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7b Tipp GAA Yearbook 90's

Sounding Off Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, p 64

Sounding Off 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, p 64

 

The headline on the Sunday paper of November 1 said it all: 'Back door open for four more years'. It was heading the report of the G.A.A. Special Congress at Rosslare the previous day which had voted to extend the experiment of the 'back door' for another four years. It did make one change. The runners-up in Leinster and Munster will no longer be protected. Henceforth they will go into the hat with the Connaght and Ulster champions in order to decide the pairings. 

At the end of almost 90 minutes of debate, the experimental format brought in for a two-year period in 1997, received an overwhelming vote of confidence from the delegates, with the exception of Offaly. The delegates, however, refrained from enshrining it permanently in the rule book. Offaly, in spite of benefiting from it in a spectacular fashion in 1998, remained opposed to it as they had when it was advocated two years previously. The county delegate, Andy Gallagher, argued that the experiment had not raised standards at under-age level, had not done anything for the weaker counties and was damaging the game at club level. Con Murphy agreed with the latter point, the marginalisation of the game at club level, while more and more hype was being focused on it at the very top. 'We don't want an elite association at one end and an association dying at the other,' remarked the former president of the GAA. 

Those in favour of the new format showed how hurling had enjoyed an unprecedented rise in popularity, both in the numbers attending games and in the television audience watching at home. The substantial increases in revenue meant that Croke Park was able to invest £2.5 million over a three-year period into the development of the game at grassroots level. 

The Future

At the moment there is no need to speculate on what will happen at the end of the four years when the second 'experimental' period comes to an end. This second period of assessment may be a sop to the traditionalists and/or a way of retaining the freedom to adjust to new thinking at the end of the four-year period. Whatever happens then it is most unlikely that we shall ever revert to the pre-1997 situation. 

In assessing the situation it is important to recall the reasons why the experiment was brought in in the first place. It was an attempt to increase the number of hurling games available in the championship and to take into consideration the state of the game in Connaght and Ulster. Central Council was trying to ensure that the best hurling teams in the country qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals. Over and above all these aims was the hope that more games would mean more T.V. coverage and that such exposure would increase the profile of the game and help to propagate it to a wider audience. 

So far, so good. The experiment has worked. The game has got a great shot in the arm and the best teams are making it to the All-Ireland. Not only have the numbers attending hurling games increased but so also has the audience watching it on television. There is a hype about the game and its enormous attractiveness as a spectator sport is being more widely recognised. 

What Should be Done Now? 

I believe much more needs to be done and much more can be done. The new format has given us two extra games, the two quarter finals. Not a great number by any means and of concern and value only to the runners-up in the Munster and Leinster championships. More games are needed in order to make a bigger impact and propagate still more the game of hurling. If we follow the philosophy of advertising the name of the game is as much exposure as possible. 

How can we do that? The most obvious way would be through an open draw for the All-Ireland championship, a competition which would become independent of the provincial championships. As it is we have really abandoned the provincial championship as a qualifier for the All-Ireland by ignoring the status of the provincial winners: runners-up as well as winners qualify under the present system. Why discriminate against teams that don't qualify for the finals of provincial championships? Why not let all teams into the All-Ireland series? 

Such a development would be a logical conclusion of the present system. All teams would get a crack at the All-Ireland championship. Remember that Kerry haven't got a shot at that championship since the boys from Ballyduff won it in 1891 and other counties haven't got an opportunity since the open draw was abolished in 1888. The open draw would increase the number of hurling games. Under the present system there is an increase of two. In an open draw with twelve teams there would be an increase of eleven games. This would be a dramatic increase in the exposure of the game with the possibility of mid-week games for some of the opening rounds. This scheme of things would generate interest through unusual pairings, bringing together teams that would never have a chance of meeting each other. 

Of course there would be an added bonus in this for the traditionalists in that it would bring back the strict knock-out system, which some believe has been sacrificed under the present experiment. There would be no backdoor since the championship would stand on its own two feet. 

The Provincial Championship

And what of the provincial championship? It would continue as it is and need not be diminished in any way, at least no more or less than it is diminished under the present system. At the moment its winners are not recognised. There is no reason to doubt that the desire in counties to win a Munster or a Leinster championship would grow any less. The championship would run concurrently with the All-Ireland and it would give teams, knocked out in one, the opportunity to fall back on the other. 

So, roll on 2002 and another Special Congress to decide what to do with the well-tested 'experimental format'. Understandably there will be voices raised for a return to the old certitudes. There will be apocalyptic visions of the effect on club hurling. (On that matter it is interesting to recall the club situation in Tipperary this year and we were beaten in the semi-final of the Munster championship. Our divisional championship finals weren't played until the first Sunday in September and our county final not till the first Sunday in November! Were we any better off by being knocked out at an early stage?) But I hope whoever is decision-making on that occasion will grasp the nettle and introduce the open draw, the logical outcome and a progression from the present situation. 

Another Matter

This piece is called 'Sounding Off', so I can jump at this stage to a totally different matter, the throw-in in hurling. I'm more and more convinced it needs to be abolished. The solution is simple. Whichever team loses the toss at the start of a game pucks out the ball. It's so simple and look what it will avoid. Recall the throw-in between Waterford and Clare in Thurles in the replay! And that incident wasn't a lone swallow. Again and again you find referees delaying the throw-in for various reasons. They have the players lined up too early. They are waiting for the time to be right? They are revelling in their positions of power, fussing that everything is so-so, sending balletic gestures to their linesmen and umpires, rechecking their watches for the fourth time. And all the time the four midfield players are getting hyper and more hyper as the pep talk from the dressing room drums in their ears and the proximity of the enemy drives them to frenzy. 

It could all be avoided by starting the game with a puck out. And, when I'm at it the throw-in at the sideline should also be ended for good. It does nobody any good and is conducive to injury. How can that be eliminated? By getting the linesman to make up his mind and decide who should get the puck instead of taking the easy option of a throw-in. Do you ever see a throw-in in soccer or rugby? Never! The decision is always made. Why should it be different in hurling or football?

 

Remembering Galbertstown G.A.A. Club (1954-61) Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, p 53

Remembering Galbertstown G.A.A. Club (1954-61)

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, p 53

 

You may talk about legends and heroes
And of men of great fame and renown
But come listen well to the story I tell
Of the hurlers of Galberstown. 
Their names are not heard in high places
And they’re not in the Hall of Fame
They were solid and strong and they seldom did wrong
When they played the Great Hurling Game.

 

This is the first verse of a song composed by Margaret Heaphy to commemorate the hurlers of Galbertstown on the occasion of the unveiling of a memorial to their memories at Volkes Cross in Galbertstown on September 6, 1998. Not only did she write the song but she also sang it splendidly on the occasion. It was in fact her first venture into song writing and she wrote it in a fortnight. She had a personal interest in the commemoration as a number of her brothers were involved with the club.

The impressive monument is of Killough limestone, on which are cut the names of the officers and players of the club, and it is set in a wall built with stones taken from the house of Molly, and the late Bill Flanagan, which was used by the players for togging out. The unique stonework is a tribute to Galbertstown native, Donie Fogarty, now living in Ballagh.

The club had its origins at a meeting of local people after a Stations Mass in 1954. At that stage Galbertstown was in the parish of Moycarkey-Borris (it transferred to Holycross-Ballycahill in the early seventies) and it was a long distance to the G.A.A. pitch in Littleton. There were a lot of hurlers in the area and it was believed that a separate club was necessary to cater for their needs. The club was affiliated to the mid board in the same year and the players met for the first year in the late Bill Flanagan’s field and for the remaining six years of their existence in the field of the late Johnny Shanahan. The founding members were Michael McCormack, John Flanagan (M), Brian Shanahan, Michael Spillane, Johnny Shanahan and John Maher.

The colour chosen by the club was white and it was known as the lily white of Galbertstown. It was remarked on the evening of the unveiling how significant it was that the real Lily Whites should be making history when Galbertstown was being remembered. The club didn’t have any success. Its best achievement was getting to a mid junior final. Two players from the club did achieve success with the county. Michael Lonergan was on the county All-Ireland panel in 1964 and John Flanagan won a medal in 1971. One team photograph was taken and it was incorporated in the memorial.

The monument was the culmination of about twelve months’ work by the local organising committee of some forty enthusiasts. The officers are - Chairman: Johnny Flanagan; Secretary: Raymond Flanagan; Treasurer: Conor Spillane; Assistant Treasurer: Donie Shanahan; Vice-chairman: Jim Flanagan; Assistant Secretary: Paggy Shanahan. In fact so great was the enthusiasm and so successful the fund-raising that the job was completed much more quickly than originally envisaged. Much research was done into the history of the club and the committee hope to bring this out in book form in the near future.

It was a great occasion for the people of Galbertstown and an opportunity for them to reveal pride in their place and their history. The guest speaker was Tomas O Baroid, Runai, Tipperary County Board. The chief concelebrant of the Mass was Fr. Liam Ryan, whose brother, Michael, had played with Galbertstown. He was assisted by Fr. Tom Breen, Fr. Richard Ryan and Fr. Paudie Moloughney. To commemorate the great occasion the Offertory Procession was a special one. Many items associated with the club, which are preserved to this day, were presented. The monument was unveiled by Jim Cormack, the oldest man in Galbertstown, and John Shanahan, son of Paggy and the late John Joe Shanahan. The Master of Ceremonies was Raymond Flanagan and the Moycarkey-Borris Pipe Band were on duty and concluded the proceedings with Amhran na bhFiann. At a function in Kevin Ryan’s of Holycross afterwards, plaques were presented to former members and players or their representatives.

They were men of might and of splendour
They were heroes of renown
And we’ll never again see the likes of those men
The Hurlers of Galbertstown. 

 

 

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1998 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, pp 41

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1998

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, pp 41

 

There's an absolute dearth of club publications in the county this year. No club has gone to print! Talking to Seamus McCarthy recently about Tipperary's All-Ireland junior football victory and his own receipt of the Tipperary Sport Star award, I asked him about the Bansha book. This was promised a few years ago. According to him he is hoping to close the final chapter in the New Year. Galtee Rovers' achievements have been outstanding this year and their victories would make a fine closing chapter, plus, of course, his own impressive achievements. 

If no club published a history in 1998, one club P.R.O. got the highest recognition. Bridget Delaney of the Burgess G.A.A. Club won a McNamee Award for her club media presentation. As club P.R.O. since 1992, she has produced the club notes for the Guardian every week, fifty-two weeks in the year. She received her award for the comprehensiveness and completeness of her effort, offering a weekly diet of news of matches, events, functions, obituaries, any club activity worthy of mention. She supplements her notes with appropriate photographs and so convinced is she of the value of the picture to draw attention to the text that she is presently pursuing a photography course in Cork. As well as her P.R.O. work, Bridget is also working assiduously on the club history. Much work has been completed, many photographs have been collected. In fact, progress has been so good that, if she acquired a sponsor to cover the cost of publication, she would be in print in the not-too-distant future. 

A number of books, published during the past year, are worthy of mention. Sport, Culture, Politics and Scottish Society - Irish Immigrants and the G.A.A. by Joseph M. Bradley (Edinburgh, 1998) traces the history of Gaelic sport in Scotland from its beginnings in 1897 up to the present. It puts the sport in the context of Scottish nationalism and shows how national identification tended to be with Glasgow Celtic rather than with the G.A.A. The book is about much more than sport, being a commentary on the historical, social and political development of the Irish in Scotland. 

For Love of Town and Village by Jack Mahon (Dublin, 1997) explores the exciting success of the AIB G.A.A. Club All-Ireland championships. The club unit has always been the bedrock of the G.A.A. In the early days the AII-Irelands were contested between clubs representing counties, with the first ever titles of 1887 won by Thurles and Limerick Commercials. This practice continued right up to the 1920s. From then onwards counties were represented by selections from all the clubs in the counties and the club unit tended to count for less. The revival of the club championship in 1970 gave the clubs back something precious and something that has proven enduring. It is the one 'modern' competition that has caught the imagination of the public. The Oireachtas and the Railway Cup may have declined but the club championship goes from strength to strength. It gives supporters the opportunity to see some top class hurling and football and meaningful competition during the winter months. The book not only tells the story of the victorious sides but highlights some of the personalities who played. Two chapters of particular Tipperary interest are titled Roscrea: First in Hurling and Lovely Fair Ieigh. It's a wel­come addition to the G.A.A. library. 

Sambo: All or Nothing by Terence McNaughton (Dublin, 1998) tells the story of Antrim hurling through the experiences of the writer. It's a lively read and Tipperary don't come very well out of it. Writing about the aftermath of the 1989 All-Ireland and the banquet for the All-Ireland teams at Kilmainham, the following day, he has this to say: 'We didn't want to be at that banquet - we wanted to be home with our families. It wasn't a question of bad sportsmanship. We were hurt and humiliated. We had been beaten by a better side, beaten by 18 points. If we didn't deserve to win, neither did we deserve the insults of a few - and I'd emphasise a few - of the Tipperary players. One made a comment about my 'hairstyle'. If I'd a penny for every time I'd had someone slag me about my dome, I'd be rich. It was the manner in which it was said that day. Offence was intended and it wasn't just that we were raw from losing. They tried to rub our noses in it. They showed us no respect whatsoever and lacked manners. One said he 'didn't rate winning the All-Ireland because we only beat Antrim'. Another said: 'We'll have to win another All-Ireland medal because this one won't count.' One of them subsequently refused me an autograph for my son. When I asked, he turned and said, 'Why, who are you?' And there is more! 

Wexford Old Gaels' Story, 1982-1997 compiled by Larry Larkin (Enniscorthy, 1997, is a totally different kind of book. It is about an organisation, founded in Wexford in 1982, to ensure that the work of dedicated G.A.A. people is recognised and remembered. Hundreds of testimonial awards have been presented in the past fifteen years. Those who scaled the heights in their playing days and those who attained the top official posts have been included. But, more importantly, many of those who have played and worked for their clubs with dedication without ever achieving major success have also been recognised and honoured. The motto of the organisation is that 'it is important that we do not forget to remember.' Maybe there's room for a similar organisation in this county. 

On a personal note, The Clash of the Ash in Foreign Fields: Hurling Abroad (Cashel, 1998), was published during the year. It completes the work begun in A History of Hurling. In fact, the work began as a chapter in the latter book but, because the book had gone beyond the limits laid down by the publishers, had to be withdrawn. It was just as well because what I had tried to cram into one chapter was too much. To attempt to cover the history of hurling in the U.K., North America, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and other places in a chapter was not on. It deserved a book and has got just that (200 pages in A4 size) in The Clash of the Ash in Foreign Fields. The book covers the attempts made by the G.A.A. to spread the gospel of hurling abroad by sending top teams of hurlers on promotional trips to foreign places, beginning with the American 'Invasion' in 1888 and continuing right down to the All-Star trips of modern times. It also relates the efforts of the Irish diaspora to organise the game in a meaningful way wherever they found themselves in large numbers.

 

The Nenagh Co-op County Senior Hurling Championship - 1998 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, pp 30-31

The Nenagh Co-op County Senior Hurling Championship - 1998

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, pp 30-31

 

Toomevara returned to the pinnacle of Tipperary hurling on November I when they regained the Dan Breen Cup after a three-year absence. 

They defeated the 1997 champions, Clonoulty-Rossmore, by 0-16 to 1-10 and in doing so re-established themselves as the premier club of the nineties, with four victories out of five final appearances. Although only three points separated the sides at the final whistle, this was an emphatic Toomevara victory fashioned out of a wide spread of hurling talent from a tight and composed backline to a versatile set of forwards. It was a sweet victory for a club which, after the promises of the early nineties, had to suffer the frustration of failure over the past three years. 

Although Tipperary's inter-county hurling success was negligible during the year, the divisional championships fell well behind. This was partly explained by the success of the senior footballers who reached the Munster final, played at Thurles on August 2, and the juniors, who surprised everyone except themselves in bringing the first football All-Ireland to the county since 1934. All four divisional finals were played on the first weekend of September and, what may well be unique, new champions were declared in all cases. 

Divisional Finals 

The mid final was played on Saturday evening at Semple Stadium and it will be remembered not for the quality of the hurling but rather for a great-hearted display by Loughmore-Castleiney who, with limited resources, beat a much more talented Boherlahan-Dualla side by 0-10 to 1-5. The west final, on the following day, was played in atrocious conditions at Emly. Clonoulty-Rossmore were the favourites and they won, perhaps none too convincingly, by 0-12 to 0-8, against a very spirited Golden-Kilfeacle side, which lacked effective fire power up front. On the same afternoon at Monroe, Ballingarry proved too good for Carrick Swans and their victory by 1-14 to 1-7 was thoroughly deserved. There was a surprise in store for patrons of the north final at Cloughjordan. Firm favourites and unbeaten-to-date Toomevara were shocked by a Nenagh side, which gave an outstanding display and defeated the champions by 1-11 to 0-11.


