Welcome to the Cork AUL hIstory page. This page is under construction so we would ask you to bear with us as we add the history information to the page. The following is is taken from Plunkett Carter’s 50 Years of the Cork Athletic Union Football League.
The Cork Athletic Union Football League
The Cork Athletic Union Football League (originally called The Cork City and County Athletic Union Junior League) was established in 1947 and in its first season had just four competitions for teams (teams also competed in the FAI Junior Cup area competition).
The winners of the competitions in that first historic season were as follows (there were originally just three competitions in the maiden season with the others organised by the MFA and the FAI):
1st division: Mortonville (Cobh Ramblers);
City Challenge Cup : Prospect Rovers (Ballinlough Rovers)
Saxone Cup: Western Rovers
Miniature Cup: Maymount Rovers
FAI Area Final: Western Rovers
The members of the first management committee elected were, Owen O’Keeffe (chairman); Jim Mullins (hon. secretary); Bill O’Brien (treasurer) with Jack McCarthy, Paddy Hennessy and Mick Millard on the Administrative Committee. Others who played parts in the running of the league were Sam Allen, Ted O’Regan and Dan Looney.
There is some confusion regarding the the amount of clubs that made up the Cork AUL for the first season (with anything from 8 to 14 being mentioned) but it is reliably now stated that 14 teams made up the league in that historic first season. The teams were, Maymount, Prospect Rovers, Mortonville, Grattan, Ballinllough, Clapton Celtic, Cobh Ramblers, Green Rovers, Blackrock, Mountview, Albert Rovers, Marine Services, Cork Sppinning and Ladyswell Brewery.
Since then, the League has made significant progress and at one stage had in excess of 150 teams that participated in 28 competitions in Under-17, Youth and Junior grades.
Cork Corporation criticised (1975-76)
The Chairman of the Cork AUL, Donal Crowley, in the course of his address to delegates at the AGM, spoke in great detail of the problems which had to be faced because of lack of playing pitches. The 21 year lease on the Church Road grounds had expired on 31st December, 1974 and the League were given until July, 1976 to vacate the property. Mr Crowley hit hard at the Cork Corporation who were dragging their feet in providing playing facilities for the large number of people in the city who wanted to play soccer. Several months earlier it had been reported that three soccer pitches were being made available in the Lakelands district. This conveyed a false position as the grounds were not immediately available for soccer and it was doubtful if the land at Lakelands could ever be properly prepared to make suitable pitches. It was pointed out that, during 1974-75 alone, 484 matches had been played in the Church Road grounds.
Once again, the meeting was tinged with sadness as it marked the retirement of the long serving Treasurer, Gene Murphy. Words could not adequately convey the true value of the esteemed member’s contribution to the League during his 21 years’ association. Hon Secretary Denis Collins also signified his intention to step down but, in this case, his expertise would still be available as he was to continue as the League’s Press Officer. The AUL Management line-up for the 1975-76 season was: D Crowley, Chairman/Hon Treas; V Cummins, Hon Sec; F Dorgan, Fix Sec; P Barry, Reg. Committee; J O’Sullivan, T Fitzgerald, S Casey, D O’Driscoll, W Murphy and D Collins. Midway through the season Hon Secretary Vince Cummins resigned and was replaced by Finbarr Dorgan.
Plans for the Inter Provincial tournament, on which National Coach John Jarman placed so much emphasis. were snubbed by the MFA who decided not to compete as a protest against the lack of representation in the previous year on the Republic of Ireland Youths’ team after Munster had won the inaugural event held in Limerick. They were furious at the scant recognition received and blasted that they were no longer willing to make up the numbers. Not all in local football were supportive of the MFA’s stance. Paul O’Donovan, manager of Cork Celtic, said that he did not accept that a committee should deprive any boy of the chance to play for his country, a statement which was endorsed by Cork Examiner columnist Billy George. That was not the only front on which soccer legislators in the South differed with the powers that be, as the Cork AUL refused to enter the National Inter League competitions because the previous term’s Youth competition had not been concluded. Cork, the holders of the trophy, had qualified for the semi-final months earlier and had been left kicking their heels. awaiting a decision by the FAI on the arrangements.
The AUL, who had been for many years, enviously casting their eyes towards the MFA Disciplinary Committee (who fined and censured players sent off in AUL competitions), successfully tabled an amendment to rule at the MFA’s AGM. held in Waterford. This enabled all leagues to administer their own disciplinary affairs.
Evergreen returned after a year’s “holiday” and Youghal were represented in junior soccer by St Martin’s Utd: Fr Murphy’s YC made their debut in that grade also. Newcomers welcomed were Glenview, Farnanes, Little Island, Blackrock Celtic, Sunbeam, St Anne’s, Lisavaird, Ballinspittle, Glounthaune and South View Ath. Farewells were tendered to AIB, CIE Bus, Kingfisher, Standard, Ballydaly, St Patrick’s and Ballyphehane Athletic.
Rockmount’s youths, winners of the 2nd Div double in ’73, remained together as a group and, during the 1974-75 season, which for many was their first taste of junior, served notice of impending success. Yet, the graduation was speedier and more fruitful than anticipated, beginning with a thrilling win over St Mary’s in a classic Premier Shield decider at Church Road. The titanic struggle was only decided in injury time when a super Robert Stephens’ goal gave Rockmount a 3-2 victory. In defeat, Mary’s were as glorious as in any of their successes in the past, playing the entire second half with ten men as defender Edward Healy was sent off in the 43rd minute. Seconds earlier Fergus McDaid had pulled back a goal for Mary’s who had fallen two behind as early as the 25th minute. Rockmount got off to a blistering start with a 5th minute Paddy O’Connor goal which was stretched, twenty minutes later, by Aidan O’Mahony. Vince Marshall who made it level pegging soon after the resumption and it then looked as though the Mount would be swept away in a tidal wave of Mary’s attacks until Stephens’ priceless strike. The many important clashes between these northside giants dominated the junior soccer calendar. They shared the points after a thrilling top of the table league clash in April which left Rockmount, who had played two games less, trailing Mary’s by just two points. Rockmount had to come from behind, twice, to salvage a point against Castleview and set themselves up for a championship winning tie against Casement by defeating Mallow in the penultimate game. On Wednesday May 19th, they survived many scares from a gallant Casement side which made them pull out all the stops before eventually capitulating to the champions-elect on a 5-3 scoreline.
Form worked out amazingly well and Rockmount and Mary’s crossed swords again in the FAI Junior Cup Area final. Mary’s were comfortable 4-1 winners over Castleview in a semi-final marred by four sending offs – two from each side. At the same time, Rockmount were again grateful to Robert Stephens who stepped in with a dramatic late winner to down brave Hillington in the other semi-final. The League’s top sides could only provide one goal between them after 200 minutes of nervous endeavour in the decider and Denis Lahive’s golden goal gave Rockmount custody of the President’s Cup. Cork soccer followers were becoming accustomed to Leeside failures in this elusive competition so, it was no surprise to learn that the quest for the Holy Grail was still to continue after Rockmount’s defeat by Dún Laoghaire Celtic in the 7th round.
Record fifth AOH for Castleview
St Mary’s still retained hopes of salvaging something from a frustrating season and were the bookmakers’ favourites to equal Castleview’s record of four AOH Cup victories. In fact the League got the crowd pulling final they craved for when Castleview became Mary’s opponents in the show-piece decider after the other 106 teams had been eliminated. At Turner’s Cross, before a large crowd, the View upset predictions when scoring an extremely fortunate 1-0 win over the holders with a Cyril Kavanagh goal seven minutes from time. The victors were fortunate in that, when their keeper Jim Cambridge was penalised for kicking an opposing player in the penalty area, Vince Marshall sent him the wrong way with his spot kick but had the agony of seeing the shot come back off the post. Referee Pat Kelly sent off Castleview’s Walter McCarthy during the closely contested tie. Castleview: J Cambridge, D Devereaux, M Caulfield, T Kennefick, C Lynch, D Bennett, B Mulcahy, W McCarthy, J Devereaux, J O’Brien and C Kavanagh. Sub: E King.
Casement refused to play
Castleview, it seemed, were heading for a disappointing season prior to that success, and even greater riches were in store when they crowned it all with an unexpected Munster Junior Cup win. Greenmount proudly flew the Cork flag in the open rounds, and did the spade work for others when travelling to Limerick and inflicting on Ballynanty their first defeat of the year, thanks to a Harry Speight goal in extra time. They then put Geraldines to the sword and were coasting to a 2-0 victory over Castleview until a dramatic collapse allowed the View to scrape into the final. Castleview, who were never ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, made the most of their previous good fortunate and strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win over Janesboro in the final at Turner’s Cross with a brace of goals from Johnny “Dev”. Sadly, the Munster Minor Cup final was not played and Wembley Rovers (Limerick) were awarded the trophy after the holders Casement Celtic refused to play the refixed final at Priory Park. The dispute arose, originally, when Casement were not willing to fulfil the fixture initially scheduled for Turner’s Cross on May 30th, as they only became aware of the scheduling through the Evening Echo on the night before. In the semi-final, Casement had whipped St Michael’s 8-1 at Turner’s Cross. It was hoped that a victory in Munster would have provided ideal compensation for a narrow defeat at the hands of the classy Cambridge Boys in the semi-final of the FAI Minor Cup at Richmond Park. Casement’s national and provincial priorities affected their domestic trophy hunt and they ended, like Old Mother Hubbard with a bare cupboard as Tramore, Crofton, Tower, Crosshaven and Springfield shared the local honours.
It was encouraging to see such a nice geographical trophy spread which would have been even wider had Fermoy, the season’s surprise packets, maintained the early form which saw them lead the elite group for long periods. However, championship specialists Tramore finished very strongly and relegated Rockmount and Fermoy to second and third places respectively. The Turner’s Cross team finished runners-up to Tower who took the Wrixon Shield when beating Fermoy 2-0 in. In the 2nd Div Shield final, two second half goals gave the Danny Cronin managed Springfield a 2-0 victory over Passage Utd. Starring for “Springers” were Liam Naughton, Shane Fitzgerald and Joe Stack while promising youngsters in the Passage camp included Timmy Holloway, John Herlihy, Edmund Farr, Brendan Murphy and his nephew Stephen Russell. Crosshaven did not have an anxious moment as they trounced section B winners St Martin’s 7-0 in the Youths 2nd Div League decider when their haul was shared by Colm Moore (3), Dom Hayes (2) and John Mulcahy (2). Fermoy, who held fancied Crofton to a scoreless draw in a thrilling Murphy Cup final, had high hopes of finishing the job on their own ground but the big crowd brought the best out of the city team who took the coveted trophy 2-0 with goals from Alan Cremin and Christy Kelleher.
“The Dav” in East Cork
The big news, as the season began in August, was Killeagh’s signing of the flamboyant, dazzling, former English and League of Ireland star Carl Davenport. “The Dav” certainly gave the east Cork team their money’s worth when netting goals galore in a scoring bonanza that captured the attention of soccer followers everywhere. He began with a debut four-timer against Everton and made it ten for the first three games. The going got tougher as opponents admired less and marked more tightly but, nonetheless, he continued to hit the target and accounted for half of Killeagh’s total. All this scoring went unrewarded and it was Killeagh’s neighbours Fr Murphy’s YC, in their maiden season (who had an even more impressive strike rate and a watertight defence) who successfully flew the east Cork flag in the 2nd Div Shield final when defeating 4th Battalion. Familiar figures on the Fr Murphy’s team were Denis Mulcahy, Mick Kirby, Paudie Foley, Jack Daly, Johnny Barry, Deccie Barry and Gerard O’Brien. They narrowly failed in a double bid when giving best to Ballincollig by the odd goal in five after a thrilling 2nd Div League final replay at Turner’s Cross. Ballincollig, who won the Div 3 award the previous term, owed much to prolific scorer Frank Condon and consistent players Brian Gaffney, Martin Hogan, Mick McNulty and Sean Fitton. In a battle of the satellite towns, Ballincollig took the County Cup in a penalty shoot-out(4-3) after finishing 2-2 with Carrigaline, in Clonakilty..
Dinny “Pop’s” reward
There were emotional scenes at Church Road when Grattan defeated Mayfield 2-1 in the3rd Div Shield final. This was the result everyone (except Mayfield) wanted as Grattan had been members since 1947 without ever having won a trophy. If ever a man deserved his hour of triumph it was Grattan supremo Dinny “Pop” O’Neill, who persevered when all others despaired. Grattan looked odds-on to complete the double but Togher also planned to party and it was they who did all the singing after a great 2-1 victory was assured through goals from Alex Crowley and Liam O’Sullivan. Tramore and Temple produced a 1st Div Shield final of high drama. Here, the highlight of a breathtaking finish was a daring save by Tramore keeper Teddy McGarry (incidentally, he lost several teeth in the process) which enabled his side to retain the 2-1 interval lead and paved the way for a magnificent triumph engineered by Pat Goggin and Mattie Brett. Temple’s better players were Ned O’Leary, Tim McCarthy, Lar Leahy and Anthony Ricken. Tramore were another team to fail in a double bid as the hard summer surface favoured the younger Wolf Tones eleven who had a comfortable 3-0 victory in the league final. Micky Dennehy’s boys had earlier captured the O’Keeffe Cup when Eddie Cotter’s solitary goal was enough to deprive Glenvale. UCC Academicals, who were founded by Ger Canning in 1971, became the first college team in 23 years to reach a local final when qualifying for the Saxone decider against Dillon’s Cross. Despite their tender years the Freshers were still installed as favourites and not surprisingly, since in their ranks were a host of students who later formed the nucleus of some of the University’s better teams including Brendan Manley, Carl O’Connell, Shay Daly and Kieran Dunlea. The boys of Dillon’s Cross had a few bob on the result and the winnings, collected after their 2-0 victory paid for the Sunday night celebrations up at the “Cross”. There to enjoy the occasion were the stars who gave the students a free football lesson: Timmy Murphy, Liam King, Richie Cahill, Nick Heffernan, Pat Horgan and Jimmy Callaghan.
During September, the representatives of 140 AUL teams were given the outline plans of a scheme designed to provide playing pitches and a solid financial base, for the League and clubs. The plans, drawn up by Stephen Collins, (Chairman of Killeagh AFC), centred on the Arcadia being transformed into a Sports and Social Headquarters for the AUL and its clubs. A special draw was to be organised to get the scheme off the ground and it was hoped to be opened for its new use in early November. The first-fund raiser was a big dance night at the Arcadia, the ad for which is reproduced below. Very little was heard of the plans afterwards; the draw was cancelled as guarantees were not possible due to the fact that it was a joint operation involving the League and promoters.
More difficult to enter (1976-77)
New clubs seeking admission to membership of the League, now had to provide a ground over which they had sole control on match days and, also, were required to pay an entry fee of £30 (juniors) or £10 (youths). The entrance fee for existing clubs remained at £14 and £7. The expiry of the lease on the League’s grounds at Church Road was clearly behind the drafting of those new rules as they (the League) were, soon afterwards, to face the problem of providing for the teams in their membership without pitches. Mindful of the cost to clubs of having to post all registration forms separately a concessionary alteration was made to rule nine, allowing them to register players on a master form up to July 31st, The only amendment to rule to come from outside the management committee was Dunbar’s adopted proposal that two substitutes be allowed in all competitions under the jurisdiction of the League. Major news, as the season began, was that the shield had been replaced by league cup competitions for which several new trophies were donated and titled as follows: Tom O’Kelly Premier Div League Cup; Mall Tavern 1st Div; Quinlan 2nd Div; Dunlop Employees’ Social Club 3rd Div; Coca Cola Youths 1st Div; CMP Youths 2nd Div. It was also agreed that all league competitions would be double round affairs. Vince Cummins, who was co-opted onto the management committee at the AGM, was restored to his former position as League Secretary at the first meeting of the new committee, while former Chairman Donal Crowley, who addressed the delegates at the AGM in June, did not seek re-election and resigned after a few short, but productive, years. The management committee in place at the commencement of the season was Chairman, W Murphy; Vice-Chairman & Fixtures Sec, F Dorgan; Hon Sec, V Cummins; Treasurer, D O’Driscoll; Registrar, P Barry; Disciplinary Sec, T Fitzgerald; Minute Sec, J O’Sullivan. Comm: N Sheehan, G Keating and S Casey.
Ballyphehane side Kilreen Celtic and Park Utd (Mitchelstown) made their debuts as Youghal returned to junior soccer again which with the entry of Sarsfield brought the seaside town’s representation to three. Others in, to briefly sample the AUL menu were, Gunners (Ballincollig), Newcastle, Sunberry, Croaghta Rangers and Lisgriffin. Glasheen were, surprisingly, not among the 106 entries (did return the following year) and also absenting were Examiner, Capwell Rovers, Blackrock Celtic, Glounthaune and Ballinspittle. Premier League champions Rockmount decided to step up to senior ranks.
League Cups a refreshing change
The knock-out league cup competitions resulted in early decisions on trophy destinations with a welcome gap between finals, easing the hectic end of season scramble for the Turner’s Cross venue. Hillington began in style and became the first holders of the Tom O’Kelly Premier League Cup when Tom McCarthy’s solitary strike was enough to give them victory over Tramore in a tense final. Incidentally, in the course of the season, Hillington found it necessary to issue a statement through the AUL notes to stifle claims of rough play which were unfairly levelled at them. I remember Hillington not even as a Wimbledon type team, but as a classy ball playing outfit who often perished as a result of their total reliance on the finer arts. Hillington’s classy outfit included the Bickerstaffe’s, O’Rourke’s, Paddy Fahy, Dave Lawless, Martin Cashman, Terry McSweeney, Philip Browne, Sean Dennehy, Ger O’Connell, Richard O’Donoughue and Billy Grainger. The Youths League Cups provided a double-decker promotion at Flower Lodge with the Mayfield v Wilton Ath, 2nd Div decider being the better of two wonderful matches which were a great fillip for underage followers. Jimmy Howard’s solitary strike in the curtain-raiser was sufficient to give Mayfield their first ever AUL success in five final appearances and thereby rewarded the enterprising tactics adopted by their joint managers, Mick Murphy and Tadhg O’Neill. Avondale were also celebrating for the very first time when beating Wilton Utd 2-0 in the Coca Cola final. Donal O’Shea’s great 35 yard pile-driver, which left the Wilton keeper helpless, was calculated to inspire, and Pat Horgan made it number two to complete a joy day for young managers Shane O’Neill and Dave McAllen. Big time manager Tony “Tucker” Allen was at the helm to steer Avondale to an exciting 4-2 victory, after extra time, over Crofton Celtic in the Mall Tavern 1st Div Cup. Jim Cahill gave Crofton a half-time lead which was cancelled out by Dave O’Brien shortly after the resumption. The pendulum swung Crofton’s way again when Mick O’Leary put through his own goal but Alan O’Driscoll came to the rescue with a cracking equaliser which ensured extra time. Avondale piled on the pressure during this period with the inspiring O’Driscoll providing the cross for Gene Buckley to head them into the lead and John Turner wrapped it up when adding number four. Apart from O’Driscoll, Mick O’Leary and Paudie Flaherty caught the eye for the victors while Crofton had stars in Dave Mahon, Brendan Murphy and Ger Keane.
In November, the announcement of the resignation of Finbarr Dorgan, one of the most able administrators in soccer, was a bitter blow for the League. Tony Fitzgerald took over Finbarr’s role of Fixtures Secretary. Matches arranged for Number One ground, Church Road were cancelled while a subsidence was being repaired. It was not all bad news however, as the AUL were given three new pitches in Churchfield (now Knocknaheeny Parks) and the temporary use of two more at Dunne’s Park, Blackrock.
Officers and gentlemen
The refreshing new league cups continued to provide great excitement and the Quinlan final was no exception as the warriors of Garda and Grattan provided rich entertainment. The Garda squad, built at “enormous” expense, was a compilation of officers and gentlemen (civilians). The officers were led by Teddy Holland while the gentlemen, who were under the baton of Donie Leahy, had in their ranks Ray Cowhie, Charlie O’Mahony, John Clifford and Tedser Healy. The lead changed hands twice before Garda emerged victorious by the odd goal in five. Veteran Donie Leahy showed he had not lost his goal scoring touch when shooting Garda into an early lead, which drew an immediate response from Grattan who struck back with the perfect smash and grab: a Georgie Murphy equaliser followed by a converted Paul Lynch penalty. On the stroke of half-time that man Leahy struck again and, as the evenly contested second half looked destined to end in stalemate, Tedser Healy, who was constantly on the beat around Grattan territory goaled to enable the boys in blue to lift the silverware.
108 goals in 21 games
The 2nd Div League final threw up a fascinating all Forces final, between Garda and the Army, the outcome of which hinged on the striking power of respective centre forwards Teddy Holland and Junior Murphy. Holland was the league’s top scorer with over fifty goals in the bag but he was outgunned by the brilliant Murphy whose hat trick highlighted a memorable game, won 3-1 by the Army. Garda, who in March were credited with having accumulated 108 goals in 21 games, shrugged off that league final disappointment by capturing the O’Keeffe Cup on their third final appearance of the year when the crafty Donie Leahy’s lone goal was just enough to overcome battling Northvilla after an excellent replay. The thrilling first meeting, which ended 2-2, will be remembered by most as a result of a broken leg injury sustained by brave Northvilla keeper Liam Dennehy. The Army were anxious to emulate their Garda friends in completing an AUL double and marched to the Saxone final with lofty ambitions. However, pride took a fall when they were ambushed by crafty St Mary’s Utd who won a pulsating game 4-3. Just one week earlier the sides had shared eight goals in a league thriller and, in anticipation of a repeat performance, the crowds flocked to the ’Cross. Mary’s twice opened up a two goal lead and each time 4th Battalion rallied to get back on terms but the unquenchable spirit of the Saints prevailed as Kevin O’Leary grabbed his second – and the trophy winning seventh – goal in the 83rd minute of another exhilarating encounter. Liam Hawkins, whose mastery over Junior Murphy was one of the deciding factors in Mary’s triumph, collected his fifth Saxone medal. Kevin Murphy and Noel Delea were also on the scoresheet for the Saints. Mick Downey, Mick Green and Junior Murphy were the trio who hit the target for the losers. For the second week in succession, Mayfield had something to celebrate.as, following on their youths victory at Flower Lodge, the third division juniors travelled across the city to Turner’s Cross and defeated Glenview 2-0 in the Dunlop final. Skipper Michael Flaherty had the only goal of the opening half and Sean Long netted the second after the interval. It was a major disappointment for Glenview who created a big surprise in beating Fr Murphy’s 5-3 in the semi-final with the help of goals from Dave Buckley (3), Sean O’Keeffe and Frank O’Flynn each. Glenview’s consistency went unrewarded, when once more disappointing on the big occasion, as they failed to produce their glittering section winning form when comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Sunbeam in the 3rd Div League decider. The highlight of this game was an excellent Lynch hat trick for Sunbeam for whom Sean O’Neill was also on the mark.
Castleview and Crofton take titles
Crofton’s disappointing junior season in 1975-76 was attributed to their amalgamation with the Crofton Senior League side to which the bulk of the key players moved. In the intervening twelve months, another batch of youngsters had come off the youth team conveyor belt and they were a force again, evidenced by a 2-1 Div 1 League final win over Bohemians at Turner’s Cross. Alan Cremin, so impressive in underage football, graduated in style and netted both scores for the Crofton “freshers”. The winter season, with its customary quagmire surfaces, brought Casement’s unbeaten premier league run to an abrupt end and, when the grounds once more became conducive to good football, a revival began. The championship race, until then dominated by the northside giants Castleview and St Mary’s, now became open again.The Ballyphehane boys dealt Mary’s hopes a fatal blow, and improved their own prospects, when John Downey’s lone goal decided a crucial tie. Castleview took a giant step towards the title, and severely dented Casement’s fading challenge, as Frankie Thornton hammered home that game’s only score. Two points were now all that was required to clinch the title and Hillington seemed to have delayed the Gurranabraher team’s celebrations when they led them 2-0 in the penultimate tie with just fifteen minutes left on the clock. Champions are made of stern stuff, and Castleview showed they possessed the right ingredients when, with a mighty effort, they not alone drew level with Hillington but conquered them in the dying seconds of a memorable game.
