thurles Sarsfields story will see the light of day during 2010. Liam has been somewhat derailed from his task by the publication of the history of Pouldine National School, which is due for completion this year.

P. J. Maxwell, who has contributed so much to research into the G.A.A. in the county, is working on the Nenagh Eire Óg history. This is a big story and P. J. is hoping it will be published by the end of 2010. Ardfinnan G.A.A. Club have also started work on their history and have drafted in former South Board secretary, Micheal Ó Meara to write it up.The Galtee Rovers club are hoping their history will see the light of day next year, which will be the 125th year of the club's existence.

Martin Burke's monumental volume 2 of the Mid board pictorial history is due for publication at the Templemore Arms on November 21. Everyone familiar with volume 1 will know what a comprehensive visual record this will be. Martin has been an indefatigable researcher of pictures from the past and he has done the Mid and the county some service in this publication. The textual history of the board will be commenced in the New Year and is expected to take two years to complete.

On a much smaller scale but instilled with a lot of local pride and belief in one's club is a booklet entitled Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the G.A.A. 1884-2009 and published by the Clonoulty-Rossmore G.A.A. Club. The club didn't get round to doing anything for Lá na gClub in May but had their own special Lá na gClub in October. They decided to produce a booklet telling about their achievements in the past and the present. And, because the club is so much a part of the parish and so many parishioners are part of the club, the achievements are as much about the parish as they are of the club. So, the booklet invites the people of Clonoulty-Rossmore to be proud of their achievements and with this in mind a copy of the booklet was distributed to every household in the parish. There is also a longer aim in producing the booklet, that it may whet the members' appetite for a fully-fledged history of the club. The booklet is available from the secretary of Clonoulty-Rossmore for •5 (plus postage).

Without a doubt The Gaelic Athletic Association 1884-2009, a collection of fourteen essays edited by Mike Cronin, Paul Rouse and William Murphy, is a major contribution to the 125th Anniversary of the foundation of the G.A.A.

Apart from the intrinsic worth of each essay and its contribution to the history of the G.A.A. over 125 years, the book brings together a collection of eminent historians, who turn their attention to an organisation, which has been a pivotal force in Irish life since its foundation, and yet has been ignored by cultural historians, who have always believed that the interests and pursuits of the hoi polloi in society are of more importance than the occupations of the masses, of which sport is an example per excellence.

It is not the intention of this review to give detailed comment on the essays. Suffice it is to say that Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh has a must-read piece 'The G.A.A. as a force in Irish Society'. If you want Michael Cusack in concise form, read Paul Rouse, who spoke at the Grangemockler weekend. American academic, Angie Gleason, has a challenging piece on 'Hurling in Medieval Ireland'. There are more, such as 'Gaelic Games and the Movies', most of them stimulating, and all of them readable. The book, published by the Irish Academic Press, retails at •29.95, but can be got for less.

A companion to the above work is The G.A.A.: A People's History by two of the above authors, Mike Cronin and Paul Rouse, together with Mark Duncan, and published by the Collins Press at •29.99. Containing over 400 pages it reflects the diversity, the passion and the sheer fascination of 125 years of G.A.A. history. Lavishly illustrated and including photographs that have never appeared in print before, the book outlines how Gaelic games and the scoial world which revolves around the Gaelic Athletic Association, has shaped the lives of generations of Irish people at home and abroad. From parades and ballads to epic journeys across land and sea, this history of the G.A.A. is as much about what happened off the field as what happened on it. As the cover sleeve caption puts it 'this book is about how generations pf Irish people have spent their time in the hours between work and sleep, in thrall to their games and the Association that organises them.'

Related thematically to the above and covering much of the ground is An Illustrated History of the G.A.A. by Eoghan Corry, published by Gill & Macmillan for •16.99. It traces the history of the Gaeilc Athletic Association in pictures from it foundation in the late nineteenth century through to its continuing success at the heart of sporting culture in Ireland. Again it includes some very rare photographs.