Quarter Finals

The line up for the quarter finals was North v South and Mid v West. The North-South contests were played in Sean Treacy Park, Tipperary on September 20. In the first game Eire Óg, Nenagh were on song against a Carrick Swan side, which failed to do themselves justice on the occasion. In fine hurling conditions the North champions had effectively brushed aside the Swan challenge by the interval, when they led by 1-12 to 0-4. The second half dragged its slow length along to an inevitable conclusion when the score stood at 2-21 to 0-5. The highlight of the game was the exceptional performance of Nenagh's John Kennedy, who scored 1-10 of his side's total.

The second game was a much better contest. Toomevara got off to a blistering start and were ahead by 1-7 to 0-2 after twenty minutes but Ballingarry fought back and were 2-8 to 1-6 in arrears at the interval. However, the North men were a bridge too far for the South champions and, try as they might, they could not overcome the deficit and were still five points behind at the final whistle on a scoreline of 3-14 to 3-9. The most telling statistic of the game was the number of wides shot by Toomevara. To their fourteen points they added fifteen wides whereas Ballingarry struck only five in the course of the hour. It was a good indication of the overall dominance of the Toom men. 

The third of the quarter-finals was played at Cashel on September 27. The game was eagerly awaited as Clonoulty-Rossmore had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in their previous meeting in the 1997 county semi-final. On this occasion it was the reigning county champions who' controlled the game all the way and it was Boherlahan-Dualla who made the late surge, but in vain. The West champions led by 0-9 to 0-6 at the interval and had three points to spare on a scoreline of 2-1 1 to 1-1 1 at the final whistle. 

The last of the quarter-finals was delayed because of the need to have the play-off between the West runners-up and the Crosco Cup winners. Golden-Kilfeacle and Kickhams played at Cashel on Sept-tember 27 and the result of an exciting encounter was a victory for Kickhams by 3-16 to 2-15. They played LoughmoreCastleiney at Cashel on October 4. In a tough, tense battle Kickhams gave one of their better displays to come out on top by 1-8 to 0-10. Going into the game as underdogs, their display might have justified a better margin of victory but their supporters were quite happy with a result which put them into a county semi-final for the first time since the 1950s. It was also a sweet achievement for a team which had failed to reach its own divisional final. 

The Semi-Finals

The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on October 18. For Toomevara it was an easy victory. They had eighteen points to spare over a thoroughly disappointing Kickhams side in a poor game. The story is simply told. Kickhams started off well but a goal by Tommy Dunne in the eighth minute established the North side's dominance. They led by 1-11 to 0-5 at the interval and were in front by 4-19 to 0-13 at the final whistle. They showed themselves a skillful bunch of players with a bit of toughness thrown in and their display established them as favourites for the final.

The second game was a more exciting contest. Nenagh came into the match as the team of all the talents. They had beaten Toomevara in the North final and annihilated the hapless Swans in the quarter-final. They had the advantage over Clonoulty-Rossmore in the first half but allowed them back into contention.The concession of an own goal early in the second-half was a disaster. However, they fought back and were three points in front with ten minutes remaining. But that lead was gradually whittled away and the sides were level with five minutes to go. In the remaining period it was the determination and spirit of Clonoulty-Rossmore, aided by poor shooting on the part of Nenagh that gave the West champions victory. The shot that scored the winning point came from declan Ryan, who spied half a chance from the old stand sideline, and took it to give his side a place in the final by 3-1 I to 1-16. For Nenagh it was a most disappointing performance, the memory of which will send shivers of irritation through the system. They played some beautiful hurling which came to nought through woeful inaccuracy.

The Final

The traditional venue, Semple Stadium, hosted the county final on November 1. A week's rain beforehand was hardly the proper preparation for the premier event in county hurling. The poor conditions gave way to a dry, blustery day but a disappointing crowd of only 9,000 spectators turned up for the occasion. 

Toomevara went into the game as favourites but there were some, influenced no doubt by Clonoulty-Rossmore's survival experiences en route, who believed that the West men would create a surprise. The big men of the West and the heavy going would combine to reduce Toom's potential and give the red and green victory. 

Such was not to be. It was a close final but the closeness belied Toom's superiority. The sides were level six times in a hard fought first half but it was significant that after dropping a two-point advantage, they regained it and deservedly led by three points at the interval, 0-10 to 0-7. It could be argued that Clonoulty-Rossmore were unlucky not to score two goals during this period and there's a point in the argument. But equally valuable is the contention that it was the brilliance of the Toomevara backs which deprived them of the goals and that is borne out by the splendid display of the same backs in the second half, particularly the half-back line spearheaded by Tony Delaney. 

The Toom dominance continued after the break and within ten minutes they were six points in front. Then came Clonoulty-Rossmore's great moment, a goal from a penalty by Declan Ryan. It was a superb shot, striking the back of the net before the defenders knew it had passed them. It should have lifted the West men but instead it brought one of the finest scores' of the hour, a point from Tommy Dunne almost from the puck out. It was a swift retort and restored the four point lead. For the remainder of the game Clonoulty-Rossmore tried very hard to reduce the deficit but could never get it below three points and so it remained until the final whistle. 

It was a happy and deserved return to the top for Toomevara. They are a well co-ordinated side with talent all over the field and plenty on the sideline as well. We wish them well in Munster as they have unfinished business in the club championship. There is no substitute for victory but Clonoulty-Rossmore can look back on a year during which they gave great satisfaction to their supporters and revealed that they have young players of great potential in Liam Kearney, Michael Heffernan, Kevin Lanigan-Ryan and Bonny Kennedy. 

Toomevara: J. Cotrell, G. Frend, R. Brislane, A. Maxwell, P. Hackett, T. Delaney, P. Shanahan (capt.), P. King, Terry Dunne, P. O'Brien, Tommy Dunne, K. Dunne, M. Bevans, K. Kennedy, K. Cummins. Subs: D. Kelly for K. Kennedy; Paul McGrath for P. King. 

Clonoulty-Rossmore: A. Fryday (capt.), M. Ryan, P. Brennan, R. Ahearn, M. Heffernan, A. Butler, L. Kearney, M. Brennan, K. Lanigan-Ryan, M. Quirke, K. Ryan, M. Kennedy, D. Quirke, D. Ryan, M. 'Shiner' Heffernan. Subs:J. Hayes for M. Quirke; A. Kennedy for M. 'Shiner' Heffernan; L. Manton for M. Ryan. 

Referee: Willie Barrett (Arcfinnan) 

Man of the Match award: Tony Delaney (Toomevara). 

 

Results at a Glance:

County Final

Nov. 1, 1998 at Semple Stadium:

Toomevara 0-16 Clonoulty-Rossmore I -10 Referee: Willie Barrett (Arcfinnan) 

 

Semi-Finals

Oct. 18, 1998 at Semple Stadium:

Toomevara 4-19 Kickhams 0-13 Referee: Tommy Lonergan (Kilsheelan)

Clonoulty-Rossmore 3-11 Nenagh Eire Og 1-16 Referee: Willie Clohessy (Drom-Inch) 

 

Quarter Finals

October 4, 1998 at Leahy Park:

Kickhams 1-8 Loughmore-Castleiney 0-10 Referee: Michael Cahill (Kilruane-MacDonaghs) 

September 20, 1998 at Sean Treacy Park:

Toomevara 3-14 Ballingarry 3-9 Referee: John Ryan (Cashel King Cormacs)

Nenagh Eire Og 2-21 Carrick Swans 0-5 Referee: Richard Barry (Cappawhite) 

September 27,1998 at Leahy Park:

Clonoulty-Rossmore 2-11 Boherlahan-Dualla 1-1 Referee: Johnny McDonnel1 (Roscrea) (Drom-Inch). 

 

 

Senior Relegation Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, p 23

Senior Relegation

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1999, p 23

 

One of the major developments in the 1998 county senior hurling championship was the introduction of relegation at divisional level. The brainchild of the Games Development Committee, the intention behind it was to reduce the number of senior teams in the county: there were too many and the result was doing the standard of senior hurling no good. 

It was decided that one team would go down in each of the four divisions in 1998 and 1999. With the winning team in the intermediate championship getting promotion to senior status in each of these years, the result would be a reduction of six in the number of senior teams, from 32 to 26, over the period. 

The divisions were given freedom to decide their method of relegation and the chief one used was a play-off among teams defeated in the first round of the championship. In the south, where the championship was played on a league basis, a decision was taken that the lowest team at the end of the league stage would be relegated. Cahir found themselves in that position and were relegated after two years at senior grade. 

The relegated teams in the other divisions were Lorrha in the north, Gortnahoe in the mid and Arravale Rovers in the west. They were beaten by Borrisokane, Drom-Inch and Eire Og respectively. 

Loss of Status

Of the four teams to be relegated probably the greatest heartache was felt in Lorrha. Whereas the other teams have oscillated between senior and intermediate status over the decades, Lorrha has enjoyed uninterrupted senior statue since 1946 and won five divisional finals. In contrast, Arravale won west divisional honours twice in 1966 and 1970, while Gortnahoe and Cahir have never achieved senior success. 

Lorrha gained senior status as a result of winning the intermediate title of 1946. The north final was played in November of that year but the county semi-final and final weren't played until the end of 1947. In the semi-final Lorrha beat Galtee St. Pecauns at Thurles on November 16 and the final, against Moycarkey-Borris, was played at Gaile on the first Sunday in December. The choice of venue was very interesting, only a mile from the parish of Moycarkey-Borris. It was as close as it was possible to get to Moycarkey without actually being in it! 

Injuries 

No report of the match was published in any of the local papers. Probably the result didn't please the powers that were in control in the county at the time. As far as has been discovered the result was 4-4 to 3-4 in favour of Lorrha. The referee let everything run its course in a fairly tough game. The Lorrha centre-back, Paddy O'Sullivan, retired with an injury five minutes into the second half. When he went into Thurles to have attention the doctor, on hearing of the match, said: 'I can expect more so!' He was unnecessarily pessimistic as Billy Hogan, who had to get a few stitches in the mouth, was the only other casualty. 

As a result of winning the north final the team went senior in 1947, getting to the semi-final before going down to Borrisileigh. Of course, the team got a great new recruit in February of that year when Tony Reddin came across the bridge of Portumna from Mullagh. He was to make a name for himself with Lorrha and Tipperary over the next decade. His presence on the Lorrha team in 1948 was most responsible for the team's success in the north final and qualification for the county final in which they went down to Holycross-Ballycahill. 

The Future 

All of that was fifty years and more ago and it returned the club to the status it has held from the foundation of the G.A.A. until 1940. In the latter year it had been regraded to intermediate and it remained in that status until winning the championship in 1946. It is hoped that the club's present relegation is for an even shorter period. There may even be some good to come from a stay in the intermediate ranks, an opportunity to rejuvenate the club and put it on a stronger footing. Probably the greatest motivation will be a determination to get back to senior status. 

For the record then, and not something to be proud of, as Ken Hogan pointed out to me at the Toome-Blackrock game, the Lorrha team which was defeated 2-7 to 0-9 by Borrisokane in the relegation playoff at Cloughjordan on September 6 was as follows: Ken Hogan, Cathal McIntyre, Tom Madden, Martin Younge, Stephen Hogan, John Mclntyre, David Haughton, John Madden, Enda Moran, Barry Moran, Declan O'Meara, Noel Hogan, Pat Kennedy, Aidan Mclntyre, Rory Coen. Subs: John Sherlock for B. Moran, Padraic Madden for A. McIntyre, Donal O'Donoghue for Kennedy.

 

 

Tony Reddin Wins Knocknagow Award Tipperary GAA Yearbook 1998, p 105

Tony Reddin Wins Knocknagow Award

Tipperary GAA Yearbook 1998, p 105

 

ONE of the highlights of the Cidona Sports Awards in the Clonmel Arms Hotel on January 24 was the presentation of the Knocknagow Award to Tony Reddin, the former Lorrha and Tipperary goalkeeper. Tony won All-Ireland senior medals in 1949, 50 and 51 and his outstanding performances between the posts during these and later years were sufficient to win him membership of the Team of the Century in 1984. To the strains of the band playing the county anthem, 'Slievenamon', and the cheers of the three hundred people present at the ceremony, Tony strode up to be presented with his award.
 

Tony Reddin

Tony Reddin

Born in Mullagh, Co. Galway in 1920, Tony came to work in Lorrha in February 1947. He had a hurling record before he crossed the Shannon. He won a county juvenile medal with Mullagh in 1933 and a divisional junior medal in the late thirties. He played county junior hurling in 1940 when Galway were beaten by Cork in the All-Ireland. Graduating to senior ranks in 1941 he played on the Connaght Railway Cup team that was trounced by Munster that year. He didn' t appear for
Galway again until 1946 . In that year he played full-forward in the Monaghan Cup game at London against Tipperary. Playing full-forward for Tipperary that day was Tony Brennan.

He made his debut with Lorrha in a tournament game against St. Vincent's of Dublin on Easter Sunday 1947. He played unspectacularly with his new club in the championship. The following year he made his name as a goalkeeper, particularly against Borrisoleigh in the divisional final. As a result he was drafted on to the county panel for the 1948-49 league and was to be a regular on the team until 1956. After that he rotated with Blackie Keane until he played his final game for
the county at New York in October 1957.

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

 

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1997 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998. pp 111-112

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1997

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998. pp 111-112

 

Dunne, Katie: (Ed.) Grangemockler Church and People, 1897-1997, (Grangemockler Centenary Committee), 1997. £10. 

Fullam, Brendan: Legends of the Ash, (Wolfhound Press) 1997, £16.99. 

McRory, Seamus: The Voice from the Sideline, (Blackwater Press) 1997, £9.99. 

O'Leary, John (with Martin Breheny): Keeper of the Flame, (Blackwater Press) 1997, £9.99. 

Rafferty, Eamonn: Talking Gaelic, (Blackwater Press) 1997, £8.99. 

Ryan, Senator Willie: Golden-Kilfeacle: The Parish and its People, (Golden-Kilfeacle GAA Club) 1997, £20. 

The list of publications so far this Christmas is not overwhelming. The two local ones deserve special mention. The Grangemockler book originated with the idea of celebrating the Centenary of St. Mary's Church in the village. The parish has a few noted alumni, such as T.E Kiely of athletic fame and on whom an exhibition opened on November 27 in the County Museum, Clonmel, Mick Hogan, immortalised in Croke Park, Cardinal Michael Browne of the Dominicans and Vincent Comerford, Professor of Modern History in Maynooth. 

The book contains almost 200 pages, is well illustrated and the section devoted to the GAA has over 30 pages. The club won its first county final in 1890, halting the famous Bohercrowe's run of victories. They nearly repeated the success in 1895 and 1896 but an objection in the first year and the narrowest of defeats in the second prevented this. In 1903 the club commenced an unprecedented period of dominance in Tipperary football, winning five county titles in a row. The book traces the fate of the club, mostly in the doldrums, until the next county final in 1931. One highlight of these years was Bloody Sunday in 1920. Seventeen of the nineteen man panel for that Tipperary-Dublin game came from the south and four, Jerry Shelly, Mikey Tobin, Dick Lanigan and Mick Hogan, were from the parish. Because of his father's illness, Mikey Tobin was unable to travel. Three players from the club, Jerry Shelly, Dick Lanigan and Mickey Tobin, were on the 1920 team, which won Tipperary's last football All-Ireland, played in 1922. 

Ballyneale is the other half of the parish and the relationship hasn't always been a happy one. In the thirties each part went its own way and Ballyneale entered teams of their own in both hurling and football. (The former game always tended to be more popular in Ballyneale). In 1943 both ends re-united to take the south junior football championship, but again went their separate ways in 1946. And, as luck would have it, they were drawn against each other. It took three matches to resolve the conflict, with Ballyneale winning out in the end and going all the way to a county final. Ballyneale also brought the first hurling success to the parish, a divisional junior hurling success in 1948. 

With this division in the parish Grangemockler declined as a senior footballing force and returned to that state as a combo only in later years. The story of the club in these years is patchy with 1990 an outstanding year, when four divisional championships were won. By 1992 Grangemockler were back in senior football for the first time in nearly thirty years. 

The GAA section is well illustrated and perhaps the length of space available caused important omissions. There is no mention of the Stars of the Sea team from Ballyneale, which won the county schools championship in 1929 under Joseph Manning, N.T. Nor is there any mention of Paddy Blanchfield and James O'Shea, two members of the team, who were on the last Tipperary team to win a minor football All-Ireland in 1934. But these are minor blemishes in a piece that whets the appetite for more. 

A more substantial work is the Golden-Kilfeacle parish history. This work started out as a history of the Golden-Kilfeacle GAA club some years back but evolved into a comprehensive work on the parish. There is a fine introduction by Des Marnane in which he places the parish of Golden-Kilfeacle in its historic setting as a fording point on the Suir and a place of religious settlement. There's a lengthy piece on Athassel Abbey, pieces of reminiscences of parish life in the thirties, forties and fifties, including a nostalgic piece by Frank Delaney, one of the parish's famous sons, the long and strong connection between the parish and greyhounds and horses and accounts of the many clubs, organisations and societies which make the parish work. 

Over half the work is devoted to the history of the Golden-Kilfeacle GAA club. The pages of this section make sometimes lively reading as the writer, Senator Willie Ryan, weaves tales from the social life of the period into the sporting life of the parish. The club won its first divisional senior hurling championship in 1969 . and repeated the victory three years later. However, in spite of producing a respectable body of players, who have done their parish proud in all grades at county level, - in all, members of the club have won fifty provincial and All-Ireland medals in hurling and football - the club has not been successful in senior hurling since 1972. Football has brought more success. Winning a first west senior football championship in 1980, further honours were won in this grade in 1986, 1988, 1995 and 1996. 