Five for O’Driscoll
Tony Allen’s astute coaching paid dividends as glamour club Avondale trounced Celtic with devastating ease in the FAI Junior Area final at a packed Parkhead (Rochestown). Celtic gambled on the fitness of former Coventry and Cork Celtic star Tommy O’Brien who, apart from one brilliant strike which came back off the crossbar, was anonymous. Talk before the game centred on O’Brien. However, at the final whistle there was only one name on everyone’s lips, that was Alan O’Driscoll, the Avondale wizard who hit five of his side’s goals in the 6-2 romp, with Michael O’Leary completing the tally. Veteran Paddy O’Regan netted both the losers’ scores in a game during which little blame could be attached to Liam McSweeney, John Tighe and Liam Ahern who tried hard to stem the Avondale tide. The ’Dale prepared in style and lunched in Blarney prior to their 7th round tie with Whitehall at Flower Lodge, where they experienced the same fate as countless Leeside predecessors who exited once the open stage was reached.
The biggest prize in Cork junior soccer still remained to be won and Avondale’s clash in the AOH Cup final with St Mary’s captured the attention of the sporting mad city. Scoreless draws at this level rarely satisfy and the sides first meeting at a packed Turner’s Cross was not an exception to the rule, the talking point being the dismissal of a player from each side by referee Eddie McGeough. Tony O’Sullivan (Avondale) and John Healy (St Mary’s ) were the pair that walked. Friday night, June 3rd was a glorious summer’s night providing a perfect setting befitting junior soccer’s biggest occasion: two of the League’s top teams in opposition for a most coveted prize and a record crowd to watch it all. I watched the match in the company of Coventry City’s Irish scout, Bunny Fullam, who was dispatched from Dublin to run the rule over an Avondale youngster. This former League of Ireland great was amazed at the massive attendance which he reckoned was the biggest he had ever seen for a junior tie. The gate receipts returned were approximately £2,000. He was equally impressed with the standard of football and was enthralled by the Cork colloquialism and wit experienced on the packed terrace.
St Mary’s, by scoring twice in a five minute spell between the fifteenth and twentieth minute, laid the platform which enabled them go on and win the trophy for a fifth time. They played with great conviction and there was a determination about their performance which was sadly lacking in their opponents. The Avondale defence was breached when Liam King headed Declan Geaney’s free kick to the net. Five minutes later, the Avondale offside trap misfired and Sean Murphy was allowed run on and lob the stranded Adrian Ryan to make it 2-0. There was more urgency about Avondale’s play on the resumption but very early on they lost Tony O’Sullivan who, together with Edward Healy (St Mary’s), was sent off. O’Sullivan, as noted above, was also dismissed by the same referee in the drawn game which must surely be a record of sorts. Avondale were afforded a number of scoring opportunities but their finish was deplorable. In this match, Vincie Marshall and John Healy starred for the winners who were also delighted with the performance of Irish Youth International Finbarr Murphy. On the Avondale side, Michael O’Leary was at his brilliant best. The rest were very much out of touch but one had to give credit to John Turner and Donal O’Shea for their wholehearted effort.
Tramore lose in Dublin
Cork were assured of a representation in the FAI Minor Cup final when Tramore and Casement were paired together in the semi-final. One had to have sympathy for Casement on the day as no team could have lived with Tramore who produced a dazzling exhibition of football on the way to a 5-1 victory. Joe O’Connell was an inspiring captain for the winners who had other stars in the goalscorers Barry Walsh (2), Robbie Cuthbert (2) and Tommy Walsh. Tom Hennebry, Dave Keating and scorer Toss McCarthy did best for the losers. Tramore Athletic were lucky to survive against the classy Cambridge Boys (Dublin),who had ten of the previous season’s winning squad on duty, in the final at Flower Lodge. The Dubliner’s comprehensive 4-0 victory in the replay did not come as a great surprise to those who witnessed the scoreless match in Cork. Tramore: B Cahill, F Drummond, J Lane, K Buckley, P Quigley, R Cuthbert, T Walsh, J O’Connell, B.Walsh, S Gould and L Hedderman. Subs: Twomey, Kerrigan. Tramore eased over their most difficult hurdle when defeating challengers Casement 2-0 on the way to retaining the premier youths championship. Then, they saw off the determined challenge of 2nd Div Ballincollig as they took the Murphy Cup on a 2-0 scoreline. Ballincollig showed qualities in defeat which would soon put silverware in their trophy cabinet and they did not have long to wait to claim that honour as they defeated gallant Passage 2-1 after extra-time in the 2nd Div League final at a packed Farranlea Road. Goals from Thomas Hogan and Frank Donovan were the cause of the jubilation and pandemonium when the final whistle was blown.
Few had ever heard of Norton Celtic, who hailed from the Lough district, until their Munster Minor Cup exploits caught readers’ attention on the AUL notes. A semi-final victory over Crosshaven at Turner’s Cross really made people take notice and the minnows carried everyone’s best wishes into the final against Fairview (Limerick). The entire Norton team had another twelve months in youths football and, though beaten 4-1 in the final, they were a credit to their mentors. Liam Keane got the consolation score and those to catch the eye were Dave Cronin, Sean Long, Rory Sheehan, Ger Madden and Michael Bruton.
Joy short lived
There was a controversial finish to the County Cup campaign when rank outsiders Skibbereen Dynamoes created a sensation when journeying to St Colman’s Park and handsomely defeated the locals 4-2 much to the delight of their chanting followers. Unfortunately, Alan O’Brien, whose two goals had them nicely placed at half-time, was formerly on Ramblers books and did not officially transfer. Cobh’s protest was upheld and a replay ordered at a city venue. Skibb’s supporters were again in great voice, and had plenty of reason to sing as their heroes enjoyed the lion’s share of a thriller which ended in a 4-4 deadlock. However, their disappointment was great after a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat. James Nolan, James Hegarty and Brendan Terry all scored and shone brightest for the gallant losers. Mick McGee (2), Moss Mellerick and Con Brierley hit the target for Cobh. The Ramblers’ opponents in the final were Fr Murphy’s who were favoured with a home venue. Ger Brennan gave Cobh the lead in the 25th minute. Shortly after the resumption, Fr Murphy’s switched their goalkeeper Paudie Foley to centre forward in an effort to save the game but the plan backfired when in the 65th minute sub Billy Keogh added a decisive second goal for Ramblers, who were well worth their win after a scrappy encounter. Ramblers’ twenty year wait to win an AUL trophy had come to an end and the victorious squad, captained by Terry Sheally, had a wee celebration in Cobh that night. Now that Cork had opted out of the Oscar Traynor Trophy, greater importance was attached to the Tayto Cup challenge against the Dublin AUL which was won 1-0 by the visitors at Turner’s Cross. Cork AUL panel: J Scanlon, A Ryan, E Healy, M Caulfield, M Morrison, D Bennett, L King, P Healy, T Healy, J O’Callaghan, D Mahon, V Marshall, J Healy, B Mulcahy, A O’Driscoll and J Murphy. Two AUL players, Ger Spillane (Mallow) and Brendan Mulcahy (Castleview), were selected on the Irish team for a match against Wales for which John Healy (St Mary’s) was designated the travelling reserve.
Church Road RIP
The end of that season marked the AUL’s departure from Church Road and officials, players and supporters, all united in expressing sadness at its passing. During the League’s tenancy at the “sacred” venue it is estimated that over 6,000 games were played there. Is it any wonder that there was not a blade of grass on any of the four pitches? What surprised many was the fact that people actually mourned its passing even though at least three of the pitches would probably fail a standard inspection by any grounds committee. Without them, junior soccer in Cork would never have survived and their contribution to the nostalgic reminisces of older stars can never be understated. Even for relatively young clubs, those founded in the seventies who have since sampled football at venues all over the county, Church Road is always fondly remembered. Writing in Mayfield Utd’s Silver Jubilee book, Joe Kennedy said “Our fondest memories are of Church Road. This was a unique venue, the Mecca of football then. The atmosphere was something special and never since replicated. From here, the AUL grounds moved to Blackrock and finally to the Mahon peninsula. All had their own atmosphere but none encapsulated the uniqueness of Church Road.” Very true! However, not all agreed with these sentiments. In the UCC publication ‘At Least We Won The Toss’, a contributor wrote “Church Road was Cork’s answer to Wembley Stadium, and was then receiving the kind of attention normally reserved for underdeveloped, Third World countries. Incidentally, playing in the AUL at Church Road, one’s thoughts were usually on the next world and not the Third World!” Perhaps it is appropriate here to include an extract from “Cork Soccer Memories” on the closure of the grounds.
CHURCH ROAD MEMORIES
Sad news, which would tug at the heart strings of thousands of AUL soccer enthusiasts, was the closure of their headquarters’ grounds at Church Road. It was a venue which provided the basis for stimulating stories and was the arena in which, with great trepidation, countless stars tried out their first pair of football boots. Many recall the day a section of number one pitch collapsed and the game continued regardless, others talk of the sea of mud which was a regular feature of winter football. I, myself, remember the day a streaker ransacked the dressing rooms, having earlier retired injured after pulling a muscle and limping towards the showers. But my abiding memory of the sacred venue was of an AUL second division match on Number 2 pitch when (I think) we were playing Boher. Centre forward for Greenmount on the day was Pat Murphy, a real tearaway, a trier true and true. Pat was being held in a vicelike grip by a clever centre half and our enlightened selectors shouted instructions to Pat to switch to outside left, (why is it if you are playing badly it’s always to outside left you are moved?). Pat ran towards the sideline to confirm the change and as he returned to action he saw the Boher centre half chase the ball inside his own half. True to form, Pat, who never gave up, tore off in pursuit and quickly robbed the startled defender before carrying the ball forward with some part of his anatomy – his chest, his stomach or his shin bone – before hitting a daisy cutter past the keeper, who did not even move, to the corner of the net. Pat gave his customary leap of joy and then, in his well practised victory manoeuvre, pirouetted gracefully and raised his right arm aloft with his index finger pointing towards the clouds (shades of Denis Law). But then, sensing some absurd infringement (no one rushed forward to hug him), he ran towards the referee who had a grin as wide as the goalmouth. “Are yeh gone mad, man”, roared Pat “I couldn’t have been offside.” “You weren’t son,” replied the ref “you were playing with the wrong ball – that ball just came in over the ditch from Number 3 pitch.” Happy days!
“Eusebio” at Church Road
Most of us have memories of tough games, high scoring thrillers, certain goalmouth incidents when balls went through the nets and were given as wides by blinkered refs and, of course, sending offs. Almost everyone seems to remember being sent for an early shower at Church Road. I recall reading of a smarty pants student who, when asked for his name by ref Nedser Cotter, replied “Eusebio”! “Right, Eusebio, take a walk to the dressing room and wipe the black off your face” snapped Ned. I also remember taking a penalty kick on a snow covered Number 1 ground and promptly planting the ball in the back of the net. The keeper complained at not having been able to see the white ball on account of the snow (of course he was not serious) so in the spirit of the occasion, I shouted to our trainer and asked him if he could spare one of the half-time oranges in order I could do it all over again. Within seconds, a beautiful jaffa orange was thrown in and the keeper rather belatedly, showed his expertise by plucking it out of the sky with one hand before offering to share it with the referee who, luckily, was in cheerful mood it being almost Christmas Eve.
A day at headquarters
For those with fading memories, I will recall here a typical Church Road Sunday which began with a rush to the bus stop on the South Mall.
The queue at the bus stop for the No 2 to Church Road is lengthy. Chivalry is buried and old ladies are almost trampled on as soccergoers crowd onto the already congested double-decker on which the northside teams are already seated. The conductor has an impossible task and most avoid paying the fourpenny fare. On arrival at the venue, you noted that the minor games are in progress and that the area in front of the dressing room is crowded ,with many of the early arrivals doing emergency repairs to, or lacing up football boots. The selectors (normally eight groups of three) are out of earshot and a little bit distant from the hullabaloo as they debate their choices. Eyes are inevitably fixed on the entrance gate, waiting for another bus to pass. A scout has been delegated to stand at the gate with instructions to shout if Hackett, Lyncha, Hawkins or Mr Football are seen alighting from a bus. If they have not, then the selectors have to proceed without the stars and those waiting outside the dressing room are told to start getting stripped. “Here’s Hackett! here’s Lyncha!” comes a roar from the gate. A typical Greenmount solution to such an eventuality would result in a debate along the following lines. “The team is already picked”, says one of the selectors. “But Hackett has to play”, adds another. “OK, who are you going to let out now?” quizzes the third. “Shack of course,” says the Hackett fan. “Then you can call out the team” reply the others. “And no better boy” cries the hero as he heads for the dressing room with the others meekishly in tow. The brave selector calls for “ciúnas” as he names the eleven! “Shack you’re a sub” he says before closing the door behind him. Seconds later, a messenger appears with word that Hackett had forgotten his boots. “Ask Shack to give him his” quipps a shy selector, “You ask him yourself” snapps yer man, adding “it’s your turn to be Vincent De Paul”. The games soon get underway on the four pitches with the match in Number 4 the last to get started.
Popping in and out
At Church Road, one could not be everywhere at once and so have to contented with hopping in and out of each ground in turn. Number 4 pitch is the furthest from the dressing room, and the most isolated and spacious, set in the middle of four acres – usually the scene of relegation battles (I only played there once). One of the teams is sporting a beautiful new gear, they look brilliant and it appears that their opposition have already scored. The football is anything but pretty, the wingers are flyers, the type that forget to cross the ball before running over the end line, leading to the usual cry of “they couldn’t cross the don”. Meanwhile, Number 3 is hosting a dour battle, no quarter asked or given. This is the tightest of the three pitches, you can nearly reach over and shake hands with spectators on the other sideline. Through the gap in the hedgerow, you can see our boys in action in Number 2. Albert’s provide the opposition so its no place for the faint-hearted. Hackett is uncomfortable in Shack’s boots (relics from the early fifties), which are two sizes too small, but still is our best player despite the opposition taunts of “Hackett is a wanker”. In the show-piece Number 1, a big crowd adds to the atmosphere of the northside derby between Castleview and Mary’s and referee Eddie Mullins has centre stage. Lyncha slides in and robs Hawkins. “Penalty”! roars Gerry Geaney. “Play on”, shouts Mullins. “Handball ref”, screams Geaney. “Thank God you’re not a surgeon”, bellows Mullins, revelling in the controversy. “Penalty kick” comes a huge roar from Number 3 which instantly results in a stampede from all other grounds. “Tich missed it”, late arrivers were told as the others scamper back to watch their own teams. The match in Number 4 which started last has ended first and the ref has some explaining to do to the irate players of the beautifully attired side who are losing six nil when the ref’s whistle brings a merciful and premature end to the massacre. They soon realised the reason for the short time as they were first in to the hot showers and are almost ready to head for the bus-stop before the other 69 tired athletes begin to scramble out of their muddy gear. The shower area soon resembles a sauna with bare bodies colliding in search of the hot water spray as the Lux soap and rare bottle of shampoo are shared by the masses. A mass exodus back to the changing room was a sign that all the hot water is used and only the Christmas Day swimmers remain to rinse the suds from their hair.
Very soon all would be quiet in Church Road again, the last of the stragglers would have left for their local, leaving the dressing rooms littered with dirty cotton wool, torn socks, tie-ups, empty dettol bottles, old newspapers and an occasional, discarded, torn football boot. Oh, if only they could tell a tale –Is mise bróga peile. Ba maith liom scéal mo shaol a insint duit. Imagine the heartbreaking tale of the 1001 misses of the “sole” destroying Church Road striker. Happy days.
Entry fees doubled (1977-78)
Some significant changes for the new season (1977-78) emerged from the League’s AGM. The £1 levy on junior players, and 50p on youth’s was dispensed with but, to offset the loss of revenue, entrance fees almost doubled. Entry fees for juniors were increased to £30 (£35 new teams) and £16 for youths. It became compulsory to have team jerseys numbered and the referees Yellow and Red card system was extended to all competitions. When Finbarr Dorgan resigned from the AUL during the previous season he was not replaced and, as Seamus Casey and George Keating did not seek re-election, the management committee reverted to seven. The only absentee noted was Lisavaird and, the years since have shown that, there were some very loyal clubs among the newcomers which included Leeside, Killowen, Buttevant, St Patrick’s (again), Abbey Utd, Dungourney and Castletown Celtic.
The “Team of the Year” for 1977/78 was Crofton Celtic, winners of the Tom O’Kelly Cup, Premier League and runners-up Munster Junior Cup. The Paddy Walsh managed squad – which included Dave Mahon, Pat Mahon, Pat Kirby, Alan Forde, Brendan Murphy, Alan Cremin and Jim Cahill – looked at one stage as if they would sweep the boards, but tired in the hectic final weeks and were beaten after a replay in the AOH Cup semi-final by Casement. Crofton won many new admirers when winning the O’Kelly Cup in decisive style, defeating indisciplined St Mary’s 3-0 after extra time at Dunne’s Park. It was an occasion St Mary’s will want to forget, they lost a player in the second half of normal time and had two more dismissed in extra time in a shameful decider. The proud name of the St Mary’s Club was sadly tarnished by their brutal performance in this game and the watching AUL Management Committee cracked the disciplinary whip hard when dishing out its heaviest penalties in many years. The numerically stronger Crofton took the trophy with the help of goals from Pat Kirby, Alan Cremin and Dave Mahon.
In early March, Crofton had an eight point lead in the championship race but faltered over the Easter period when it became mathematically possible for St Mary’s to take the title by winning all their remaining games. The Saints dropped a vital point and Crofton beat Wolf Tones in their third last game to gain a championship winning opportunity against Casement in the penultimate tie. Casement had, the previous week, prevented the Crofton grand slam in the AOH Cup and, if they could repeat the feat or even take a point, the concluding match of the series between Crofton and St Mary’s would assume championship decider status. The showdown was avoided, and Crofton were crowned champions, after they defeated Casement in a thrilling finale to the campaign. Crofton made a brave bid for the Munster Junior Cup when beaten after a replay by Johnville. The first match at the Mardyke was an absolute thriller with the teams sharing eight goals and the Cork side squandering a two goal lead.
Mary’s take FAI Area
All St Mary’s craft and experience was needed to overcome the determined challenge of fast emerging Midleton in the Area final of the FAI Junior Cup at Turner’s Cross. After a scoreless opening half, the Saints jumped into a flattering 2-0 lead thanks to a Billy Keane og and a Ger Henchion converted penalty. The East Corkmen made a brave bid to recover from the setback, and Denis Mulcahy’s goal ensured a tension packed last 15 minutes after which the premier boys just held on to take their first President’s Cup as Area winners. There was no joy in the open draw for St Mary’s and even home advantage could not prevent their exit at the hands of Dublin Gas who advanced with a 2-0 victory. Before departing from the FAI Cup, tribute has to be paid to Barrack Rovers for their outstanding contribution to a memorable Area competition. Their drawn semi-final against St Mary’s at Flower Lodge was a terrific match, almost without parallel. The little southside team conceded two penalties; both for fouls, conceded by Con O’Connell, on the Healy brothers. They paid dearly for the indiscretions as Ger Henchion blasted shots past Liam O’Callaghan to put Mary’s 3-1 ahead. John Healy (St Mary’s) and Denis O’Keeffe had earlier exchanged goals. In the second half, Eric Humphreys drove a penalty wide for Barrack, while first half villain Con O’Connell gave Barrack hope with a great header and the crowd erupted when Humphreys compensated for his penalty miss with a dramatic equaliser. Unfortunately, Barrack learned that you only get one chance against Mary’s and in the replay the writing was on the wall when they had a player sent off, after which the Saints romped to a 4-0 victory.
Fought like tigers
Many believe that the famed AOH competition was devalued by the hurried manner in which the concluding rounds were completed. It was unfair on the finalists to have played in what was for them the biggest game of their lives just two days after their replayed semi finals were decided.
One semi-final paired Casement with Crofton Celtic, the new sensations in junior soccer, who were annihilating all before them, therefore one might have thought that, the end was nigh for Casement, particularly as Crofton had in their previous meetings during the season had comfortable victories over their neighbours. Casement dug in and fought like tigers but were still a little fortunate to bring the game to a replay. A golden goal from Billy O’Sullivan was enough to edge out the hot favourites at the second time of asking. So Casement were ninety minutes away from achieving the first of their major ambitions. Their opponents in the final were Mallow who, surprisingly, defeated the holders St Mary’s on penalties after extra time had failed to decide their tie. The Mardyke was the ideal setting for this the final of the most prestigious trophy in Cork junior football, and patrons were assured of a close struggle for supremacy. Casement were banking on the cool heads of Tony O’Leary, the only surviving member of the side which lost in three semi-finals, the “evergreen” John Downey and Michael Foolkes. The game began in whirlwind fashion with defences unrelenting. However, both teams tired (noticeably and understandably), after their exertions in the semi-final replays completed only forty-eight hours earlier in Dunne’s Park. The fine attendance still got great value for their fifty pence as the teams skillfully probed for the one killer goal which was always likely to decide the outcome.
Two minutes from the interval, Noel Rea broke the deadlock with a wonder goal befitting any great occasion, and one that deserved to decide the destination of the AOH. As one had come to expect of Mallow, they refused to throw in the towel and only determined play from the city boys managed to keep their goal intact, particularly during a hectic period midway through the second half. Liam Walsh was an inspiring captain and Dave Keating was beautifully composed, while O’Leary, Downey and John Bowen all made noticeable contributions. None, however, matched the brilliance of winger Ger Coughlan who ran the Mallow defence ragged. Tears of joy flowed freely with O’Leary, Downey, Skipper Walsh and Joe McCarthy all shedding a few as the triumphant cavalcade returned to the Horse Shoe Inn to celebrate in the time honoured way. Casement Celtic: J Hogan, J Bowen, M Foolkes, N Rea, L Walsh (capt), T O’Leary, G Coughlan, D Keating, J Downey, B O’Sullivan and J McCarthy. Subs: P O’Sullivan, P Mulcahy. Other panel members were G Rea, J Power, T O’Mahony and S O’Leary.
A few days after the AOH final patrons at the Mardyke enjoyed a spectacular Saxone Cup final when the dreaded penalty shoot-out was needed to separate two outstanding teams, Wilton and Kinsale. It was heartbreak for Kinsale who received the commiserations of all present after losing in such circumstances, having shaded most of the drawn tie. Brian McCarthy had finished a beautiful Ger Barry cross to the net in spectacular style to reward Kinsale for their enterprising play. That goal looked as if it would suffice until Tadhg Bowdren equalised, from an expertly struck free kick, 20 minutes from time. Kinsale’s penalty nominees, lacking in confidence, made a sorry mess of scoring from the spot with only one of their takers hitting the target. Wilton’s double bid was foiled when Glenvale defeated them 2-1 in the League Div 2 decider. A team who did record a double was Douglas Hall, who had ace marksman Ger Connolly to thank for their 1-0 league final win over Midleton at the Mardyke. Two nights earlier, in scorching heat, at Dunne’s Park, the Eddie O’Donovan managed side took the O’Keeffe Cup when defeating Temple Utd on penalties after the sides’ energy sapping encounter ended scoreless. Temple stars on the night were keeper Christy Coleman, Ned Leary, Padser Morley and Gerry Ambrose while those who shone brightly in the Hall’s double achievement were C J Harrington, John Dwyer, Noel O’Sullivan, Mick O’Connor and Donal Kidney.
Trophies for Greenmount and Collegeview
Collegeview won the Mall Tavern 1st Div League Cup when they defeated Cobh Ramblers 1-0 at St Colman’s Park, the winning goal coming from a penalty by Jim Byrne in the final minute. It was a popular result for a club who had been going through some lean years and was a reward for the hard-working committee – and people like Denis Budden and Geoff Barrett who showed great resolution in keeping the club going. Outstanding in St Colman’s Park were Pat McLaverty, Finbarr Riordan, Micky Bennett and Ted O’Brien. Ramblers were well served by Eddie Frahill, Moss Mellerick, Tony Britton and Denis Kinnivane. The form teams in the 3rd Div were Greenmount Celtic, Passage, Churchvilla, Kinsale and Gunners. Fittingly, all had the distinction of final appearances. Greenmount’s second string were always in control in the Dunlop League Cup final against Gunners yet the game’s solitary goal scored on the hour by Matthew Carter was more a testimony to the wholehearted endeavours of the army team in keeping the score to 1-0 than their own shortcomings. For Greenmount players Dave Delea, Buller Mullane, Ger Cahill, Micky McCarthy, Neil White, Tony O’Mahony, Leonard Corcoran, Martin O’Leary, Gene Healy, Pat “Dixie” Cahill and Eamonn Corcoran, it was a red letter occasion as they won their first and only soccer mementos. Churchvilla (Cloyne) were rewarded for their consistency when they defeated Passage Utd 2-0 in the League final at Rockenham.
