St Catherines GAA Notes

29 March, 2021

St Catherines GAA Club Notes

By John O'Mahony. PRO

A look back to intermediate winning year of 1994

It was one of the greatest, indeed memorable years in the history of St Catherines GAA club. Finishing up on the crest of a wave and putting their name in the senior hurling championship draw at convention of that year as county intermediate hurling championship and league winners of 1994. We’re going to break it down into a three week sojourn. Starting with a reflective look at the regular group games of the intermediate hurling league from that year.

Next week one of the greatest sporting festivals on planet earth will materialise. We try and whet your appetite for the Cheltenham Racing Festival. But first and right up to date we are bringing you the results from the most recent lotto draw held on Monday night last, March 8. Numbers drawn were 5, 20, 21 and 25 and there was no winner of the €9,200 jackpot. While the consolation winners on the night were; John G Barry, Kilcor, Castlelyons, Marion McNulty, Knockaun, Ballyduff Upper, Murray children, Cappoquin, Batt Leahy, Baradaw, Dungourney and Elmarie Power, Ballynoe. Back on Monday night, March 15 when the jackpot will be €9,400.

Olympics of horse racing

Cheveley Park had moved on a few classy animals most notably Envol Allen. Various sponsorships were ruthlessly terminated. Then around 5.30pm on Friday evening last the findings of the IHRB were out in the open. As Tommy Lyons hinted on the paper on Saturday morning of the later confirmed take over of Denise Foster. All the implications of Elliotgate now laid bare. Rarely has the build up to the most famous sporting festival on these shores had a backdrop of such gargantuan proportions.

Major and significant happenings attract huge public interest, that cannot be denied. They are what they are. Say World Cups, golf opens, six nations rugby, Olympic games, all cross the sporting divide. Also coming into that bracket would be the staging of the Olympics of horse racing. This year’s festival begins to unfold at 1.20pm on the foot of the Cotswolds on Tuesday afternoon next, March 16. A boost even before we start is the granting of six races per day to terrestrial television. Cheltenham race week is definitely going where it belongs. Into the rooms of the ordinary man. ITV becomes base camp to four days of truly absorbing top class sporting action and they are very good at it. Coverage further boosted by sure to be entertaining and knowledgeable preview shows each morning.

This time around the Emerald Isle going into what is still perceived as the annual battle between Ireland and England with what looks like their strongest ever team. No doubt the champion hurdle just four races in and the Gold Cup on closing day carry the biggest appeal of what one hopes to be a success laden week. Henry De Bromhead from Kilmacthomas comes to the party with Honeysuckle, A Plus Tard and Minella Indo. Just beware of James Du Berlais in the hurdle. Never ran in Ireland or England before, all previous form coming from France. But if anyone will get a spin out of him well then surely, Willie Mullins can. His album photo will be trying to enter the record books in attaining a hat trick of gold cup wins in a week where the masterful Clo Sutton handler will be a mighty threat in whatever is up for grabs. Even by his own admission, second - even third - choice entries could easily come good. We’ve all been warned, this will be special. Enjoy! No phone calls between Tuesday morning and Friday evening by order of the IHRB!

Live streaming of Mass

There is live streaming of weekend and Sunday Masses from Conna Church at 10am.

Happy national feast day

You could almost be forgiven if it slipped through the net, maybe Seachtain na Gaeilge would be a reminder in wishing all a happy St Patrick’s Day.

Intermediate hurling year of 1994 (part one)

We will take the groundbreaking county junior title success of 1983 as a start off point with the Saints losing out in their first two matches in the higher grade. Success coming out for the opening time on Sunday, May 11 and the intermediate hurling championship campaign of 1986 was underway. Recording a three point success (1-13 to 3-04) over St Finbarr’s in a first round tie which was played in Castlelyons. There were two trips to Rathcormac before getting the better of Castletownroche in the subsequent round. But saw their campaign ruthlessly terminated when losing out to Cloughduv at quarter-final stage on a scoreline of 1-16 to 1-12. When played at Church Road on Saturday evening, July 26. While Eire Óg were first round conquerors in 1987. Both draw and replay played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. While you could label 1988 as being the nearly year. Wins over Ballinhassig and Cobh preceding a semi-final draw with Youghal on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-14.

Twenty four hours later and Páirc Naomh Caitríonaigh embellished itself with the staging of the divisional junior A hurling final. East Cork’s little All-Ireland between Killeagh and Midleton at Baile Nua on Sunday, August 28. Incredibly another draw, it finished up at Killeagh 1-05 Midleton 0-08. But will always be remembered locally, for a pitch only officially open three years, by an incident which happened just before throw in when a player swinging off the crossbar delayed proceedings as a repair job had to be carried out. Youghal easily won the replay against the Saints again at Lisgoold on a scoreline of 1-09 to 0-02 on Sunday, September 25. By now Killeagh were East Cork junior A hurling champions. Winning their replay (1-10 to 1-08) again at Ballynoe on Saturday evening, September 17. Both draw and replay were refereed by Pat O’Connor whose son Kieran was on the Cork winning All-Ireland senior football panel of 2010 before passing away last summer after a battle with cancer.