The club history comes to an end in 1995 and what a fitting year on which to go out. The year was celebrated many times throughout the parish. Six west titles were won, senior football, intermediate hurling, junior football, under-21 football, minor football and under-16 hurling. On top of that were county titles in intermediate hurling and under-21 football. Never before in a single year had such a haul of medals come to the hurlers and footballers of Golden-Ki Ifeacle. 

There's an impressive collection of photographs in the book ranging from a land league hut from 1882 to the minor hurling team beaten in the county 'A' final this year, the first time to qualify in thirty years. There's an eight page spread of colour photographs in the centre of the book which adds impressively to the impact of the work. Also, a comprehensive sites and monuments map. Overall a fine production and a model for any parish that hasn't yet produced a history. 

Two other publications of smaller scale can be mentioned. The South Board produced South Tipp '96 a booklet outlining the achievements of the clubs during the year. Mostly pictorial and statistical, it brought together the pictures of all the winning teams, information on finals, intercounty players and sponsors. It contains forty pages and had a bright colourful cover. It was well received and divisional secretary Michael O'Meara, is hoping to bring out a similar record for 1997. The only inhibiting factor is cost but the popularity of the publication may overcome that obstacle. 

The second publication is The Blues News, a production of the Thurles Sarsfields club. Two issues are to hand and a third will be available for the Christmas. The first one highlighted the celebration of All-Ireland medal winners from the club, which was held early in the year, as well as other club news. The publication is a mixture of current club activity and glimpses into the past. It is eight pages long, printed on good quality paper with fine photographic reproductions. An idea for any club which had an able and imaginative member to take on the task. But, be forewarned: such publications cost money and the vast number of club members and players are not inclined to put their hands in their pockets and pay for them. 

On the national level, Brendan Fullam's third book in the final one in the popular trilogy, which records the big names of the game of hurling over the past century. His two previous books, Giants of the Ash and Hurling Giants were well received as they recorded for posterity the hopes and aspirations and personal motivation of the hurling giants of each decade. In Talking Gaelic Eamonn Rafferty interviews a host of well-known personalities from player to politician, die-hard to dissenter. President McAleese is included. John O'Leary's story covers the life of a great sportsman, who was first choice goalkeeper for the Dublin senior football team for seventeen years. Finally, in The Voice from the Sideline key Gaelic football managers tell us about their management strategies, motivation, discipline, their drive to succeed and their concerns for the future. 

I haven't seen any sign of Brian Carthy's, The Championship 1997, as yet but I hope it appears. H is books for 1995 and 1996 were outstanding records and reference works for those two years' hurling and football championships and it would be a huge gap in GAA literature if the 1997 book wasn't published. numbers. 

 

 

The 1997 Senior Hurling Championship Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998, pp 65-67

The 1997 Senior Hurling Championship

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998, pp 65-67

 

Clonoulty-Rossmore are the most unlikely 1997 senior hurling champions of county Tipperary. They rebounded from disappointment in their own division to take the highest hurling honour in the county. Along the way they caused one of the great turnabouts in hurling history and produced one of their finest performances to win the county final.

Prior to their quarter-final game against Ballingarry their chances of winning a county final were rated at seven to one by the bookies. This was an improvement on earlier projections and the improvement had come about as a result of a comprehensive victory over Cappawhite, the beaten west finalists, in a contest to decide on the second team to represent the division in the county championship. Clonoulty-Rossmore had qualified for this play-off by virtue of winning the Crosco Cup, the divisional league competition. Earlier they had gone down to Kickhams in the west semi-final. Losing by four points against a team they had beaten fairly easily in the league, they looked disorganised and badly motivated. The defeat had a salutary effect, however, acting as a spur to greater motivation and commitment in later games.

County success created difficulties in the running of the divisional championships but the north was well organised and first to stage its final at Cloughjordan on August 3. In atrocious weather conditions, Toomevara easily pushed aside the challenge of Borrisoleigh, winning by 1-15 to 0-8 and establishing themselves as form horses to win the county final. Since the winners were already league champions in the division there was no need for a play-off to decide on the second team for the county championship.

The west was ready for its final between Kickhams and Cappawhite at Cashel on August 24 but a tragic, fatal car accident in Knockavilla on the Friday before led to a postponement for four weeks. It was eventually played on September 21. The result was worth waiting for from a Kickhams point of view. Their last victory was in 1960 and over the intervening years they were beaten in six finals. It was, therefore, a moment to savour when the final whistle sounded after a rivetting game and the scoreline read 0-19 to 2-10 in their favour. Cappawhite had pushed Kickhams to the limit but it wasn’t enough. They had to turn out the following Sunday at Golden to play the Crosco Cup winners, Clonoulty-Rossmore, but the effort was too much after the disappointment of the previous week. They were well and truly savaged by a re-focused Clonoulty-Rossmore side and suffered the humiliation of a twenty point drubbing on a scoreline of 4-15 to 1-4.

A big win was also the result in the mid final. Played at Semple Stadium on the same day as the west final, it promised to be the contest of the year. Neighbouring parishes Boherlahan-Dualla and Holycross-Ballycahill were in opposition, the former the county champions and the latter age old rivals. Incredibly, apart from the opening ten minutes the game was never a contest and the result, a 1-17 to 0-4 scoreline in favour of Holycross-Ballycahill, was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the division. The county champions were never at the races, scored but a point from play and seemed devoid of any appetite for hurling.

The south had fallen very far behind in its championship and its schedule was put further behind by a draw between Ballingarry and Killenaule in a semi-final. This was aggravated by a tragic, fatal car accident on the night of the draw in which the Killenaule captain, Larry Hayes, was killed. The result was that the replay didn’t go ahead until October 5, the date fixed for the county quarter-finals. Mullinahone, who were already through to the final, were nominated as losers, since they hadn’t contested the south final the previous year, and drawn against the west winners in the county quarter-final. Ballingarry defeated Killenaule in the replay and qualified to play the second team from the west, Clonoulty-Rossmore. The south final was eventually played on November 16.


County Quarter Finals

Three of the quarter-finals were scheduled for the weekend of October 4/5. The first of these was played at Templemore on October 4. The mid winners, Holycross-Ballycahill, played the north losers, Borrisoleigh. It was generally agreed that a draw was a fitting result to this game. Borrisoleigh, after making much of the running, came from behind to level through a Martin Hayes point five minutes from the end. Borrisoleigh were ahead by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval. They went further ahead in the third quarter but a goal by Donal Duggan in the twenty-second minute put Holycross-Ballycahill in the driving seat and they seemed poised to win. But Borrisoleigh came back for the final point, which left the score 1-9 to 0-12 at the final whistle.

The replay was at the same venue the following Saturday. In a very competitive encounter on a rain-sodden pitch, Holycross-Ballycahill’s better balance and greater commitment carried them through. Borrisoleigh, with the aid of the wind in the first half, led by 0-7 to 1-3 at the interval, the lone goal coming from Duggan, but they failed to score in the second half despite intense pressure. In contrast Holycross-Ballycahill notched up four points to give them a winning tally of 1-7 to 0-7.

In the mean time, Boherlahan-Dualla had caused a sensation in the second quarter-final of the north-mid encounter. Played at Nenagh on October 5 a re-juvenated side turned the tables on the north champions, beating them by 2-12 to 0-14. After the trouncing in the mid final not many supporters expected the result in spite of the club’s impressive record against the ‘Greyhounds’ in 1995 and 1996. Toomevara had been installed as everyone’s favourites, not only to win but to go ahead and win county honours. But, it was Boherlahan who had the hunger, the commitment and the will to win in an encounter that degenerated into ugliness on several occasions. It was a great team performance, a result to savour and a memory to cherish.

On the same day in Cashel Mullinahone were establishing their credentials as meaningful contenders for county honours. Led and inspired by John Leahy the team showed it was no one-man band but one with plenty of talent scattered around the field. They took some delightful scores, with no less than eight of the team getting their names on the scoreboard, and were impressive in their fast ground play. The Kickhams performance, in contrast, was disappointing. The team never really got going, missed too many chances and were guilty of no less than fourteen wides.

The last of the quarter-finals was played at Cashel on October 12. Clonoulty-Rossmore gave a boost to their county aspirations by defeating their south opponents, Ballingarry, by 4-9 to 1-10. They got off to a great start with a James Ryan goal after fifteen seconds. They led by 3-3 to 0-4 at the half-way stage and were ten points ahead with fifteen minutes to go. Then there was a spirited Ballingarry resurgence, led by an impressive Liam Cahill, which reduced the deficit to four points but this was killed off when Maurice Quirke got Clonoulty-Rossmore’s fourth goal and by the final whistle there was an eight-point margin between the teams.


The County Semi-Finals

The county semi-finals were played in Semple Stadium on October 19 with the two mid teams fancied to take the honours. Mullinahone had other ideas and showed great spirit and skill in overcoming the mid champions, Holycross-Ballycahill, by 1-20 to 3-11 and qualifying for their first ever county senior hurling final. The effects of going out for their third championship game in three weeks showed in the mid men’s play and they never really got to grips with the occasion. This, however, does not detract from Mullinahone’s win and from the tremendous fighting qualities they showed in the second half. Having led by 1-7 to 0-6 at the break their advantage was cut to a point following a David Burke goal after eight minutes. Nothing daunted they turned on the style and hit six points on the trot, without a reply. But Holycross-Ballycahill were not lying down either and brought the sides level with goals from John Ferncombe and Tony Lanigan, in the course of two minutes, followed by a point from Ferncombe. The game hung on a fine edge but, in the remaining minutes, it was Mullinahone who had the extra reserves and scored five points to two for the losers to secure an historic three point victory.

The second semi-final has already become the stuff of legend. There are stories of patrons having left the grounds feeling the result a certainty and returning for the sensational ending. There’s a story of a publican who rushed home to fill the pints for the winners only later to learn they were for the losers. And, there’s the story of the Bansha man who went home certain of Boherlahan’s victory and wasn’t disabused until he read the Examiner on Monday morning!

All of this was possible because of a sensational and quite unbelieveable last gasp comeback by Clonoulty-Rossmore. With three minutes remaining in what had been a very pedestrian game of hurling, Boherlahan led by 4-11 to 1-12. The score might have been 6-11 to 1-12 had Philip O’Dwyer put away two almost certain goal chances. Then the sensational happened. Declan Ryan goaled from a free. He goaled again in the 30th minute after Seamus Coffey shot just wide. And, then, within a minute, Maurice Quirke delivered the coup de grace with another goal which sent Boherlahan reeling out of the championship and Clonoulty-Rossmore into paeans of ecstacy.

Anything that went before that final three minutes became irrelevant in the aftermath. One of the talking points was Declan Ryan’s free-taking. A la Paddy Kenny of old, he threw a first-half penalty shot about ten yards forward before striking it. He didn’t succeed in scoring then but he did twice in the second half and had spectators asking the question why he wasn’t taking the close-in frees for the county team. The sides were level at the interval 0-8 to 1-5, Aidan Flanagan getting the goal for Boherlahan. Clonoulty-Rossmore went ahead with Declan Ryan’s goal in the third minute of the second half but then Boherlahan-Dualla took over and were heading for the county final when the thunderbolt struck in the final few minutes.


The County Final

The county final on November 2 was unique in a number of ways. Never before had there been a south-west contest at this level. It was Mullinahone’s first time to appear and it brought to twelve the number of appearances by south teams in county senior finals. It was thirty years since a south team won the final. Mullinahone were slight favourites on the basis of their displays in the quarter- and semi-finals and Clonoulty-Rossmore’s fortuitous win over Boherlahan-Dualla. The interest generated in the contest was reflected in the huge crowd of over 17.000 which attended, the biggest number at a county final since the fifties.

The game was always close and whereas the hurling may have been moderate most of the time, the uncertainty of the outcome kept the interest alive. Like so may games it did not follow the pattern many expected. Declan Ryan, who played such a pivotal role in the quarter-and semi-finals, had a relatively quiet hour. The Mullinahone trio of John Leahy, Brian O'Meara and Paul Kelly, on whom so much depended failed to deliver. Leahy worked extremely hard but his finishing, particularly his free-taking, left a lot to be desired. Paul Kelly threatened spasmodically but was never the force he was in previous games. Brian O’Meara, apart from his goal, had a quiet game and ought to have been moved off Aidan Butler much earlier.

In contrast, Clonoulty-Rossmore were a team of heroes. Andrew Fryday was brilliant with his puckouts. Noel Keane never put a foot wrong and lifted his team with a great point. Aidan Butler was outstanding at centre-back. Kevin Lanigan-Ryan troubled John Leahy greatly in the middle of the field. Maurice Quirke got two points to remember. Michael ‘Shiner’ Heffernan deservedly got man-of-the-match for four points from play and making a fifth for Bonny Kennedy. And, what can one say about the latter that would be adequate to describe his contribution? He scored seven points but his contribution ranged all over the field especially in the final ten minutes when the chips were down.

On a murky day in greasy conditions, there was no appreciable wind to interfere with the game. The sides were level on six occasions in the first half but by half-time Clonoulty-Rossmore were in front by ten points to seven, the difference between the sides reflected in the number of wides, three to the west, nine to the south. The west men remained in front until Brian O’Meara’s goal brought the sides level and there was all to play for in the final ten minutes. Bonny Kennedy gave Clonoulty-Rossmore a two point cushion during this period and with about three minutes to go, Mullinahone got a thirty yard free. Leahy blasted for goal but it was saved. He got a second chance and it came off the post, leaving the advantage to Clonoulty-Rossmore and victory by 0-17 to 1-12.

It was a hugely disappointing result for Mullinahone and their supporters, who came in such great numbers to cheer on their heroes. It was a game they could have won and that realisation will make the defeat more difficult to take. For John Leahy, despite scoring seven points, the memory will be one of missed opportunities. Obviously his display was effected by his hand complaint and there were few instances in the game when he reached with confidence into the clash of hurleys to grab the ball as only he can do so brilliantly. Added to that was the failure of the team’s forward line to score with any kind of facility.

But any mention of a below-par Mullinahone performance must be balanced by a superb display from Clonoulty-Rossmore. They were a transformed side and their display was better than their most fervid supporters could have dreamed of. The oldest among them were keen, hungry and committed and played out of their skins. The youngest among them gave performances that will be remembered in parish folklore. Above all the whole team had a physical edge, allied to a leaven of experience, which made life difficult for Mullinahone and never allowed them to settle into the kind of fluency they so desired. Unlikely county champions after the west semi-final, Clonoulty-Rossmore made themselves deserving champions by seizing the opportunities presented to them. Carpserunt diem! 

 

Clonoulty-Rossmore: Andrew Fryday, Michael Ryan, Noel Keane(capt.), Peter Brennan, Michael Heffernan, Aidan Butler, John Kennedy, Kevin Ryan, Kevin Lanigan-Ryan, Michael Brennan, Maurice Quirke, Michael Kennedy, James Ryan, Declan Ryan, Michael Heffernan. Sub; Seamus Coffey for James Ryan.

Mullinahone: Liam O’Connor(capt.), Tony Dalton, Sean Brett, Jackie Bolger, Paul Cahill, Noel Leahy, Kyran Vaughan, John Leahy, Eddie Carey, Paul Kelly, Brian O’Meara, Damien Maher, Mossie Tobin, Edward O’Brien, Pat Croke. Sub: Eoin Kelly for Edward O’Brien

Referee: Michael Cahill (Kilruane-MacDonaghs)

Man of the Match Award: Michael Heffernan (S), (Clonoulty-Rossmore)

 

Suir Valley Rangers Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998. p 57

Suir Valley Rangers

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998. p 57

 

In May the Suir View Rangers were remembered in a ceremony and memorial in their honour at Ardmayle. The occasion was the centenary of their winning the 1897 county final and Peter Meskell produced a fifty page booklet recording the history of the team, which had a very short existence, 1895-1898.

Suir View was unique in the sense that it never existed as a parish or townsland but rather as a catch-all name to cover the western portion of the parish of Boherlahan-Dualla. Included in the area were the townslands of Ardmayle, Ballyroe, Bawnmore, Clonmore, Clune, Clareen, Ballydine, Longfield, Kilbreedy, Gortnaglough, Camus and Slatefield from where the players of the Suir View Rangers originated. Most of them went to school in Ardmayle and later ‘The Forge’, owned by Morrisseys at Ballyroe, would become the gathering place of the team. The training patch was Fogarty’s field in Bawnmore.

The team first affiliated in the senior hurling championship in 1895 and came up against Tubberadora, the eventual All-Ireland champions, in the final. The match ended in a draw but, after extra time, Tubberadora were successful by 3-9 to 2-7. Two of the Suir View team, Phil Byrne and Peter Maher, were selected by the winners in the ensuing inter-county championship.

In the following year the sides reached the county final once more. Tubberadora led by seven points to one at half-time and, with five minutes to go, had extended their lead to 4-8 to 2-2. At this stage a dispute arose and Suir View refused to continue, whereupon the referee awarded the game to Tubberadora.