The early closure of Turner’s Cross grounds resulted in many of the League’s finals being played in open grounds and, in a particular case, in one of the finalist’s home ground. Fermoy drew the short straw in the Quinlan 2nd Div League Cup final and conceded home advantage to St John Bosco’s. Gerry Carey gave Fermoy their first junior trophy in 20 years when netting the deciding goal in extra time after the sides had shared four goals in the exciting 90 minutes of normal time. Moss Maunsell was Fermoy’s hero having accounted for their early goals which were cancelled out by strikes from Joe Hartnett and Ger Glavin. Bosco’s were fighting a losing battle from the time they had a player sent off. Fermoy’s double bid was thwarted when John Coughlan’s Ballincollig travelled to the North Cork capital and defeated them 1-0 in the County Cup final when Alan Collins’ lone goal was decisive.
Only Wilton Utd, with three players, had multiple representation on the Cork AUL Youths team which returned to the national competition after their self-imposed exile. Thirteen other clubs were represented on the squad which read S Lynch (Wilton), F Lennox (Casement), P Coleman (Avondale), A Stack (Carrigaline), F Murphy (St Mary’s), R Hewitt (Dunbar), L Keane (Norton), C White (Crofton), N O’Sullivan (Douglas Hall), D Curtin (Ringmahon), B Walsh (Tramore), M Curley (Brideview), H O’Gorman (Kilreen), F Collins (Wilton) and I McGilton (Wilton). Cork slaughtered Waterford 8-1 in the 1st round when, ironically, Brideview’s representative on the AUL team, Michael Curley, hit six of the Cork goals. Cork greatly disappointed in the next round when defeated 3-2 by Limerick after extra time in a game where they squandered a 2-0 lead. Mick Curley’s goal scoring earned him a call up to the Irish Youth International team. Wilton and Fermoy were our standard-bearers in the open stage of the FAI Minor Cup when both made exits after very brave fights, to Shelbourne and Waterford Bohs respectively. Kilreen Celtic were surprise finalists in the Murphy Cup which ranked among the best finals played at the Mardyke during the season. Kilreen came from a goal down to lead St Mary’s 2-1 and Paddy Rice’s boys looked set to create a major shock until the Saints, inspired by Finbarr Murphy and Timmy McCarthy, equalised in the closing minutes through Paul Hickey. Mary’s went into overdrive in extra time and Tom O’Neill grabbed his second, and trophy winning, third goal. Kilreen’s gallant players were on their knees at the final whistle but lads like Harry O’Gorman, Dave Noonan, John McGrath and Mathew Morrissey had shown enough in defeat to suggest that a bright future was in store. This was the second leg of the big double as the Saints had already taken the 1st Div League championship. The championship success was attributable to their remarkable consistency in the second half of the programme when they easily dismissed the fading challenge of Wilton, and overtook and destroyed Springfield who had held the lead for so long.
Con Sheehan, a well known patron of underage soccer, had a double celebration to organise when his Norton Celtic fulfilled promise shown the previous year when winning the 2nd Div League and Cup. Dunbar Celtic were their victims in both instances and the South Parish team, who had quality players in the Hewitt twins, Neil Hannigan, Tom Doyle and Finny Connors, could have had no complaints after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat in the league final. Dunbar were fast learners, and in the CMP Cup final they frustrated Norton with a well organised defensive performance before suffering the heartbreak of the dreaded penalty shoot-out defeat which was decided 7-6 in favour of the champions.
Wilton Utd confirmed their form as favourites when annexing the Coca Cola (1st Div Youths) Cup defeating Fermoy 1-0 after extra time. But for a superb performance from Ian McGrath, Wilton would not have enjoyed the success that everyone predicted. The all important winner was flashed to the net by Don O’Herlihy from a pinpoint Dave Leonard cross. Apart from McGrath, Wilton had other stars in Seward Lynch, Finbarr Collins, Ger Hayes, Don O’Herlihy and the Leonard brothers. Fermoy’s bravest were Pat Barry and John Gibbons.
Earlier in the season, the football fraternity was stunned and saddened by the untimely death of Wembley’s Noel Martin. In 1974 the brilliant Martin had helped the Cork AUL to their first Inter League Youths triumph.
Cork AUL beat Dublin 2-1 at the Marist Grounds, Dundrum with goals from Vince Marshall and Liam King. Cork AUL panel: John Dwyer, Ned Leary, Don O’Neill, Liam Keane, Liam King, Mick Treacy, Ted Hickey, Brendan Mulcahy, Finbarr Murphy, Mick Curley, Robert Bickerstaffe, Vince Marshall, Terry Hayes and Peter Lee.
SOCCER FLOURISHING 1978-79
Entries for the League increased again with a grand total of 157 teams, consisting of 120 junior and 37 youths. The management committee was particularly pleased with the increase in the number of youths teams affiliated. While it was heartening to see soccer flourishing, one had to take into consideration the additional problems, which the increase in the number of teams created, for the League.
The biggest problem, and the greatest drawback, to the League was, undoubtedly, the shortage of playing pitches in the city. The AUL had a total of 44 junior and 14 youth teams without pitches, and when one realised that the League had only three playable pitches, the extent of the problem was easily seen. Clubs, who were present at the previous delegate meeting, voiced their displeasure with Cork Corporation for its failure to provide a sufficient number of grounds and all the delegates present agreed that some form of protest should be made to make Cork Corporation aware of the alarming lack of playing pitches. The AUL spent a lot of time and money in the close season on Dunne’s Park, making a vast improvement in the dressing rooms and shifting the goalposts to a more favourable positions. How annoying it was then to the League and the clubs when the Corporation failed to cut the grass on the playing surface in time for the season’s opening.
At that stage, nearly all the established clubs were in League membership. Still the enrollments continued with Ard-na-Laoi, Waterloo, Bweeng Rangers, Matehy Utd, Kilmichael Utd., Glenville Utd, Shanballymore and Churchtown registering. Apart from the first three mentioned, it was, for the others, just a visit to sample the fare. The league were sorry to lose St Christopher’s, who departed after well appreciated service, and Lisavaird from Div 3 after a very short stay. Newcomers Flower Lodge had direct links with the former AOH club and, not surprisingly, Garda (spot the guard) changed their name – they were to be known as St Gabriel’s. Though Crofton Celtic Premier League champions moved to the MSL to spearhead the senior club’s successful title challenge, they retained a team in the Premier League which also included a second Tipperary entry, Cahir Park. Disappointing news for Echo readers was that the League Press Officer, Denis Collins, retired after ten fascinating years of match reporting. Tony Fitzgerald kept readers informed of all the developments until Billy Lyons arrived to begin his long, fruitful association in September. Referees in 1978-79 were paid £3 for junior and £2 for youths games. There was good news at the commencement of the season for Brendan Mulcahy (Castleview) and Robert Bickerstaffe (Hillington) when they were called on to the Irish junior panel for the match against Scotland.
The practice of completing the league cup competitions early and the playing of finals before Christmas, which had proved very popular with the clubs, continued.
Wins for Midleton and Casement
Midleton’s greater determination, allied to superior fitness, saw them take the Premier award when defeating Wembley 1-0 on the October Bank holiday at Rangers Park. In the 30th minute, a right wing cross from the industrious John Barry was spectacularly headed to the net by Paudie Foley. Jackie Daly was “Man of the Match” for Midleton, while the tireless Mick Long deserved greater rewards for his efforts on behalf of Wembley. Keeper Francis Lennox was the hero for Casement Celtic who beat favourites Tramore on penalties in the Youths League Cup final. Lennox atoned for an earlier mistake by saving two of the first five in a penalty shoot-out and then by blocking the effort of Alan Ramsell in the first of the sudden death spotters. Outstanding for the winners, apart from Lennox, were Seamus O’Leary and Noel Rea. Barry and Horgan shone brightest for the losers.
It was only through the herculean efforts of Wembley groundsman Finbarr Kingston that the CMP 2nd Div Youths final was played as scheduled. He was rewarded for his expertise when Wembley and Togher provided a thrilling game. Though leading 2-0, through early goals from Declan Courtney and Tony Burns, Wembley had to go to extra time to quench the challenge of the underdogs. Togher had kept plugging on and their outstanding player, Burke, atoned for an earlier miss when reducing arrears and on the stroke of time Christy Kenneally had equalised. In the first period of extra time, Burns proved Wembley’s match winner when netting from close range. The winners heroes were Burns, Neilus Dineen and Pat Murphy while Burke, Kenneally and Martin McCarthy starred for the losers.
Happy Christmas for Hibernians
There was a little extra cheer for Hibernians (Shanbally) as they celebrated Christmas in the best possible manner by winning the Mall Tavern 1st Div trophy on Christmas Eve, defeating Rockmount 3-0 in the final. It was the first ever trophy win for the Miksey Lyons managed team. Rockmount’s sometimes lucky, and often brave, run came to an unsatisfactory halt in the 10th minute of a poor game. For, in the opening sequence, they took a 1-2-3- ko – No 1 was delivered by Liam O’Sullivan who opened the scoring for Hibs, Mick O’Reilly added No 2 and No 3 was the sending off of Eddie Murphy for a rash retaliation after a foul by Lyons. Derry Hurley sealed it midway through the second half when he crashed home a splendid free kick to make it 3-0. Apart from the scorers, Hibs best were John Crowley and Mick Murphy. Rockmount had creditable performances from Frank Murphy, George Cummins and Dan Mulvihill.
The buccaneers of Boher Celtic took the Quinlan League Cup – their first trophy – by beating Fermoy in Fermoy. The winning score was no isolated act of piracy, rather a gem (that would have Jimmy Hill and his legion of armchair fans drooling) brought about by an inspired substitution by Boher’s dynamic manager Andy Neenan who took of his out of touch leading scorer, John Scanlon. Sub John Blake linked with Denis Kiely who crossed for the “Prince of Pirates”, Sean Buckley, to head powerfully past Declan Condon. Boher’s stars were Denis Kiely, Noel Frazier and Ger O’Connell and the Fermoy players to whom no blame could be attached were John Redmond, Christy Kennedy, Jim Noonan and Jerry Condon.
Farnanes click then slip
The fine J A Woods ground at Ovens hosted its first junior final when Farnanes and Fairview met in the Dunlop 3rd Div decider. Farnanes, who triumphed with goals from Ray Payne and Brian Taylor, were thrilled with the performances of Taylor and Pat Donegan. Those who tried hardest for Fairview were Micky Twohig, Martin Murphy, Micky Crowley and Pat O’Sullivan. Scot Brian Taylor, who, the previous Sunday, scored seven in a league game and the Sunday after the final notched four more, was tamed by Kilreen’s Christy Keeffe in the league final at Turner’s Cross. Here, Farnanes were left regretting a penalty miss when Pat Buckley netted the game’s only goal for Kilreen. The Ballyphehane side were fortunate to survive as the referee was unsighted when Christy Keeffe punched a certain Farnanes score off the goal-line. For Kilreen, veteran Liam McCarthy was an inspiring pivot and he received great support from Harry O’Gorman, Gene Burns, Dave Noonan and John McGrath. A goal by Ger Hayes, and a late og, gave Wilton a 2-1 Saxone Cup final win over Grattan whose sharpshooter was Paul Watt. The winners owed their success to the quality play of Hughie Bowdren, Willie Hennessy, Denis Murphy, Sean Walsh and Paul Curtin. Grattan’s performance suggested that there were better days ahead as a little improvement in front of goal would have provided greater reward for the wholehearted displays of Joe Lynch, Don O’Leary, Paul Lynch and Terry Hayes.
Ringmahon won the 2nd Div Junior League title the hard way. In the decider at Turner’s Cross, they hit the front early with a goal from Pat Kavanagh and stayed there despite the gallant efforts of losers Kinsale. In the 1st Div League final at St Colman’s Park between Cobh Ramblers and Greenmount Rangers, dominated by defensive attitudes – the offside trap being the most frequently employed tactic – it was perhaps appropriate that the winning goal (the only score) came from a defender. It was tallied by Rambler’s Moss Mellerick who had ventured upfield in support of his attackers during a rare Cobh raid, 20 minutes into the second half. Unmarked, he picked up a clearance and rifled home a shot which flew into the top corner of the net from 25 yards. Best for the Danny Cronin managed champions were Ger Brennan, Con Brierley and Terry Sheally, while Greenmount could not fault Pat Mulcahy, Tim Healy or keeper Finbarr O’Mahony.
The crucial ties in the Premier League title race were those “head to heads” between Castleview and Midleton. Midleton inflicted on Castleview their only defeat of the campaign but, really, needed to take all four points to have had a realistic chance of overtaking the runaway leaders. In the end, the View had four points to spare over Midleton, their nearest challengers. Castleview, who were captained by Denis Bennett, owed their championship success to the striking partnership of Brendan Mulcahy and Cyril Kavanagh; the steadiness of Dan Devereaux, Maurice Caulfield and John O’Brien; along with the scheming play of Timmy Singleton, Lar Leahy and Walter McCarthy. The title was claimed when they defeated Bohs 1-0 after Cyril Kavanagh’s cross was headed to the net by Lar Leahy.
Unbeaten run ended
Ballincollig ended Midleton’s two year unbeaten run at the Mart Field when defeating them 2-1 in the Area final of the FAI Junior Cup. Long range frees by Pat Healy led to both Ballincollig goals, the first going in off Midleton skipper Mick Kirby while the second was headed home by James McNamara. Midleton’s reply came from a Paudie Foley penalty, their second such award, with the earlier attempt by Jackie Daly coming back off the post. Midleton also had to play for a long period with ten players after Billy Keane was dismissed. Ballincollig, well organised by John Coughlan, had outstanding performers in Healy, Sean Fitton, Danny Horgan and Mick McNulty. Denis Mulcahy, one of Midleton’s greatest sportstars in every code he played, established a club record with 40 goals from 47 games. Ballincollig were unable to improve on Cork’s dismal FAI record when beaten 3-1 by St Mochta’s in the 7th round.
Goal scoring record
There were some outstanding goal scoring performances during the season. Dan Greene got sixty for Bweeng Rangers. I have already mentioned Brian Taylor’s individual haul of seven in one match, which topped Paudie Foley’s five in an FAI Junior Cup game. However, all nearly paled into insignificance beside Ger Dennehy’s record ten goal strike for Northvilla in the 10-0 annihilation of Crosshaven. Ger’s goalscoring touch deserted him on the biggest day of all – the final of the AOH Cup when Northvilla were trounced 5-1 by Grangevale at Turners Cross. The new goal scoring sensation was Dave Hayes, who helped himself to a hat trick, and the winners’ other scores were tallied by Val Morris (who opened the scoring) and Tony O’Leary (pen). Denis Cummins had Northvilla’s consolation score. As well as taking custody of the coveted AOH trophy for the first time in their 26 year history, Grangevale also received a cash prize of £100 from sponsor Kieran O’Riordan of O’Riordan’s Joiners. Grangevale: J Varian, M Corkery, J Nolan, T Desmond, M Treacy, K O’Sullivan, P Cronin, T O’Leary, D Hayes, C Moore, V Morris. Subs: P O’Sullivan, S Buckley.
Titles for Tramore and Mallow
Tramore, managed by John Walsh, won the 1st Div Youths League title for the sixth time when a scoreless draw with St Mary’s gave them the trophy after an undefeated campaign. Meanwhile, Mallow recorded a first by taking the 2nd Div trophy when defeating unbeaten section ‘A’ winners Bohemians 2-1 in the decider at Turner’s Cross. Tom O’Neill and Derek Mellerick hit the target for the winners who had very able players in Peter Redmond, Gerard Buckley and Ray Cosgrove. The closest a Cork AUL team got to winning a trophy in outside competitions was when Ballincollig were defeated 3-1 by Wembley Rovers (Limerick) in the final of the Munster Minor Cup. Wembley, who only lost two out of twenty-eight, were clearly the better side, but spirited Ballincollig helped to make it a splendid game. Ballincollig even looked like making a match of it when Barry Murphy slotted home an equaliser, but the bigger and stronger Limerick side dominated the second half in which they sealed the Cork side’s fate when netting twice. For the losers, Finbarr Hogan, Brian Coughlan and Peter Walsh, all showed great promise. The County Cup competition was postponed after the completion of the second round as a result of petrol shortages. During the season, Matehy and Killeagh Celtic were expelled from the League, a fate which also befell Crofton (Premier) and Mayfield Ath (Div 3) who were removed for playing illegal players.
Cork AUL drew 1-1 with Waterford in the first round of the Oscar Traynor Cup when John Cahill was the scorer. They lined out as follows: Jim Scanlon, Ned Leary, Robert Bickerstaffe, Jack Daly, Pat Healy, Brendan Mulcahy, Denis Mulcahy, Willie Driscoll, Ger Connolly, Tadhg O’Reilly and Paudie Foley. Subs: John Bowen, John Cahill. The Cork AUL midfield failed to function in Ozier Park and yet was little improved for the replay in Midleton. This time Waterford got the breaks that luck denied them in the drawn game and won by two clear goals – both netted from penalties. Cork selectors Gerry Geaney, John Coughlan, Noel Punch, Tony Fitzgerald and Vince Cummins made numerous changes in the panel for the Tayto Cup match against Dublin when Cork retained the trophy with a 3-1 win at Turners Cross. After a scoreless first half, Cork introduced substitutes Dave Hayes and Larry Leahy in what turned out to be a master move as the deadly duo shared the Cork total with Hayes getting the brace. Panel: John Dwyer, Terry Furlong, Dan Devereaux, Mick Treacy, Pat Healy, Ned O’Leary, Liam O’Sullivan, John Healy, Brendan Mulcahy, John Dowling, Liam Naughton, Tadhg O’Reilly, Dave Hayes, Lar Leahy and Tadhg Bowdren.
Youths go close
In an effervescent extra time effort that sometimes bubbled up to the edges of excellence Cork Youths destroyed a Waterford team that held them to a 1-1 draw in normal time in the Inter League Soccer Reporter Trophy. Dave Barry’s header, from an Eddie O’Halloran cross, had sent the tie to extra time. Waterford collapsed in the added time when Cork, playing glorious football, netted four times through Robbie O’Donoghue, Dave Barry, Liam Murphy and James Corcoran. Buoyed up by a confident rearguard, and inspired by a tireless and constructive midfield, the AUL overcame shortcomings in attack to score a notable 3-1 victory over their Dublin counterparts in the semi-final in Midleton. Cork’s scorers were Eddie O’Halloran, Liam Murphy and James Corcoran.
A strong wind spoiled the football in the final, played at St Colman’s Park, but nothing marred the evident joy of the Donegal side who won with the game’s only goal. If the standard was a mild let-down to the spectators, then the result was even more so for the home lads who, except for the ebullient Rea, could hardly manage a smile between them as they trooped up for the losers; trophies. Cork: Francis Lennox, Pat Coleman, Finbarr Collins, Noel Rea, Terry O’Donovan, Eddie O’Halloran, Liam Murphy, Dave Barry, James Corcoran, Richard Horgan, Robbie O’Donoghue. Subs: Terry Kearns, Philip Long.
A few days later, the Cork side gained some consolation when Liam Murphy set up Terry Kearns to shoot the winner against the touring Westphalians. Wilton’s Finbarr Collins played in four internationals during the European Youth campaign when Casement keeper Francis Lennox was substitute. Incidentally, Lennox got one of those rare goals by a goalkeeper in a Murphy Cup game when a huge kick from his own area went all the way to the net at the other end of the field. Munster Youths beat the Westphalians 2-0 at Flower Lodge. Both goals were scored by John Dwyer of Tipperary, and Cork players in the side were F Lennox, P Coleman, F Collins, N Rea, L Murphy and D Barry.
During the season, the AUL celebrated its 30th anniversary with a dinner at the Imperial Hotel. In April, they put away the knives and forks and carried placards, along with other soccer bodies, in a protest march through the city to highlight the lack of adequate facilities.
Grounds still a major problem (1979 – 80)
The numbers playing organised amateur soccer, at all levels in Cork, continued to increase spectacularly. Each new season brought with it its quota of new clubs and news of extensions to existing clubs. Soccer was one of the fastest growing sports. The resultant problems inspired the Cork Examiner’s Billy George to produce an excellent series of articles examining the state of soccer in Cork. The grounds’ situation constantly referred to in the series was highlighted at the AGM of the AUL when the critical shortage of playing pitches, and the role of the Cork Corporation in providing such facilities, was discussed at length by the 69 club delegates that attended. The Chairman of the Cork AUL, Mr Billy Murphy, said he regretted the fact that, as yet, there had been no response from the Cork Corporation regarding grounds, following the massive protest march through the city two months earlier when they tried to highlight the plight of city and county clubs.
AUL bid for Turner’s Cross
The management committee of the Cork Athletic Union Football League disclosed that they had made an official bid to the Football Association of Ireland to secure a long-term lease for the Turner’s Cross ground, once the home of League of Ireland side Cork Celtic. The Cork AUL had been without a headquarters in Cork for a number of years – since the termination of their links with Church Road – and they pointed out that with the expulsion of Cork Celtic from the League of Ireland, and their subsequent failure to gain entry to the Munster Senior League, the time was ripe for the Cork AUL to establish Turner’s Cross as their headquarters in Cork. Mr Murphy stated that he and other members of the committee had discussed the situation in depth and decided that the Cork AUL were willing and able to plough £50,000 into the development of Turner’s Cross. The Chairman added that through, the Cork AUL’s Ground Development Fund and through the assistance of the various clubs in the League, the money could be raised. At the time, the AUL’s GDF stood at £18,000. Mr Vincent Cummins, Hon Secretary of the Cork AUL, said that the pitch would be made available for all leagues in Cork including the Munster Senior League, the Shipping League, the Cork Schoolboys League and the Cork AUL’s Leagues.
AUL Fixtures Secretary, Tony Fitzgerald, in an interview with Billy George for the afore-mentioned series, said: “Really, teams are having to play under terrible conditions in Cork. There is a shortage of pitches and a very serious lack of dressing-rooms. We have 58 teams in our League without a pitch of their own and we have only two pitches from the Corporation at Dunne’s Park, in Blackrock, for them”. A cause of encouragement to the AUL was the spread of the game throughout the county. “The game has picked up enormously in rural areas”, said Mr Fitzgerald. “Midleton is a case in point. They are one of the outstanding teams in our Premier Division. We have 14 teams in North Cork and teams in Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Bandon, Crosshaven, Cobh, Youghal and five teams in Midleton. We had three pitches at Church Road in the city for 28 years and were paid £20,000 in compensation when we had to move out of there in 1977, but we cannot get land to spend the money on. The pitches in Blackrock are available to us only on a temporary basis and to progress, we need 16 new pitches in all areas.”
Only three clubs own their grounds
The comparative lack of success in national competitions at Schoolboys, Youths, Junior, Munster Senior and League of Ireland level was a commentary on the lack of proper playing pitches and suggested serious shortcomings in the standard of Cork football. A total of 318 teams took part in regular competitions in these leagues. In addition, further competitions organised by the Cork Shipping League and the Cork Inter-House League boosted the numbers playing the game still higher. This was a key issue raised by Mr. George who informed readers of another sad fact when stating “A more relevant statistic and surely a chilling commentary on the state of the game is that only three clubs actually own their own ground (1979) – Cobh Ramblers, Fermoy and Springfield.”
That statement was, said Mr George, sure to inflame many of those involved in soccer. “There are teams with proud traditions and high standards who have been catering for the youth in their district for several decades. The work they have done and continue to do is invaluable as a community service, apart from anything else”. continued Bill George who added “that work has almost exclusively been directed at putting teams on the field and playing matches. There can be no denying, one of the biggest brakes on the advancement of the game is the lack of permanent homes and club facilities as well as dressing-rooms for the teams. There are signs that this shortcoming has, as last, been recognised”.