Serving its purpose in a different way is The Liam MacCarthy Cup by Sean Óg Ó Ceallacháin and Owen McCann, which deals with the famous cup from the year it was first presented to Limerick captain, Bob McConkey, after winning the 1921 All-Ireland, which wasn't played until 1923. Did you know that more goals were scored by Limerick in that final, eight, than by any other team in all the finals since? A number have scored seven, including Tipperary in their 1951 win over Wexford. Another point the authors are at pains to emphasise is that his name is MacCarthy and not McCarthy, which has been used for so long. As well as giving short accounts of each final (and O'Ceallaghan attended his first in 1932) there are a number of appendixes giving facts and figures, scorers and teams, the winning captains and winning rankings.

The only disappointing thing about the book is the use of the initials rather than the full first names of the players. In the light of the wonderful research that P. J. Maxwell has done in including the full christian names of all 17,000 players who have played for Tipperary in hurling and foootball championships in all grades, the omission of full Christian names is a glaring one. The book, which is published by Gill and Macmillan and costs €21.99, was launched in the old House of Lords in the Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin. It was ironic to see King Billy on horseback staring down on the proceedings from one of the fine tapestries on the wall.

It's been getting better by the year but this year's county senior hurling final program excels anything that went before it. A lavish production of sixty-four pages, it has everything and is a credit to programme editor, Ger Corbett. I would go so far as to call it a mini-Yearbook, including as it does even an obituary section! The quality of the pictures is outstanding, the amount of information is phenomenal. Nobody involved is forgotten and the previews of the two games are extensive. A lovely section is called County Final Memories in which players from different clubs recall their first county final. As a gesture to the 125 Anniversary of the G.A.A. there is a fine appreciation of the oldest surviving All-Ireland senior player in the county, Jimmy Butler Coffey by P. J. Maxwell, as well as some pitures out of the past. There's a six-page spread on the Borrisoleigh teams of 1981, 1983 and 1986, who were honoured on the day. Definitely deserving a McNamee Award!

There's an article in the Tipperary Historical Journal 2009 that everyone should read. It's a socio-economic profile of Tipperary Hurlers, 1895-1900 and its done by County Waterford man, Tom Hunt, who is a teacher at Mullingar and who has done similar studies of sports, including G.A.A. in County Westmeath. Players and officials from Tubberadora, Suir View Rangers, Horse and Jockey and Two Mile Borris were used in the analysis, 96 players in all.

It's not the usual kind of analysis we get in G.A.A. books as it investigates the social background, occupations and family ties of the men who played Gaelic Games in these clubs.

And what does the study tell us? The men who played hurling were 19-30 years of age and only 6% of them were married. Most of then, 83.3% were involved in agricultural pursuits with the vast number of them from the bigger farms. Farm labourers were under-represented. While they were represented 2-1 in rural society they were only 3.4 to 1 on the teams. Just as most of the players came from bigger farms, they also lived in the better houses. Houses were divided into four classes and most of the players resided in class 2 houses. Well worth a read. The report concludes:

'The G.A.A. in mid-Tipperary in the 1890s attracted its support mainly from the farming community but all classes of rural society involved themselves in the association. The G.A.A. thus provided those who were previously recreationally disenfranchised with an outlet for sporting involvement. No other sporting organisation of the day promoted a similar inclusiveness. The organisation gained its greatest strength from the more substantial farmers in the region.'

From across the border in Limerick comes a very controversial book which sets out to examine the inside story of Limerick hurling. One All-Ireland since 1940 is something that all true followers of the game in the county find it difficult to swallow. What is the reason? Unlimited Heartbreak by Henry Martin, published by the Collins Press for €19.95 looks for the answers through interviews with over 100 passionate players, dedicated mentors and officials, who witnessed everything first-hand and have a story to tell. The interviews provide a unique perspective on victories, defeats, controversies, rows and had-luck stories of what went wrong and where it went wrong. The prone form of Dave Clarke stretched on the gress at Semple Stadium after Limerick's shock defeat by Clare in the 1995 Munster senior hurling final, which illustrates the cover, says a lot about the theme of the book.