The sides were scheduled to play in the semi-final of the 1897 county championship. While training, Tubberadora’s John Maher, broke his leg in an accidental clash with Phil Scanlan. The latter was so upset that he would not play in the forthcoming game. Tubberadora decided to withdraw from the encounter and Suir View qualified for the final.

Their opponents were Horse and Jockey and the game did not take place until March 6, 1898. Played at Thurles, the match ended in a draw.. Peter Meskell uses the reports in the contemporary Cashel Sentinel to set the record straight on what happened subsequently. The replay was fixed for Cashel on March 20. The Horse and Jockey did not turn up. Suir View didn.t claim the game and it was refixed for Tipperary on April 10.. It was called off because of incessant rain. The match was refixed for Cashel on May 15. When Suir View, who apparently didn’t like playing in Cashel, failed to turn up, the game was awarded to Horse and Jockey. Suir View appealed to the Central Council, which ordered a replay at Tipperary on a date to be fixed. When the date for the replay at Tipperary arrived, Horse and Jockey failed to turn up, thus leaving the title to Suir View.

According to Meskell the county board comes badly out of the affair, acting the dog in the manger because Suir View appealed to the Central Council. They did all in their power to prevent Suir View doing well in the first round of the inter-county championship by fixing them to play Roscrea the week before in the 1898 county championship.

Suir View played Cork on July 21 in Cork. According to Meskell, Canon Fogarty got it wrong when he claimed that Suir View were defeated because ‘of attempting to represent Tipperary by themselves.’ This was not the case. Tubberadora refused to release any of their players unless they were given the major say in the overall selection of the team. The Horse and Jockey had their own grievances and refused to have any of their players selected. Only Thurles players, Tom Semple, Jim Sullivan and Bill Ryan, were willing to participate. So, Suir View, with a depleted side, arrived late for the game because the train was overcrowded and couldn’t take an incline between the Junction and Emly. The game started late and the players were not in a fit state to put in a reasonable performance. By the end of the hour they were behind by the humiliating score of 4-16 to 0-2.

Jim Heney had his teeth smashed in and never hurled again. Neither did the team. It was scheduled to play against Cork in the Croke Cup competition on December 18 but the referee never turned up and Suir View refused to play. Soon after the team disbanded and did not affiliate again. Some of the players joined Thurles for the 1900 championship but most of them called it a day even though many of them were still young.

Peter Meskell tells a fascinating tale and he concludes his story with profiles of all the players and their subsequent histories. He has done a great service to Suir View Rangers and, as a result of his work, our knowledge of life and the state of hurling in this part of the parish of Boherlahan-Dualla one hundred years ago, is all the greater. 

 

 

 

 

The Back Door and All That Lark Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998, pp 51-53

The Back Door and All That Lark 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1998, pp 51-53

 

The meeting of Clare and Tipperary in the 1997 All-Ireland senior hurling final has caused frantic flutterings in the dovecotes of the traditionalists. It's not right that two teams from the same province should contest the All-Ireland. It's not acceptable that a team beaten in the championship should have a second crack at winning it! And, it's definitely not fair to the Munster champions to have to beat in the All-Ireland the same team they put away in the Munster final!
All very true no doubt and a far cry from the traditional knock-out championship. And, we're not going to finish with it this year: It is an experiment and it's going to run for another year. The aim and intention behind it was twofold: it is an attempt to increase the number of hurling games available in the championship and to take into consideration the state of the game in Ulster and Connacht.

In the latter case Galway have traditionally had a direct entree to the All-Ireland semi-final in spite of the best intentions of the Roscommons and the Londons. In Ulster, there are two teams but, with only two exceptions in over a century, neither Antrim or Down is a realistic contender for All-Ireland honours. By allowing in the beaten finalists of Munster and Leinster, Central Council was trying to ensure that the best hurling teams in the country qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals.

 

THE BACK DOOR

One of the worst aspersions cast at the new system is the way it allows teams back into the championship by the back door! The term is intended to be properly derogatory and suggests that no right-minded team with respectable credentials would demean itself by using this mode of entry. The manly man with his chest out will walk up to the front door while the sleeveen with the servile mentality will sneak around to the back entrance. There is a definite implication that he has no right to be there. So, should Tipperary snuffle away to the undergrowth and get lost? No! I hardly think so.

In fact, we're very familiar with the back door in the county. Ever since 1977, when the open draw for the county senior hurling championship was abolished, we have been living with the back door entry into the championship and no one has ever taken a blind bit of notice. Even worse, with divisions we have many variations of this kind of entry. There's the losers group in some divisions, a league-championship system in others and they all facilitate teams which get beaten.
This system has a long ancestry. At the North convention in Nenagh on 8th March, 1953, the chairman stated that 'the senior hurling championship (of 1952) was carried out under a new scheme and he and everyone else thought that the 'Lorrha scheme' worked well. He called it the 'Lorrha scheme' because it was moved by Rev. Fr. O'Meara of the Lorrha club and carried at the last convention.' According to this motion the senior championship was played on a knockout system with teams beaten in the first round forming a group for play-off among themselves with the winning team being given a place in the semi-finals of the championship proper. So, are we to blame Lorrha for the whole back door policy? Over forty years later the system still obtains in the North championship.

 

THE COUNTY FOLLOWS

The County Board put an end to the straight knock-out system of running the county championship in 1960. At convention in that year it was decided that two teams would come forward from each division, with the winners meeting the losers from another division and the losers meeting the winners. The four winners in the quarter-finals were put into an open draw for the semi-finals and resulted in repeats of the Mid and the North finals. Toomevara defeated Kilruane MacDonaghs as they had done in the North final and Thurles Sarsfields beat Holycross/Ballycahill in a repeat of the Mid final. In the county final Toomevara defeated Sarsfields and stopped them winning six-in-a-row.

There was a change in 1961. The number of teams contesting the county championship was reduced to six, two quarter-finals. The runners-up in the North and the Mid played the winners of the South and the West, parallelling the system in operation for the All-Ireland championship this year. This system continued to operate until 1966 when it was decided that two teams from each division would contest the county championship, and this remained the case until the introduction of the open draw in 1969. During the period 1961 -'65 when there were two quarter-finals, the runners-up North and the Mid were successful every occasion bar one. That was in 1965 when South winners, Carrick Davins, beat North runners-up, Lorrha by a point. The winners went on to qualify for the final, drew with Thurles Sarsfields and lost the replay. They were to be winners in 1966 and 1967.

It's interesting to identify who were the backdoor champions during this period. When Sarsfields won their tenth county final in 11 years in 1965 they did so through the back door: they were beaten by Moycarkey/Borris in the final. Moycarkey did the same thing in 1984 when they became centenary champions. Does anyone think any less of them because they were beaten by Drom/lnch in the Mid final? One of the most celebrated examples is Borrisoleigh in 1986. League winners in the North, they beat the championship runners-up, qualified for the county championship, beat the North champions in the county final and went on to win a. club All-Ireland! And there are even more back door champions in the nineties. Toomevara used this route in 1992 and 1993, Nenagh in 1995 Boherlahan in 1996!

 

IN MUNSTER

And, it didn't happen only in Tipperary. There is a very obvious example of the back door in the history of the Munster championship. We all look back with a feeling of hurt and a sense of aggrievement at what happened in 1941. That was the year of the foot and mouth and the curtailment of G.A.A. activity in parts of Munster, particularly County Tipperary. As a result, the county was prevented playing the Munster championship and Cork were nominated to play in the All-Ireland series. And, because they were beaten later by Tipperary in the Munster final, it could be said they got into the All-Ireland retrospectively through the back. To make matters worse, from a Tipp point of view, they not only won the All-Ireland but went on to win four-in-a-row!
There is another aspect of this whole development that is causing consternation among the traditionalists and that is idea of two teams from the same province playing the All-Ireland final. Sure, it's not right at all! I suppose it won't be any consolation to them to point out that the county final in Tipperary was fought out on at least 10 occasions since 1970 by teams from the same division.

Without delving too deeply into hisory it is worth pointing out that the first All-Ireland in 1887 was played under an open draw system. Initially 12 teams enterred and there was a completely open draw. Eventually, only five teams participated, Tipperary, Galway, Wexford, Clare and Kilkenny. As we areare Tipperary played Galway in the All-Ireland but it could have as easily been Clare had the draws gone differently. So, it has taken all those years in meantime for us to meet them in the Ireland.

 

BIZARRE AND UNBELIEVABLE

One of the most bizarre and unbelievable episodes in the history of All-Ireland finals occurred in the 1925 football All-Ireland. It's the last occasion, as far as I know, when two teams from the same province contested an All-Ireland I. The two teams were Galway and Mayo. The record books will show you the result of the Connacht final as Galway 1-5, Mayo 1-3. Then if you go to the
All-Ireland semi-finals they will show Kerry 1-7 Cavan 2-3, Mayo 2-4 Wexford 1-4. And, if you look for the Ireland champions you will read, Galway!!!

How did this come about? The Connacht football championship had fallen terribly behind when Central Council fixed the All-Ireland semi-finals for 30th August and requested the Connacht Council to nominate a team. The other provinces had completed their championships but the first rounds hadn't yet been finalised in the west. Galway and Leitrim had drawn twice and Roscom­n had drawn with Sligo so, by August, the first round hadn't been completed.

As Mayo were the provincial champions of 1924, they were nominated to represent Connacht in the All-Ireland sim-final. Drawn against Wexford they defeated them by a goal in Croke Park. In the other semi-final Kerry defeated Cavan by one point at Tralee. Cavan objected to Kerry having illegal players and Kerry counter-objected that Cavan had illegal players. The Central Council disqualified both teams.

So, Mayo were All-Ireland champions? Such was to be the case in 1941 when Cork, the nominated team of Munster, got a bye into the All-Ireland and defeated Dublin. In 1925 it was different. As Mayo were only a nominated team, the All-Ireland of 1925 depended on who would emerge as Connacht champions. And, so it was to be. (I wonder who changed the rules between then and 1941).

But, to get back to Connacht in 1925. Galway eventally beat Leitrim in their third outing and Sligo beat Roscommon in their replay. Then, Mayo beat Sligo in a memorable semi-final and qualified to meet Galway in the final. The Connacht final and the All-Ireland final now lay between the two teams. The game was played in Parkmore, Tuam, later a racecourse and presently a soul-less housing estate, on 18th October. An enthusiastic crowd turned up. A Galway man, Stephen Jordan, was the referee and 'no better man in Connacht could have been selected ... and to the best of his ability carried out a duty which to him, being a Galway man, was a great responsibility,' the Western People reported. The upshot of the game was that Galway, relying more on weight and strength and rush rather than stylish, systematic play, beat Mayo by 1-5 to 1-3. The cynics would probably say: sure, why wouldn't they win and they having their own referee as well as the venue!

 

DISPUTED

Back in the council chambers the heat rose appreciably toward the end of November when a letter from M. Barrett, secretary of the Mayo County Board, questioned the validity of the Central Council in awarding the Ail-Ireland title to Galway on foot of their win over Mayo. The county contended and argued their case strongly, that they had been led to believe that they were All-Ireland champions and that they considered the game against Galway as being merely the Connacht final. Had it been the All-Ireland final it should have been played in Croke Park, as per the rule book.

The argument came to naught. The Central Council confirmed Galway as All-Ireland champions for 1925. But the Council must have had some reservations about its decision. It decided to present a set of gold medals to the winners of an interprovincial football competition between Cavan and Kerry, Galway and Wexford. Kerry refused to take part in this new competition. Galway defeated Wexford and later had a comfortable win over Cavan, thus proving, perhaps, they were the best team of 1925. On top of that they got three sets of medals in all.

What it all proves is not too clear. There is a precedent for two teams from the same province meeting in an All-Ireland final, although the circumstances are much different. It also shows that there were two totally different interpre­tations put on the question of nominating teams. Had what prevailed in Con­nacht in 1925, obtained in Munster in 1941, the Munster final on 26th October would also have been the All-Ireland final and it would further have established the precedent of two teams from the province meeting in an All-Ireland final.

 

AN OPEN DRAW

Regardless of the outcome of this two-year experiment of allowing beaten finalists back into the championship, there does appear to be an opening for a break from the traditional way of running the All-Ireland series. There are good arguments for an open draw, separate and distinct from the provincial championships. Such a draw would preferably have 12 teams, with four preliminary rounds, followed by quarterfinals, semi-finals and final. At the moment the 12 teams would be Clare, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Offaly, Dublin, Antrim, Down and Galway. An open 'B' championship could also be run and a system of promotion / relegation worked out between the two. This would give us 11 championship games. Added to that would be the provincial championships with as many more hurling games. I do not believe the provincial championship would suffer: it was still desirable to win the divisional championship in this county, when the open draw was in operation. The system would give us more hurling games, greater exposure of the game and more exciting television.

Whether one is for or against the present experiment, one has to admit that it has increased the interest in hurling to an incredible degree. (I do admit that the sponsorship of Guinness with their imaginative and dramatic advertising campaign has also played its part, as also the increased televising of the games). By the time the 65,000 capacity attendance is added to this year's All-Ireland hurling championship figures, an increase of 25% will have to be achieved. More than 483,000 will have attended the matches as against 395,000 last year. Compared with 1995 the increase is even more dramatic, up 58% on that year. This is encouraging news and didn't happen out of the blue but because a few farsighted people had the courage to look beyond the cosy and the familiar. 

 

 

 

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1997 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 124-125

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1997

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 124-125

 

HOGAN, VINCENT: Beyond the Tunnell: The Nicky English story (MedMedia, £10)

HUMPHRIES, TOM: Green Fields: Gaelic Sport in Ireland (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £15)

KEENAN, DONAL: Babs: The Michael Keating Story (Storm Books, £10) 

KING, SEAMUS J.: A History of Hurling (Gill & Macmillan, £18) 

MURPHY, SEAN: The Prince of Hurlers: The Life and Times of Jackie Power (The Clare Champion, £10) 

O'HEHIR, MICHAEl: My Life and Times (Blackwater Press, £15) 

O'KEEFFE, CATHERINE, (ED): Marlfield Hurling Club, 1946 - 1996 (Sureprint, £10) 

O'ROURKE, COLM: The Final Whistle (Hero Books, £10) 

RACKARD, BILLY: No Hurling at the Dairy Door (Blackwater Press, £10) 

NUGENT, SEAN: Slievenamon in Song and Story (Sureprint, N.P.) 


As the above list testifies there is an abundance of G.A.A. pubications on the market for this Christmas. And, I heard, it may be added to in the very near future by books from Ger Loughnane and Jimmy Smith of Clare! The significant thing about the list is the overwhelming preponderance of hurling books. The sole exception is the autobiography of Colm O'Rourke, sponsored by Kepak and published last summer. The book brings to life one of the best known and respected footballers of the last twenty years, tracing his life from the earliest interest in football in Skyrne through some of the most memorable games in the colours of Meath. The autobiography discusses the extent of the rivalry between Dublin and Meath among other things and there is a stimulating article on the road ahead for the G.A.A. The book concludes with O'Rourke's scoring record over twenty years of senior football with Meath - his average was 2.47 points per match - together with the scores and lineouts in every championship game he played. 

The Marlfield club history presents the story of the club through newspaper accounts of its successes and defeats and this is f1eshed out by personal reminiscences of some of the major figures in the club. In existence since 1946 it made its first major breakthrough in 1954 when it won the south junior title. Senior breakthrough followed in 1960 after the club was strengthened by the addition of five new players, Mick Egan, Mickey Carew, Jerry McCarthy, Paddy Maher and Seamus Power. Of course the most influential figure on the side was Mr. Marlfield himself, Theo English. There is much more and Catherine O'Keeffe and all those involved in its production are to be complimented. If I am critical it's of a few minor things. I should have liked to have read a bit more about the lawn, some history of the Bagwells and, for those confused by many,of the placenames, a map would have been a help. 

There is a review of three of the books elsewhere in the Yearbook, the Babs story, Beyond the Tunnel and A History of Hurling. I was interested to read in the Babs' book that he claims responsibility for the high catch in hurling. "In those days not many hurlers tried to catch a high ball. Everything that came in the air was played in the air. I was different. I jumped for it and caught it." When I put it to him that this skill arrived earlier with Wexford he claimed it was in the backs they used it, not the forwards. He is very interested in the changing style of management from the time he played. At that time there was little rapport between players and management. No selector ever discussed your game with you. The first inclination you got of dissatisfaction was when you weren't picked to play. (Interestingly some of the players managed by Babs would claim you got the message when he stopped talking to you!) He reckons there was a failure in the management of the Tipperary team in 1966. Of his own days in management he is eloquent in the defence of his way of doing things. He admits that his five Ss, speed, stamina, style, skill, leading to scores, were not sufficient without a killer instinct. He writes about inviting Kevin Heffernan in 1989 to talk to the Tipperary players in order to try and instill the killer instinct. He would agree that Galway beat Tipperary physically in 1987 and 1988 as did Cork in 1992. 