‘Three years ago, we implemented a rule that forbade us from allowing any new teams into our competitions unless they had their own pitch”, said Tony Fitzgerald of the Cork AUL, the biggest league outside of Dublin. That was a constructive step if a little too late to ease the problem facing League officials trying to cater for more teams than there are pitches. There are 58 teams in the League who do not have a pitch. In consequence many teams are without a match for two and three weeks at a time.’
“Criticism of the Corporation in this context was justified”, added Bill George. “The Cork Schoolboys’ League suffered and continues to suffer because of the loss of their pitch at Togher. The Corporation has done little to provide playing areas and they suffer by comparison with Dublin Corporation in this regard. Dublin Corporation lease out pitches, dressing-rooms and provide a caretaker service”, he said. Very few soccer legislators, players or supporters would have disagreed with Billy’s concluding statement which placed the ball firmly in the clubs’ own back garden when saying that: “The soccer teams will continue to agitate for more facilities from the Corporation in Cork, but they must also help themselves if the sport is to develop. There are signs that some, at least, accept this and are taking the first, tentative steps towards filling the obvious need”.
Jim Hennebry, speaking on the grounds issue, said “Avondale United is one of the newer teams in Cork; Tramore Athletic is 30 years old and one of the most respected. I have admired Tramore, in fact I have tried to develop Avondale along the same lines as Tramore” added Jim, General Manager of Avondale. “But they have only started a grounds fund in the past year. They are one of the most enlightened clubs . . . but look at the time that has been lost.”
All the outgoing officers of the League were returned to office. Flower Lodge AFC changed their name to AOH and newcomers admitted were Macroom International, Killeady, Verolme and Annsvilla. Not among the 121 entries to the junior grade were the previously successful clubs Celtic and 4th Battalion, along with Lisgriffin. The door remained closed to the expelled clubs Crofton Celtic, Mayfield Ath, Killeagh Celtic and Matehy Utd.
Great year for youth football
Views expressed earlier about the poor standard of Cork football, a fact the experts claimed was borne out by our poor results at national level, were booted into touch when Cork Youths laid claim to being the best in Ireland with a magnificent double success. The AUL won the FAI Inter League trophy and Tramore Youths won the FAI Minor and Munster Cups. Cork were represented by both Tramore and Springfield in the FAI Youth semi-finals and St Mary’s ensured that the provincial final was an all-Leeside affair.
Tramore are Ireland’s Number 1
Tramore’s marvellous 2-0 victory over Home Farm in the FAI, achieved without injured stars – Tony Mullins and Brian Fleming – really indicated that Cork soccer was alive and well. Ger Cunningham had an outstanding game in goal for the Cork team, but it was in midfield that victory was earned most. Dave Barry was top class and was bolstered by non-stop Mattie Murphy; together they created the majority of the scoring chances. The formidable Home Farm defence finally cracked two minutes into extra time. Kieran O’Regan, the best forward on view, crossed for Niall Dineen to head on to Barry whose low shot crashed to the net. The victory was sealed with a fine goal 4 minutes late; Matt Murphy linked with White to create the opening for substitute Mick O’Rourke to net from close range. Tramore: Cunningham, Smith, Donovan, Madden, Waters, Murphy, Barry, White, O’Regan, Dineen and Clarke. Subs: O’Rourke, Leahy.
Munster as well
Tramore followed up this success by capturing the Munster Youths Cup for the first time with a very hard earned 1-0 win over brave St Mary’s. The only goal of the game arrived in the 68th minute when Dave Barry set up sub Donal O’Callaghan to shoot past Finbarr Redmond. Outstanding for the winners were Terry Donovan, Niall Dineen and Dave Barry. The Mary’s players to make most impression on the exciting game were Redmond, Long, Galvin and Brady. Tramore added the Coca Cola Cup to the impressive haul with a deserved 2-0 win over Rockmount. Ray Clarke had them 1-0 ahead at half-time and Niall Dineen sealed the win with a delightful second half score. They made it a four-timer by wrapping up the league championship with a scintillating 4-0 victory over Casement in their final game. Rockmount, who had lived in the shadow of Tramore all year, finished the season in style by annexing the coveted Murphy Cup as a result of an impressive 4-0 win over St Mary’s in the final. Sharing the scores were John Magee, Brendan Kenneally, Kevin Kearney and Denis Keane.
Wins for Ringmahon and Blackpool
Ringmahon Youths, though dominating the CMP Cup final against Douglas Hall, had to depend on their penalty expertise to win. Normal and extra time produced no goals and Ringmahon won the penalty decider 4-3. Best for the winners were Cormac Harrington, James Furlong and Martin Lyons. For the Hall, Peter Morris and Neil and John Creedon did well. Rangers failed to make it a double. Blackpool Celtic returned to youth footballs with a championship win and great credit was given to mentors Micky Moriarty, Denis Cullinane and Paddy Walsh. They beat Ringmahon 1-0 after extra time and the win was achieved as a result of a brilliant individual score from Noel Buckley who ended a jinking run with a beautiful strike. Blackpool’s stars were Gerry O’Sullivan, Tony Murphy, Martin O’Brien and Finbarr Murphy. The unlucky Rangers were best served by Paudie Coughlan, Pat O’Leary and James Furlong.
Cork AUL’s great win in the final of the Youths Inter League Soccer Reporter Cup in Kilkenny was the icing on the cake for AUL football. Visitors Cork recovered from the shuddering shock of conceding an easy 4th minute goal to Kilkenny’s Fitzpatrick, to equalise 10 minutes later when Youghal player Terry Kearns scored. Both sides had scoring chances as the thrill packed game progressed but Cork had most, and only brilliant saves by Kilkenny’s youth international, Cleere, kept the home side in the hunt until extra time. Cork dominated the last period of this added time and had the opportunism of Kearns to thank for their victory when he pounced on a bad back pass to shoot the decisive goal. Cork AUL: Finbarr Hogan (Ballincollig), Sean O’Sullivan (Casement Celtic), Fergus Begley (Everton), Mick O’Keeffe (Rockmount), Terry O’Donovan (Tramore Ath.), Sean Madden (do.), Matthew Murphy (do), Liam Murphy (Wilton Utd), Terry Kearns (St Martin’s), Kevin Murphy (UCC Academicals) and David O’Connor (Casement Celtic). Subs were Philip Long and Martin Lyons.
Terry O’Donovan received the cup from FAI Youth President John Farrell and Terry’s acceptance speech, a model of its kind, went down very well with the large attendance. Among those Terry singled out as being vital to the Cork success were coach Denis Galvin, trainer Johnny O’Driscoll and the selectors Mick Moriarty, Noel Stokes, John Delea and Paddy Fitton. It is probably not entirely fair to single out players from the champions for, all along the hard road since midwinter, each lad had done his bit (and here, let us not forget Jamesie Corcoran sidelined through injury), but on the day the best were Hogan, O’Sullivan, Begley, O’Donovan, Liam and Mattie Murphy, Madden and Kearns.
The pathway to glory began with a 4-1 victory over Limerick at Turner’s Cross when the marksmen were Mattie Murphy, Liam Murphy, James Corcoran and Dave Barry. Cork had it much tougher in the next round and lost a two goal lead to the Dublin AUL who earned a replay in Cork. In the replay, Cork overcame injuries to Kevin Murphy and Jamesie Corcoran (fractured leg) in beating the Dubs 2-1 with scores from Corcoran and Kevin Kearney. Cork also needed a replay to see off the brave challenge of Donegal in the semi-final. The sides shared four goals in Donegal as Dave Barry and Larry O’Donovan accounted for the Cork scores. A well hit Barry free kick was enough to ensure a final place as Donegal’s dreams were shattered at Turner’s Cross. The other members of the squad not involved against Kilkenny were C Campbell (Wilton), N O’Driscoll (Rockmount) and K Kearney (Rockmount). Players on the panel in the earlier rounds included F Redmond (St Mary’s), P Murphy (Rockmount) and A Cullen (Farnanes).
Cork were double-handed going into the open stages of the FAI Junior but neither of the sides, St Mary’s and Douglas Hall, made progress. Mary’s led through Ted Hickey in their match with Raheeny and held out until the closing minutes when two defensive mistakes brought about their downfall. Douglas Hall put up a creditable show before going out on a 2-1 scoreline to Geraldine’s (Limerick) who led 1-0 at half-time. C J Harrington gave the Hall hope with a sweet equaliser but the Limerick side struck within minutes to secure their quarter final place.
Glavin stars as Bosco’s take AOH
Prior to Friday, June 6th, soccer followers were asking who were St John Bosco’s and where did they come from? These questions and many others were answered after 90 minutes of an exciting AOH Cup final when the 2nd div side shocked premier outfit Greenmount 2-1. The city team, who were entitled to be confident having knocked out favourites St Mary’s in the semi-final, looked to have snatched a 15th minute, when Plunkett Carter was on hand to hammer home after a blistering 20 yard free by Pat Mulcahy came back off the post, but, Barry Kearney ruled it offside. Oh-oh-oh-oh What a referee! What a referee! Greenmount were still reeling from that decision when Ger Glavin, from a seemingly impossible position on the bottom right hand corner of Turner’s Cross, beat keeper Liam Ryan with a delightful chip. Greenmount were back on level terms soon afterwards when Mulcahy scored from the penalty spot after Carter was brought down in the box. Three minutes later, Glavin latched on to a misjudged back pass and the ace striker beat Ryan at the second attempt. At the start of the second half, Greenmount had yet another goal disallowed for offside, followed minutes later by more misfortune when Deccie Barry headed a goal bound shot from Alan Ramsell off the line. Greenmount continuing to press forward (but lacking a cool head in midfield) and Bosco’s raiding on the break, were the ingredients that kept the excellent attendance on a knife-edge to the end, which arrived with the underdogs successfully surviving a series of corners to take the coveted trophy. For Bosco’s Glavin was undoubtedly the star but they also were grateful for the backup support from Tony Horgan, Denis McSweeney, Kevin Barry, Deccie Barry and John “Scobie” Cleary. On a disappointing night for Greenmount, only Paddy O’Callaghan, Sean Long, Greg Healy, Cal O’Leary and Alan Ramsell could have been happy with their performances. St John Bosco’s: Tony Horgan, Sean Barry, Deccie Barry, Kevin Barry, Denis McSweeney, Joe Hartnett, Ger Glavin (captain), Anthony Ahern, John Cleary, Billy Ahern and Anthony McSweeney. Subs (not used) were Kieran O’Donovan and Paddy O’Sullivan.
Casement Celtic had yet another of their aspirations filled when they were deservedly crowned Premier League champions after a comfortable 3-0 victory over St Michael’s (Tipp) in their final league game at Turner’s Cross. Billy O’Sullivan, Ger Rea and Joe McCarthy were credited with the goals that had Casement Celtic’s name on the trophy for the first time. The ease and inevitability of a Casement victory, which was always apparent, created an anticlimatic situation with the champagne being readied in the home dressing-room long before the final whistle was blown.
It was a tremendous Premier League title race with several teams in contention for long periods. Douglas Hall joined Casement at the top of the table in early April, and Cobh Ramblers were still in the hunt with some games in hand. The “Hall” slipped up on the run-in and Casement went under to arch rivals St Mary’s, allowing Cobh to leap-frog into the lead. Now the cat was among the pigeons and a thriller was assured when Casement and Cobh met in a showdown that would decide the title – one point for Cobh and the cup would be on its way to the Holy Ground. Paul O’Sullivan gave Casement first blood; then, AUL youths player Sean O’Sullivan brought down Moss Mellerick in the box, allowing Ger Brennan to equalise from the spot. But it was Casement’s day, and goals from Ger O’Sullivan and Seamus O’Leary quickly brought Cobh back to terra firma. Hot House Flowers fans will be surprised to hear that brilliant drummer Gerry Fehilly, former schoolboy international, was a key member of Casement’s youths and junior panels.
Earlier in the month, Casement had defeated Midleton 2-0 in the final of the Tom O’Kelly Premier League Cup, thanks to goals from regular marksmen Pat Mulcahy and Liam Walsh. Once again Casement’s slick teamwork was the hallmark of their game. For the record, the victorious team was B Corkery, S O’Leary, J Bowen, J O’Sullivan, T McCarthy, G Rea, L Walsh, P O’Sullivan, P Mulcahy, M Foolkes, B O’Sullivan. Subs: N Rea, J Dowling. Casement’s speed and sharpness around the field were a direct result of the hard training the squad put in during the season and they deservedly reaped the rewards of that dedication, providing an object-lesson for many other clubs content to play from Sunday to Sunday without any worthwhile effort in between. It was also a tribute to their coach John Dowling, his assistant Georgie Foolkes, and their inspiring captain Ger O’Sullivan who left no stone unturned in their quest for glory.
Twice in six days Grattan lost out in penalty shoot-out deciders (beaten on penalties by Waterford Bohs in the Munster Junior). They were beaten 5-4 by their bogey team, Wilton, in the Mall Tavern 1st Div League Cup final after normal and extra time had ended scoreless. Centre half and capt. Ger Hayes was outstanding for the winners and he received great support from Ian McGilton, Willie Hennessy and Micky Duggan. Those who impressed most in the Grattan colours were Paul Hogan, Richie McDonnell and Georgie Murphy.
In the Quinlan 2nd Div League Cup final, Anthony McSweeney gave Bosco’s an early lead against Bandon and John Cleary made it two nil before the break. Four minutes into the second half, Bandon’s best player, Barry Manley, was successful from the penalty spot after which they laid siege to the Bosco’s goal. Bosco’s were equal to the task and hung on to complete the AOH and Quinlan Cup doubles. Bosco’s owed a lot to their stars on the day who were Kevin Barry, Owen McCarthy and Anthony Aherne.
Record scoring fails to land trophy
Prior to April, Bweeng Rangers had scored 120 goals and suffered only one defeat (at the hands of Banteer), so they were entitled to their favourite’s tag in the all-county Dunlop Div 3 Cup final. This suited unfashionable Ballyclough who reaped the benefits of a flying start and eventually beat Bweeng 2-1. The match was only five minutes old when Moloney was tumbled in the box and Walsh converted the spot kick. A few minutes later Moloney made it two nil. Bweeng, who badly missed their absent ace striker Dan Green, reduced the arrears midway through the second half but could not conjure up enough magic to wrestle the initiative from Ballyclough who hung on for a famous victory. It was a particularly sweet triumph for manager Ger O’Connor and capt Johnny Donoghue, co-founders of the club. On song for the winners were Ed Jones, Ger Deady and Teddy O’Keeffe. Out of touch Bweeng were satisfied with the performances of Jerry Horgan, Eamonn Connors, Mick Walsh and Brendan O’Shea.
Ard-na-Laoi double up
Surprisingly Bweeng’s record scoring (they netted 14 in one game against Glenville) could not win them a title as they were beaten in the 3rd Div League semi-final by Ard-na-Laoi and were spectators as their conquerors and Grangevale Utd fought out a thrilling final at Turner’s Cross. The Leemount team, in only their second season in football, were a revelation and took the title at the end of a fantastic 110 minutes when St John Cremin hit the ninth goal of the game. The order of scoring was: James O’Leary put Ard-na-Laoi ahead.; a double strike by Jimmy Leahy had Grangevale in the ascendancy, Cremin and James O’Leary then netted as the pendulum swung Ard-na-Laoi’s way. Ard-na-Laoi 3 – Grangevale 2. Then super sub Peter Connolly entered the fray and scored twice to put Grange in front again. The AUL Management were preparing for the trophy presentation when “Man of the Match” O’Leary completed his hat trick to take the game into extra time and Cremin’s winner, after which all the fun was at the “Anglers”. Ard-na-Laoi celebrated again when they beat Carrigaline 2-0 in the final of the Saxone Cup with the help of goals from Brian Gaffney (penalty) and St John Cremin.
The frustrating season continued for the losers, Carrigaline, when they were even more unfortunate in the County Cup final beaten 4-3 on penalties by Ballincollig after Martin Hogan (Ballincollig) and Leo West shared goals in an exciting game. Thus Ballincollig, the holders of the old trophy (West Cork Travel Agency Cup), took the new trophy presented by O’Briens Joinery Works (Carrigaline), to Mary O’Connells for its first fill.
Mayfield Utd came through a backlog of games in impressive style to win their section before going on to clinch the 2nd Div championship by defeating Sunbeam on penalty kicks, in a replay, after the sides had failed to score in the 110 minutes. The lively first encounter ended 1-1. Robert Murphy gave Sunbeam the lead and it was Billy O’Flynn’s goal which gave Mayfield a second bite at the cherry. Barry Ahern, Tommy Corcoran, Jimmy Jones, Mick Hogan and Sean O’Neill were the stars of a well balanced Sunbeam side, while Mayfield had excellent players in keeper Pat Collins, John Lonergan, Kevin O’Mahony and super sub Gene McGreevy.
Fermoy had to be happy with promotion to the Premier League as they missed a golden opportunity of doing so as champions when failing in their own backyard to defeat Tramore in a replay. Tramore came from behind to take the title on a 3-1 scoreline after the home side flattered to deceive when jumping into an early lead through Joe Ahern. The Turner’s Cross boys were not as lucky in the O’Keeffe Cup final when many believe they were victims of a poor refereeing decision in a disputed one goal to nil defeat by Grattan after a scrappy final at Turner’s Cross.
Oscar Traynor Semi-final
The Cork AUL put up a gallant fight against the holders, Dublin AUL, before losing 3-1 in the semi-final of the Oscar Traynor Cup. Indeed, were it not for a number of errors Cork might well have made the final. Five minutes into the game, a mixup between Tobin and McCarthy resulted in an own goal In the 68th minute, Foley equalised from a Bennett pass, but two goals by international Kirby finished off the Cork comeback. Dublin fielded no less than nine internationals but three Cork players – Bickerstaffe (who got the man of the match award), Mulcahy and Hurley.were nominated for trials.
This game was also counted as part of the annual series between the two leagues. On this occasion, a cup and magnificent trophies sponsored by Tayto (a sponsorship that was to be continued), were at stake. Cork lined out as follows: A McCarthy, D Devereaux, M Tobin, R Bickerstaffe, P Healy, P Lynch, D Bennett, L Naughton, P Foley, B Mulcahy and S Hurley. Subs used were T Collins and J Daly.
To reach the semi-final, Cork first defeated Kerry 2-1 after a replay. They had to come from behind and goals from Vince Marshall and Paul Lynch gave them their ticket for a quarter final clash with Dundalk. The Leesiders advanced to the semi-final with more ease than the 3-1 scoreline in this game suggested. Brendan Mulcahy (2) and Marshall did the scoring. Players, who didn’t figure in the match against the Dublin AUL, who were involved in earlier games, were John Lonergan, Ted Hickey and Danny Horgan.
Ballincollig defender Pat Healy was named on the Irish panel for the Junior International against Scotland while his clubmate, Finbarr Hogan was the only Cork player in a 16 member under 17 squad for an international Tournament in France. Hogan was one of the stars of a Ballincollig team,the longest surviving of the Cork teams which entered the inaugural Johnny Giles under 17 National Cup. Unfortunately, their great run ended when defeated in the semi-final by Vereker Clements (Limerick).
During the season, one of the great characters of junior football, Michael Dennehy of Northvilla, passed away. He was a former member of the Cork AUL Management Committee and a member of the selection committee when the Cork AUL had its only Oscar Traynor Cup success. There was sadness, too, at the unexpected and untimely death of Micky Mackey the former Cork Celtic, Wembley, Tramore and Evergreen centre forward.
“Mr Football” on the move
You have often heard the old cliche “So and so had more clubs then Jack Nicklaus” which was generally a reference to players, who in their careers, played with about five or six clubs. Well, it certainly is true in “Mr Football” Tony Hennessy’s case as, through research done for this book, observations of his movements would indicate a route along the following lines (there could be others as those listed only refer to match reports in Cork Evening Echo): Rockmount, Wembley, Arsenal, Gravesend, Cork Celtic, Limerick, Albert Rovers, Nelson, Churchvilla, Wembley, Rockmount, Everton, Wembley, St Mary’s, Wolfe Tones, Rockmount, Greenmount, Pfizer’s, Barrack Rovers, Kilreen Celtic, Greenmount, Wembley, Glasheen and Hillington.
Ground situation improving (1980-81)
Vince Cummins, Chairman of the AUL, told delegates at the League’s AGM that the ground situation had improved as a result of the provision of new pitches at Mahon. Togher retired for a few years while the very brief stays of St Gabriel’s, Newcastle and Abbey Utd came to an end. It was hoped that Collegeview, who also failed to affiliate, would re-organise for another comeback. Telford Utd were interesting newcomers and county entrants were always welcome so a céad míle fáilte was extended to Mitchelstown Celtic.
Before a ball was kicked Casement hit the headlines with the announcement of new signings Danny Devereaux and Brendan Mulcahy from Castleview, signifying their intention of retaining the Premier League title, and, no doubt of a major assault on the FAI Junior Cup which was continuing to elude Cork clubs. Their star-studded side ran rings around all teams in the league, eventually skating away with the title, amassing forty points from a possible forty four, eight ahead of their nearest rivals St Mary’s. The Saints dropped two valuable points to lowly Greenmount and relinquished all title hopes when beaten one nil in a head to head with Casement. The Ballyphehane side eventually retained their title when they beat Midleton 4-1 to give them a points total that could not be matched by their nearest rivals St Mary’s and Fermoy.
Grattan’s shock win
Backboned by a host of AUL representative players, Casement’s bid for FAI Junior Cup glory captured the imagination of their swelling band of supporters. They entered the arena at Turner’s Cross as the hottest favourites in years to take the rank outsiders Grattan in the final. The underdogs got off to a flying start with a goal from Hayes after just 2 minutes play and, with keeper Lynch in shot-proof form, they held out until the final whistle. Don O’Neill was magnificent at the heart of the Grattan defence and other candidates for the “Man of the Match” award included Richie McDonnell, Georgie Murphy, Eddie Walsh and Paul Lynch. The only Casement player to reach anything like top form was midfielder Paul O’Sullivan. A big talking-point among the Casement supporters was the dropping of skipper John Bowen. Amazingly it was his turn for the ‘chop’– the continuation of a rotation selection system adopted earlier in the season. In an unprecedented move, John had gone up for the toss at the commencement of the game. Writing in the Evening Echo, Billy Lyons said “So the glory goes to Grattan and for Casement the consolation of knowing that they (in ten years) have come to within one goal of what had taken Grattan 31 years to achieve; unlike Dinny ‘Pop’ O’Neill, Casement will not be asked to push bicycles laden with sodden gear up the hills of the city, instead they are just required to put aside their natural disappointment and lift themselves in the quest, this season and next, for the major honours that are not beyond the reach of their undoubted talents.” Grattan Utd: Joe Lynch, Gerry Walsh, Richie McDonnell, Don O’Neill (capt), John Murphy, Paul Lynch, Terry Hayes, George Murphy, Liam Lynch, Eddie Walsh and Alfie Davis. Subs were Jim Walsh (used) and Pat Caulfield. Grattan, like so many others before them, found that playing a Dublin team away in the FAI was an intimidating ordeal and they returned home defeated after going out to a disputed penalty goal, conceded by keeper Joe Lynch, who was adjudged to have pushed a St Theresa’s player in the box.