Finally I want to mention two more books, Brian Cody's and Donal Óg Cusack's autobiographies, both of which are immensely interesting. The Cody book is ghost written by Martin Breheny and retails at €19.95. The Cusack book has got huge publicity because of the revelation of his sexual orientation, while the book has so much more to say. It is ghost written by Tom Humphries.

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of CLG in County Tipperary Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 64-65

Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of CLG in County Tipperary

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 64-65

 

The Tipperary county board took seriously the request from Croke Park that each county celebratethe 125th anniversary of the foundation of the G.A.A. in a fitting manner. A committee was set up to investigate appropriate ways in which the event could be honoured. The committee consisted of chairman, Seamus J. King, secretary, Liam Ó Donnchú and committee members John Costigan, Ed Donnelly, Sean Nugent, Seamus O'Doherty and Denis Floyd. At different times county chairman, Barry O'Brien, county secretary, Tim Floyd, and county P.R.O., Ger Ryan, sat in on discussions. On a couple of occasions chairman of the National 125 Committee, Jarlath Burns, and chairman of the Munster 125 Committee, Jim Forbes, attended.

The committee drew up a number of planned events for the year, the first of which took place on Saturday, February 14 This day commenced with an historic meeting of Coiste Bainistí in Hayes's Hotel at 9 am. It was followed by an Árd Comhairle meeting in the Davin Room of the hotel at 2.30pm. The Davin Room was decorated with items from the Lár na Páirce Collection There was a reception for the visiting dignitaries in the Dome at Semple Stadium at 5 pm and this was followed at 6.45 pm by the official opening of the newly-refurbished Semple Stadium and the turning-on of the floodlights by An t-Uachtaran, after which the National Hurling League game between Tipperary and Cork was played. The Thurles Gospel Choir provided entertainment at half-time. It was a very successful event with close to 10,000 people in attendance enjoying the novelty of hurling under lights on a clear, crisp night.


Lá na gClub

The clubs in the county were exhorted to remember the 125 anniversary in their own way by holding events on Lá na gClub, Sunday, May 10. The day was left clear of any interclub engagements so that clubs could hold a special celebratory day for their members.

One club, Grangemockler, had flagged their intention from very early on to celebrate the event in a very special way. The home of Michael Hogan of Bloody Sunday fame, the club organised a series of events on the weekend of May 16/17. Included was a wreath laying ceremony, the unveiling of a memorial to Michael Hogan by Christy Cooney, a lecture by Paul Rouse and Mark Duncan, a Bloody Sunday exhibition and an inter-county tournament with a hurling game between Tipperary and Kilkenny, and a football game between Kerry and Dublin. Unfortunately the events, speerheaded by Mick Pendar and an enthusiastic local committee, were severely hit by most unseasonable weather. The unveiling ceremony was postponed but was eventually performed on November 1. A full house attended the lecture but the matches had to be called off.

As a result of the county board making successful representations to Munster Council to have the senior hurling final played at Semple Stadium, regardless of the teams involved, the 125 committee set about building a number of events around the weekend of July 10/12. Thurles Town Council hosted a civic reception for Munster Council and Tipperary County Board members in the Tipperary Institute on Friday evening and this was followed by an Historical Presentation, chaired by Dr. Willie Nolan, in which Seamus Leahy gave a Personal Perspective on the Founding Members of the G.A.A., Corkman, John Arnold, spoke of Different G.A.A. Rivalries between the Counties of Munster, and Damian Cullen spoke of the Treatment of Hurling in Film.


Night at the Dogs

On Saturday there was a juvenile hurling blitz, a long puck competition and a special Mass. As well there was a Night at the Dogs, which included four races with a Munster hurling flavour and an inter-county dimension. At the same time there was a gig rig in Liberty Square.

One of the most exciting events was a torch run from the home of Michael Cusack in Carron, Co. Clare which started on Saturday with the torch borne by club members through the parishes between Carron and Thurles. The Clare clubs handed over to Limerick at the edge of the city and they in turn passed it on the the Tipperary clubs when they reached the county boundary. The torch arrived in Liberty Square on Saturday evening and the run continued from Hayes's Hotel to Semple Stadium on Sunday afternoon, arriving at 3-15 pm and the torch was carried into the stadium by Jimmy Doyle. The Munster final followed, before which the captains of the winning teams of the past twenty-five years were introduced to the crowd. The Artane School of Music was in attendance and provided entertainment at half-time. Earlier in the day they had played in Liberty Square. It added to the success of the weekend that Tipperary won.