Nicky English claims honesty in his account of his hurling life and' is difficult not to concur. It's a warts and all presentation and he is quite modest about his achievements. The famous kicked goal was pure luck: "As I closed in on Cunningham's goal, the sliothar at my feet, honestly hadn't a clue what I was going to do next. .. To this day, I still can't believe what the ball did." He is equally modest about the tap-over point in Killarney: he thought there was someone behind him andwas afraid of being hooked! He recalls the photograph from the Clare game of 1984 in the Cork Examiner "with shall we say, more than my tongue hanging out as I raced through on goal. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. There I was, in all my glory, the side of my shorts opening just sufficiently for the family jewels to protrude. Incredibly to my knowledge, it got through every edition." He does not hesitate to write about the terrible decision made by the selectors in picking the 1990 team. And there is much more, all written in a very readable manner. 

Tom Humphries' book is not just a book about football and huling but one about Ireland and the Irish. It is the story of people, places and passions, tales about games which run deep in the Irish consciousness. It's about sports which have stirred a country like little else can. Anyone who has read Humphries in the Irish Times will know what an interesting and exciting writer he can be. 

A History of Hurling is an attempt to write a one-volume history of one of the oldest field games in the world, a game that stretches into the dim and distant past. The main part of the book concentrates on the history of the game since the foundation of the G.AA a traces this through the senior hurling championship. There are chapters on the other championships and competitions, on the geography of the game, on hurling styles and on the future of hurling. 

The Jackie Power book runs to 200 pages and recalls the life of Jackie from his birth in 1916 to his death in Tralee in 1994. His dazzling skills and ferocious courage come to life as his feats and deeds on the hurling fields of Ireland are detailed in the winning of two All Irelands, four National Leagues, seven Railway Cup medals, one Oireachtas, fifteen county hurling finals and five county football finals. The book also records his son, Ger's 8 All Ireland football medals with Kerry and grandson, Stephen McNamara's All Ireland with Clare in 1995. 

Michael O'Hehir's, My Life and Times, was launched with impressive pomp and circumstance by President Mary Robinson at a gala occasion in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin a few weeks ago. Over 700 people , chiefly from the G.AA and racing worlds turned up for the occasion. The book reads as interestingly as Michael used to commentate: 'At Cusack Park we climbed into a broadcasting box that had just 1 room for myself and my father. He struck me as being in a more nervous state than I was. Some 30 or 40 yards away in a kind of watchman's hut was Jimmy Mahon, the Radio Eireann technician. Through the headphones I got the word from Jimmy "Two minutes to one minute to go." And then: "You're on the air and off I went. I tried to describe as best I could what was happening on the field." The occasion was the Galway-Monaghan All-Ireland football semi-final, the place was Mullingar and the year was 1938 and with it began a distinguished broadcasting career that was to last until 1985 and include 99 All-Ireland final broadcasts. 

Sean Nugent has collected in 300 pages the songs and stories associated with Tipperary's most famous mountain. The legends and tales, associated with the mountain, have endured down the centuries and have created an aura of magic and mystery around the place. 

Billy Rackard's book is not only an account of hurling but of a family and a village. When he was born in 1932 the Rathnure G.AA club was founded. He describes how his father, Bob Rackard, set his sights on the beautiful, 5'11" Statia Doran and married her. They had nine children, of whom Billy was the youngest. The book brings us through childhood, an assortment of colourful characters and the exceptional hurling careers of himself, and his brothers, Bobby and Nicky. A great addition to the Wexford hurling story and to our hurling library. 

As I complete this review of recent G.A.A. publications Liam Griffin king to Pat Kenny about another book, to appear in the next few weeks on Wexford's success in 1996 and what it did for the county. The book isn't even printed yet but must be looked forward to. 

 

 

Congress ’96 in London Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 57

Congress ’96 in London

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 57

 

The 1996 Congress of the G.A.A. was held in London. Lancaster Gate and the leafy environs of Hyde Park was the setting and the Royal Lancaster Hotel with its extravagant central London hotel prices was the location. The Irish Post set the scene in its report on the event: 'On Friday afternoon they started to arrive, a procession of Pioneer pins and paunches, official ties sloping down well-fed bellies. Those that were called to the bar returned with faces as long as a Yorkshire beef farmer .... £3.50 a pint, not much less for a cup of tea. The delegates voted with a two-thirds majority to repair to an adjacent (much cheaper) hostelry.'. And, over the course of the weekend, two other hostelries with Tipperary connections, Johnny Barrett's in Cricklewood and Tom Milne's British Queen on Uxbridge Road, did good business. 

The reason for holding Congress in London was to recognise the foundation of the G.A.A. in Britain. The year 1896 is regarded as the foundation year even though it is fairly certain that the earliest English club to affiliate to the Association was Wallsend and Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1885. The first London club to affiliate was Hibernian A.C. in Clerkenwell and soon after that Exiles of Erin. This was in 1895 and at the November meeting of the Central Council the clubs were congratulated on being the pioneers of the G.A.A. movement in Great Britain. 

Soon afterwards a club was established in Manchester and the governing body of the Association decided to send over teams to London to give exhibitions the following year with a view to spreading the movement in England. Perhaps the centenary marks this first formal connection as there was quite an influx of players and athletes from Ireland to London at Easter 1896. 

The Tipperary delegation included Sean Fogarty, chairman; Tomas O'Baroid, secretary; Tom O'Donnell, treasurer; Michael O'Brien, Silvermines; Sean Nugent, Kilsheelan; Noel Morris, Borrisokane; Michael Frawley, Emly; Liam Hennessy, Moycarkey-Borris; John Ryan, Holycross-Ballycahill; Jimmy Coliins, St. Mary's Clonmel; Seamus King, Cashel King Cormacs; Matty Connolly, Boherlahan-Dualla. Also present was Donie Nealon, Burgess, Munster Council secretary. 


Hurling Proposals 

Probably the most memorable event of the Congress was the sanctioning of the hurling proposals. These, which allow the losers of the provincial senior and minor finals in Murister and Leinster a second bite of the championship cherry, had generated quite an amount of heated debate in the run-up to Congress and still more when they were debated before being put to the delegates. In general, however, they were happy with the decision to experiment in the face of the challenges facing the game. It was a mood most urgently expressed by former president, Pat Fanning of Waterford 'Marking time is the inevitable prelude to decline', he said, before adding: 'If change is needed, resistance to change is unacceptable'. When the vote came it was overwhelmingly in favour, receiving more than two-thirds of the over 300 delegates. 

Perhaps, equally memorable was the election of Joe McDonagh as the youngest ever president-elect. It was enthusiastically received as was the confident and exuberant oratory which marked his acceptance. In getting elected, he defeated an excellent candidate, Sean McCague of Monaghan, by 214 voted to 103. He will bring to the presidency a great belief in the efficacy of coaching as an engine for the promotion and progress of hurling. 

Allied to this are impressive communica­ion skills and comparative youth which must be good for the image of the Association. 'More than that', as Sean Moran wrote in the Irish Times, 'in his sense of history, pride of place and command of language, he portrays a cultural joie de vivre that is sometimes lacking within the G.A.A. Joe McDonagh's love of Irish language, sport and music came naturally and unselfconsciously to him. He s a great spokesperson for the culture because his embrace of it is unforced and presents itself as a celebration of his identity rather than as an assertion of what he isn't. His enjoyment of that culture makes him what he is; he's not pursuing it to prove a point." 


Liam McCarthy 

The arrangements for Congress were in the hands of the London County Board, whose chairman, John Lacey, called the decision to hold it in London 'a message of unification and co-operation as the way forward into the next millennium'. All were agreed that the arrangements went very well. From a London perspective one of the highlights of the historic weekend was the unveiling of a headstone at the grave of Liam MacCarthy, the most famous son of the G.A.A. across the Irish Sea. This ceremony took place in the Old Dulwich Cemetery after twelve o'clock mass in St. Thomas Moore Church on Lordship Lane on Easter Sunday. 

The unveiling was a fitting reminder to delegates of the immense contribution made by the son of Eoghan and Brigid MacCarthy of Ballygarvan, Co. Cork to the G.A.A. in London. Born in 1853 in London, Liam MacCarthy married well and was 43 years old when the Association was formed in his native city. He was the first treasurer of the London County Board and later became president or chairman. He was also involved in the Gaelic League, Amnesty International and the I.R.B. In the latter he worked with Sam Maguire and Michael Collins. When the Provincial Council of Britain was formed he became its first secretary. He is best known for having provided the eponymous trophy for the All-Ireland hurling championship in 1922, for which he paid Edmund Johnson Ltd. of Grafton Street £50. He was a man of great character, proud of his Irish roots and Catholic upbringing, never smoked or indulged in alcohol. It is understandable that his compatriots should honour him with the title of 'Father of the London G.A.A.' 

It was fitting, therefore, that his memory should be honoured appropriately in this the Centenary Year of the London G.A.A. before a representative gathering of Gaels from many parts of the world and that it should be done at Easter, a symbolic time for Liam MacCarthy's religion and patriotism.

 

 

The 1895 All-Ireland Double Centenary Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 44-45

The 1895 All-Ireland Double Centenary

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 44-45

 

The centenary of the first All-Irelands played in Croke Park was celebrated on March 15. The day was chosen because it was exactly 100 years since the hurling and football All-Irelands of 1895 were played. On March 15, 1896 teams from Tubberadora and Tullaroan contested the hurling All-Ireland while teams from Arravale Rovers and Pierce (Navan) O’Mahony’s played in the football All-Ireland. It was only right and fitting that representatives and teams from the four clubs should be invited to Croke Park to commemorate the event one hundred years later.

Only eight years after the inauguration of the All-Ireland championships, the governing body of the G.A.A. was facing a crisis in regard to finding suitable venues at which to stage important fixtures.

By 1895 it was clear that something would have to be done in the wake of the recent debacles at major games - the Phoenix Park fiasco when the venue for the two All-Irelands had to be changed at virtually a few minutes notice; the 1894 All-Ireland football final replay at Thurles, which was unfinished and the lack of crowd control at the Dublin-Meath game in the same year at Clonturk Park in Drumcondra. The latter ground had served reasonably well in its day but, with the rapidly growing support for Gaelic games, it was imperative that the use of grounds capable of housing much larger crowds than heretofore be acquired.

The problem was that the G.A.A. was not in a financial position to embark on any expensive acquisitions. Renting suitable pitches was the only option and the grounds of the City and Suburban Racecourse and Amusements Company at Jones’s Road had been used with success for the 1895 Leinster semi-final and final. With this experience behind them the Central Council had no hesitation in fixing the 1895 All-Ireland finals for March 15, 1896 at the venue.

 

Success

Under the astute direction of President Frank B. Dinneen and the General Secretary, R.T. Blake, no effort was spared to make the move to this new location and the staging of the first All-Irelands there was a huge success. For a week before the games the two sets of medals which were to be awarded to the winners were displayed in the window of Messrs Moore and Company, Grafton Street and tickets were on sale ‘all over the city’.  According to a newspaper report the price of tickets was 6d (2.5p) to the trotting track and 1/- (5p) to the stands up to the Saturday before the finals.  On Sunday the prices would be increased to 1/- (5p) and 1/6 (7.5p). The programme could hardly have been more attractive as, apart from the two games, the long puck and long kick championships were also down for decision.  The events were timed thus: football final at 11.45am; hurling final at 1.00pm; long kick at 2.15pm and long puck at 2.30pm.

There was a delay in getting maters under way as the train carrying the Tipperary teams arrived late with the football game eventually starting at 1 pm. Only the football match lived up to expectations. Against the breeze Arravale Rovers failed to score in the first half during which Pierce O’Mahonys scored three points. However, the Tipperary side improved in the second half, scoring four points without reply from Meath.  Willie Ryan notched the winning point seven minutes from the end to give Arravale Rovers victory by 0-4 to 0-3.

The Arravale Rovers team was as follows: Paddy Finn (capt.), Willie Ryan, Bob Quane, Jim Riordan, Mick Finn, M. ‘Jerry’ McInerney, Paddy Glasheen, Jack Carey, Mick Conroy, Dick Butler, Willie Ryan, Jack Heffernan, Jerry O’Brien, Paddy Daly, Batt Finn, Phil Dwyer, John Carew.

The hurling final, despite a brave showing by Kilkenny, especially in the open stages, gradually became a one-sided affair. Tipperary led by 1-6 to 1-0 at the interval and at the finish were easy winners by 6-8 to 1-0. One of the stars of Tubberadora’s success was Paddy Riordan, a Drombane man, to whom is attributed the distinction of scoring all his side’s total of 6-8 on the day. This score should give him the record for an All-Ireland final but, because it was never authenticated, the record is claimed by Michael ‘Gah’ Aherne, who scored 5-4 in Cork’s 6-12 to 1-0 win over Galway in the 1928 final. Paddy Riordan’s brother, Jim, played with Arravale Rovers on the same day. Mr. J.J. Kenny (Dublin) refereed both games and though there was no official figure issued, most estimates put the attendance at about 8,000. The size of this figure can be placed in context by the fact that the Ireland-Wales rugby international, played the previous day at Lansdowne Road attracted a crowd of 7,000. In fact the entire Welsh rugby panel were in attendance at Croke Park on the day.

The successful Tubberadora side was as follows: Mickey. Maher (capt.), E. Maher, Phil Byrne, W. Kerwick, John Maher, Denis Walsh, John Walsh, Peter Maher, T. Flanagan, Jas. Flanagan, Paddy Riordan, Jas Gleeson, Fergus Moriarity, John Connolly, John Maher, E. Brennan, Will Devane.

 

Sequel

The proceedings of the historic afternoon at Jones’s Road concluded with the presentation of medals to the winning teams and to the individuals who had won the long puck and long kick competitions.

In a letter to the Irish Daily Independent on the Tuesday following the finals, the referee, J.J. Kenny, stated that the result of the football final was incorrect.  According to his letter, he stated he should have disallowed one of the Tipperary scores for an infringement following a kick out from the Meath goal and that the correct result was a draw.  However, no action was taken on the foot of this disclosure and, though there was a lengthy discussion at the next meeting of the Central Council, with Pierce O’Mahony’s reluctant to press the matter, the result was allowed to stand. At a later stage the Central Council presented a special set of medals to the Meath side with the inscription ‘Virtual Champions of Ireland, 1895’.

 

A Century Later

The commemoration on March l5, 1996 began with a luncheon for the officers of the four clubs involved in Croke Park.  After the meal, which was attended also by G.A.A. officials and the Press, the President of the Association, Jack Boothman, addressed the group.  He paid tribute to the men of the past whose endeavours helped set in motion two of the most exciting and cherished field games in the world, hurling and football.  He had a special word of praise for famed Tubberadora, the home of so many great hurling names.  On hand to receive the presentation of a framed commemorative scroll from Mr. Boothman was vice-chairman of the Boherlahan-Dualla club, P.J. Maher.  In his words of thanks, the latter said the presentation would always have a special place in the hearts of his clubmen.  The presentation to Arravale Rovers was accepted by club chairman, Tom Richardson, who spoke in praise of the men who gave a lifetime of service to the club. Tullaroan chairman, Ger Doheny, and Pierce O.Mahony chairman, Liam Currane, also received scrolls and spoke of the momentous occasion enjoyed by their respective clubs.  The Tullaroan chairman remarked on the coincidence that he and the Tubberadora chairman were contemporaries at Pallaskenry College.

After the meal a limestone plaque was unveiled at the back of the Hogan stand inscribed thus:


Unveiled by Sean Boothman
Uachtaran Cumann Luthchleas Gael
15 Marta 1996
to commemorate the first All-Ireland finals
played in Croke Park 15 Marta 1896

Iomaint
Tubberadora V Tullaroan
Peil
Arravale Rovers V Pierce O’Mahony’s
1896 - 1996

 

(With the life of the Hogan Stand under threat with the new development of Croke Park, some of the spectators wondered would the plaque have a much shorter life than the event commemorated.)

 

Exhibition Games

After the unveiling of the plaque, two exhibition games, fifteen minutes aside, took place to mark the occasion. The results of a century earlier were reversed when the hurlers of Tullaroan and the footballers of Pierce O’Mahony’s claimed victory. In the hurling game there was an exciting finish.  Tullaroan were in front by 0-6 to 0-4 with about three minutes to go.  In the course of two minutes Boherlahan went ahead with a goal and a point but, in the dying minute of the game Tullaroan forced a penalty from which a goal was scrambled and this score gave them victory by 1-6 to 1-5.  The football was a much more one-sided contest with the Pierce O’Mahony players much fitter and more prepared than Arravale Rovers, running out easy winners by 2-6 to 1-1

After the games the teams were feted at a function and the contestants were presented with a fine commemorative medal to mark the occasion. The respective captains, Seamus Dunne of Tullaroan, Brendan Murray of Pierce O’Mahony’s, Philip Ryan of Boherlahan and Larry O’Donnell of Arravale Rovers, introduced the players and they received their medals from President Jack Boothman.

Overall then, an enjoyable afternoon and a fitting tribute to the men of one hundred years ago, who became the first to play All-Irelands in the famous venue.  Although the latter would not be recogniseable to the ghosts of these men, with the dramatic Cusack Stand dominating the scene, the games of hurling and football would be easy to identify even if they are played at a faster pace.