Tip-tapping – Temple’s downfall in AOH
St Mary’s success story in the AOH Cup continued when the 1-0 victory over Temple in the 30th final put the Saints one ahead of their traditional rivals, Castleview, in the roll of honour. Temple enjoyed the greater share of possession but were reluctant to shoot and had too much tip-tapping across the Mary’s 18 yard line with the result that the longer the game went on the less likely they were to score. Indeed, Mary’s created, with a lost less fuss, the better scoring chances – four in all and the fact that the only one converted was scored by midfielder Philip Long went to show that their forwards, too, were not on song. Mary’s owed most to their brilliant back four of Healy, King, Quinlan and Dennehy. Brendan Coade was the pick of the Temple defenders, while their midfielders (the best of whom was lively Michael Banks) looked good on the ball but rarely got forward in force to support their attack. St Mary’s: Finbarr Redmond, Ed Healy, Liam King, Pat Qunlan, Seanie Dennehy, Vince Marshall, Denis Daly, Philip Long (captain), Ted Hickey, John Healy and Michael Lyons. Subs were: Donal Hetherington (used) and Declan Geaney. Mary’s only made it to the final as a result of a penalty shoot-out win over 50-1 outsiders Dunbar Celtic in a controversial semi-final during which three players were sent off – Edward Healy and John Healy (St Mary’s), and Danny O’Sullivan (Dunbar). The game finished 2-2 after extra time. Second division Dunbar missed their first three penalty attempts to smooth Mary’s passage. Interestingly, while most of the match details from that semi-final have been forgotten, the majority of those involved recall Turner’s Cross being declared unplayable shortly before kick off time and players, officials and supporters all transferring to AUL Park to play the game. Temple created a surprise by defeating Casement Celtic in the other semi-final game.
Wins for Cobh, Northvilla, Grattan and Ballyvolane
Cobh Ramblers also raised a few eyebrows in the Premier League Cup final when defeating champions Casement Celtic 1-0, with a Larry O’Donovan goal, at AUL Park. Rambler’s best were Ger Brennan, John Kinnevane, Con Brierley, Moss Mellerick and John Keating. Casement over elaborated on a bumpy pitch and only Pat Mulcahy and Johnny Bowen produced above average performances. While Casement failed to register a trophy double, their FAI Area conquerors Grattan did just that when taking the Mall Tavern 1st Div Cup by beating Kinsale 4-0 in a one sided final at Rockmount Park. Alfie Davis (2), Georgie Murphy and Terry Hayes were the Grattan marksmen. The high standard of Div 1B was emphasised when high-flying Grattan could only gain third place behind Northvilla and Sunbeam. Northvilla further enhanced the sections qualities when defeating Div 1A winners Ballincollig 3-1 after a replay. Plucky Northvilla got a second bite of the cherry when coming from behind twice (once in extra time) to deservedly share four goals with Coughlan’s boys. Brian McCarthy’s cool chip gave Ballincollig the lead. Then substitute, Tom O’Rourke headed on for Paul O’Connor to equalise. Veteran Martin Hogan’s extra time goal looked to have given Ballincollig the championship but the “super sub” struck again with a spectacular scissors kick that left Ballincollig keeper Mick McNulty with nothing more than a fistful of raindrops – (Billy Lyon’s Echo description). Ballyvolane and Grangevale Utd were promoted to Div 1 and the former went there as outright champions having defeated the “Golly” Connolly and Jim Leahy inspired Grange boys 2-0 in the decider. Big Tom Collins and Mick Lynam provided the Ballyvolane scores. Skipper Hughie Collins played well for the winners as did Tony Treacy and Declan Power. Best for the losers were Willie O’Donovan and Danny Brosnan. Grangevale Utd had better luck in an exciting O’Keeffe Cup final when they came from behind twice to get the better of gallant West End. Surprise packets West End took the lead in the 22nd minute with a delightful volley from Casey, and could have stretched it almost immediately when Noel Rea went close. Grange shook off the cobwebs and drew level when Danny Brosnan’s free deceived the keeper. On the hour, Rea put the “End” ahead again from the penalty spot. Ace marksman Jimmy Leahy restored equality for Grange who snatched the trophy when substitute Twomey headed home Peter Connolly’s free kick in the dying minutes
Newcomers Telford click
It took quite a while for 3rd Div finalists Telford Utd and Park Utd to get going, but once the shooting started (late in the first half) the two sides went on to provide gripping entertainment with the city team taking the pennant by the odd goal in five after extra time. After a scoreless first half, Eddie Walsh gave Telford the lead six minutes after the restart and Connie McConville added the second 15 minutes later. Courageous Park threw caution to the wind and reduced the arrears when John Jackson scored. To the delight of an excellent attendance, extra time was guaranteed when Pat Fanning converted a penalty, awarded after the flying Dick Cahill was brought down. The golden goal arrived in the ninth minute of extra time when Thomas O’Dea, displaying excellent striker’s instincts, was on hand to knock the loose ball into an empty net after Park keeper Paddy Lane could only parry a blistering McConville drive. Neil O’Keeffe, Brendan Lynch and Jackie O’Mahony were prominent for the winners, while Jackson, Fanning (in particular), Denis Murphy and Michael Whelan caught the eye for the Mitchelstown side.
Carrigaline at last
Carrigaline, so unlucky in previous years, were celebrating on the double when at long last capturing the County Cup and, for good measure, the Quinlan League Cup as well. “That will be the first of many”, enthused Carrigaline secretary Willie Robinson after his club had lifted the County Cup by beating Ard-na-Laoi 2-1 at Leemount. Sadly, missing from the Carrigaline team was John McFaul. John, who played a major role in the triumphant year, died suddenly just two weeks before the final and his memory was uppermost in his colleagues’ minds as they celebrated their victory. John Gargan turned in an excellent display against the Leemount side. His twin centre back, Leo West, was also on song, while the hard-working Eamonn Kelly and the cool Blondie McGovern were both prominent. Brian Fitzgerald took up great positions on the left wing and might well have scored a hat trick rather than just the two. His injury early in the second half, upset the winners and Ard-na-Laoi, spearheaded by Pat Casey, fought back well, and Donal Ahern’s goal being a delightful and well deserved effort. The holders last ditch attempts were repelled as Gargan brilliantly marshalled his forces to foil the major assault. A new confidence then swept over Carrigaline and they defeated Glenview in the Quinlan League Cup final. The excellent displays throughout the season of Stephen O’Keeffe, Liam O’Connor, Danny Buckley, John O’Connell and Gerry O’Donovan went unrewarded as Glenview once more filled the bridesmaid’s role when defeated by Farnanes in the Saxone Cup final. Farnanes, inspired by a great display from Andy Cullen, gained a deserved 4-2 victory. Cullen gave the county team an early lead, which was added to by Pierce, before Glenview’s leading scorer, O’Keeffe, put them back in the hunt. Cullen’s second for Farnanes put daylight between them again, but O’Keeffe would not let them get away and his second gave Glenview renewed hope. Farnanes’ victory was assured when Payne popped up to seal victory in the closing minutes.
Killowen meet their Waterloo
Ace marksman Pat Mullane was the toast of Waterloo as his brilliant hat trick was a feature of his club’s first AUL trophy success when they defeated neighbours Killowen 4-1 in the Dunlop 3rd Div League Cup final. Tim Horgan added the fourth and Waterloo players to delight joint managers Dan O’Mahony and PJ Murphy were Con Moynihan, Tony Booth, Gerry O’Leary, Joe Walsh, Trevor Linzell, Pat Moynihan and Jer McCarthy.
Tramore’s fifth title in six years
Tramore’s dominance of youths football continued; they took their fifth title in six years when finishing the campaign unbeaten. Of the 22 games played, they were only held to draws on three occasions and finished with an impressive score tally of 64 for, 7 against. At the halfway stage, they had maximum points from eleven games and had only conceded one goal to that point. St Mary’s, alone of their pursuers never gave up the chase and only conceded the title when their brave bid to stop the champions relentless gallop ended with a 2-1 defeat in the penultimate league game at the hands of the Tramore. Tony Neiland had put the holders ahead before Declan Geaney restored equality from the penalty spot. However, there was no denying the champions and they finished off in style when Dave O’Connor headed a glorious winner. Mary’s showed how little there was between these two great teams when revenging the league defeat in the Murphy Cup final in which they deservedly triumphed, netting the only score of the game. The Saints most consistent performers were Donal Hetherington, Jimmy Brady, Edward Lynch and Declan Geaney. Tramore owed their championship success to the likes of Dave O’Connor, Alan Murphy, Kieran O’Regan, Micky O’Sullivan, Clem Mahon, Brian Fleming, Paul Waters, Eddie Hennebry, Sean Madden and Tony Leahy. Tramore’s almost perpetual dream of FAI Cup glory ended when beaten after a replay by Fairview in the semi- final and it was at this stage, also, that their Under 17 side departed the Johnny Giles National Cup. The Turner’s Cross boys also exited the Munster Minor Cup at the semi final stage when beaten by Johnville. Little Western Rovers, inspired by Mick McGregor, Pat Neville, Kieran Ruddy, John Punch, Frankie McCarthy and John O’Brien made a gallant bid for Munster glory but they, also, were beaten in the semi-final by South End (Waterford).
Cola for Ballincollig as Youghal take the “Cream”
International keeper Finbarr Hogan emerged as Ballincollig’s hero in their penalty shoot-out win over Rockmount in the Coca Cola Cup final, which had ended scoreless after extra time. Hogan converted Ballincollig’s sixth penalty and in the eighth series saved a shot from his opposite number, Martin O’Sullivan, to give Paddy Fitton’s boys the trophy.
Youghal created a major surprise with a fully deserved 1-0 victory over Crofton Celtic in the final of the CMP Cup. The golden goal was netted by ace marksman Sean O’Brien and the “Man of the Match” award went to their outstanding goalkeeper, John Dempsey, who, time and time again, defied Crofton with a series of breathtaking saves. Defenders Mark Kelly and Kieran Power were in great form for the winners who also had an excellent contribution from midfield star Michael Durcan. It was Youghal’s only success in AUL soccer and the men who guided them on that auspicious occasion were manager Gene Crotty and his assistant Martin Coen.
No joy for AUL
Cork AUL (holders) took quite a while to find their form in the 1st round Inter League tie against the Waterford League, managed by Alfie Hale. They eventually turned on the style to win 4-2 after extra time. Cork had recovered well from the shock of conceding a 2-0 lead in the first thirty minutes which was reduced by a Tony Coade goal before the break. A stern lecture during the interval from manager Denis Galvin brought about improvement and the Leesiders deserved Kieran O‘Regan’s goal which earned them extra time. Spectators were left wondering how the game ever needed added time when a transformed Cork ripped Waterford apart and goals from Dave O’Connor and Brian Fleming gave them their quarter-final ticket. However, they said goodbye to their title at rain soaked AUL Park when they went down 3-1 to a physically stronger Limerick team. Cork, assisted by a strong wind, scored first when Brian Fleming hit a marvellous goal from an acute angle. On the stroke of half-time Tommy Gaynor did what he had been threatening to do all day when he hammered in the equaliser. He was on the mark again early in the second half when converting a penalty and completed his hat trick with a brilliant header in the 65th minute. Cork: Finbarr Hogan, Anthony Hogan, Michael O’Rourke, Donal Hetherington, Paul Coomey, Patsy Freyne, Tony Coade, Ginger Healy, Dave O’Connor, Kieran O’Regan and Brian Fleming. Subs used were Paul Waters and Denis Keane. Other subs were Timmy Kelly, Peter Devlin and Paul McGee. The Cork Juniors were shocked when defeated 3-1 by the unrated Desmond League in the Oscar Traynor Trophy, 1st round. Manager Gerry Geaney had warned them against complacency when reminding them of the fright received from Kerry at the same stage the previous year. Michael Curley got Cork’s consolation score and they lined out as follows: Joe Lynch, Liam Walsh, Denis Bennett, Paddy Daly, Robert Bickerstaffe, Brian O’Flynn, Paul O’Sullivan, Philip Long, Brendan Mulcahy, Tom Collins and Mick Curley. Subs: Dan Devereaux, Georgie Murphy.
The Cork team made up somewhat for the disappointment when beating an international laden Dublin AUL 2-1 in the Tayto Cup at the Farm, Curraheen Road with the help of goals from Paul O’Connor and Michael Banks. The much changed Cork team read Finbarr Redmond, Liam King Edward Healy, Hugh Collins, Denis Daly, Paddy Daly, Robert Bickerstaffe, Jimmy Leahy, Alfie Davis, Paul O’Connor, Paul O’Sullivan. Subs: Christy O’Neill and Michael Banks. Both AUL teams (youths and juniors) competed in the Wembley organised Middle Parish Tournament in aid of the St Peter & Paul’s Fire Fund which was won by the Cork Shipping League. Gerry Geaney’s squad also engaged the Shipping League in a further end of season benefit match. Four Cork players – Mick O’Rourke, Kieran O’Regan, Dave O’Connor and Finbarr Hogan – starred on the Munster team beaten by Leinster in the Inter Provincial series.
NEW FORMAT FOR AUL LEAGUES (1981-82)
Hon Secretary Vince Cummins informed delegates at the League’s AGM that the AUL had agreed in principle with the Corporation to develop two soccer grounds at the Carrigrohane Dump at a cost of £50,000. A number of positional changes on the management committee were announced prior to the start of the season. Vince Cummins moved from Secretary to Chairman with Niall Sheehan taking over the former role as Billy Murphy reverted to the back benches. Glowing tributes were paid to AUL and Munster Youths team manager Denis Galvin who announced that he was stepping down to concentrate on Tramore club affairs. Not surprisingly, Cahir Park returned to the Tipperary League. The new departure of playing the League Cup competitions at the end of the season had not worked out in 1980-81 and was to be reviewed.
For the first time in over a decade the Cork Athletic Union League altered the format of their leagues for the approaching season, and the management committee of the AUL expected that this streamlining would serve to benefit the running of events. The Premier League was to consist of 14 teams, while in previous years just 12 clubs participated. The major revision took place in the First, Second and Third Divisions. In the1st, which had just 15 teams in 1980-81, there were now 33 teams competing. The 2nd Division consisted of 34 teams while 33 teams would be in action in the 3rd Division. Each of these three divisions was to be divided into three separate leagues the winners of each of the nine leagues to receive a perpetual trophy. The runners-up in each division would also be awarded a set of medals.
With regard to promotion and relegation, three teams in each division were to be promoted and relegated, and the teams promoted to be winners of each grade, except in the Premier Division where the teams in the last three places would be relegated. Ballincollig, Northvilla, Temple Utd and North End (formerly Sunbeam) were all promoted to the extended Premier League. Newcomers Lakewood Ath, St Luke’s Cross (lasted one year), Templemary Utd and Dunmanway Rovers were all accommodated in the 3rd Division. Ambitious Cobh Wanderers, with several former Ramblers men in their squad, opted for a debut in Div 1. Of course, the major news was the return to the Tipperary League of St Michael’s. The great Tipperary club, whose mutually beneficial twelve year relationship with the AUL came to an end on the completion of the 1980-81 season, presented a magnificent trophy, the St Michael’s Cup, to the Cork league. At the presentation, the club’s president, Peter O’Reilly, recalled the highlights of the period during which St Michael’s won the FAI Junior Cup (the only Cork AUL team to do so), the Munster Junior Cup, the AOH Cup and the Premier League.
Mr O’Reilly said that the Premier League was even harder to win than the FAI Cup as Church Road was such a tough venue for visiting teams. “Now we are back in Tipp after twenty years”, he continued, “and we leave you this cup as something to remember us by.” Mr O’Reilly, who was accompanied by Michael O’Flynn (an excellent keeper who represented the AUL in the Oscar Traynor Cup), received a warm reception from the packed delegate meeting.
At a Press conference a few weeks later, the League announced the acquisition of further new trophies for the competitions created by the restructuring.
Hands across the Border
In a unique cross-border gesture, a Belfast businessman sponsored a Cork AUL soccer competition. But the man, Sean Mahon, was no stranger to Cork. As a member of the Freshmen showband during its heyday, he was a frequent visitor to the southern capital and, along with his popular colleagues, was officially honoured by the city during the mayoralty of Pearse Wyse.
The announcement was made at the AUL reception for the sponsors of the new competitions created by the season’s re-organisation. Chairman Mr Vincent Cummins thanked the various companies for their generous contributions and stressed that the sponsorship was very much appreciated, particularly in view of the then depressed economic climate. Local companies figured strongly among the new sponsors. Barry’s Tea were represented by Mr Michael Madden; Quality Plastics by Mr Michael Murphy; and D Dennehy Ltd by Mr Noel O’Flynn.
The Belfast company Shawson Supply were represented by Mr Brian Moylan while an international company with strong local links, Philips Electrical, through their Cork representative Mr Maurice Lyons, presented the League with a magnificent cup. But there were still more trophies on view. There was a cup from the Imperial Hotel and one from another Cork firm (this one preferring anonymity). One of the AUL clubs, Evergreen United, put up a “Manager of the Year” trophy in memory of their former secretary Dave Harnett (who died tragically at the start of the season).
Magnificent season for Tramore
It was a tremendous year for youths football and Tramore capped a magnificent season by winning the FAI Cup for the third time. They displayed a lot of commitment when beating Athlone 3-0 in the decider at rain swept St Mel’s Park. In pursuit of their second title in three years, they took control from the start and tore gaping holes in the Athlone defence. Tramore’s scorers were Micky O’Sullivan, Kieran O’Regan (a 30 yard free kick rocket) and Dave O’Connor. Team: Hennebry, K Murphy, McCarthy, A Murphy, Hartnett, Bickerstaffe, Neiland, Cleary, O’Connor, O’Regan, O’Sullivan. Subs: Jackson, Neville.
On the Friday night before the final, Dave O’Connor and Kieran O’Regan played for Ireland Youths in their 3-0 victory over Wales at Neath. O’Regan, the skilful Tramore player, came on after the interval and was unlucky not to have notched a hat trick as he scored twice and had another disallowed. Tramore ended the season by capturing the other major trophy, the Munster Minor Cup, when goals by Dave O’Connor and Tony Neiland, from Micky O’Sullivan corners, resulted in them defeating Johnville (Waterford) 2-0 in the final. In between, they retained their youths league title and regained the Murphy Cup which eluded them the previous season. They captured the Murphy Cup with a deserved 3-1 win over plucky Glasheen who were making their first appearance in a final for many years. Tramore sparkled in the first half and led 2-1 at the break, Micky O’Sullivan having opened their account when he scored direct from a corner and a brilliant Dave O’Connor header restoring their lead after Ginger Healy had equalised for Glasheen. The second half deteriorated after Glasheen’s Murray was sent off and Micky O’Sullivan sealed the victory, which was never in doubt, with a sweet volley seven minutes from time. Though Paul O’Brien, Martin O’Callaghan, Ray Buckley and Healy played well for the losers they could not match the power of the FAI cup winners who had Kieran McCarthy, Kieran Murphy, Kieran O’Regan and O’Sullivan in great form. The Turner’s Cross boys had to dig deep to retain their league as they were made fight all the way by a brave and skilful Springfield side. The champions took the necessary point from their final game, a 0-0 against the Cobh side who almost snatched the championship when they had the ball in the net five minutes from the end only to have the goal disallowed because of a marginal offside decision.
It was a frustrating season for Springfield who were again very unlucky to lose 2-1 to St Mary’s in the Coca Cola final at Turner’s Cross. The bad luck commenced in the 25th minute when Morgan played a back pass to keeper Keating who slipped on the ground and could only watch as the ball trickled over the goal-line. Nine minutes later, the Cobh side drew level when Micky Harris powered home an O’Halloran cross. Their luck then changed for the better when Alan Twohig hit the post from a Mary’s penalty. But Twohig compensated when he engineered the winner which Jimmy Brady touched home from close range. Best for Springfield were Wimmie Van Wijnen, Colman Rasmussen and Peter Piggott. Mary’s heroes were Twohig, Paul O’Driscoll and Jimmy Brady. Springfield, who were beaten by Tramore in the semi final of the Murphy Cup, became the first Cork team to reach the final of the Johnny Giles Under 17 Cup when they hammered Cherry Orchard 4-2 in the semi-final. It was a vintage performance and the goals which earned them their final place were shared by Barry Hickey and Johnny O’Halloran. Home Farm, loaded with internationals, journeyed to St Colman’s Park and conquered the home side 5-0 in a one-sided final. Manager John Coughlan, despite the big defeat, was proud of his team’s achievement in becoming the first Cork team to reach the final.
The crucial tie in Youths League 2 was the top of the table clash between Everton and Midleton. Everton took a point from their nearest challengers who were playing their last game of the competition. The 0-0 draw suited the city side better as it gave them a two point cushion prior to facing into a fixture backlog. Midleton, who had great displays from Paul Hurley, Seamus Lawton, Barry Mulcahy, Paul Duggan and skipper John Desmond, now had to depend on others to stop Everton. The city lads had a great week in mid-April, winning three games on the trot which left them needing a point from the game against Youghal to take the title. They got the two points in a 3-0 win, made possible by good work from Mick O’Regan, Eddie Kelly and Tony O’Regan. Mick Mulcahy opened the scoring and further scores from Noel McDonnell and John Keane wrapped it up. Everton skippered, by Tony O’Regan were undefeated throughout the campaign and keeper Ray Duffy kept no less than 20 clean sheets.
Grattan Utd, who were comfortable winners of Youths 2A, climbed to within one point of eventual championship success when beating Mayfield 2-1 and clinched the title with their best win of the season against challengers Coachford who went down 2-0. Kieran Gosnell and Brian O’Flynn were the winners’ scoring heroes and they had great performances from Frank Murphy and Kevin O’Connor. Coachford, who took the runners-up medals when beating Ringmahon in a play-off, were happy with the consistency of Michael Murphy, John Murphy, George Lynch, Frank Sweeney and Michael O’Connell.
Entering the closing stages of what had been, up till then, a magnificent year for Casement, hopes were high of a great double in the Premier League and Munster Junior Cup. Casement were well on course for a third Premier League pennant in a row and a first ever triumph in the Munster Junior Cup. Their players had been honoured in greater numbers than ever before, with no less than six – Danny Devereaux, Noel Elliot, Paul O’Sullivan, Richie Kenny, Seamus O’Leary and Liam Walsh – winning AUL caps. Others, who included Tony Coade, Pat Mulcahy, Johnny Bowen, Jamsie Dowling, John Tighe, Christy Dooley, Donie Luxford and Eamonn Godfrey, showed the strength in depth that had brought Casement to the verge of glory.
A point lost in a dramatic 2-2 clash with Temple gave chasing St Mary’s and Ballincollig hope, but a win for Casement over Mary’s would still clinch the “three in a row” for the Ballyphehane boys. Early goals from John Tighe and Richie Kenny had the champagne on ice but a magnificent second half, four goal assault by the Saints meant that Casement needed to defeat Douglas Hall to force a play-off for the championship. The competition had produced a truck load of thrillers and Casement’s victory over Douglas ensured a fitting climax to a magnificent title race.
Mary’s take title
A huge crowd turned up at Turner’s Cross for the eagerly awaited northside v southside decider and this is how the Evening Echo described the battle. “The Quality Plastics Premier League produced yet another thrilling game in the play-off that saw St Mary’s take the championship on a 2-1 verdict over Casement Celtic. While it was essentially a spirited team performance that ended Casement’s two season reign at the top, one man stood out and that was the previous season’s youth star Donal Hetherington whose control and anticipation were top class”, said the AUL’s PRO Billy Lyons in his match report.
Both teams were on song and so, too, was referee Kevin O’Sullivan whose willingness and ability to keep the play going was perfectly illustrated early in the first half when he delayed a booking to allow a quick free to the advantage of the offended team. Mary’s scores were credited to John Healy and Jimmy Brady, while Seamus O’Leary scored for Casement. St Mary’s: Finbarr Redmond, Edward Healy, Philip Long, Vincent Marshall, Liam King, Denis Daly, Teddy Hickey, John Healy (capt), Tony Cronin, Donal Hetherington and Ger Henchion. Subs used were Jimmy Brady and Declan Geaney.
Casement pay the penalty
Casement still had the Munster Junior Cup to play for and had to quickly put the agonising defeat by St Mary’s behind them if they were to travel to Limerick and snatch the Blue Riband from Ballynanty in the replay which was to attract a record £660 gate to Priory Park. In the drawn tie at Turner’s Cross, Casement staged a great recovery in coming from 2-0 down, to force another game with the help of two goals from Tony Coade. The replay was fixed for Priory Park on Sunday, 30th May – an ideal day for the seaside with temperatures in the seventies. The game failed to live up to expectations and it was not until Paul O’Sullivan’s deserved 80th minute equaliser that the it really sprung to life and eventually built up to a dramatic conclusion. Twenty minutes extra time failed to separate the sides and the dreaded penalty shoot-out was utilised. It turned out to be a sorrowful experience for the Cork lads as they converted only one of their first four penalties and Ballynanty took the trophy on a 3-1 margin.