The Mighty Blue and Gold

One of the most unusual events planned around the 125 celebrations was a song contest to find a new song to represent Tipperary, not necessarily to replace the inimitable Slievenamon, but to give a greater choice to the Tipperary supporter. In conjunction with Fran Curry and Tipp FM a good interest was generated, the entries were aired on the station, a short list of nine songs was agreed and the grand final was held in the Premier Hall at Thurles. The Roscrea song, The Mighty Blue and Gold by Seamus Doran, a rousing ballad, was declared the winner of the special prize of •1,000.

Probably the most lasting project of the 125 committee was the setting up of the Tipperary G.A.A. Archives Website, www.tippgaaarchives.com <http://www.tippgaaarchives.com/> Three people were responsible for this outstanding contribution to the G.A.A. in County Tipperary, P. J. Maxwell, Ed Donnelly and Mark O'Leary. P. J. Maxwell compiled a list of over 17,000 players, who have represented the county at championship level in hurling and football in all grades since 1886. The huge merit of this compilation is that it includes full christian names and club identification of all the players involved. Ed Donnelly compiled a list of Club Champions and Captains, which includes the divisional and county championship Roll of Honour for all grades in hurling and football from minor C to senior since each competition began. The name of the winning captain is included for over 75% of all county champions. Mark O'Leary set up the website and supporting database to make all this information easily accessible. The use of modern technology will ensure that not only can the information be easily searched online, the website can be updated in real-time and includes all teams and champions for 2009 to date.


Sean Gaeil Awards

The concluding events of the year included a wreath-laying ceremony at the Archbishop Croke Memorial in Liberty Square, Thurles and a speech by G.A.A. President, Christy Cooney, on November day. This was preceded by a special Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Clifford at Thurles Cathedral, and a parade of dignitories to the Croke Memorial. The presentations to the 2009 recipients of the Sean Gael awards were made in the Dome with an t-Uachtaran as guest speaker. On the evening before the postponed football match, between Cork and Tipperary, from the Grangemockler weekend was played under lights at Semple Stadium.

The final event was the laying of a wreath at the grave of Maurice Davin on November 26. This was done in comjunction with the Munster Council and included an oration delivered by Jack Ryan, the son of Seamus, who wrote the acclaimed biography of the first President of the G.A.A. The Munster Council used the occasion to heolf their mionthly meeting in the town.

Other events during the year organised by the committee included a Primary Schools ground hurling blitz in the Spring.The 125 committee also encouraged every club in the county to set up its own website. At the beginning of the year twenty-nine clubs had websites and Ed Donnelly made a template available to the remaining clubs so that they could set them up. As well clubs were encouraged to include their information on the club database in Croke Park. Twenty-seven clubs had provided data and the remaining clubs were to be targeted. Finally clubs were exhorted to get their histories written and, where they already existed, to have them updated in 2009.


Conclusion

At the end of the year the committee looked back with a certain amount of satisfaction at the success of their initiatives to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the G.A.A. Whereas it was difficult to assess the impact the events had on the public at large, there was a strong belief that most people in the county had at least heard of the 125th anniversary. The variety of events focused in different ways on the past, the present and the future of the Gaelic Athletic Association in the county. 

There was an understandable emphasis on the origins of the association with the Torch Run from Michael Cusack's home in Carron, through the reading of Croke's letter to Cusack by Maurice Davin's nephew, Pat Walsh, at the Croke Memorial in Thurles and the wreath-laying and oration at the grave of Davin at Churchtown, Carrick-on-Suir. The Grangemockler Weekend also looked back to the past and the place of their native son, Michael Hogan, in the history of the G.A.A. while the lectures and talks sought to put the G.A.A. into perspective in the context of Irish society.