Back to back first round defeats incurred by the Saints in 1989 and 1990. Losing to Mallow in ‘89. Also having lost to the Avondhu based team in their very first match at intermediate championship level in May of 1984, centenary year of the association. Both of those matches were played in Kilworth. While a solid and frequently impressive start was undone by an O’Connell inspired Kilbrittain at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday evening, June 10 1990. A resounding win over Delaney’s at Rathcormac in 1991 preceded a gut wrenching loss to a Colm O’Neill/John Fenton inspired Midleton at Lisgoold in June the same year. Ballymartle would be the villains when knocking the Saints out of the championship in both ’92 and ’93.

Phew! It’s not easy cramming eleven years into a few hundred words. Now looking behind the scenes at emerging talent we’re going down the road to a county U12 B hurling success in 1987 the nucleus of which won a county B Féile title against Ballyhea two years later. Then under the captaincy of Pat Fitzgerald came U16 success after that. While there were disappointing minor losses to Erins Own and Eire Óg in ’92 and ’93. Now Johnny Sheehan and Kieran Morrison would have made their first team championship debuts against Cloughduv in 1992, a year when an outstanding St Colman’s outfit made a profound impression in college hurling circles. Both were county minors against Tipperary on the Ennis Road in Limerick in ’93.

While St Catherines were also strong at U21 level around that time. Throw in the addition of one or two new signings and we believe the infrastructure now to be in a place for an exciting new season. Would you agree? Would you be of the same opinion? Now that we’re probably blessed with the greatest acumen of all – hindsight!

One of the most successful teams in club history started off their competitive campaign with a resounding 2-11 to 0-04 win over Midleton at Clonmult Memorial Park in the intermediate hurling league. It was the morning of Sunday, March 27. Following that up with another easy win, this time over Newtownshandrum (1-15 to 0-05) when played at Rathcormac on Sunday, April 17. The winning run continued through a three match programme of games for the month of May. Starting off in Rostellan when recording an emphatic success on a scoreline of 4-13 to 2-05 over Aghada on Tuesday evening the 10th. On the following week overcoming the challenge of St Vincents at Watergrasshill on Friday evening, May 20. It finished up at St Catherines 3-12 St Vincents 2-07. We’re then tested before emerging again on the right side of a winning scoreline. This time it was 0-13 to 1-06 in O’Connell Park in Cobh on Saturday evening, May 28.

Now nearly four months into the campaign and the first league match in Ballynoe resulted in a 2-18 to 0-07 win over Mallow on Tuesday evening, June 14. Still able to keep the winning run going following a competitive outing above in Na Piarsaigh on Sunday the 19th. It finished up at 4-13 to 3-12. But while the Blackrock fixture never saw the light of day, deemed scratched, with the points duly awarded Catherines went down to their first competitive defeat of the year above in the Glen field on Friday evening, July 22. Glen Rovers 1-14 St Catherines 1-11 was how that one finished up. A result that would be rectified before year’s end. Getting back to winning ways (1-14 to 0-08) below in Cloyne on Tuesday evening, August 9. That now tallies as nine wins from ten outings yet even though it had surpassed deadlines and no points were awarded the Blarney match was still played on Saturday, October 8 which St Catherines won (2-14 to 1-05). That match was originally on the calendar for April 9 in between the Midleton and Newtownshandrum games. But dreadful weather around that time lead to its cancellation. Even though now it proved a handy game to have, involving no pressure as St Catherines had been paired with Ballymartle in the competition semi-final for week ending October 15/16. No venue named to that point. That proved a mouthwatering fixture to land, Ballymartle inflicting championship losses in 1992 and 1993. Both matches played in Caherlag.

So now what we’re going to do is revert next week to the 1994 intermediate hurling championship campaign which was concluded prior to the resumption of the league which again, because of poor weather conditions and don’t forget a busy U21 campaign, would go on until early December. It just seems more relevant doing it that way.

Condolences
Sympathy to the family of Rodger O’Halloran who had resided at Monty’s Meadow in Conna and who passed way recently.

Sponsors

St Catherines GAA Club sponsors are T&A Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Ballynoe. St Catherines Juvenile Club sponsors are Mulcahy Steel.

Notes of the 18.3.21.