Hillington would have been happy with a point in their penultimate League Div 1 game against challengers John Bosco’s who jumped into an early lead through Anthony Ahern. Then, Dave Lawless equalised to put the city team back on course for the championship. The second half turned into a nightmare for them as Ger Glavin (pen) and Paul Cleary netted for Bosco’s to delay their anticipated crowning ceremony. Hillington now needed two points from the game against Farnanes to clinch the League Div 1 title, but it was not to be their year and Bosco’s were celebrating, thanks to John Donegan who scored twice as Farnanes sank the city team’s promotion bid with a shock 2-1 win. One would have thought that it was Farnanes who were champions such was the celebrating in their camp in the days after the game. Legend has it that they received a crate of something as a bonus from the grateful champions.
Carrigaline’s championship stroll
In direct contrast to the Bosco’s-Hillington battle in league 1, the outcome of 1A could hardly be described as a contest at all as unbeaten Carrigaline Utd, literally, walked away with the title, amassing 37 points from 40 and scoring 68 goals in the process. Ray Coveney and Jim Turner were their leading marksmen while others to contribute with scores and five star performances were Eamon Kelly, Blondie McGovern, Neilus O’Sullivan, John Lynch, Pat Ryan, Brian Fitzgerald and John Gargan. The runners-up medals were claimed by Victoria Ath as a result of the champions’ 1-0 defeat of Casement Utd. Grattan’s victory in League 1B was also predictable from well before Easter as only Glenvale looked remotely capable of causing an upset. In the end. the gap between them was five points. The champagne corks popped in the Grattan dressing-room after their 2-1 win over Mallow, a game in which schemer-in-chief Alfie Davis engineered the scores netted by Georgie Murphy and Paul Lynch. Davis, Paul Watt and even keeper Joe Lynch, all tallied in the concluding matches of the series.
TITLE WON IN THE SNOW
In Div 2, the closest finish was in Dennehy League 2 where the exciting struggle between Central and Alberts went all the way to the wire. Can you recall the last occasion that we had snow in Cork during May? It was May 9th, 1982, the night Alberts juniors played Central in the Div 2 League decider at Knockraha. There was not just a nip in the air, it was freezing; and Knockraha Park resembled a picture from a Christmas postcard. The game only went ahead after volunteers brushed the snow from the pitch markings. A draw was all that Central required to clinch the championship while victory for Albert’s would allow the Jewtown men to record their first success ever at that level. It looked likely that all the celebrations would take place in Albert Road as they clung to a 2-1 lead, thanks to goals from Mick McCarthy and Ken Brophy. But, disaster struck in the dying minutes when Central’s Jamesie Corcoran, direct from a corner kick, curled an inswinger past the heroic Pakie Murphy in the Albert’s goal. Harris’ boys were devastated and Joe the boss, resembling a frozen snow capped pine tree, was caught for words. AUL history has shown that Albert’s had a mountain to climb as the champions panel included excellent players in Matthew Kenneally, Declan Courtney, Aidan Greene, Patsy Freyne, Seanie Hegarty, Aidan O’Regan and Bertie Cullinane.
Kilreen Celtic made a procession of the title race in Tom O’Kelly League 2A with a wide margin eight point gap separating them from nearest pursuers Waterloo. Kilreen were managed by “Mr Football” Tony Hennessy and Teddy O’Brien, and had some excellent players in the squad including Pat Neville, Dave Noonan, John McGrath, John O’Connor and Pat McCarthy.
The race for the Mall Tavern 2B title was an exciting one with the county teams Ballincollig Utd, Skibbereen Dynamoes and Macroom International getting away from the pack to slug it out. Ballincollig front runners throughout were guaranteed the title when Macroom beat Skibbereen 2-1. Macroom, in the process, helped themselves to a play off with Skibbereen for the runners-up medals. The West Cork team had earlier given themselves a title winning opportunity when taking a point from Ballincollig prior to their loss against Macroom – a match which, had they won, would have given them a play-off with Ballincollig for the title. A year earlier Ballincollig made the jump from Div 3 but the Paddy Fitton managed side went up as champions on this occasion with John Hogan, Danny Garrett and Redmond Tobin all contributing to the climb. It was Skibbereen who joined Ballincollig Utd in Philips League 1 the following year.
Killeady catch the eye
In the 3rd Div, a team to catch the eye was Killeady who were only eliminated from the AOH Cup in the quarter-final by mighty St Mary’s. They were involved in a great tussle with Carrigaline in Drumcora League 3A. Carrigaline slipped up in their penultimate game when dropping a vital point after a 4-4 draw with Innishannon. They were then required to beat Killeady to force a play-off with the newcomers. Carrigaline went close to achieving that result but conceded a goal three minutes into injury time when Killeady’s star striker, city based Eddie O’Connor, struck with the championship winner. John O’Donovan had headed the earlier goal for Killeady who were well served throughout the campaign by Conor Moynihan, Larry Buckley, Liam O’Connor and Dermot Moynihan. Carrigaline’s gallant fight was spearheaded by Mick Nolan, Pat McCarthy, John Allen, Sean Collins and Finbarr Alexander.
Well balanced Avondale
Congratulations were tendered to the Mick Casey managed Avondale who took the title in 3B with a 3-1 victory over eventual runners-up Leeside. Kevin O’Neill gave the Ballintemple lads the cushion of an early lead but John O’Sullivan ensured Leeside had everything to play for when equalising on the stroke of half-time. Two quick goals for Avondale, in the last quarter, by Denis O’Keeffe and Pat Horgan put the smile back on Casey’s face and sounded the death-knell for Leeside. The experienced Denis O’Driscoll was inspirational in Avondale’s promotion drive but they did not depend on just one star. From keeper Ger McGreevy to outside left Frank O’Neill, they were a well balanced team who deserved their success.
Mallow Utd’s outstanding record in Quinlan 3A read: played 20, won 16, drew 4; goals for 62, against 17. They were a hard act to follow and only neighbours Killavullen made a race of it before eventually conceding defeat by a six point margin. Mallow’s championship success was masterminded by manager Kevin Horgan who marshalled his troops well throughout the magnificent campaign. They were captained by the inspirational Tim Healy who was a regular marksman along with Paul Cosgrave, John Scanlon and Frank O’Neill.
Tramore’s shock AOH win
In the dying minutes of extra time, substitute Pat Mahon scored the only goal of a very disappointing AOH Cup final that saw red hot favourites Temple Utd waste many glorious scoring opportunities. In the end, it was only the brilliance of keeper Christy Coleman who gave them the opportunity to salvage their pride in extra time when he tipped a great Dave Mahon effort over the bar. The jubilant winners were not worried about the poor fare served up and who could blame them. Their heroes were Dave Keating, skipper “Bertie” Foley, Tony Drummond (whose inch perfect pass set up the winning goal) and Pat Kirby. Coleman was Temples shining light and others to play to form were Greene and Michael Banks.
Ballincollig became the first holders of the St Michael’s Cup with a 1-0 win in an exciting final against St Mary’s. Youngsters Jimmy Brady and Martin Kearney impressed for the losers as did Philip Long, Donal Hetherington and John Healy. Ballincollig’s stars were Pat Healy, Anthony Hogan and Brian McCarthy. The all important match winner was tallied in the 18th minute when Martin Hogan swivelled and fired a great shot past Finbarr Redmond who was facing a blinding sun.
Douglas Hall in open draw
Douglas Hall earned the honour of carrying the Cork banner into the open stages of the FAI Junior Cup after comfortably defeating Cobh Ramblers 4-1 at St Colman’s Park in the Area final. The Hall were very impressive in the earlier rounds and had recorded wins over Grangevale (8-1), Barrack Rovers (2-0), Casement (replay) and Hillington (1-0). The fact that they failed to negotiate an easy hurdle away to Newmarket-on-Fergus was a great disappointment to manager Eddie O’Donovan, though, in fairness reports suggested that they were unlucky to lose 2-1. The only silverware provided for the Hall’s trophy cabinet arrived courtesy of the reserve squad, Douglas Hall Utd, who defeated Ballincollig Utd 1-0 in the President’s Cup final. They owed their victory to the opportunism of goal ace Jimmy Madden and outstanding displays from keeper Pa Kennedy, Jerry O‘Connell, Finny Bermingham, Joe Harris and Noel O’Donovan. It was a great year for Carrigaline who followed up their league win with the 1-0 defeat of Farnanes in the County Cup final and then in the Saxone decider were much too powerful for Skibbereen Dynamoes who found on this occasion (when losing 4-0) that spirit does not always compensate for skill. Nonetheless, the West Cork side possessed class players like Mick Hodnett, John Leonard and Gerry O’Mahony who showed they could compete in a higher grade. Carrigaline owed their win to the brilliance of John Cogan and George Meade as well as the opportunism of Brian Fitzgerald (2), John Lynch and Jim Turner, who all rattled the Dynamoes net.
Cork AUL made amends for the previous year’s debacle in Rathkeale when they returned to the venue and trounced the Desmond League 5-0 in the 1st round of the Oscar Traynor Cup. A feature of the game was the hat trick netted by Richie Kenny. Cork’s other scores were both netted by Philip Long. Despite excellent displays from Danny Devereaux, Vince Marshall, Liam King and Finbarr Hogan, the Cork AUL made a tame exit when beaten 3-1 by the Waterford League in the 2nd round. Cork, playing against a strong wind, had taken the lead when Paudie Foley hammered home a Richie Kenny pass. Injuries to Paddy Daly and Hughie Collins upset Cork and they faded completely to allow the Blues advance with unexpected ease. Cork AUL: F Hogan (Ballincollig), D Devereaux (Casement Celtic), P Daly, (Northvilla) capt, V Marshall (St Mary’s), H Collins (Ballyvolane), J Healy (St Mary’s), L King (St Mary’s), P O’Sullivan (Casement Celtic), P Foley ( Midleton), R Kenny (Casement Celtic) and B Mulcahy (Castleview). Subs used were G Rea (Castleview) for P Daly in the 37th minute and D Daly (St Mary’s) for H Collins in the 49th minute.
Oscar Traynor finalists Dublin AUL beat Cork 2-1 in the annual Tayto Cup challenge in Dublin. The highlight of the game was the delightful opening goal netted by Cork’s Donal Hetherington –“Hedgie” waltzed into the penalty area evading a string of tackles and finished with a neat chip. Cork faded in the second half and were outplayed by the excellent home side who earlier in the week had beaten Shamrock Rovers in a challenge. Cork: Finbarr Hogan (Ballincollig), Donal O’Donovan (Douglas Hall), Liam King (St Mary’s ), John Healy (St Mary’s), Brian Foley (Douglas Hall), Vince Marshall (St Mary’s), Seamus O’Leary (Casement Celtic), Donal Hetherington (St Mary’s), Brendan Mulcahy (Castleview), Richie Kenny (Casement Celtic) and Tony Coade (Casement Celtic). Subs used were Michael Banks (Temple Utd), Pat Healy (Glasheen) and Bertie Cullinane (Central Rovers).
Cork Youths made their exit from the Inter League competition in very disappointing fashion after coasting into a 2-0 lead given to them with goals from the Tramore duo Dave O’Connor and Micky O’Sullivan. Waterford staged a great second half comeback to beat a bewildered Cork team who only offered token resistance as the Suirsiders rattled in three goals in a 25 minute spell midway through the half. Cork had begun the campaign with a deserved 1-0 win over Clare at Ennis, thanks to a Dave O’Connor goal in the very last minute of extra time. The side which played Waterford was E Hennebry (Tramore Ath), M Lynam (Ballyvolane), C Herlihy (St Mary’s), A Murphy (Tramore Ath ), A Hartnett (do), A Ricken (Rockmount), C Harrington (Ringmahon Rangers), K O’Regan (Tramore Ath), R O’Donovan (Castleview), D O’Connor (Tramore Ath) and M O’Sullivan (do). Sub used was A Twohig (St Mary’s) who came on for O’Sullivan in the 73rd minute.
Manager Of The Year
Denis Galvin, manager of the great Tramore team, received the inaugural “Manager Of The Year award” at the AUL Dinner Dance.
Hectic Start (1982-83)
A good start is half the battle; and a good start was the goal of the record number of teams that sought, not fortune, but a little bit of local fame. 125 junior teams entered and all had a hectic first week, each playing three games in seven days as league and cup competitions began. It was a demanding introduction for the newcomers which included Crescent Athletic, Courtown Utd, Glanworth, St John’s, Berwick Rangers, Ballintotis, Plunkett Rovers and Cork RTC.
The battle for the Premier League championship was the most exciting in years – Ballincollig, Temple, Grattan and St Mary’s, all being in contention with the finishing post in sight. Early leaders Grattan were the first to come under pressure, then Temple slipped up in the home straight. The meeting between Ballincollig and Mary’s became the virtual decider with the mid Cork team requiring a win to clinch the title. This looked a formality when, in a sensational development during the interval break, St Mary’s had two players – John Healy and Declan Geaney – sent off by referee Sean Ware. A quarrel between the bantam weights was observed by the official who without hesitation produced the red cards. At the time, the game was scoreless and, in the hectic minutes after the resumption, Mary’s keeper Jimmy Scanlon had to be at his brilliant best to keep his goal intact. Afterwards, Ballincollig looked the gift horse in the mouth and the nine Mary’s heroes, playing like men possessed held on to achieve one of the greatest results in the club’s history. The significance of this was underlined a week later when Ballincollig slipped up to relegation threatened Castleview, giving Mary’s a chance of outright glory if they could Tramore in their last game. Tramore, who trailed 1-0 at half-time to a Donal Mehigan score battered the Mary’s goal after the break but the Saints ,thanks to inspiring keeper Jimmy Scanlon, weathered the storm and clinched the title with goals from Mehigan (his second) and Irish International Donal Hetherington.
Central set Cork alight.
In the short space of time since their foundation in 1980, northsiders Central Rovers set the junior soccer scene in Cork alight with their skilful attacking brand of football, guided by manager Philly Singleton and coach Jamesie Corcoran. They were tipped as likely AOH Cup outsiders when the draw was made in early October and, with the completion of every round afterwards, many new admirers joined the bandwagon. On their path to the final they knocked out Passage Wanderers, Temple Utd (a famous victory), Tramore, Douglas Hall and Grattan. Central’s opponents in the decider were Ringmahon Rangers, twice winners of the famous competition. Singleton’s boys already had the 1st Div League championship wrapped up before they faced the stern cup final examination. Brave Ringmahon, who had to play without the inspirational Val Sheehan (broken collar bone), contained Central in a scoreless first half. Central threatened repeatedly after the resumption and the game swung in their direction when the elegant Declan Courtney hooked a Matthew Kenneally cross to the net. Courtney tied the game up with a similar strike in the closing minutes. Central’s stars, apart from Courtney, were Kenneally, Bertie Cullinane (Man of the Match award winner), Patsy Freyne and Thomas Field. The busy Ned Barry, Pat O’Leary, Anthony Huffe and skipper Pat Fitzgerald were tireless Ringmahon workers. Central: A O’Regan, S Hegarty, A Greene, B Cronin, B Cullinane, M Kenneally, C Hartnett, P Freyne, J Corcoran, D Courtney and T Field. Subs: M Hosford and D Varian. Central claimed the 1st Div League title, and promotion to the premier grade with a point earned from a 1-1 draw with Farnanes. Central’s double success earned manager Singleton the David Harnett Memorial Trophy.
Wembley ended a barren junior spell when capturing the title in 1A. Their drive for the pole position was maintained with a sparkling 3-1 victory over Kinsale, achieved as a result of scores from Mick Long, Martin O’Halloran and Noel Lynch. The championship trophy was assured after a 1-1 draw with nearest challengers Hibernians in an exciting game. Niall Daly scored for the winners, and Joe O’Sullivan equalised for Hibs whose best were Vince Hurley, Brendan Hayes and Terry McSweeney. Winning deserved acclaim in the Wembley camp were manager Ned McAuliffe and his assistant Christy McCormack.
Greenmount’s enterprise pays off.
In 1B, Greenmount only needed a point from their concluding tie with nearest challengers Glasheen to lift the trophy and, from a hopeless position of three goals in arrears, they went within a whisker of achieving that goal in a sensational game. Martin O’Regan (2 goals) and Eddie Doyle provided Glasheen’s comfortable cushion which developed a slow puncture as Greenmount clawed themselves into contention with a brace of goals from Pat Mulcahy. Glasheen were fortunate to hang on as Greenmount missed two penalty kicks in the dramatic second half. Brian O’Leary hit the post with the first and Tommy O’Brien had his attempt saved by Christy Keating. The play-off at Turner’s Cross was not as eventful but still provided its fair quota of thrills. Donal Luxford and Alan Ramsell gave Greenmount a two goal lead and they hung on to take the title despite a spirited last quarter rally from Glasheen which yielded a morale boosting goal from Paul Cooney. Best for the winners were Harry Speight, Michael Dorney, Tommy O’Brien and basketball international Timmy McCarthy, while Glasheen’s tops were Brian Keating,Terry Moloney, Ger Fehilly and Liam O’Donovan. Greenmount doubled up when they became the first winners of the Enterprise Cup as a result of a hard earned 1-0 victory over northside rivals Glenvale. The champions lost Tucker O’Brien due to an early injury but his replacement, Ger O’Brien, had a blinder and linked with Ramsell to set up Luxford to shoot the only goal of the game. Outstanding for the winners were Timmy Hewitt, Eddie O’Connor, Ger McGreevy, Pat Mulcahy and super sub Matthew O’Donovan. Stephen O’Keeffe, Neilus Corcoran and Pat Kelleher were best for the spirited Glenvale team who missed injured star Ger Rennie.
Brideview’s happy supporters
Brideview supporters left Mallow Town in a happy mood after cheering their side to a marvellous 2-1 victory over the homesters in the final of the County Cup. The singing and chanting made the team very much at home and there was jubilation on and off the field when Mick Curley set up Phil Curley for the lead on the half hour. Nothing was going to be easy and Sam Buckley’s equaliser gave the home crowd a chance to answer their opposite numbers. Mick Curley ran the legs off the Mallow defence in the second half and engineered the deciding score which was again finished in style by Phil. It was an admirable team show from Brideview with Kevin Tobin and Sean Pratt earning most of the plaudits along with the Curleys. Brideview grabbed the one point needed for League 2 honours when scoring sensation Phil Curley netted a delightful equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Rockmount who had led through Ger Cronin. Killowen’s gallant bid to overtake Brideview won them many admirers and the excellent displays of Tim Ring, Brendan O’Donoughue, Denis O’Sullivan and the Dilworths gained them the consolatory runners-up medals.
Corkbeg – Cup specialists
Corkbeg scored a deserved 2-1 over Carrigaline Utd in the final of the President’s Cup at Turner’s Cross. The Whitegate team dominated the game from the start with the woodwork saving Carrig twice in the first half. The Beg got the elusive first goal shortly after the resumption when McCann drove home an inch perfect Higgins pass and he went on to seal the victory in the 70th minute with a stunning volley. Apart from McCann, Kevin O’Shea was on song for the winners with Kavanagh and Lambe the only ones to impress in Carrigaline’s colours. Corkbeg emerged as the cup specialists of ’83 when a few weeks after their President’s Cup triumph, they beat Midleton Utd 3-1 in the final of the Saxone Cup. The Beg were not at their best in the first half as a result of mid-week exertions and had to come from behind in the second period to get their hands on the cup. Midleton relinquished the lead, given to them by Ger Moran, when Kenneally popped up with a neat equaliser shortly after the break, and the same player put the Beg on the road to victory with an opportunist second, minutes later. The double was assured when Bennett added the third in the 80th minute. Kenneally was outstanding and others to hit top form for the winners were Kevin and Pat O’Shea and Kevin Higgins. Midleton, who never repeated the form of their semi-final win, had good displays from Niall O’Sullivan and Gerry Moran.
Carrigaline became Mall Tavern 2B champions when Gene Morrissey scored the goal that gave them the championship points in a rather lucky win over Crofton. Manager Pat Manning was a relieved man at the final whistle and he had the composure of Declan O’Leary, Neilus O’Sullivan, Noel Kavanagh and Joe Lynch to thank for the victory.
In League 3, Buttevant suffered their only defeat of the competition when going under 3-1 to runners-up Berwick Rangers whose scorers were Danny O’Leary, Dave Manning and Martin Cronin. Buttevant had taken the championship when Willie Carroll scored the goal that sunk Mallow Ath and their leading marksmen were John Ring, Eugene Ryan, Michael O’Neill and Walter Cole.
Manager Donal Kelly guided Everton Utd to the title in AUL League 3B. They got the point they needed in a 5-0 win over Victoria Utd when their scores were shared by Ger Calnan, Mick Martin and Noel McDonnell. For good measure, they went on to beat closest challengers Castleview Utd 1-0 with the help of a free kick rocket from Mick Walsh. Coachford beat College Corinthians 2-0 in the Drumcora League 3A decider. Outstanding centre half Georgie Lynch tallied both for the mid-Cork team.
No stopping Tramore
Tramore Athletic’s youths successes continued when they retained the Munster Minor Cup after a tough battle with St Aibie’s. The Tipperary side grabbed an early lead and defended it until the final quarter when Tramore sub Kevin Scanlon came on to lend his considerable influence to the team’s efforts. There were just eight minutes left when Ray Burke equalised from a Ger Murphy cross and the winner followed in a matter of minutes, with Scanlon popping up to head Micky O’Sullivan’s cross to the net. Best for the winners were Aidan Hartnett, Lawrence Neville and Martin O’Callaghan. They then took the Youths Div 1 title for the ninth time in ten years with an overwhelming 6-0 victory over runners-up Grattan Utd. The haul was shared by Kevin Scanlon (2), Tony Neiland (2), Micky O’Sullivan and Pat Jackson. The Denis Galvin managed champions had already annexed the Coca Cola Cup, defeating Springfield in the final.
St Mary’s were again the only club to keep a trophy away from the packed Tramore cabinet when they inscribed their name on the Murphy Minor Cup. Their final clash with Ballinlough (conquerors of Tramore in the quarter-final) which was spoiled by wind and rain didn’t come to life until the Saints took the lead in the 53rd minute when Twomey goaled. Minutes later, Ballinlough were level when Deasy’s corner was deflected to the net by a defender. The exchanges in the final 15 minutes were hectic with play swinging from end to end. Mary’s grabbed the trophy winning goal in the dying seconds when Hayes reacted quickest to fire a rebound from Harrington’s shot to the net. The feature of the game was the classic display of football shown by both number fours, Declan Daly (Mary’s) and Bernard O’Shaughnessy (Ballinlough).
Crofton fail in Dublin
Crofton Celtic qualified to meet Springfield in the semi-final of the Johnny Giles Under 17 Cup when they scored a magnificent 2-0 away win over St Saviour’s (Waterford). They jumped into the lead when big Garry McCarthy shook off the attentions of four defenders to get the ball to Barry O’Leary whose 30 yard rocket went all the way. The second score came late in the game and was tallied by Joe Galway. The semi-final against Springfield was abandoned due to failing light when the scores were level and Crofton moved on to their first national final with a deserved 2-1 victory in the re-fixture, thanks to goals from regular marksmen O’Leary and Galway. The superior team-work of classy Stella Maris (5-1 conquerors of Casement in the quarter-final) was too much for Crofton in the final and the Dubliners were rarely troubled in recording a 4-0 victory.
Ballinlough were celebrating their return to the premier youths division as champions when they got the point required from a scoreless draw with closest challengers Midleton at Flower Lodge. Midleton needed the win and were desperately unlucky not to get it as Colman Mulcahy inspired his colleagues with a top class show that was much admired by the nervous Ballinlough men. Best for the champions were Bernard O’Shaughnessy, Mick Ahern and Denis Duggan. Ballinlough’s well organised system was a credit to their mentors Blondie Ahern and Noel Power.
In AUL Youths League 2A, Blarney Utd never looked back after their 2-1 win over Ringmahon in a top of the table clash when Georgie O’Brien netted the winning score. They gained the ultimate reward for their consistency when keeping Mayfield at bay in the run-in. O’Brien, Jim O’Keeffe, Jim Twomey and Garry Nagle were all in scoring form and those who came up with five star performances were Anthony Murphy, Hughie O’Leary, Ray Hurley, John O’Flynn and Ray O’Sullivan.