 

 

The County Senior Hurling Championship 1996 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 35-39

The County Senior Hurling Championship 1996

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1997, pp 35-39

 

They said it wasn't possible, that it couldn't be done, that Boherlahan-Dualla didn't have the talent, that Toomevara had too strong a panel and were fully focused on reversing last year's result. Although the mid men had annihiliated Cashel King Cormacs in the semi-final, the pundits and the experts had honed in on the clinical way the North team had despatched Thurles Sarsfields at the same stage of the competition.

Even though Boherlahan-Dualla had beaten them in last year's semi-final, that defeat was regarded as nothing more than a blip on all otherwise ascending graph to county honours. In fact with the talented team and the strength in depth right through the squad, Toomevara were predicted to go right through to contest the honours on St. Patrick's Day!

And, all that certainty was sanctioned by the betting men: in a two-horse race the boys in the green and gold were certs at 9/4-on and the minions from Boherlahan-Dualla didn't stand a chance.

That was, of course, outside the parish of Boherlahan-Dualla. Within the confines of this historic place the supporters believed in their chances and their mentors plotted and planned for victory. They did not consider anything less than victory. In fact, manager Martin O'Dwyer expressed disappointment on Sunday night at their margin of victory: he had forecast a five-point margin!
And the supporters were equally optimistic. One such, Eddie Bennett, on his way home from the pub through the wind and rain of the previous night, was positive he met the ghost of Dan Breen in Boherclough and he was headed for Boherlahan! There was no doubt it was an omen: Boherlahan would win!

And they did. In the end the margin was the minimum but there was no doubt that the Boherlahan boys deserved their victory. They had to endure setbacks and difficulties in the first half but they overcame them and the breeze in the final 30 minutes, and when Liam Maher hit the final winning point there was no supporter outside of Toomevara - who wasn't willing them to win.

When Philly Ryan received the Dan Breen cup on behalf of the team, he was doing something that no Boherlahan man had done for 55 years. The last man from the parish to receive the cup was Philly O'Dwyer in 1941, when Boherlahan had won their 13th and last senior county final. They had made another unsuccessful final appearance in 1953, when they were beaten by Borrisileigh.
That team was captained by Tom Kevin and included George Studdard, Andy Fogarty, Johnny Callanan, John Ryan (T), James O'Meara, Sean Leahy, John Walsh, Jack Doherty, Eamon Leahy, Sonny Maher, Paddy O'Dwyer, Michael O'Reilly, Philip Ryan, Mick Leahy.

When 1996 dawned there were a number of of serious contenders for county honours. County champions, Nenagh, were hoping to expand on their 1995 victory. Toomevara had very definite aspirations, feeling they had been ambushed the previous year. Cashel King Cormacs believed they had left it behind in 1995, when losing a seven-point lead to Nenagh, and intended to make amends.

Boherlahan had gained enormously in confidence a a result of making the breakthrough the previous year and saw no reason hy they couldn't go one better. And there were other teams who felt that 1996 could be their year.

 

Divisional Champions

The west division were first with their senior final and it was played for the first time in Rockwell Rovers' newly developed venue at New Inn on August 18. Cashel King Cormac's went into the game very hot favourites but they came a cropper against a very purposeful Clonoulty Rossmore side. On a windy afternoon. Cashel, who were going for four-in-a-row, had no answer to an opposition which played with determination and cohesion right through the hour and had a thirteen- point winning margin at the final whistle on a scoreline of 2-13 to 0-6.

The defeat left Cashel with the Crosco Cup final to play against Kickhams in order to decide on the second team for the county championship. When this game, which was, in fact, a replay, the sides having drawn on July 21, was played on September 8, Cashel came through by 2-11 to 1-10. Had they been beaten, the sides would have had to play once more because Kickhams would then have been Crosco Cup winners and Cashel would have been runners-up in the championship!

So much for the west. There were three divisional finals on September 8. In the south, the venue was Monroe and the, teams were Ballingarry and Killenaule. What had been billed as a potential thriller and a repeat of the 1992 final turned out to be a damp squib in which Killenaule had no answer to the opposition and Ballingarry won in a canter (2-17 to 1-10). Highlight of the game was the display of young star, Liam Cahill, who scored six points of the winners', total.
In the mid there was no doubt about Thurles Sarsfields' supremacy on the day. Inspired by Brendan O'Carroll, they put in a powerful performance to beat the holders, Boherlahan-Dualla, by 3-13 to 1-13 to take their 36th divisional title. This six-point margin of victory was achieved in spite of conceding 1-2 in the first four minutes of the game.

Matters were more complicated in the north. The final brought together the most unlikely pairing, Lorrha and Newport. Neither side seemed likely prospects in the beginning of the year. But then Lorrha put Nenagh out in the first round and Newport gave Toomevara their marching orders in the second round. The two sides eventually made it to the final at Nenagh on September 8.
For Newport it was a very special occasion as the club hadn't found itself in that position since as far back as 1931. There was a great atmosphere about the final, which was added to by the similarity between Newport's and Wexford's colours. The sides ended level at 0-12 to 1-9 with Lorrha's John Madden getting the last minute leveller. The replay was the following Sunday and a very exciting occasion saw Newport span a 61 year gap to become North champions by 2-13 to 3-6. In a welter of excitement, the Newport captain, Connie McGrath, received the cup from divisional chairman John Joe McKeogh.

As championship losers, Lorrha had to play league winners, Toomevara, to decide on the second team for the county championship. This game was played at Cloughjordan on September 28 and the league winners didn't have much difficulty in ousting a Lorrha side badly depleted by injury, on a scoreline of 1-16 to 2-7.

 

Quarter-Finals

In the quarter-finals the Mid played the South ann the North played the West. The first encounter was between Thurles Sarsfields and Killenaule, at Littleton, on September 21. The margin of victory of nine points by Thurles Sarsfields was comfortable but it flattered the Mid men somewhat and didn't do justice to Killenaule. The latter were much improved on their south final performance and could consider themselves unlucky to be behind by 2-13 to 1-7 at the final whistle.

The remaining three quarter-finals were played off on the weekend of October 5/6. In Clonmel on Saturday, Boherlahan- Dualla bounced back from their defeat in the mid final to record a comprehensive defeat of south champions, Ballingarry. They were in command of the game from the third minute when Michael Ferncombe scored a goal from long range and were well on top at the interval, when they led by 2-12 to 0-4. In the 7th minute of the second half, Liam Cahill goaled for the south side but it did not unduly worry Boherlahan, who went on to win comfortably by 2-18 to 1-8.

The two remaining semi-finals were played at Templemore in fine conditions on the following day. The first game, between Cashel King Cormacs and Newport, was very exciting because of the closeness of the scores and the doubt about the result until the final minutes. In fact, right to the end, Newport might have got the goal to draw but Cashel defended well and a combination of determination and luck kept their opponents at bay until the end and a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-11 in their favour.

The second game was a big disappointment. Clonoulty-Rossmore were only a shadow of the side that had impressed so well in the west final. Right from the start Toomevara had matters under control. They got the scores and their tight defence prevented the West champions from responding. It seemed as if the team was inhibited by the jerseys they wore, playing in the old Rossmore colours for the occasion. In the end Toomevara were comfortably in front by 2-17 to 0-9.

 

The Semi-Finals

Semple Stadium was the venue for the two semi-finals on October 13. In the first game Mid champions, Thurles Sarsfields, were pitted against North league winners, Toomevara. The Mid men, showing promise in the past few years and having given an impressive display in the Mid final, believed they had the material to upset the North men.

They opted to play against the wind in the first half and could have had a goal from Johnny Enright early on but it was stopped by Jodie Grace. This failure to score epitomised their play all through the match: they never really got going and had to work inordinately hard for the meagrest of rewards.

In contrast, Toomevara could do things effortlessly, could send over points at will and controlled the game right down the centre. The second half and the breeze brought no change in proceedings and the game dragged its slow length along to the final whistle without any prospect of a Sarsfields' revival. The final score was 1-17 to 0-6 with no less than eight players contributing to Toomevara's winning account.

In the second game, Boherlahan-Dualla gave a stunning performance, which demolished Cashel King Cormac's and destroyed any chance they had of making up for the county semi-final failure in 1995. The West men went into the match with reasonable expectations. In fact some of their more fervent supporters gave them more than reasonable expectations. And yet, there had been a large number of question marks about this Cashel side in the course of the year.

They were struggling to succeed. They were waiting for the good display to arrive. They did not recognise that things were going as badly as they were. And the day didn't change anything. Cashel got an ideal start with T.J. Connolly's goal but as if to confirm that the weakest time in a team's defence is immediately after it scores a goal, Boherlahan struck almost immediately with a Philip O'Dwyer goal.

Then when Cashel appeared to have absorbed the storm from Boherlahan, O'Dwyer struck again with another goal in the 21 st minute. This was followed by a third from Michael Murphy five minutes later. The Mid men led by 3-5 to 1-6 at half-time and any signs of a Cashel revival were shattered by another O'Dwyer goal nine minutes into the second half.

However, Cashel reduced their deficit to five points midway through the half and for a short while things looked more hopeful. But, just as the sun was about to come out, O'Dwyer struck agan with his fourth goal in the 17th minute. This put an end to Cashel's hopes and expectations and left Boherlahan-Dualla convincing 5-11 to 2-8 winners.

Whereas 0' Dwyer's performance grabbed the headlines, this was a great team effort in which every member grafted for everybody else and many players revealed high levels of skill. Boherlahan-Dualla showed a great level of hunger and commitment and a tremendous self-belief.

 

The County Final

The pairing for the county final was unusual. Neither team had won divisional honours. Toomevara had been beaten in the second round of the divisional championship by the eventual winners, Newport, who, in turn, had been beaten by Cashel at the quarter-final stage. The latter were beaten by Clonoulty-Rossmore in the west final, who were then beaten in the quarter-final by Toomevara, who defeated Thurles Sarsfields in the semi-final after they had beaten Boherlahan-Dualla in the Mid final.

And in the second semi-final, Boherlahan-Dualla beat Cashel, who had overcome Toomevara's earlier victors. It was really difficult to understand the way things were going.

Just under 10,000 spectators came to Semple Stadium on October 27 to watch the fare in reasonably good conditions. Although Boherlahan-Dualla had the breeze in their favour in the first half, it was Toomevara who got the breaks and the scores which gave them a five point lead at the interval.

The north men got a goal in the 14th minute from Kevin Kennedy, which was deflected into the net by William Hickey. Five minutes later Michael Murphy got through for the Mid men but failed to score.

In the final minutes of the first half, Toomevara got three points without reply from Boherlahan, who, in fact, had two scoreable opportunities driven wide by Aidan Flanqgan.

As the teams went in for the interval break the signs were not good for Boherlahan. Only the optimists might claim that the goal should never have happened and Flanagan might have scored the two points. Had both these things happened the sides would have been level at that stage. For Toomevara there was the loss of Bevans after 15 minutes, a player who had been giving a lot of trouble to Tommy O'Dwyer. On the positive side his replacement, Terry Dunne, was playing well and had scored two great points during the second quarter.

Boherlahan-Dualla resumed well and had two points in three minutes. But, when their spirits were beginning to rise, Toomevara came back with a point from Liam Nolan and then the finest score of the hour, a goal by Kevin Kennedy, to put the Greyhounds 7 points ahead and seemingly in an unassailable position. But the goal acted as a spur to the Boherlahan boys.

They responded swiftly with three ponts by J.J. McGrath, Ger Flanagan and Aidan Flanagan. Then, in the 11 th minute, a goal by Philip O'Dwyer. The game was now wide open. Boherlahan had a new lease of life. Points were exchanged. The sides were level and, in the dying minutes of the game, Liam Maher sent over the bar to give Boherlahan-Dualla the lead for the first time and victory when referee Willie Barrett sounded the final whistle.

It was a time to remember! After so many years in the wilderness, Boherlahan-Dualla had arrived in the promised land.

A jubilant Boherlahan captain, Philly Ryan, received the cup from county chairman Sean Fogarty as Semple Stadium became a sea of euphoric blue and gold. While this ecstatic celebration was taking over the field, Toomevara were left with the sadness of defeat and the query as to what had gone wrong. They had come up against a greater hunger but must have felt that they had left victory behind them.

The teams were as follows:

Boherlahan-Dualla - Philip Ryan (capt.), William Hickey, T.J. O'Dwyer, Tommy Dwyer, Seamus Hickey, Conor Gleeson, David Ryan, Michael Ferncombe, J.J. McGrath, Ger Flanagan, Michael Murphy, Brian O'Dwyer, Philip O'Dwyer, Liam Maher, Aidan Flanagan.

Toomevara - Jody Grace, Pat Maher, Rory Brislane, Aidan Maxwell, George Frend, Michael O'Meara, Phil Shanahan, Tony Delaney, Pat King (Capt.), Kevin Kennedy, Tommy Dunne, Ken Dunne, Michael Bevans, Kevin McCormack, Liam Nolan. Subs: Terry Dunne for Bevans, Liam Flaherty for McCormack, Bevans for King.

Referee: William Barrett (Ardfinnan). Man-of the Match: David Ryan (Bohrlahan-Dualla).
Boherlahan-Dualla selectors: Martin O'Dwyer,. Kieran Maher, Willie Joe O'Dwyer. Donagh O'Donnell (trainer). Toomevara selectors: Sean Stack, Dinny Haverty, Matt O'Meara.
 

COUNTY SENIOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP 1996 AT A GLANCE

County Final: October 27, 1996, Semple Stadium, Thurles - Boherlahan-Dualla 1-16, Toomevara 2-12.

County semi-finals: October 13, 1996, Semple Stadium, Thurles - Toomevara 1-17, Thurles Sarsfields 0-6. Referee: Tommy Lonergan (Kilsheelan).
Boherlahan-Dualla 5-11, Cashel King Cormacs 2-8. Referee: Michael Cahill (Kilruane-MacDonaghs).

County Quarter-finals: September 21, 1996, Littleton - Thurles Sarsfields 2-13, Killenaule 1-7. Referee: Michael Cahill (Kilruane-MacDonaghs).
October 5, 1996, Clonmel - Boherlahan-Dualla 2-18, Ballingarry 1-8. Referee: Richie Barry (Cappawhite).
October 6, 1996, Templemore - Cashel Ki ng Cormacs 2-11, Newport 1-11. Referee T.J. Corby (Clonmel).
Toomevara 2-17, Clonoulty-Rossmore 0-9. Referee: Willie Barrett (Ardfinnan).

 

 

 

 

Tipperary Senior Footballers - All Ireland Senior Football B Champions 1995 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 26-27

Tipperary Senior Footballers - All Ireland Senior Football B Champions 1995

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 26-27

 

Tipperary senior footballers made history on August 27 when they defeated Longford by seven points in the All-Ireland 'B' Championship final at Birr. The win was most welcome for football followers in the county after a woeful league campaign, which saw the team failing to record a win in Division III. 

In the three post-Christmas games they lost to Longford, Antrim and Wexford respectively and these failures were followed by a massive McGrath Cup trouncing at the hands of Clare. It was more in hope than expectation the team looked forward to the Munster championship. 

Tipperary had a bye to the semi-final and the preparation of the team was hampered by injuries, curtailed by clashes with club fixtures and, to add to the tale of woe, the selectors had to do without the services of Anthony Crosse in the attack, as a result of an injury received in the hurling semi-final the previous Sunday. 

So the team travelled to Tralee on June 24 to take on Kerry, a team they hadn't beaten in a Munster championship game since 1928. The resultant defeat by 7-12 to 1-13 does not do justice to a fine performance from an injury-hit team. Tipperary went from being 0-2 to 0-1 up after ten minutes to being 5-2 to 0-2 down after seventeen minutes. The goals kept coming and coming during this six-minute period. 

However, between then and six minutes into the second half, Tipperary came thundering back and reduced the deficit to four points. But this fine effort did not last. Kerry gradually recovered their composure and by the final quarter were completely in charge, hammering home their superiority for a seventeen-point win. 

The losing side was as follows: P. Ryan, T. Macken, P. Gleeson, B. Lacey, J. Owens, J. Costello, T. Anglim, B. Burke, D. Foley, D. Hogan, P. Maguire, M. Sheahan, P. Lambert, C. McGrath, B. Cummins. Subs: L. Cronin for Anglim, G. Maguire for Costello. 

It is against this background, then, that the success in the 'B' All-Ireland must be viewed. The final was played on the same evening which saw the unveiling of a monument to the great Tubberadora team of a century ago. The game got little publicity and the attendance of less than a thousand people hardly did justice to the endeavours of the players and the significance of the win. 

An indication of this significance of this win is the fact that it's the first major win in county senior football since 1971. In that year Tipperary won Division 2 of the National Football League and were presented with a special trophy by the President of the Association, Pat Fanning. The team achieved a 100% success, defeating Carlow, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Clare and Kilkenny along the way. 

Victory was clinched when they defeated Waterford by 0-10 to 1-6 at Clonmel on May 16th. Babs Keating, the captain, punched a point five minutes from the end to give the team a one-point victory. The victorious side was: J. O'Donoghue, J. Harney, E. Webster, M. McCormack, D. Fitzgerald, D. O'Gorman, P. O'Donoghue, D. Burke, S. Kearney, P. Blythe, M. Keating, P. O'Connell, J. Cummins, D. Strang, C. McElwee. Subs: P. Moroney for Fitzgerald, L. Myles for McAlwee.