The celebrations were also very much about the present in the switching on of the lights at Semple Stadium in February with the first National Hurling League game, the Primary Schools' hurling blitz, Lá na gClub, when each club celebrated their achievements in their own parishes, the Munster final and the events surrounding the weekend, the hosting the first round of the Munster Club hurling championship at Semple Stadium and the presentation of the Sean Gael awards in the Dome.

And the future wasn't forgotten. Towards the end of the year the county board were drawing up the strategic plan for the future of the G.A.A. in the county over the next decade.The setting up of the extended Tipperary G.A.A. Archives website ensures that the achievements of the past will not be forgotten but will be available through modern technology to be accessed in the future by the public at large. The creation of club websites and the writing or updating of club histories will ensure that the achievements of the past will be available to club members in the future and, the existence of the Mighty Blue and Gold , will allow us to express in a new way our loyalty to the county in the years to come. 

Tom Lambe - A Hurler of Note Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 170-173

Tom Lambe - A Hurler of Note

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 2010, pp. 170-173

 

Tom Lambe of Redwood, Lorrha was one of thirty-four recipients of Sean Gael awards from G.A.A. President, Christy Cooney, at the Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles on Sunday, November 1. Ninety-one years of age, having been born on August 24, 1918. he walked up to the podium to collect his presentation without any of the afflictions to his body that one might expect so many years to bring: he was sprightly and moved with ease.

Watching him I recalled to myself a summer's day in 1948 or 1949 when I was bringing home a load of turf from Redwood bog.  I had a full load of black, stone turf and I was sitting on the top of the creel driving the horse and following my father who was on the front load.  As I was passing Lambe's, or Bill Kennedy's house as it was still called, Tom came out and stopped us.  He had a hurley in his hand and handed it up to me: 'Take that, it should suit you', he said, or something to that effect.

It was the first decent hurley stick I ever had.  It made a strong impression on me because I can recall the occasion sixty years later as vividly as on the day.  I can see us stopping, Tom coming out and reaching the hurley up to me.  I don't  remember what went before or after, the filling of the load in the bog or throwing it into the shed later.  It was a special moment in my life and the sun was shining also.

I suppose it wasn't only the hurl that made the occasion special but the man from whom it came.  Tom was a special player on the Lorrha senior team that won the North Tipperary senior hurling championship in 1948 and went on to lose to Holycross-Ballycahill in the county final.  Tony Reddin had made his name that year against Borrisoleigh in the North final and if he was my God, Tom Lambe was next to him, playing at wingback.

All these thoughts came winging back to me in the Dome and I got a great desire to have a decent chat with the man, when we had time on our side. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him about life in Redwood and his own background in hurling as he grew up in the shadow of Redwood Castle.  So I went to visit him in Coorless, Rathcabbin, where he has lived since he married Nancy Sherlock in August 1949.

Tom was the second of a family of six, four boys and two girls born to Bill Lambe and Margaret Kennedy.  His earliest memory goes back to the Civil War.  He recalls Free State soldiers crossing the fields to his home and inquiring for Sommerville's Pub.  Ned Mannion. originally from Portumna, was hiding out there and the Free State had got word of it.  Later in the day the soldiers passed back with the arrested Ned in tow.  They were heading back to the Shannon to board the boat that had brought them into the neighbourhood. Tom is of the belief that more of the people in the neighbourhood were Republican than Free Stater.

It was understandable that the Free Staters would have come into the area by boat. Not only were the roads dangerous for lorry loads of soldiers but the road around Redwood at the time wasn't much more than a dirt track.  The road as such finished at Loughmane's gate beyond Killycross at one side and at Bill Kennedy's house down from Redwood Castle on the other.  In between was a partly gravel track with plenty of potholes.  In fact the road at Bill Kennedy's used to continue down to the Shannon and was kept in repair by the County Council.  Local landlord, Trench, had land down to the river bank and the road provided access.