Red letter day for Casement
Undoubtedly, the achievement of the year was that of Casement in getting two teams through to the FAI Junior Cup Area final. The night the draw for the semi-finals was made in Dublin, the Horse Shoe Inn in Turner’s Cross was packed to capacity. Fingers were crossed in the hope that they would avoid each other. When word came through from the capital, the roar that greeted the news meant that the dream final was still a possibility. Celtic had been given the easier tie versus Carrigaline while the second string (United) had the undaunting task of toppling the mighty St Mary’s. Both Casement camps were extremely confident. “Here we go, here we go”, was the cry. The Casement Utd boys were quick to point out to their exalted club mates on how fortunate they had been in avoiding them all along as, only three months earlier, the “Bees” stung them badly in the Munster Cup when defeating them (Celtic) 3-1.
Premier League team Casement Celtic were first to reach the decider but not before getting a fright from Carrigaline Utd. The following Sunday the B squad took on St Mary’s in the second semi-final. Naturally, the desire to create history and also fulfil another part of the dream, would fire them to an unprecedented level of motivation. Odds-on favourites Mary’s were going to have a titanic struggle on their hands– a battle they were going to need plenty of Weetabix for. As the record books show, David trounced Goliath so the scene was set for the historic all-Casement cup final, fixed for Turner’s Cross, in practically the back garden of the Horse Shoe pub in which they were founded twelve years earlier. Then, to complete the fairy tale, the ref appointed too officiate was Billy Falvey, a former Casement committee member. It was a unique occasion, the intense family rivalry and camaraderie assured that neutrals would be entertained, both on and off the pitch. There were family connections on both sides, with the Mulcahy brothers Ger and Liam on the United team, and Pat and father Billy in the other camp. James and Robert Dowling were Utd stars, while their brother John managed the Celtic team. The Foolkes brothers, Georgie and Mick, were also in opposite camps. I will let the Cork Examiner complete the story. “Casement Celtic of the Premier League eased into the last sixteen of the FAI Junior Cup when they scored a good win over their club colleagues, Casement Utd, in the Bank Of Ireland sponsored area final at Turner’s Cross. Billy O’Sullivan gave Celtic the lead after 30 minutes and they held this advantage to the interval. Celtic added a second two minutes after the restart through Paul O’Sullivan and this killed off the challenge of Utd. The underdogs had their chances in the opening half – Joe McCarthy hit the crossbar and Gene McGreevy saw his header take paint off the same bar.”
It was a united Casement Celtic that travelled to Dublin for the open draw clash with Anner Utd and ,as the following match report suggests, the Cork team deserved at least a draw, but it was not to be.
“Casement Celtic dominated their FAI Cup game in Dublin against Anner Utd, but failed to take their chances and lost 1-0. Casement had fourteen corners as against three for Anner whose goal was scored in the 20th .minute by Neil Caswell. In the 38th minute, the Anner keeper pushed away a Brendan Mulcahy cross and it fell invitingly for Pat Mulcahy who blazed wide from six yards. Brendan Mulcahy had tough luck in the closing stages when his great header rebounded from the crossbar as the Dublin team rode their luck. Casement’s best were Brendan Mulcahy, Noel Elliot, Pat Mulcahy and Paul O’Sullivan.”
Father and son lead Cork challenge
The Jackie Morley managed Cork AUL youths team made their exit from the Inter League tourney at the semi- final stage when beaten 3-1 by a powerful Dublin Schoolboys League team. The journey to the capital was a frustrating one as delays on the train allowed them no time for the usual pre-match warm up. Yet, the Cork boys shocked the favourites when the manager’s son, Pat, raced on to a Micky O’Sullivan through ball to fire the Leesiders into a 32nd minute lead. Cork held that lead until midway through the second half and then three quick goals (one disputed for offside) gave the Dubliners a flattering 3-1 win. Cork’s top performers on the day were Sean McMahon, Clem Whelan, Colman Mulcahy, Pat Morley, Micky O’Sullivan and Martin O’Callaghan. AUL: McMahon (Glasheen), Hartnett (Tramore), O’Callaghan (Tramore), O’Sullivan (Cobh), Whelan (Crofton), Twohig (St Mary’s), Mulcahy (Midleton), Morley (Wilton), O’Halloran (Cobh), Neiland (Tramore), O’Sullivan (Tramore). Subs: Murphy (Grattan), Marritt (Rockmount), Twomey (St Mary’s), Dorgan (Wilton) and Mark O’Connell (Wilton). In the earlier rounds, Cork had beaten Clare (8-3), and Waterford in the quarter-final when Mark O’Connell (Wilton) was the goalkeeper.
Tayto only reward
Cork AUL juniors brought pride back to Cork soccer with a magnificent 2-1 extra time win over Limerick in the first round of the Oscar Traynor Cup at Turner’s Cross. Sweeper John Healy, after being set up by Donal Hetherington, hit a tremendous goal from 35 yards to give the home team an interval lead. Plucky Limerick were level on the hour when Francis Flynn swept a loose ball home. The pattern of Cork pressure and Limerick breakaways continued for the remainder of the exciting game. The genius of Hetherington eventually settled the tie when he picked out Ollie Devine with an immaculate pass and the Cobh man blasted Cork into round two. Hogan, Notley, Coade, Hetherington and Mulcahy were the stars of a well balanced Cork side who had lost Brian Foley due to an injury sustained in training. In the second round, Waterford, with a late goal by Tom Keane, ended Cork’s ambitions. It was a game that could have gone either way but if Cork had taken their scoring chances in the opening 30 minutes they would surely have won. Greene, Devine and Hetherington all had chances to save the tie but Waterford confidently weathered the storm and deserved to advance. Brendan Mulcahy, Pat Morley and Barry Notley were the best of a Cork team that failed to find the form that had sunk Limerick in round one. Cork: Hogan, Devereaux, Elliot, Notley, Hetherington, Healy, Mulcahy, Morley, Coade, Greene and Foley. In the annual Tayto Cup match played at Turner’s Cross, Cork AUL scored a 7-6 penalty shoot-out win over Dublin after the game itself ended scoreless. It was one that Dublin would surely have won but for the superb display by Cork goalkeeper Finbarr Hogan of Ballincollig. The Cork forwards were completely off form and got little help from a struggling midfield. Barry McGovern led a sound defence and Hogan was hero of the day. Hogan was recognised as the country’s top junior goalkeeper and added to his international honours when selected for a game against Scotland along with the St Mary’s wizard Donal Hetherington.
Carrigrohane plans dumped (1983-84)
At the first delegate meeting of the new season, Chairman Vince Cummins told delegates that the League had decided not to go ahead with the development of the pitches on the former dump site on the Carrigrohane Road. as the surface had subsided and there was no guarantee that this would not re-occur. The Cork Corporation, when asked about an alternative site, told the management that there was none available at the time. Teams without pitches continued to be accommodated at AUL Park, though the nineteen homeless clubs were warned to use their own initiative in securing grounds.
Because of a further increase in the size of the League, extra promotion places were to be made available. Two teams, rather than one as before, would be promoted from each of the 3rd and 2nd Division Leagues while just one was to be relegated from each section of the 1st and 2nd. The exchanges between 1st and Premier remained unaltered: the winners of the three 1st Divisions would be promoted and the bottom three in Premier would again be relegated. Knocknaheeny Celtic and Afton Villa made their debuts in Div 3 along with Kingston Rangers, Strand Utd, Donoughmore, Carrigmore Rangers and Rathcoole ( who withdrew midway through the season)
The League produced its first of two Cork AUL Annuals, edited by Billy Lyons. Much of the following material for the 1984 & 1985 reviews was sourced in these publications.
Ballincollig’s Finbarr Hogan and Central’s Patsy Freyne were selected on the Irish panel for the Junior International against Scotland while Carrigaline’s Barry McGovern was named as a reserve. Hogan previously played with the Republic (at both youth and junior level) and Freyne’s call up was not entirely unexpected for he was one of the previous season’s outstanding players. They both played with Munster in Wales.
Big match nerves
Hungry for victory, Ballincollig beat Casement Celtic 2-1 in the FAI Junior Cup area final. After 13 minutes, Pat Collins put Ballincollig ahead. There was a touch of luck about the equaliser: Seamus O’Leary got away in an offside position; Finbarr Hogan failed to cut out a “harmless” cross and Ger Mulcahy ran in to tally. A terrific 19 yard volley by Anthony Hogan gave Ballincollig the lead just before the break and they held onto it in a poor second half. Scorer Hogan and midfielder Tommy West sparkled for the winners while Ger Mulcahy was best for the losers who lost influential midfielder Pat Mulcahy because of an early injury.
Big match nerves hit Ballincollig in their home tie against Beggsboro of Dublin on March 4th. The mid Cork side squandered four or five decent chances and went down 2-1 in extra time, despite a brilliant show at centre back by Paul Hogan and the non-stop running of his younger brother Anthony at centre forward. Ballincollig led through Ken Coomey’s powerful header (62nd minute) but Beggsboro came back with goals from Eamonn Fitzgibbon (64th minute) and Alan Lewis (two minutes from the end of extra time). Ballincollig’s thirteen for the Area final and the Beggsboro game were: Finbarr Hogan, Seanie Murphy (Capt.), Paul Hogan, Christy White, Pat Healy, Kenneth Coomey, Redmond Tobin, Tommy West, Brian McCarthy, Anthony Hogan, Pat Collins, Paul Hogan and Richie Fitton.
Douglas Hall come good
Despite two severe setbacks in the preceding week, Douglas Hall came good in the second half of the AOH Cup final at Flower Lodge and beat Wembley 2-0. The setbacks were a penalty shoot-out loss to Star Rovers in the Munster Cup semi-final and an unbelievable 4-0 Premier League defeat by St Mary’s. To make matters worse, the Hall faced Wembley without star keeper John O’Dwyer. After a tame first half, Wembley made the running in the third quarter but failed to take their chances. Douglas made their first attack of the second half in the 67th minute. Notley headed on a corner at the near post. There were calls for handball as the ball broke in the danger area but the penalty claims were soon forgotten as Cotter pounced on the loose ball and drove it home from eight yards or so. Wembley’s dreams were totally destroyed in the 76th minute. O’Sullivan’s left hand touch-line pass was tailor- made for Dunlea who streaked past two defenders and shot hard for the far post. Horgan deflected the ball but it fell perfectly for Cotter (who was to receive the Man of the Match award) to drive it home. Douglas Hall: Donal Kidney, Aidan Logan, Tom O’Connor, Barry Notley (capt), Mick O’Connor, Paul O’Sullivan, Martin Davis, Alan Cremin, Con Harrington, Aidan Cotter and Jimmy Dunlea. Subs:-Gerard Connolly (for Davis 95 mins) and Andy Lehane for Dunlea (86 mins).
St Michael’s Cup – Kelly’s headers
Eamonn Kelly and Jim Turner, the hard running strike force of Carrigaline United, were the team’s scoring heroes in a 3-2 extra time win over Ballincollig in the St Michael’s Cup final. Kelly’s two headed goals (4th and 49th minutes) had Carrig level at ninety minutes and Turner hit the close range winner three minutes from the end of extra time. The Ballincollig marksmen were Anthony Hogan (10th minute penalty) and Redmond Tobin (a spectacular 32nd minute rocket). Ballincollig had the edge over Carrig in previous cup encounters and this victory was a welcome change for Kieran McGovern and company. A feature of the final was the starring roles for the winners of the McGovern brothers Peter, Kieran (Blondie) and Barry.
Two Cork clubs reached the closing stages of the Munster Junior Cup but each fell victim to holders Star Rovers of Limerick. Douglas Hall qualified for the semi-final with wins over Johnville (2-0) and Evergreen, Waterford, (4-1). They led Star until the dying minutes of the semi-final but a late goal forced a replay in the Lodge which also ended at 1-1 (with Jimmy Dunlea scoring for the Hall). The Limerick team advanced on penalties to meet Temple Utd in the final. Temple, with Denis Keane scoring a hat trick, beat Newmarket-on-Fergus 3-2 in the first open round, then Southend (Waterford) 2-0, and next trounced Tralee Dynamoes 7-0 in the semi-final at Flower Lodge. Keane hit another hat trick against Tralee (who had earlier eliminated Grattan Utd), with Noel Greene scoring twice. The final was played in Limerick and Temple were a disappointment though, it should be said that, two of the goals in Star’s 3-0 win came in the last five minutes. Star were, undoubtedly the best team seen in Cork in the competition but the performances of the Hall and Temple suggested that Cork clubs could, with a little more effort, make a bigger impact in the provincial competition.
Douglas double up
Just five days after their AOH Cup triumph, Douglas Hall gained their first ever Quality Plastics Premier League title. They did it against the odds; their final game was away to Ballincollig who needed just a point to take the championship themselves. Gerard Connolly and Paul O’Sullivan put the Hall two up. Tommy West spectacularly reduced the deficit before the break, but the Hall,(with keeper O’Dwyer in splendid form, survived enormous second half pressure to win an exciting game 2-1 and complete a first class double. It was the final game of a memorable season for Douglas and for manager Donal Healy, who put the successes down to a tough training programme and to excellent away form (particularly at Knocknaheeny where they gained seven points from eight). The Hall played 48 games, scored 122 goals and conceded 51. Their top marksman was Con Harrington with 22 goals from 35 matches. Next came midfielder Paul O’Sullivan with a significant contribution of 19. The players’ goal totals are in brackets below.
The players who lined out for the champions during the season were: J O’Dwyer, A Logan (1), T O’Connor (1), M O’Connor, B Notley (11), D Kidney (2), M Davis (10), A Cremin (3), P O’Sullivan (19), P Kirby (2), A Cotter (17), G Connolly (17), J Dunlea (14), A Lehane (1), C J Harrington (22), P Kennedy, G O’Connell (1), N O’Donovan and V Rose (1).
Wilton sore with Morley
The main feature of Wilton United’s successful title drive in Shawson Supply League 1A was the scoring prowess of Pat Morley (who captained the Cork Youths in the previous season). Morley’s exploits captured the attention of the scouts and both he and team colleague Ger Hayes went on trial to Brighton over the Christmas. It was a costly trip for Wilton because, without the talented pair, they dropped an unexpected point to struggling Kilreen. Their only loss in the league was against Hibernians who won 4-3.
The turning-point in the championship campaign, as far as Wilton were concerned, was their away trip to bogey team Grangevale. They had whipped the ’Vale 5-0 at Farranlea Road but still had doubts as they journeyed to Grangevale Park. But, they need not have worried as they took the points on a 3-2 scoreline. The Wilton panel was: Mark O’Connell, Pat Collins, Greg Franklin, Micky Duggan, Peter Rodgers, Gearóid Doyle, Seamus Walsh, Fergus Bowen, Tadgh Bowdren (captain), Gerry Murphy, Ger Hayes, Willie Hennessy, Pat Morley, Stephen Cronin, Tom O’Hea and Pat Walsh. Both Rodgers and Murphy were ever present over the season. The team manager was Pat Bowdren. The champions finished with 34 points from 20 games while their only serious rivals, Casement United, came in three points behind.
North End up again
North End returned to the Premier League with a title success in Philips Electrical League 1. Their main opposition, according to chairman Bob Quinlan, was provided by Ballyvolane, Mayfield Utd and Ballincollig Utd. It was a tough campaign and the scoring contributions of leading marksmen Sean O’Neill, Jimmy Jones and Tony Kearney proved invaluable. North End were managed by Jimmy Cronin; their Player of the Year was Tom Corcoran and Clubman of the Year was Pat Mason. Panel: M Hogan, T Corcoran, G Murphy, G McCarthy (capt) P Colman, J Lynch, K Kenneally, C Richmond, T Kearney, S O’Neill, J Jones, B O’Driscoll, K Burke and D Jones.
AOH achieve aim
Premier League football returned to Flower Lodge following the triumph of AOH in AUL League 1B. In the league campaign, AOH played 22 games, won 12, drew 8 and lost 2. Their best results were the double defeats that they inflicted on Mallow, Glasheen, and St Martin’s. “This gave us great heart,” said Joe Healy”, for in the previous year they took the points from us”. In October, the champions-to-be lost one of their top players in Tim Desmond who went to England to continue his studies. A week later, they signed the former Cork youth player Bob O’Donovan. AOH were lucky in that they had a good blend of experience and youth. Healy put the likes of Victor Yelverton, team captain Vince Looney, Noel Corcoran, Jim O’Callaghan, Tom Harrington, Denis McCarthy and Toss McCarthy into the experienced category. The younger players at the Lodge were Mossy Coughlan, Bob O’Donovan, Declan Cahill, Jer Courtney, Frank O’Mahony, Jim Connolly, Tim Desmond and John Bermingham. The team was managed by Joe Healy and the trainer was the dedicated John Foulkes.
Fast lane Leeds
In Dennehy Ltd League 2, Leeds put the pedal down and were racing along the fast lane before the others even realised the race was on. They collected 17 points from their first 10 games and Leeds did not see a red light until they crashed 4-2 to St Mary’s Utd, and that was their 17th game. Michael Wyse was top scorer with 34 for the year, including 13 in the league (even though he missed 5 games). Pat O’Callaghan tallied 11 goals in the league. All fifteen members of the panel scored as they ran up a total of 117 goals; 54 of them in their 22 league matches. Leeds Player of the Year was Tim O’Regan, their Sportsman of the Year was Pat O’Callaghan and the Clubman of the Year award went to Kevin Daly. Their manager was Neil Quinlan and he picked from the following panel: Miah Dineen, Anthony Gaul, Donie Buckley, Jimmy O’Driscoll, Pat Quinlan, Timmy O’Regan, Martin Cashman, Tony Goldsmith, Pat O’Callaghan, Michael Buckley, Michael Wyse, Kieran Crowley, Liam O’Donovan, Johnny Keane, and Ger Connolly.
Western come good
Western Rovers, after a few years of near misses, came good on the double with triumphs in the league (Tom O’Kelly 2A) and in the Enterprise Cup. But the league title was the highlight. Here they were taken to a play-off and then to a replay by Buttevant. The first game ended scoreless but two minutes from the end of the Buttevant replay Frank McCarthy scored the golden goal to give Western a 1-0 win and the championship. McCarthy, with 28 goals, was the team’s leading scorer; Hugh Cooney was next best with 26. Right back Mick McGregor played with Cork in the Tayto Cup win in Dublin.The manager was Tony Murphy and he had invaluable help from colleagues Tim O’Neill and Denis O’Driscoll. Sean Walsh’s lone goal was enough for Western in the Enterprise Cup semi-final victory over Ringmahon Rangers. The final opposition was provided by first division Tramore Athletic and the Rovers scored a surprisingly easy 3-0 victory, their goals provided by Coughlan, Crowley and McCarthy. The Western Rovers panel was: L Ryan, M McGregor, B Nagle, P Crowley, A O’Shea, B O’Donovan (capt), S Walsh, K Ruddy, F McCarthy, G Coughlan, H Cooney, J Punch, N Tobin, L McKenzie, J Horan and J Geaney. The first eleven listed provided the starting line-up in the Enterprise final.
Opposing backlines in Mall Tavern League 2B just could not get sandbags enough to keep out Everton’s hot-shot skipper Tom Clinton who fired 31 goals for the season, including an important bull’s-eye in the play-off duel with Crofton Celtic. They played most of that game with ten players, Pat Duggan having been sent off early in the first half. Other leading sharpshooters in the successful Everton promotion posse were Bertie O’Sullivan (24), Gerry Myers (24), Bobby Barry (16) and Pat Duggan (16). Myers was the team coach and his twice weekly training sessions, under the lights at Douglas Street car park, were always well attended. The Everton manager was Donal Linehan and the team committee was Liam Kent, Steve Tierney and Timmy Keane. Panel: Pat Duggan, Tom Clinton (capt), John Walsh, Patsy Burke, Frank Morrissey, Tadgh Goggin, Gerard Linehan, Bobby Barry, Steve Tierney, Kieran Murphy, Eddie Murphy, Paddy Connors, Peter Browne, Gerry Myers, Eddie Kelly, Bertie O’Sullivan and Junior Buckley.
One of the brightest teams of the season were the newcomers from Carrigtwohill Utd who surprised the doubters by winning Quinlan League 3. “Our one ambition at the start of the year was to get out of the third division the Saxone Cup win was icing on the cake” said secretary Rory Canning. They made a good start to the league. Then, they got a little cocky but a shock defeat by lowly Crusaders opened their eyes to the magnitude of the task. Their approach improved and they did not lose a league game after a 1-0 loss to Corinthians on December 11th.
Carrig played 50 games during the season, scored 143 goals (91 in the league) and conceded 58. Kevin O’Neill was leading marksman with 39 and next came young Noel O’Reilly with 26. Paudie Cashman was the player to show most improvement and he was named as their Player of the Year. The team was managed by Jimmy Nolan (who won an AOH Cup medal with Grangevale in 1979) and he had the help of two selectors in Rory Canning and Aidan Gorman. Canning’s colleagues on the committee were Denis O’Brien (Chairman) and Harry Cahoon (Treasurer). The club PRO was Jimmy Murphy.
Crescent Athletic, a club based in the Gurranabraher Avenue area was founded by George Cummins and Nelius Dineen were able to look forward to second division football following their championship success in Drumcora League Three A. It was Crescent’s second season in the AUL and much of the credit for their rapid rise went to their committee (which included a hard-working ladies section). They shared a pitch in Newcastle with Central Rovers and trained twice weekly. At their victory social, Anthony O’Connell received the Player of the Year award. Cummins was player manager and the club’s PRO was Stewart Joyce.
Lakewood move up
Lakewood Athletic’s third season in AUL football brought them their first trophy. They won AUL League 3B with a total of 56 points. Their form away from home was remarkable, scoring 14 wins and 2 draws from 16 games. The team was skippered by Noel Mullins and the leading goalscorer was John O’Connell. The run-in clash with Glasheen turned into a bit of an anticlimax with Glasheen winning 3-0. However, Glasheen slipped up in their next outing and Lakewood took the opening with both hands. They clinched the championship with a brave battling performance coming from two goals down to beat Hibernians Ath by the odd score in five. Player of the Year Joe Dumigan deserved special mention. Joe had broken a leg two seasons earlier but his lion-hearted displays really spurred on his team-mates. Another leading figure was top scorer John O’Connell who hit 21 league goals before heading off to South Africa shortly before the end of the season. The Lakewood panel was: Joe Dumigan (27 games, 9 goals), Jimmy Kelly (25,2), Declan O’Shea (25,0), Noel Mullins (25,6), John O’Connell (23,21), Denis Lucey (23,7), Billy Webster (21,2), Tony Burke (20,0), Kieran Lynch (18,17), Donal Murray (16,13), Derry Cronin (13,0), Tony Murphy (13,2), Tony Gilroy (8,1), John Collins (6,0), Pat Milner (5,1) and Colm Ahern (4,2).
Buttevant knocked out the holders Brideview Utd in the semi-final of the County Cup and went on to win the trophy with a 5-3 aggregate win over newcomers Carrigtwohill Utd who had surprised Hibernians 1-0 in the semi-final. For the first time ever, the final was played over two legs. Carrig led twice in the first leg at Buttevant, thanks to scores from Tony Carey and Karl Sylvester. Buttevant, though, were level (2-2) at the break and tallied two fine second half goals for a 4-2 advantage. The North Cork marksmen were John Keane, Billy Sherlock and Ger Guinane (2). Carrig put on fierce pressure in the second leg but the early score did not come. Kevin O’Neill put them ahead nine minutes after the break but John Keane hit a quick equaliser and the leg ended 1-1. Buttevant: F Lillis, P Carroll, J Bowles, W Cole, J Ring (capt), J Keane, M Ring, M O’Neill, J Curtin, G Guinane and B Sherlock. Subs were S Hussey (used) and G Morrissey.