The selectors were Mick Frawley of Emly, Rev. Dr. Marsh of Ardfinnan, Michael O'Meara of Clonmel, Dick McGrath of Loughmore-Castleiney and Tom Larkin of Kilsheelan. 

But back to '95. Having beaten Wexford and Waterford, Tipperary qualified for the All-Ireland 'B' final. The victory over Wexford was of particular importance as it represented a tremendous bounce back after the championship defeat by Kerry. It was Longford's second appearance in the final, having lost to Clare in the 1991 decider. 

There was never any doubt about the outcome. Longford had no answer to Tipperary, whose appetite for the fray and technical ability were far superior. Playing with the breeze in the first half they established an eight-point lead, 1-7 to 0-2, after eleven minutes. 

Derry Foley was in inspirational form at centrefield while Sean Brett and Tom Macken were on top in defence. Davy Hogan scored the first-half goal while substitue Mark Leonard got the second. Longford notched 1-3 in the last ten minutes but there was never any doubt about the outcome. The final score was 2-12 to 2-5 in fvour of Tipperary.

The captain, Philly Ryan, was presented with the cup by Albert Fallon, Vice-President of the G.A.A. and chairman of the Leinster Council.

The sucessful side was as follows: P. Ryan (Commercials) capt., S. Brett (Mullinahone), B. Lawlor (Mullingar Shamrocks). P/Gleeson (Arravale Rovers), M. Sheehan (Nenagh Eire Óg), T. Macken (Ballyporeen), T. Anglim (St. Patrick's), B. Burke (Fethard), D. Foley (Moyle Rovers), B. Cummins (Ardfinnan), P. Lambert (Nemo Rangers), F. O'Callaghan (Commercials), J. O'Dwyer (Killenaule), J. Costello (Kilmacud Crokes), D. Hogan (St. Patrick's). Subs: M. Leonard (Aherlow), for Hogan; C. O'Reilly (Cashel) for Anglim, P. Costello (Garda) for Foley.

The selectors were: Seamus McCarthy (Galtee Rovers) manager; D. J. Gleeson (Eire Óg), Michael Power (Newcastle), Petee Savage (Ardfinnan).

 

G.A.A. Publications Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 115-116

G.A.A. Publications 

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 115-116

 

After the famine of the past few years there's a respectable meal of new publications to write about this year. They include a history of a famous towns land, an impressive account of a famous club and an account of how the hurling famine ended in Tipperary.

But first to that townsland, the golden square mile that is Tubberadora. 1995 was the centenary of the first of three All-Irelands won by a famous band of men and, as well as building an impressive monument in stone to their revered memories, a booklet of 48 pages was produced to flush out their names and give them faces and histories.

The booklet was researched and written by John G. Maher and is complementary to two other G.A.A. publications from the parish, The Tubberadora-Boherlahan Hurling Story, told in 1973 by Philip Ryan, and Boherlahan and Dualla: A Century of Gaelic Games written by Philip Ryan and John Maher in 1987. John Maher, in Tubberadora: The Golden Square Mile, concentrates on Tubberadora, telling what happened and giving us interesting inforrmation on the men who made it happen.

Among other things we learn that Ned Brennan died in a shooting accident in 1912 at the age of 38. Tim Condon and Mike Wall died in 1918, the latter in faraway Australia, whence he emigrated in 1906 and where he continued to hurl. Another of the famous band, Jack of the Fields, died in California. We are also told of their descendants. Peter Maher's greatgrandson, for instance, Davy Hogan, is on the current Tipperary senior football team and another great grandson, John Hackett, was a member of the 1984 Tipperary minor football team which won Munster honours.
The booklet is a fascinating read and is a giveaway at £2. As well as telling us about the players it gives a brief account of the games played by Tubberadora. There is a picture of the 1898 side and a map of the place with the houses of the players marked.

 

Arravale Rovers

Tom O'Donoghue has been working on the history of the club for a number of years and it eventually saw the light of day in July, when it was launched with due pomp and circumstance by Marcus de Burca in the Royal Hotel, Tipperary. A very impressive publication, the book stretches to 564 pages in A4 size pages.

The first part of the book will be of enormous interest to everyone wanting to know more about the state of football in the county in the early days of the Association. There were no less than three teams from Tipperary Town, Bohercrowe, Arravale Rovers and Roseanna.
Bohercrowe won the county championship in 1888 but there was no Munster or All-Ireland championship because of the American Invasion. Bohercrowe and Roseanna met in the first round of the county championship the following year with Bohercrowe successfull and they went on to capture the All-Ireland title with a comprehensive victory over Maryboro in the final. The Spittle was the home base of the Roseannas and the rivalry between them and Bohercowe can be gleaned from a ballad to celebrate the All-Ireland victory, two lines of which ran as follows:
And coming up the Spittle/With neither dread nor fear.

If Bohercrowe were successful in 1889, it was to be Arravale Rovers turn in 1895 when they beat Navan O'Mahonys in the final. The game was played on March 15, 1896, and it was part of a double fixture, the second half of which was the Tubberadora/Tullaroan hurling final. It was the one and only time the two finals were played on the same day and the first time for finals to be played at Jones's Road. There is another interesting point about both finals. Jim Riordan played for Arravale Rovers in the final and his brother Paddy played with Tubberadora. Both were originally from Drombane and they have the rare, if not unique, distinction of winning senior All-Ireland medals on the same day in different games.

Paddy Riordan has a further distinction of being credited with Tubberadora's total score of 6-8. His achievement was confirmed in the weekly paper, Sport, in 1914, by Frank Dineen, who had been President of the G.A.A. in 1896.

But back to Arravale Rovers. The town of Tipperary was alive with political tension in the late eighties. New Tipperary was born and in July 1890 the three famous clubs of Bohercrowe, Arravale Rovers and Roseanna agreed to be united under the banner of the New Tipperary Club. However, this unity was not to last long. The Parnell Split was to cause this fragile unity to be well and truly riven.

The book traces the fortunes of the various clubs that came into existence. For the benefit of the reader I thought the author might have included an appendix with the names of all the clubs that existed in the town over the years. And, while on the question of additions, a roll of honour of the clubs' achievements would have been very helpful. Finally, a list of all the players from the town who had won All-lrelands in hurling and football would be most useful.

These few deficiencies should not detract from a very fine achievement. Of great interest are the exciting contests between Tipperary Club and Bray Emmets in 1904/5. The achievements of the club in later years are presented in detail. The selection of photographs adds to the value of the book and the numerous team lineouts will make it an important work of reference. Tom O'Donoghue has laboured long and assiduously to complete this book and deserves the gratitude not only of the people of Tipperary Town but of the county as well.

 

The Tipp Revival

Tipperary's hurling famine came to an end in 1987 with the capture of a Munster senior hurling final for the first time in 16 years. Since then the county has had a reasonable amount of success including five Munster finals, two All-lrelands and two National Leagues. The success of the county is more dramatically reflected in the number of All-Stars it received. Between 1972-86 the county had 11 All-Stars. Between 1987 and 1994 the number has been twenty-six.

Seamus Leahy has written an important book on these years. It is reviewed sepa­rately in this Yearbook. It is sufficient for me to mention that the book is not only an account of the revival but it seeks to put it in perspective. Chapter 2 traces the dominant position the county held in the hurling world up to 1971 and follows this up with a chapter on the famine years. It goes on to talk about the arrival of Babs and his efforts to put Tipperary back in its rightful place. The book writes about the players who made it possible, the successes and the failures. The final two chapters include an interview with Babs on these years and his part in it and the final chapter is entitled: 'Whither hurling, whither Tipperary?' The book is a very good read with plenty of insights, reflections and flashbacks to previous periods of Tipperary hurling and is to be highly rec­ommended.

The year 1995 is the 75th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and there is an account of the commemorative events surrounding the anniversary elsewhere in this publication. In connection with it, south division secretary, Michael Q'Meara, put together a very impressive and comprehensive commemorative booklet, which was launched at the opening of an exhibition on Bloody Sunday in the County Museum in Clonmel.

Comprising about 80 pages, the booklet tells the story of Bloody Sunday from the books and documents published about the event. It also contains a selection of photographs, some of them never before published. It includes an account of previous commemorations, pen pic­tures of the players, a piece on the Hogan family and a selection of ballads relating to the period. The publication is a credit to Michael O'Meara and his helpers. 

 

 

The Nenagh Co-Op. County Senior Hurling Championship '95 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 37-39

The Nenagh Co-Op. County Senior Hurling Championship '95

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1996, pp 37-39

 

The fifteen thousand crowd that came to the county final at Semple Stadium on October 15 was the biggest in years. The pairing was unique. Never before had Boherlahan-Dualla and Nenagh Eire 6g, met in a county final. Never before had the north side won a senior final. In fact, they had appeared but once in that stage of the competition, in 1993.

On the other hand, the mid side of the equation, with a noble fine tradition for appearing in and winning finals, hadn't appeared in a final since 1953 and hadn't won one since 1941! So, there was hunger on both sides and the supporters turned out in their thousands to find out which side was hungrier and whither the destination of the Dan Breen Cup.

As an entree to the main course was a fascinating minor pairing, Ballingarry Gaels, a rising force in hurling, pitted against Thurles Sarsfields, an ancient stronghold of the game in the county. On top of all was a favourable weather forecast which promised a dry day with above average temperatures for the time of year.

 

Divisional Finals

The long road to the county final began months p.reviously with the start of the divisional championship. The first to come to a decision was the south on August 13, an unlucky day for Carrick Davins, who were crushed by Mullinahone on a scoreline of 5-11 to 0-10. The guiding light in that crushing vic­tory was John Leahy, whose 2-8 not only inspired Mullinahone but won him the 'Man of the Match' award.

The following Sunday saw Toomevara and Borrisileigh fight out the north decider in Nenagh. Borrisileigh were surprise packets, having accounted for Nenagh in the semi-final, and the largest attendance in decades turned up in the expectation of a Borris breakthrough. Such was not to be and Toomevara went through comfortably on a scoreline of 0-18 to 1-12.

The mid final was played on August 26 with Boherlahan-Dualla making their first appearance in decades and attempting the breakthrough against Loughmore-Castleiney, who weren't a hurling force when Boherlahan previously won the mid final. There was great expectation and hope in the Boherlahan camp and it came good for the club on the day with a comprehensive win by 1-13 to 1-8. It was an occasion of great emotion when Seamus Murphy received the Leahy Cup, the first time in 47 years for his club to do so.

The following day, in a poor west final, at Cappawhite, marred by a sending-off incident at the interval, Cashel came through against Kickhams on a score of 2-11 to 0-10.

 

Quarter-Finals

On the same day that Cashel and Kickhams were slogging it out in the west, Nenagh Eire Óg, the Hogan League winners in the north, played Borrisileigh, the championship runners-up, to decide on the second north team for the county quarter-finals. The game ended in a draw as a result of a great come-back by Borrisileigh, who were ten points in arrears at the interval. At the final whistle the sides were level at 3-8 each. The replay didn't take place for three weeks. Nenagh showed much of the ability and many of the skills that would carry them through to ultimate honours. They scored a magnificent 2-16 from play and deserved more than their 8-point margin of victory on a scoreline of 2-21 to 5-4. In the middle of the second half, as if resting m their laurels, they let Borrisileigh through for four goals, which gave a respectability to the scoreboard.

Three of the quarter-finals took place on Saturday, September 16, two of them in the afternoon at Semple Stadium and he third with a 5.30 start at Holycross. In he latter venue Toomevara had an easy win over Carrick Davins. Whatever hopes he south runners-up might have had of creating a surprise were shattered in the first quarter when county minor scored three goals in an eight minute spell for the lorth champions. The score at the end of he hour was 4-16 to 3-5 in favour of Toomevara.

A small crowd came to the Stadium for the double-header. In the curtain-raiser, a late spurt by Boherlahan gave them victory by 2-12 to 1-11. The game was in doubt until the final quarter, with Kickhams, vho resurrected a creditable performance after their defeat in the West, leading by two points. However, a brilliant goal by Liam Maher gave Bohelahan the lead. Kickhams equalised but the mid champions ended in a flurry of four points to give lem that margin of victory.

In the second game Cashel King Cormacs scored a comprehensive victory over a disappointing Loughmore-Castleiney, who appeared tired and at the end of road. In contrast, Cashel gave one of their better performances with Timmy Moloney scoring ten points of their 1-18 tally. The goal in Loughmore's total of 1-11 came from a last-minute penalty by Pat McGrath.

The last of the quarter-finals was played at Semple Stadium on September 23 and Nenagh gave a lacklustre performance before beating Mullinahone by 2-16 to 3-9. The game will be remembered for the magnificence of John Leahy.s display. He scored 2-7 and his overall performance was excellent. His catching ability, his turn of speed, his ball control, his weaving runs and his striking ability were a delight to watch. They established him as the most accomplished and effective Tipperary hurler at the present time.

 

The Semi-Finals

The draws for the semi-finals seemed to point to a Cashel-Toomevara final. Cashel were drawn against Eire Og and were installed as favourites against a side which had not impressed in the quarter-final. Tomevara had been making steady pogress and, although Boherlahan had impressed along the way, hurling wisdom dictated they wouldn't have the class or the experience to dethrone the county champions.

The Cashel Eire Óg game provided the curtain-raiser. In a mediocre game it appeared that the West champions would come through for most of the game. Their lineout on the day surprised many and they didn't perform well in the first half with the aid of the wind. However, they led by 1-8 to 1-5 at the interval. Against the breeze they appeared to play better and by the final quarter they had opened up a seven point lead. At this stage the team seemed to lose its way, the players became lethargic, were slow to react and seemed to be leaving it to the next to do the work.
In contrast, Nenagh began to hurl with purpose and fluency and to notch off points and reduce their deficit. With a couple of minutes to go there were but two points separating the sides and in the final minute Robbie Tomlinson got the clinching goal for Nenagh, to the delight of their followers and the consternation of Cashel. In the dying seconds, Cashel made desperate attempts to get a point that would give them a draw but to no avail.

In the second game, Boherlahan defied their critics by dethroning the champions. Against the breeze in the first half they performed quite well and were three points behind after twenty-two minutes. Then in a great spell they got two goals by Aidan Flanagan and Liam Maher and went to the dressingroom at the interval leading by 2-2 to 0-6. On the resumption there was greater urgency in Toomevara's play.

However, it was Boherlahan who played the best hurling in the third quarter and this was reflected in the score (2-8 to 0-8) in their favour at the end of the period. It was then Toomevara began to hurl and in a great spell of about ten minutes they drew level. It looked as if they had weathered the storm and would go on to win. But Boherlahan were not giving up and in the final minutes they proved they had more in reserve than the triple champions. Two points during this period by Philip O'Dwyer and Conor Gleeson gave them victory by 2- 11 to 1-12 to the utter delight of themselves and their followers.

 

The County Final

The build-up to the final was the best for years. The villages of Boherlahan and Dualla were festooned with flags. The oldies caught a glimpse of the good old days when Boherlahan were a powerful force in Tipperary hurling. The vast number of their supporters had never experienced the sense of achievement and the joy of victory.

Expectations were also high in Nenagh. They had been trying a long time and this appeared to be their year. The removal of Toomevara appeared a good omen to many but there were others who believed that was a pity because the knowledge that Toomevara were their opponents would be sufficient to motivate the Nenagh lads to gargantuan efforts. It might be more difficult to motivate them against untried and unplayed Boherlahan.

A marvellous crowd turned up to see their expectations fulfilled. Nenagh were the bookies' favourties and Boherlahan were unfortunate to be without their freetaking and point-taking forward, Aidan Flanagan, who injured his wrist in the dying moments of the semi-final. Corner back, Dave Delaney, was also on the injured list, even though he lined out.

For the first fifteen minutes Boherlahan were very much in the game, having had a dream start with a goal in the fifth minute, which might have been their third. After twenty minutes the sides were level but after that the Boherlahan challenge began to falter. At half-time Nenagh were ahead by 0-12 to 1-5 and in the driving seat.

However, some believed that the mid men could resurrect their challenge again, as they had done in previous games and, what was four points in hurling? But that renewed effort never came. Instead, the crowd saw an outstanding Nenagh performance which became more fluent and perfect as the game progressed. The players reached into reserves of talent that had been lying dormant for years and gave an exhibition that was uninhibited and brilliant. They caught and struck the ball with ease and accuracy and scored some marvellous points. They clocked up the huge score of 2-25 to Boherlahan's 2-8.

It was Nenagh's day and the heroes were all on their side. The Tucker brothers - both got 'Man of the Match' awards from different sponsors - John Heffernan, Michael Cleary and Paul Kennedy were outstanding, while Conor O'Donovan played a captain's part in the back-line. It was a great occasion for Nenagh, an achievement that had proved elusive for over a century and a moment to relish by Conor O'Donovan, when he received the cup from county chairman, Sean Fogarty. In fact, as if making up for having to wait so long for the winners' podium, the Nenagh captain gave one of the longest acceptance speeches ever heard in Thurles.