National School

Tom went to school at the age of five years to the local national school, which was beside Redwood Castle.  It was a two-storey building that had been converted to a school at some stage. Believed to have been a 'seat of learning' in the past, it later served as a police barrack, and eventually a school. Interestingly, Tom's father remembers four different schools in the area as he grew up. He went to a hedge school, which was located in Gleeson's field behind Redwood Chapel. The master was Brian Carroll from Curragha and the twelve scholars paid one penny per day to be taught. 

Tom's teachers were Miss Kelly in charge of juniors, who used to stay at Ryans in Ballea, and Mrs. Grogan, who came originally from Whitegate, Co. Clare, and who lived at Grange. She was extremely cross. Tom remembers getting lots of stick, plenty of beatings while in school. He believed Mrs. Crogan had a set on him though at the same time he admitted that he was a bit of a leader among the boys and up to all kinds of devilment. As a result it was many a time he got the stick, not only on the hands, but across the bare legs as well. On numerous occasions he went home with red weals to show for the beatings he received. He believed the teachers had favourites and that fact, plus the beatings turned him against school. His feelings were such that he recalls when Mrs. Grogan, who had been in ill-health, died in 1928, the children cheered!

The roof of the Castle school was in bad repair and began to let in the rain. It was decided to build a new school at Kilmurray, between the Castle and Redwood Church. The site of the new school had been a graveyard at some stage. (Kill, in the name suggests a church and it probably had a graveyard beside it.) At any rate Tom recalls bones being thrown up when the foundations were being dug. The boys and girls moved into the new two-teacher school in 1926.

It wasn't all bad memories for Tom at primary school. Hurling made him forget the worst aspects of schooling. There was a bit of a field in the front of the school where the boys played at lunch time and after school as well. They organised games among themselves. Tom remembers the great amount of talent at the time with the Sullivans, Kennedys, Brownes, Lambs and Guinans. They had no difficulty getting a team together. Major (He wasn't a real major but given the title because of his fine physique) Sammon, a farmer up the road, who had much more interest in hurling than in farming, used to come to the school to referee their games. Games were also organised with the other schools in the parish and played on a Sunday afternnoon. Tom recalls that they beat Rathcabbin and Lorrha schools for three years running. They had to negotiate a venue for the games with some farmer, usually halfways between the schools. Paddy Sullivan's field in the Lordspark was a venue for one of the games with Rathcabbin. They had no jerseys to wear and used a variety of hurleys, from crooked stick to the real thing. Interestingly there was no such thing as football.

According to Eugene O'Meara, who was a few years younger than Tom and attended Lorrha school, Tom was the star hurler in the parish as a juvenile. He was head and shoulders over all around him and dominated the middle of the field. There were no interclub juvenile competitions at the time and Lorrha didn't enter a minor competition until 1941. The result was that Tom had no platform outside the parish to show off his hurling skills

Tom had left school by 1939 when the present Redwood National School was opened. Asked why another new school was built so soon after Kilmurray, Tom said that Canon Moloney had sold the priest's field in Rathcabbin and decided to build three new schools in the parish with the proceeds and Redwood was the first.

In fact Tom stayed at school until he was fifteen years of age. He had to wait until then to get confirmed and Dr. Fogarty did the honours. While he was in the school he, and the rest of the boys and girls, had to bring a sod of turf a day to heat the school. Tom used to serve Mass for Fr. O'Flynn, who died in 1935. Fr. O'Flynn had a habit of hitting the boys on the altar whenever he wanted anything done. The result was that they gave him a wide berth. Asked what he did when he left school Tom said he went home to wheel turf in the bog. He had no more formal schooling but he picked up the ways of farming from his father and from him he also learned building skills, which stood him in good stead during his farming life.


Social Life

There wasn't much in the line of social activities for someone growing up in Redwood in the nineteen- thirties. The main recreation was hurling and with many young lads of the same age around there were plenty of opportunities. Tom recalls that Bonfire Night on June 21 was a big night in the area. The bonfire was lit outside Guinan's gate and Thomas Moran and Tom Kennedy used to provide the music with their melodeons.