Juvenile gradings revealed

Unfortunately Covid figures are only marginally positive so there is no way we could be sucked into looking forward to a possible opening up date. Chances are we would get it wrong anyway. It looks as if the theory now is that after opening there will be no going back, in a country which just couldn’t absorb another lockdown. So it’s going to be slow.

Positive domestic developments have been the staging of both annual general meetings. Reaction is good towards the upcoming Rebels’ Bounty draw and St Catherines are able to stage their weekly lotto draw. There is no doubt the club development looks resplendent with people frequenting the newly laid walkway in droves. So when the green button is pressed we will be ready!

Received the juvenile gradings for the new season whenever it comes about. All hurling teams from U15 to U17 and on to U18 for this year only will play in division one. U15 and U18 footballers will be based in division 2. U17 footballers will play in division 3.

U13 hurlers will play in group 3. It’s group 4 for the equivalent football squad.

St Catherines Juvenile AGM which went ahead on January 7th with the report appearing on these pages one week later on Thursday January 14, to which we now add the appointment of Dino Pietropaolo along with Colm Ahern, Alan O’Mahony and Conor Kearney as this year’s U13 mentors in both hurling and football. All underage backroom teams now completed.

Lotto results

Keeping you up to speed with the lotto details and the results from the most recent draw held on Monday night last, March 15. Numbers drawn were 1, 5, 28 and 30 and there was no winner of the €9,400 jackpot. The consolation winners on the night were Shane Fitzgerald, Garrycahera, Ballynoe, Moroney family, Cooladurragh, Pa Barry, Carrigmore, Conna, Denis and Breda Geary, Glenacroghery and Annette Beecher, Ballybride, Conna. There will be a draw on Monday night, March 22 when the jackpot will be €9,600.

Intermediate hurling year of 1994 – part 2

We hope everything settled all right following last week’s piece, which centred on the regular group stage of the intermediate hurling league. First of three articles when reviewing the historic hurling year of 1994. Semi-final and final to follow next time around. With a now major impediment casting a long, dark shadow over first team preparations. Cathal Casey picking up a worrying looking injury in an East Cork junior B football championship replay against Youghal at Killeagh on the evening of Monday, June 13. It put paid to his season. No doubt it was the kind of news sending shuddering headlines through the very core of the club. Casey was an All-Star hurler from two years previously. Also receiving a nomination twelve months after that. You can only imagine the implication such a setback brought. But you know the whole scenario occurred four weeks in advance of a sliotar being struck. Game put back because of an Imokilly/ Bishopstown senior championship clash. One is of the opinion that if things had been up and running it could have proved more detrimental. Cathal Casey subsequently joining Pat Clancy, Pat Aherne and Pa Finn on the selectorial panel and as they say the rest is history!

Over the years certain players had hugely significant moments. One’s which marked their careers for ever more. Frozen in time. Never to be forgotten. There was Jimmy Barry Murphy with all four goals in a Munster victory over Ulster in a Railway Cup football final. Mark Foley literally destroying a much-vaunted Tipperary rearguard in the 1990 Munster hurling final. It all came right on the afternoon of Sunday, July 10 1994 for Mike Walsh. First round of the intermediate hurling championship against Glen Rovers at Rathcormac, two first half goals establishing a 2-04 to 0-04 half-time lead. Completing a hat-trick a minute from time. Eventually finishing with an overall tally of 3-02 in a win on an end scoreline of 5-10 to 1-09 and the intermediate hurling championship of 1994 had started in a positive manner.

Then having to face Midleton in an all East Cork clash at Copper Alley grounds in Youghal on Friday evening, July 29. Catherines spluttered their way through the opening exchanges. Goals from Christy Clancy and Martin O’Keeffe helping things to settle down in setting up a lead on a half-time scoreline standing at 2-05 to 0-03. A point blank Michael Dorgan stop preceding a third goal finished off by Donal O’Leary eased the Saints over the winning line. Final score was St Catherines 3-09 to Midleton 2-06. Both Magpie goals coming from Kevin Hennessy just before the end. It being the first victory over the opposition of any real significance since the East Cork junior A hurling final of 1983. A decider also played in the coastal town. But there was no elation and not much celebration apart from the understandable result ensuring advancement. Fifteen first half wides contributing to an embarrassing overall total of 23 would see to that. Anyway, now Cobh await in the quarter final just over a week later. Glen Rovers and Midleton were both their second string outfits. So a stiff test would lie ahead, which is exactly how it turned out. Both teams enjoying opening periods of prominence with the Saints just edging it on a 1-07 to 1-06 half-time scoreline in an encounter going ahead at a strategically well-located Carrigtwohill venue. Three unanswered points were added in the immediate four minutes following the break as the Saints were able to absorb the concession of a second opposition goal going in direct from a ’65 to still lead at 1-13 to 2-06 to the end of the third quarter.