The teams were as follows:

Nenagh-Eire Óg: C McLaughlin, N. Coffey, C. O'Donovan, P. Kennedy, J. Kennedy, F. Moran, D. Finnerty, C. Howard, C. Bonnar (0-1), M. Cleary (0-8 from frees), E. Tucker (0-3), K. Tucker (O-5), D. Quinn (0-1), R. Tomlinson (1-2), J. Heffernan (1-3). Subs: D. O'Meara (0-1) for J. Kennedy; R. Burns (0-1) for C. Howard; J. O'Donoghue for Quinn.

Boherlahan-Dualla: P. Ryan, S. Hickey, T.J. O'Dwyer, D. Delaney, G. McLoughlin, C. Gleeson, T. O'Dwyer, S. Murphy (0-1), M. Ferncombe (0-3, 0-2 from frees), D. Ryan, M. Murphy, G. Flanagan (0-1), P. Delaney (1-0), L. Maher (1-0), P. O'Dwyer (0-3). Subs: E. Maher for D. Delaney; K. O'Donnell for M. Murphy.
Referee: T.J. Corby (Clonmel).

John Quirke 'Man of the Match' award: Eddie Tucker (Eire Óg)
 

The 1995 County Senior Hurling Championship at a Glance

Final

Semple Stadium, 15/10/95:
Nenagh - Eire Og 2-25 Boherlahan-Dualla 2-8.
Referee: T.J. Corby (Clonmel).

Semi-Finals

Semple Stadium, 7/10/95.
Eire Óg, Nenagh 2-14 Cashel King Cormacs 2-13.
Referee: Tommy Lonergan (Kilsheelan).
Boherlahan-Dualla 2-11 Toomevara 1-12.
Referee: Paddy Russell (Emly).

Quarter-Finals

Semple Stadium, 23/09/95.
Eire Óg, Nenagh 2-16 Mullinahone 3-9.
Referee: Michael Greene (Upperchurch/Drombane).
Holycross, 16/09/95.
Toomevara 4-16 Carrick Davins 3-5,
Referee: Richie Barry (Cappawhite).
Semple Stadium, 16/09/95
Boherlahan-Dualla 2-12 Kickhams 1-11,
Referee: T. J.Corby (St. Mary's).
Cashel King Cormacs 1-18 Loughmore-Castleiney 1-11.
Referee: Ger Hayes (Moneygall). 

 

 

G.A.A. Publications - 1994 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1995, pp 85-86

G.A.A. Publications - 1994

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1995, pp 85-86

 

The highlight of G.A.A. publishing the past year has to be Maurice Davin: First President of the G.A.A. by fomer G.A.A. President and Moneygall man, Seamus O'Riain. 

Published by Geography Publications, which is owned by Dr. Willie Nolan of U.C.D. Geography Department and formerly of Ballinastick, it contains 236 pages of text and sixteen pages of excellently produced pictures and illustrations, which add enormously to the enjoyment of the book. 

There is a review of the work by Marcus de Burca elsewhere in this Yearbook. Suffice for me to say that I would recommend it not only to anyone interested in the early history of the Association but to all who would like to know something about the social life of the period in the south of County Tipperary. The book will take its place alongside Tierney's "Croke of Cashel' and de Burca's 'Michael Cusack' as essential reading for anyone interested in the lives of those who shaped the early years of the Association. It is to be hoped that the publication of the Davin biography at this time will bring to the notice of all the importance of the man and the terrible neglect he has suffered. 

Perhaps it is worth noting in this regard that he is not remembered in any stand in Croke Park. Belatedly he was recognised in the naming of Aras Daibhin. But a fitting gesture to his memory would be the naming of the Canal End after him when the redevelopment of Croke Park is completed. 

Finally, the book is excellent value at £11.95. The reason for such good value is the subsidisation of its production by both Croke Park and the Munster Council. The Tipperary County Board are also to be complimented on their decision to purchase two hundred copies of the book in order to present one to every National School in the county. 


Arravale Rovers 

Another publication that nearly saw the light of day in 1994 was the Arravale Rovers Story. The best laid plans of Tom O'Donoghue did not just work out and the publication date is now gone back to the first half of 1995. In a way, the delay will better suit the book. 1995 will be the centenary of Tipperary's second football All-Ireland and the successful club team was, of course, Arravale Rovers. 

It was the first All-Ireland to be played in Jones's Road and on the same day the famous Tubberadora won the first of their three AlI-Irelands. Tipperary is the only county to have won two senior All-Irelands on the one day. 

Another interesting statistic is that two brothers played that day, one in football and the other in hurling. Jim and Paddy O'Riordan had that distinction. They hailed from Drombane and Paddy set up a record in the hurling final that will hardly ever be equalled: he scored all Tipperary's score of 6-8! Against such a feat the achievement of Eddie Keher and Nicky English pale into insignificance! Much more beside will be found in this important book which will extend to over 400 pages and contain over 100 pages of photographs. 


A Newsletter 

Kilsheelan club are to be complimented on a novel idea, the publication of a club newsletter. I have two of them to hand that were produced during 1994. They each contain 4 pages, are properly printed and include text and pictures. One of them was produced in May and lists all the club officers and the draws for the South Tipperary championships. The other pages are full of useful information for members of the club. The second came out in October and was a kind of progress report on the club's achievements during the year. It appears a worthwhile exercise for any club and the costs don't appear to have been prohibitive. Indeed there are a few advertisements scattered throughout both publications and they probably offset ome of the cost. 

"God Save Ireland" by Pat Slattery of Cahir has little to do with the G.A.A. The look was launched in Brú Ború in early November and it set out to expose the great decline of traditional values and moral standards that had befallen Ireland in the name of progress, liberalism, modernism and pluralism. I don't mention the look for that reason but rather for an interesting tale the author told me. 

Pat Slattery spent the first twenty years of his career in Dundalk as a senior official with the New Ireland Assurance Company. While in County Louth his love of hurling led him to play with Armagh and he was on the county team which won the Ulster junior championship in 1949. I checked out the story in the Armagh G.A.A. history and he's there in black and white in the photograph of the team on page 132. Others who 'helped out' in that year were friends of Pat's: Joe Haniffy from Galway, Willie Rainsford of Kilkenny and Walter Lambert of Galway. They were all listed with Pat as playing for the Eire Óg club. 

Armagh played Clare in the All-Ireland final (Home) in Armagh, on August 14. The teams were fairly evenly matched until the final ten minutes when Clare rammed in two goals to take the laurels. Jimmy Smith, then a minor, played with Clare, who were beaten by London in the final proper. Smith's medal that year was to be the only inter-county championship medal he won during his long career. 

 

The Nenagh Co-op 1994 County Senior Hurling Championship Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1995, p 21

The Nenagh Co-op 1994 County Senior Hurling Championship

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1995, p 21

 

By their victory in the Nenagh Co-Op County Senior Hurling Championship on October 2, Toomevara confirmed their domination in senior hurling and established themselves as one of the great teams in the last quarter of this century. One has to go back to the seventies, to Kilruane MacDonagh's three-in-a-row team, to find a team of equal dominance in the county hurling scene. By winning their third-in-a-row Toomevara were equalling a club record achieved back in 1912-14 and became only the second club in the county to achieve this feat. (Thurles Sarsfields won three (or more) -in-a-row on four occasions. Kilruane-MacDonaghs, Roscrea, Moycarkey-Borris and Boherlahan did so on one occasion each). 

From early in the championshp, it was obvious that Toomevara would be the team to beat. Their performance in the club championship was a signal to all, that they were a powerful force once again. They did suffer a hiccup in the north championship when they were held to a draw by Lorrha, but came through the replay. They went on to defeat Kilruane-MacDonaghs in an emphatic manner in the north final, winning by 1-16 to 0-7. 

On the same day, August 14, the other three divisional finals were played. In a rather drab mid-final, Loughmore-Castleiney defeated a poor Thurles Sarsfields side by 0-15 to 1-6. In the south, Don Lyons contributed handsomely to Ballingarry's win by scoring three goals in his side's total of 4-9 over Mullinahone, who had 1-9 to their credit. The west final ended in a draw. In a dramatic ending Sean Slattery scored a goal to give Cashel King Cormac's a last minute draw with Clonoulty-Rossmore in a scoreline of l-16 to 2-13. 


County Quarter-Finals

The county quarter-finals were fixed for the weekend of August 27-28, and there were moves to have two of them put back in order to have the west final replayed. These came to nothing and the matches went ahead as arranged, with the west replay not taking place until October 30 and resulting in a Cashel victory by 2-12 to 1-8. 

The quarter-finals took place at three venues, Kilsheelan, Templemore and Nenagh. Cashel King Cormac's had an easy victory over Mullinahone, at Kilsheelan, winning by 1-19 to 1-7, after having no less than three goals disallowed for 'square' infringements. Up to half time the sides were close enough but a Cashel goal and a point soon after the resumption set the west side up for an easy victory. In the second game Clonoulty-Rossmore were never tested. From early in the game, they were on top and when the final whistle sounded they had sixteen points to spare in a scoreline of 0-20 to 0-4. 

Toomevara played their quarter-final game with Thurles Sarsfields at Templemore on Saturday, August 27. Two goals by the north champions between the tenth and thirteenth minutes effectively killed off the mid side's challenge and Toomevara went on to win by 2-16 to 0-9. The most interesting of the four games was played at Nenagh on the following evening. Kilruane-MacDonaghs created something of a surprise by defeating a more fancied Loughmore-Castleiney side. Contributing greatly to their victory was the performance of the two veterans of the side, Denis Cahill and Jim Williams. In the end, the margin of victory was three points in a scoreline of 1-14 to 1-11. 


County Semi-Finals

The semi-finals were played at Semple Stadium on September 11 and the headlines in the 'Tipperary Star' the following week tell the story: Toomevara Trounce Listless Clonoulty- Rossmore and Cashel stroll past tame Kilruane. In the Toomevara-Clonoulty-Rossmore game the opening quarter promised differently. After eight minutes Toomevara's corner forward, Jimmy Dunne, was sent to the line and the west side led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter. However, Clonoulty were not making full use of their chances and Toomevara came back into the game, chiefly through good work at centrefield by Pat King. At halftime the sides were level and prospects of a close encounter were still alive. For the early minutes of the second half, these feelings continued to be justified. But then between the 7th and 21st minutes Toomevara scored 3-5 and Clonoulty completely collapsed under the onslaught. The final minutes were painful to watch, as Toomevara completely dominated and were ahead by 4-17 to 1-12, at the final whistle. 

Cashel went one point better in their fifteen point victory over Kilruane MacDonaghs in the second game. In the first quarter the King Cormacs estabablished a 1-6 to 0-2 lead. At this stage, their chances were enhanced with the sending off of Martin Haverty for a foul on Conal Bonnar. However, the north men got a boost with a Dinny Cahill goal coming up to halftime and were only four points adrift at that stage. Cashel got off to a dream start on the resumption and were ahead by 2-11 to 1-4 after seven minutes. The King Cormac's got a third goal in the ninth minute and the sending off of a second Kilruane player, Ger Maher, tore the back out of their challenge. The final quarter dragged its slow length along until the final whistle when Cashel were in front by 3-19 to 2-7. 


County Final

Toomevara were two to one favourites going into the final and that favouritism had its basis in their impressive displays during the year and in the recollection of the outcome, when the two sides met in the quarter-final at Templemore the previous year. On that occasion Cashel had no answer to the physical strength and impressive array of hurling talent in the Toomevara side. With no new talent coming on to the Cashel side it wasn't to be expected, that they could create a surprise. 

And so it turned out. After a bright opening, Cashel were knocked back on their tracks by the concession of an easy goal from which they didn't recover until near the interval, at which stage Toomevara were ahead by 1-6 to 0-4. Instead of getting the goal they needed for a good start to the second half, it was Toom who scored. By the time the last quarter approached, they were ahead by 2-9 to 0-6. At this stage Cashel got a goal and a point to put only five points between the sides and there was hope of a grandstand finish. But Toomevara replied with another goal and that effectively killed off Cashel's challenge. In the end Toomevara were worthy champions by 3-11 to 1-9. Afterwards Cashel, while admitting the obvious supremacy of Toomevara, were to rue the concession of two soft goals, some questionable selectorial decisions and some dreadful shooting by the forwards. 

The teams were:

Toomevara: Jody Grace, Pat Meagher (capt), Rory Brislane, Declan O'Meara, George Frend, Michael O'Meara, Phil Shanahan, Terry Dunne, Pat King, Kevin Kennedy, Michael Murphy, Tony Delaney, Liam Nolan, Tommy Dunne, Tommy Carroll. Subs: Liam Flaherty for Rory Brislane; Brislane for Liam Nolan. 

Cashel King Cormacs: Kevin O'Sullivan, Liam Barron, Pat O'Donoghue, Michael Perdue, ]oe O'Leary, Colm Bonnar, Seamus Morrissey, Seanie O'Donoghue, Willie Fitzell, Conal Bonnar, T. J. Connolly, Raymie Ryan, Seanie Morrissey, Cormac Bonnar, Ailbe Bonnar. Subs: John Ryan for Seamus Morrissey. 

Man of the Match: Pat King (Toomevara). 

Referee: Michael Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill)

 

 

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1993 Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1994, p 91

Recent G.A.A. Publications - 1993

Tipperary G.A.A. Yearbook 1994, p 91

 

Another poor year for publications at the local level. In fact, as far as I am aware, there was no new club history in the course of the year. Many of the promises of last year were not realised. For instance, the Golden-Kilfeacle book, which Willie Ryan was hopeful would see the light of day during 1993, did not do so. He is now hopeful that 1994 will be the year. In fact, he is at the photograph-collecting state. Everything else is in order. 

Similarly, the Arravale Rovers' history, which many people are looking forward to with interest because of the light it will throw on the early days of football in the county, will definitely not be out before Christmas. Tom O'Donoghue is beavering away at it and is hopeful of seeing it off the press during 1994. 

I thought at one stage that the Galtee Rovers' book was wrapped up and only awaiting the financial arrangements. I was misinformed. Recently, I had an interesting conversation with Seamus McCarthy on the progress of the book. It's not completed but it's not too far from that stage. Specifically, he's hoping it will be published by the middle of 1994. He had some interesting information on the type of book it will be. He has extended it outside purely G.A.A. matters and is using it as a vehicle for publicising some of the important people of the parish, even if they were not involved with the G.A.A. 

One such person is the famous Sir William Butler who, though born in Ballycarron, spent some of his life in the parish. He did some important exploration work in the Canadian west and out of his experience wrote a classic of travel literature, "The Great Lone Land". One of the founders of the G.A.A. was St. George McCarthy, who hailed from the parish and whose sister is buried there. There will also a be a piece on Darby Ryan, of Bansha Peeler fame. Geoffrey Keating was associated with the parish and is reputed to have written his masterpiece, 'Foras Feasa ar Eirinn". in the parish. 

Other notables include John Cullinane, a member of the earliest Central Council of the G.A.A.; Sean Ryan of Dromline, who was a President of the Association; John Moloney of refereeing fame, and Christy Roche, although more renowned for his racing skills, played his underage games with Galtee Rovers. Did you know that a Galtee Rovers' player went down on the Titanic in 1912? He did, and Seamus McCarthy has a photograph of him! I think it's going to be a book that we can all look forward to. 


Coaching Manuals

I am indebted to Denis Floyd for the following information. A welcome addition to the growing volume of G.A.A. literature is a set of Coaching Manuals, produced under the auspices of the G.A.A. Games Development and Coaching Committee. First on the scene was "Gaelic Football Skills Manual" by Eoin Liston and Pat Daly. Produced in a ring binder of 96 loose leaves by Folens Publishers, the manual is laid out in a clear, easy-to-follow lesson plans from infants to sixth class. All the basic skills are covered, along with simple drills and exercises - all presented with full colour photographs. 

"Hurling and Camogie Skills" is a similar type production with 64 loose leaves. Compiled in the main by Denis Burns, a teacher at North Monastery School, Cork, with assistance from Ned Power, Brendan O'Sullivan and Pat Daly, the hurling manual is even more simplified than its football counterpart, with a useful error analysis section at regular intervals. Both manuals are deigned for use in Primary Schools, but are also ideal for team mentors coaching the basic skills at club level. 

The most impressive publication of all is "The Complete Guide to Hurling and Football", edited by Pat Daly, who is the G.A.A. Games Development Manager. This mammoth production of three hundred and thirty-six pages is a veritable masterpiece covering every imaginable facet of hurling and football. A look at some of the chapter titles - Adolescent Coaching, Positional and Functional Play, Tactics, Match Analysis, Physical Fitness, The Psychological Factor, Nutrition, Body Physiology, Injuries and First Aid, etc. gives an idea of the wide-ranging scope of this detailed and excellently researched volume. 

Raymond Smith has done it again and was probably the first book to hit the shelves in time for the Christmas buying spree. Launched at G.A.A. headquarters in Dublin on October 19, "The Complete Handbook of Gaelic Games" is an update and more complete edition of the 1988 publication. It has still some way to go before it is "complete" as it does not include the teams that won junior or intermediate All-Irelands. However, it is an essential reference book on G.A.A. matters and sells for £8.95. year.