Fair days also provided some relief from the monotony of daily life. There were fairs at Birr and Portumna. August 15 was a very big day in Portumna. Of course agricultural life was fairly depressed during the thirties with very poor prices for products. Tom recalls driving four cattle to Birr in 1932 and missing a sale at £7 each. The cattle were driven home, fed for the winter and sold to a butcher at the end of the spring for £8 each.

Of course it was cheap to live. Skerries Champions were the main potato and a great source of nourishment. Tom recalls his mother used to boil a pot of potatoes in the evening and turn them out on the the table with butter and salt. He remembers going to bed with a swoollen stomach on many occasions. They killed their own meat, made their own butter and had little resource to the shops except for a few things like tea.

Tom started dancing about twenty years of age and most of the dances were house dances. He remembers they used to go over to Thomas Moran's to listen to the gramaphone. He was one of the few who had one and it contained the big horn for the projection of sound. One great side effect of these visits was that Mrs. Moran used to make a pot of rice and they filled their bellies as well as listened to the music.


Hurling Life

Tom started playing senior hurling in 1938, following two unsuccessful years in the junior ranks. It wasn't a very auspicious start as Lorrha were beaten 11-3 to 1-0 by Roscrea with Tom playing at right corner forward. There's a picture of him on a seven-a-side team in the gold medal tournament at Woodford in 1939. There were a number of junior teams in the parish during this period, including one in Redwood. In fact there was a long tradition of hurling in Redwood, going back to the early days of the Association, and before. Teams from Redwood used to cross the Shannon to play Meelick and Tiernascragh, and vice versa. Rathcabbin had the pick of the parish team. There was general dissatisfaction with their picking method as they were very slow to pick anyone from Redwood. Lorrha were relegated to intermediate in 1940. 

Generally the parish was divided and failed to deliver on its true potential. It took the arrival oif Fr. Paddy O'Meara in 1946 to bang heads together and get a unified team from the parish. Before this happened Tom played intermediate and used to play wing- and centreforward. He reckons he played his best hurling at this time and he preferred playing in the forwards to the backs, where he was to end his career. The fact that there was no intercounty junior championship between 1942 and 1945 inclusive may explain why Tom never played with the county. Already during the thirties he started running cross-country which was a huge participatory sport at the time. He won a county junior title in 1944. He is of the opinion that such running wasn't much good for hurling, slowing you down rather than anything else.

Once the parish was united success came. Lorrha won the county intermediate title in 1946 after a tough encounter against Maycarkey-Borris at Gaile, and went senior. Divisional senior success followed in 1948 before defeat by Holycross-Ballycahill in the county final. Asked if Lorrha were overtrained for the final, Tom is very definite: 'No, not overtrained, but overpowered.' According to him they came up against a much superior team on the day. The Holycross forwards were very good and their backs, particularly John Doyle and Pat Stakelum, were much too good for them. He makes the interesting point that many of the Lorrha lads had gone past their best at that stage, were in fact thirty years and over. Also, some key players did not perform well on the day.

Tom, himself was thirty years old in that final. He married Nancy Sherlock, whose father had won two divisional titles with Lorrha in 1914 and 1924 ˆ he was captain in 1924 - , in 1949 and retired in 1951. Ironically, he got a call-up for a county trial the same year and went to Ennis for a match against Clare, but was never called off the bench. He made one return to the game, in 1959, as full-back on the junior team and had as company, three other oldies, Billy and Hubie Hogan and Mick Brophy, plus a number of good minors. They had some success and there's a photograph of the team in the Lorrha G.A.A. history. Tom served as a selector on the senior team will Billy Hogan for a couple of years around 1970 

Tom was one of the best hurlers ever in the parish. As a juvenile he was head and shoulders over the opposition. He was unfortunate to reach maturity at a time when Lorrha were relegated to intermediate level. Equally so, in the absence of an intercounty junior championship during the war years, he never got recognition on the bigger stage. Seven-a-Side tournaments were quite common at the time and Tom was always an automatic choice on the Lorrha side. As well as being a good hurler, he had a high level of fitness that resulted from life on the farm but also a life style that excluded smoking and drinking. He was always lean and hard, a formidable opponent and a courageous player, who stood back from nothing.