Sceptics anddoubters as to the credibility of the upcoming statement - and know-alls -will quickly point to an emphatic win in a divisional junior A quarter final at Dungourney towards the end of July 2017. Indeed they would be right. But overall just go back on it, even though there wouldn’t be a plentiful supply of matches between the two teams and St Catherines always found Cobh tough nuts to crack. Third quarter goals on 47 and 52 minutes restored them to the front at 4-08 to 1-16 in ’94. When the importance of a Christy Clancy goal ninety seconds later could never be undervalued. Couldn’t have come at a better time. Four points were shared to the conclusion of a contest played out in a fading light. No one could conradict that late goal being the decisive and match winning score with Catherines going a notch further up the ladder on an end scoreline of 2-18 to 4-10.

A masterful and exciting semi-final against Delany’s frequently entering conversations even today, was next at 2pm on the afternoon of Sunday, August 21.

A lucrative second quarter performance yielding a return of five points without reply after both teams would bulge the net with early goals had the northside team in the ascendancy. Impact of which was minimised when Dave O’Connell crashed in a second Saints’ goal late in the first half and suddently Delany’s half time lead of 1-09 to 2-05 didn’t look as daunting. That was a good Delany’s team, excellent players sprinkled throughout the field. John O’Driscoll, Mark McElhinney, Declan McElhinney and in Barry Egan they had their own All-Star. A George Healy point on 41 minutes had them 2-13 to 2-07 ahead. Crucial points followed particularly from Seamus Neville, Denis Walsh, Kieran Morrison and Christy Clancy allied to an inspirational Johnny Sheehan midfield performance all kept the momentun going and clawing their way in to that deficit. Recovery complete with a second Donal O’Leary and thrid Saints’ goal on fifty-six minutes. Outscoring Delany’s by 1-09 to 0-02 in those hectic, tumultous closing exchages. Win secured, score at the finish was 3-16 to 2-15. That was some match.

Sunday, September 11 1994, one of the most famous and memorable days in club history and St Catherines set their stall out early, making the kind of start one can only dream about and ahead at 1-04 with reply to the end of the opening quarter in the finalitself. Curtain raiser to Carbery and Midleton in the county senior hurling final to follow. Yet Cloghduv are steeped in tradition and are doughty championship battlers. They would put it up to any team and have put the Saints to the pin of their collars frequently over the years. Just take a brief momentary glance at your recent history. Six unanswered second quarter scores turned it around and the mid-Cork team with one of the most endearing venues in the county had their noses in front when a second Brian Cotter goal restored the Saints’ advantage very late in a final of two contrasting opening quarters. Half-time with the score standing at St Catherines 2-05 Cloughduv 1-05.

Dave O’Connell pounced for a third goal early in the second half. Points from Donal O’Leary, Kieran Morrison and Christy Clancy followed and the lead stretched out to 3-09 to 1-07 to the end of the third quarter. It had moved on to 3-12 to 1-09 when Kevin Murray slipped in for what can only be described as a late consolation goal. A county final ending up on a scoreline of St Catherines 3-12 Cloughduv 2-11. Afterward following the traditional address from chairman Christy Cooney, clubman and county treasurer Dan Hoare had the honour of presenting the Jim Long Cup to victorious captain Patsy O’Donoghue at a post match function held in the Grand Hotel, Fermoy where Denis Walsh would pick up his Man of the Match accolade. After eleven years resulting in 26 championship matches played which saw 13 wins and 3 draws unfolding Catherines were crowned county intermediate hurling champions and after a 48 year history to that point for the St Catherines club as we know it today the graduation was complete. Thus placing in the hat for the first time ever their name for the county senior hurling championship of 1995. But that’s another story.

Apart from the loyal band of followers from the four competing clubs allied to the usual plethora of neutrals seen at such occasions, a delighted visitor to the victorious dressing room afterwards was Bishop Buckley, Auxilliary Bishop of Cork. A man with strong parochial connections. Particularly from the Ballynoe area. Another interested spectator at that county final was then Minister for Finance, Bertie Aherne, a big GAA fan, loyal Dubs follower and a man with a fair sprinkling of Tracton blood running through his veins. They are a club with two pristine pitches sandwiched between Carrigaline Nohoval and Belgooly in the Minane Bridge area of our classy county. Medals presentation would come later in the year. Because there is still an element of this reprise for review. As the legendary aforementioned Bertie once declared – Some done, more to do!!!

Next time around we hone in on the league semi-finals and final. Scorers starting line-out, subs used plus full extension panel from the county final and a brief look back to presentation night. Rounding off the never to be forgotten year of 1994.

Club sponsors

St Catherines GAA Club sponsors are T&A Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Baynoe. St Catherines Juvenile Club sponsors are Mulcahy Steel