Tom Morrison is making East Cork GAA History with this new book, another sneak peak into this brilliant new book

18 November, 2011

It took a replay to separate neighbours Castlemartyr and O’Brien’s in the final of the Junior hurling championship. In one of the most pulsating deciders for some years, Castlemartyr, who looked down and almost out, produced one of the most dramatic recoveries in many a day, when overhauling a sixteen points deficit of an enthralling match at Clonmult Memorial Park to force a replay with a late goal from Ted O’Sullivan.
It was truly a memorable and absorbing game, simply for one fact. Castlemartyr were favourites to win while for many shrewd pundits it wasn’t time for O’Brien’s reawakening on the big screen. But, before the fans had time to draw their breath, O’Brien’s probed for everything and threatened to annihilate the opposition. The Reds tried everything to stem the tide in a very competitive contest, but two goals by Michael O’Keeffe and another by Danny ‘Sailor’ Power rattled them to the quick. Michael O’Neill and Philly Egan followed up with points and when a fourth goal went in, the tally was increased to 4-4 and Castlemartyr had yet to raise a flag of any sort.
Then with ten minutes to go to the break Castlemartyr finally entered the equation, and a goal by Ted O’Sullivan changed the course of the game. They were still badly in need of further scores to strengthen their position for the second half, and as O’Brien’s scoring rate dropped significantly, a nine point lead – 4-4 to 2-1 – separated the sides at the break. Amazingly, a total of twenty-seven goals were registered in the two semi-finals. Castlemartyr were too good for Leeside by 9-3 to 5-0 and O’Brien’s beat Youghal, 8-7 to 5-3.
Castlemartyr gained in confidence with early second half goals from Paddy Abernethy and Charlie McCarthy, but while their fortunes improved, O’Brien’s were still three points to the good as the game fizzled out. They refused to surrender, nevertheless, and were rewarded with O’Sullivan’s last gasp goal. With a scoreline of 6-2 to 5-5 the scenes that greeted both teams after the Sarsfields referee Moss Dwyer sounded the last whistle had to be seen to be believed.
This was the month of December and the replay didn’t take place until January of 1947 when the weather was at its worst. It was a day when O’Brien’s were never going to get another similar chance as the Reds lashed in five goals to their opponents one and ended up winning by 5-1 to 1-6. With the elements in their favour O’Brien’s began the match in a very confident manner and points by Con Aherne, Sonny Hayes, and Jack Lane served as major morale boosters. Ted O’Sullivan, who had another fabulous game, scoring three goals, raised the first green flag and when Garry Fleming added another, the Reds held a two point’s lead. Then before the break Con Aherne found the net for O’Brien’s and they went in at half time with a point lead – 1-5 to 2-1.
It was an extraordinary second half in that Castlemartyr failed to raise a white flag. The losers didn’t fare much better as their only score – a point by Jack Lane – came in the dying moments. Ted O’Sullivan, as ever, led the Reds victory parade with a brace of goals and Charlie McCarthy added another for good measure.