The View on top
Castleview United, featuring a few battle hardened veterans and a speedy strike force, came from behind to pip neighbours Crescent Athletic 2-1 in the President’s Cup final at AUL Park. Crescent took the lead in the first half when Anthony O’Connell scored from a fine pass by John O’Donovan. The View had the edge in an exciting second half. Christy Lynch equalised from an early penalty (for a foul on captain Ger O’Leary) and Philip Butler struck the winner after a shot by Davy O’Connell rebounded. A feature of the game was the cool performance of Castleview keeper Tony Horgan while they also had stars in defender Lynch and midfielder Pat O’Callaghan. Best for the losers were John O’Donovan and Anthony O’Connell. Castleview Utd: A Horgan, T Aherne, M Caulfield, C Lynch, D Kelly, P Butler, P O’Callaghan, J Hurley, K Corcoran, G O’Leary and D O’Connell. Subs used were P Dennehy and E Lynch.
Carrig master Leeds
Carrigtwohill United, the all action newcomers, captured their second trophy of the season when a goal in each half by Karl Sylvester gave them a 2-0 Saxone Cup final win over Leeds. The city side’s crack forward line could not get through against a Carrig defence that was well led by Karl’s brother, Niall. Others to impress for the winners, who two nights earlier had clinched their 3rd Div League title, were Martin Donnelly and skipper Con O’Mahony. Carrigtwohill Utd: N Dunlea, M Sweeney, P Cashman, N Sylvester, B O’Reilly, P Cahoon, M Donnelly, C O’Mahony, K O’Neill, N O’Reilly, and K Sylvester. Subs were P Manning (used) and T Carey.
Kilkenny “kill” Cork
The Cork youth’s representative team, under manager Eddie Sheehan (Wembley), started their campaign well with a 3-0 away win over the Desmond League, the goals supplied by Keane, Berry and Bowdren. Best for Cork (who got a bye in the first round) were Mulcahy, Bowdren and skipper Sweeney. Limerick were next to entertain Cork who took an early lead through Bowdren. A sweet second half volley by Twomey made the final score 2-0 for Cork whose tops were Bowdren and keeper Mulvihill. The semi-final opposition was provided by Kilkenny who came to Flower Lodge on Easter Sunday. The visitors scored straight from the kick off and Cork had little answer as the Kilkenny lads swept on to a 4-0 victory. Sheehan’s assistant was Tom Twomey (Everton) and the evergreen Johnny O’Driscoll (Wembley) was the trainer (a job he also filled with the juniors).
Cork’s team against Kilkenny was: Denis Mulvihill (Crofton Celtic), Noel O’Leary (Casement Celtic), Anthony Dennehy (St Mary’s), Anthony Morley (Crofton Celtic), Alan Twomey (Everton), Barry Mulcahy (Midleton), Paul Bowdren (Casement Celtic), Ian Hennessy (Rockmount), John Keane (Everton), John Sweeney (Everton) captain, and Ray Towler (Casement Celtic). Subs used were Brian Sisk (St Mary’s) and Joe Galway (Crofton Celtic). Other players used during the campaign were: Declan Rasmussen (Springfield) who came on as a sub against Limerick; Aidan Berry (then with Midleton) who played against the Desmond League; and Ken Farrell (Passage) who came on as a sub in the same game.
Casement Celtic did well to reach the semi-final of the FAI U-17 Cup. With three internationals in the squad, they travelled with high hopes to take on Manortown Utd of Dublin but a mistake riddled display by the visitors allowed Manortown through to the final on a 3-0 scoreline. Included in the Casement line-up were former schoolboy internationals Noel O’Leary, Richard “Minty” Fitzgerald and Paul Bowdren (who had spent a spell on trial with Fulham). The national selectors also recognised Bowdren’s talent and picked him for the under seventeen international against Northern Ireland during which the Cork youngster tallied. Casement were managed by James Wilson and his assistant was Tommy Healy
Cork teams fared even worse in the national and provincial competitions at under 18 level though Crofton Celtic did put up a commendable show before being beaten 2-1 by mighty Home Farm in Dublin in the FAI Youths Cup. In the same competition, Everton flopped at home, going down 4-0 to Bohemians of Waterford. Crofton might have been expected to do well in the Munster Youths cup but surprisingly went out to St Michael’s of Tipperary. St Mary’s also qualified for the open stages but put on a very poor show indeed in going down to Glin Rovers of County Limerick.
Casement pip Everton
Casement Celtic won the Barry’s Tea Youths League 1 but only after a play-off with Everton, the season’s unluckiest team at this level. That deciding game, at Everton Park, saw Celtic’s leading marksman Stephen Ryan get the only goal a few minutes from the end. In the league championship Casement had goal figures of 92 for and 17 against but that was not enough to take them clear of Everton who had much cause to regret the point they dropped against lowly Blarney Utd. The team was captained by Ray Towler and he was voted their Player of the Year. The champions’ squad was: Derry Desmond, Paul O’Callaghan, Brian Barry, Noel O’Leary, Thomas O’Connor, Richie Fitzgerald, Steve Ryan, Paul Bowdren, Sean Caulfield, Ger O’Regan, Ray Towler, Leonard Sexton, Liam Flanagan, Eric O’Connor, Tadhg McAuliffe and Kevin Buckley.
McCarthy is Crofton’s hero
Sub Garry McCarthy struck in the last minute of the Murphy Cup final at Flower Lodge to give Crofton Celtic a 2-1 victory over gallant Everton (who were unfortunately short three top players). The losers took the lead in the first half when Joe Kelly scored from a penalty, awarded for a trip on Noel “Rocky” O’Sullivan. Crofton, who had a few injury problems themselves, equalised midway through the second half when Anthony Morley powered in a header from a Brian Smith corner. The match looked like going to extra time until Crofton skipper Pat Walsh set up McCarthy to hit the dramatic winner. Crofton: D Mulvihill, K Whelan, B O’Leary, A Morley, B Crowley, J O’Neill, B Smith, P Clery, M Murray, P Walsh (capt) and J Galway. Subs used were: G McCarthy and J Ryan.
Crofton later added the O’Connell League 2 title to the Murphy Cup. They had to do it the hard way against longtime leaders Midleton. In their final league game, Midleton needed only a draw to take the title but Crofton won a fine game 2-1. They had it easier in the play-off against an out of touch Midleton who went down to second half scores from Barry O’Leary and Joe Galway. Players in Crofton’s play-off panel (not included in the Murphy Cup thirteen) were Stanley Nott, Christy O’Donovan and Paul Lawton. Team manager was Willie Perrott.
Mayfield United’s youths had a fine season, winning both their league (Imperial Hotel 2A) and the Coca Cola Cup. This disciplined and dedicated group had been together for five years and this championship season was preceded by a tour of Massachusetts (USA) where they won five of their seven games. Back home they won the league in dramatic fashion, coming from behind on a wild and windy night at Mahon to beat title rivals Ringmahon Rangers 2-1 in the final match. A draw would have given Rangers the championship. Their victims in the Coca Cola final were Crofton Celtic who went down 2-1 to goals from Denis O’Leary and Lawrence Sexton.
Top scorers were Ray Horan (24), Anthony Murray (16) and Denis O’Leary (15). Team manager was Denis Murray and his regular panel members were: Anthony Murray (capt), Pat Watt (vice-capt), Ian Grey, Michael O’Leary, John O’Leary, Ken Harrington, Pat Bozynski, Lawrence Sexton, Ray Horan, Dean Cahill, Brendan Deane, Denis O’Leary and Brian O’Donoghue.
The Bowles brothers were the scoring heroes for a fitter and more determined Buttevant that beat Kilreen Celtic 2-0 in the final of the Second Division Youths Cup. This was Buttevant’s first ever triumph at this level and was a big breakthrough for youths football in that part of the county. Denis Bowles opened the scoring in the first half when he beat the advancing keeper to a long pass from James Curtin (who had scored the semi-final winner over Avondale). Michael Bowles made it 2-0 in the second half when he intercepted a short free back to the keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net. Buttevant: James Spratt, T Deady, S Guinane, M Guiney, S Cole, M Murray, J Curtin (capt), T Corroon, D O’Reilly, M Bowles and D Bowles. Subs (not used) were M O’Regan and John Spratt.
The elusive Oscar
Once again, the Cork AUL failed to make the closing stages of the Oscar Traynor Memorial Trophy, the national inter-league competition for juniors. The season’s squad, under John Coughlan (who managed the successful 1966 team), reached the third round but lost on penalties to Waterford after a dull and scoreless draw. Various reasons had been put forward for the failure to make an impact in previous years: a lack of talent, a lack of dedication, a lack of pride on the players’ part. But, AUL columnist BiIly Lyons believed that the Cork AUL was no worse off in these respects than the other leagues. There was, he said, one further point worthy of careful consideration and that was the lack of continuity in playing personnel. For instance, the team that lost in Waterford had just one survivor (Hogan) from the team that lost in Turner’s Cross the previous season.
Their first assignment in the Oscar Traynor had been at Flower Lodge against the Desmond League. Tony Coade headed an early goal to encourage hopes of a big Cork victory but there was no further scoring. Midleton’s Coleman Mulcahy was Man of the Match for the home side.
Cork AUL: Finbarr Hogan (Ballincollig), Seanie Murphy (Ballincollig), Philip Long (St Mary’s), Barry Notley (Douglas Hall), Colman Mulcahy (Midleton), Gerard Hayes (Wilton Utd), Barry McGovern, Ger Mulcahy (Casement Celtic), Austin Ricken (Temple Utd), Tommy O’Brien (Greenmount Rangers) and Tony Coade (Casement Celtic). Subs used (both in the 81st minute) were Alan Twohig (Wembley) and Denis Keane (Temple Utd) for Ricken and Coade.
Coade was not available for the 3rd round game against Waterford and Coughlan’s options were further limited when Andy Cullen of Farnanes (a direct replacement for Coade) and Notley did not turn up for the final training session. Both were dropped. The game in Waterford was a dull affair, mainly because the opposing individuals were evenly matched all over the park. The home side had a very slight edge though Cork might well have won but for an amazing decision by the Kilkenny referee that robbed the lion-hearted O’Brien of a deserved penalty award early in the second half. Tommy played at centre forward and had a great game. The defence, with Hayes at centre half instead of Notley, played soundly though left full Long deserved special mention. Best of the midfielders was Ricken. The Cork penalty takers did not do at all well in the shoot-out and Waterford (without either side taking the 5th spotter) won 4-2. Cork: Hogan, Murphy, Long, Hayes, McGovern, Mulcahy (Midleton), Ricken, Twohig, Mulcahy (Casement), O’Brien and Anthony Aherne (St John Bosco’s). Subs used were Tommy West (Ballincollig) for Twohig in the 63rd minute and Wimmie Van Wijnen (Cobh Ramblers) for Murphy who was injured in the first period of extra time.
Holders Cork AUL retained the Tayto Cup when they beat Dublin AUL 4-3 on penalties after the sides had drawn 1-1 at Killester. Both goals in the match came from second half penalties and Tommy O’Brien scored Cork’s equaliser from a spotter awarded for a foul on himself.
Cork AUL: F Hogan (Ballincollig), S Murphy (do), M McGregor (Western Rvrs), B McGovern (Carrigaline Utd) captain, E O’Connor (Greenmount Rangers), C.Mulcahy (Midleton), A Hogan (Ballincollig), A Ricken (Temple Utd), P Morley (Wilton Utd), T O’Brien (Greenmount Rangers) and B Sherlock (Buttevant). Subs used in the second half were A Cotter (Douglas Hall), P Mulcahy (Casement Celtic) and R Towler (do). J O’Dwyer (Douglas Hall) was reserve keeper but did not get into action. The team was ably looked after by Denis O’Driscoll and Ned McAuliffe.
Carrigaline take AOH – Cool Coveney (1984-85)
A first half hat trick by Ray Coveney earned Carrigaline United a superb 3-1 win over favourites Temple United in the final of the AOH Cup which was again sponsored by O’Riordan Joinery Ltd. The winners, playing in their first final, thus became the first recipients of the magnificent new AOH medals. The man of the match award, also sponsored by O’Riordan Joinery, was awarded to Carrigaline sweeper Eamonn Kelly. Temple, whose second half goal came from Jimmy Brady, were taking part in their third AOH final. They had also lost the previous two, to St Mary’s in ‘81 and to Tramore Athletic in the following season. Coveney opened the scoring in the final when he tapped in a cross from Paddy O’Sullivan after 16 minutes. Three minutes before the break, he ran onto a through ball and placed a low shot for his second. Just on halftime he directed a diving header to the net, the cross having been supplied by Paudie Coughlan. Temple exerted the greater pressure during the second half but Brady’s 63rd minute goal was their only reward. Carrigaline lost a couple of very good players during the season. Barry McGovern led the side until the end of January when he left to rejoin Crosshaven. Brian Fitzgerald was then appointed captain but soon his employment took him abroad and Mick O’Donoghue – the big competent keeper, was appointed skipper. Carrigaline were also hit by the loss of promising midfielder Ian Fitzgerald, who scored a brilliant goal in the quarter-final win over Ballinlough. A leg injury ruled Ian out of both the final and semi-final. All in all, there was great credit due to Carrig player – manager Kieran “Blondie” McGovern for the way he re-organised the depleted squad to go on and take the AOH. Carrigaline: Mick O’Donoghue (capt), Arthur Twomey, George Meade, Eamonn Kelly, John Gargan, Kieran McGovern, Paddy O’Sullivan, Jim Turner, Rory McHugh, Ray Coveney and Paudie Coughlan. Subs: Eddie Forde for Coughlan (60 minutes) and Dave Molloy for McGovern (76 minutes).
Three red cards
Expectations for a quality FAI Junior Cup Area final at Flower Lodge between northside giants St Mary’s and Temple were not fulfilled. There were many petty fouls and referee O’Keeffe strictly enforced the laws which necessitated the issue of three red cards. Temple opened the scoring late in normal time when former Saint Jimmy Brady took advantage of a rare slip by Finbarr Redmond to score. Mary’s came back quickly with a quality equaliser, created by Finbarr Murphy and Donal Mehigan and scored by speedy sub Brendan Kenneally. Two extra time goals by returned exile Tom O’Neill gave the spirited Saints a 3-1 win and put them into the last sixteen. Here a lively display by Vincie Marshall (who netted the first half equaliser) was not enough against St Kevin’s (Dublin) who went home 2-1 winners. The St Mary’s team in the area final was Redmond, Long, Mehigan, Declan Daly, Paddy Daly, Kearney, Denis Daly (captain), Murphy, Marshall, O’Neill and Hickey. Sub: Kenneally for Hickey. Against St Kevin’s, Healy and Kenneally played instead of Kearney and Hickey while Barry came in as a sub for the injured O’Neill.
Temple come out on top
Temple did win the Coffa Tournament prior to the start of the season but were frustrated in cup competitions, losing to Mary’s in the Area final of the FAI and going down to Carrigaline Utd in the AOH final. These cup runs meant that Temple, like Mary’s and Ballincollig, had a backlog of league fixtures but Temple made the best use of the games in hand. They came out on top of a dramatic Quality Plastics Premier League that was only decided in the very last match at Knocknaheeny. A few nights before, St Mary’s had to stage a remarkable recovery to beat Ballincollig. The Saints, needed just a point from their closing match with Temple but it was the latter who took the title with a 2-1 win. Temples well prepared ground at Knocknaheeny accommodated one of its biggest ever crowds for that championship decider. In a thrilling game, marred by an injury sustained by St Mary’s keeper Finbarr Redmond, Temple triumphed by the odd goal in three. They drew first blood in the 28th minute when Denis Keane fired past Redmond. The cheering had hardly died down when Tom McCarthy headed powerfully past O’Sullivan for the equaliser. Redmond’s injury, a broken jaw, was sustained just two minutes into the second half and the match was held up for 20 minutes. Soon after the resumption following the enforced stoppage Denis Daly floated a perfectly placed ball from a free kick for Austin Ricken to head a glorious winner. Temple panel: Martin O’Sullivan, Danny Devereaux, Tony Kenny, Bertie Cullinane, Noel Cambridge, Austin Ricken, Frankie Thornton, Johnny Devereaux, Jimmy Brady, Denis Keane, Denis Daly, Dommie Hussey, John Aherne, Brendan Coade, Anthony Ryan and Mick Long.
For the second year running Western Rovers were promoted and for the second year running they did it via a play-off. The play-off was for the Premier League place vacated by Cobh Ramblers who absented in 1985 for the first time since the founding. The play-off series involved the three first division runners-up: Ballyvolane, Waterloo and Western.
Springfield go close
Cobh side Springfield made a gallant attempt to win the FAI Youths Cup but lost the semi-final in extra time to Home Farm. Tramore Athletic, under their manager Pat McCarthy, did well in the Under 17 Cup before being beaten in a replay in Athlone. Springfield’s first outing in the open section was a home match against St Michael’s of Tipperary. Michael Ireland and Jimmy Hally each scored twice as the Cobh lads won 4-1. Springfield sparkled in a 2-1 away win over Athlone Town in the next round, their goals netted by Hally and John Blake. Then came that Dublin semi-final date against Home Farm who had earlier edged out St Mary’s on a 2-1 scoreline. Springfield were slightly the better team overall, despite the unavailability of two star players, Ireland and Steve Bruton. The match went into extra time and it looked as if they would have a replay in Cobh. But, it was not to be. With forty seconds left, the Farm scored direct from a wind assisted corner. Springfield: Brian Farrell, Tony Kelleher (capt), Barry Mulcahy, Declan Rasmussen, George O’Reilly, Anthony Cahill, Jimmy Hally, Brendan Lane, Donagh Fitzgerald, Declan Horgan and Tom McCarthy. Sub used was Michael Walsh. Springfield were also involved in the FAI U-17 Cup but were not at their best in their first outside match which they lost 5-2 away to Ballybrack Boys of Dublin. Michael Ireland hit both Springfield goals.
Tramore Athletic showed much promise in that competition. Their first open round match was at home to Athlone Town with winger Eugene Kennedy in great form. Their goal, in a 1-1 draw, was scored by Edward O’Herlihy. The Cork lads played very well in the replay and had the edge in normal time which ended scoreless but Athlone got an extra time winner. Best for the losers were Bill Mulcahy, Brian Hennessy and Mark O’Sullivan.
Friday, May 31st, 1985 will always be remembered in the history of Springfield FC, Cobh. On that day, their fine bunch of minor footballers beat Ballincollig 2-1 and the two points gave the Cobh lads their first Barry’s Tea Youths Division One championship in their 26 year history. Twice they were runners-up in the previous six seasons. Their league record read: Played 20, won 14, drew 5, and lost 1 for a points total of 33. The Springfield manager was John Murphy and he had valuable assistance from Paddy O’Connor and Paddy McDonagh. This same trio also had charge of the Cork youths squad. Mr Murphy was a teacher at the local Vocational School and no less than fourteen of the Cobh panel were past or present pupils there. Twelve of the squad started out in the same under 12 team and had seven seasons together. Four others had been six seasons with the club before joining the squad that year. The other two players, Barry Mulcahy and Stan Horgan, were recruits from Midleton (who did not field a minor team in ’84-85). The squad: Brian Farrell (keeper), Tony Kelleher, Barry Mulcahy, Declan Rasmussen (who captained the Cork Youths), George O’Reilly, John Quinlan, Jimmy Hally, Anthony Cahill, Brendan Lane, Steve Bruton, Tom McCarthy, Michael Ireland, Donagh Fitzgerald, Pat Kelly, Stan Horgan, Michael O’Mahony (keeper), Michael Walsh and John Blake. Springfield made it a double by beating St Mary’s 2-0 in the decider of the Coca Cola Youths Cup, the last final of the 1984-85 season. The winners got a goal in each half. They made the breakthrough in the 29th minute when a Quinlan cross was not cut out and Bruton stroked the loose ball in from close range. The clinching goal, five minutes from time, was a beauty. It started when Ireland, in his own half, released McCarthy up the left. He ran on, held off his marker, and crossed into the six yard box where the diving O’Reilly headed home.
First for Passage
Passage gained their first prize in youths football with a successful campaign in the Second Division Youths Cup. In the final, at St Mary’s Park, Killcully, the county side scored a surprise 1-0 win over Ringmahon Rangers. The winners’ defence was in magnificent form that evening and much of the credit rightly went to them. Another vital link in the successful cup run was their enthusiastic manager, the popular John “Bird” Murphy. Passage: Robert Coughlan, John Cronin, Ed Higgins, John Fahy, Pat Cronin, Ken Murphy (capt), Ken Fitzgerald, Michael Howard, Pat McSweeney, Thomas O’Hanlon and Niall Livesey. Subs were Ed Harrington and Martin O’Mahony. Referee: Michael O’Farrell.
Glasheen bounced back from the previous season’s drop to take the championship in O’Connell Youths League 2. They had a slow start but the introduction of players like the Quigley brothers (Frank and Brian), Trevor Keating, and keeper Paul Hayes gave them a great boost. Their talents mingled well with those of Aidan Coomey and Brendan Crowley (whose father Pat was a great help to the committee). Leading scorer was Noel Healy (who joined his brother “Ginger” at Cork City during the summer) and other top performers were Ian Butler, Michael Keane and Charlie Vallely (who broke his foot during the Murphy Cup final).
Rangers march on
After a couple of years of frustration Mattie Hayes and Ringmahon Rangers finally gained promotion from Youths League 2A. Ringmahon were also runners-up in the Second Division Cup and throughout the season Mattie had valuable assistance from Aidan Long. They played a total of 25 matches. In the league they lost just one, scoring 40 goals and conceding 9. Only two players, skipper Jim Raleigh and John “Smiler” Kenny, figured in all games. The leading goalscorer was Pat O’Brien, who in his first season with the Rangers hit 20 goals in 22 games. The other leading marksmen were Frank Murphy (14) and Kevin Dorney (10).
Casement the champions
Casement Celtic, a team loaded with talent, met second division Glasheen in the final of the Murphy Youths Cup at Turner’s Cross. The underdogs put on a very good show indeed before going down 2-1. Glasheen might well have caused a big surprise had they taken one or two of the chances that came their way in the opening quarter. Richie Fitzgerald was twice involved in Casement’s opening goal in the 28th minute. His back header put Flanagan free on the left. When the cross came over, youth international Bowdren tried to turn it in by the far post but though his effort was blocked, Fitzgerald was on hand to force home the loose ball. The equaliser came 13 minutes into the second half. Coomey’s left wing free was headed into the goalmouth by skipper Crotty where the goal was netted by Keating. Casement’s reply was immediate. Bowdren showed great control as he collected Sexton’s pass and then placed a great shot for the winner.
Mary’s tops in Munster
St Mary’s beat St Michael’s (Tipperary) 6-4 in the Turner’s Cross final of the Munster youths Cup, a competition sponsored by the New Furniture Centre. It was Mary’s first triumph at Munster youths level since 1950 so congratulations were in order for Thomas Hawkins and company. Though the visitors had a goal disallowed in somewhat controversial circumstances just before the interval, Mary’s were generally on top and led 6-2 at one stage. Indeed, Mary’s toughest opposition in the campaign was provided by Cork teams. They beat Casement Celtic 4-2 in a thrilling semi-final that went to extra time which was generally regarded as being one of the best youths games seen in Cork for years. Mary’s also had to account for Springfield before getting out of Cork. For the record, the Mary’s marksmen in the final were Philip O’Riordan, Anthony Dennehy, Tony Finnegan (2), Noel Murphy and sub Ken Sisk (though some say that Noel Rafferty’s effort may have crossed the line before Sisk arrived). The cup was presented to Brian Sisk by Mr Jim Murphy, chairman of the MFA. St Mary’s: B Sisk, W Thompson, K Allen, M O’Driscoll, P O’Riordan, A Dennehy, N Murphy, T Long, G Murray, T Finnegan and I Grey. Subs used were K Sisk and N Rafferty.
“Winning the first division this season (1985) was the biggest achievement to date”, said Farnanes founder member Richard Conroy. The Farnanes club was founded by Conroy and Martin Coughlan on St Patrick’s Day, 1970 and entered the AUL 3rd Div in 1974. There was a dramatic ending to the quest for Premier status. Farnanes entertained Tramore Athletic in their final match but the visitors spoiled the party by winning. A couple of nights later Ballyvolane hoped to capitalise on the Farnanes slip up. However, Ballyvolane, too, were in for a surprise and again Tramore Athletic were the culprits. Tramore’s 2-1 win gave a relieved Farnanes the title. Andy Cullen was perhaps the club’s best known player because of his goal scoring exploits. He scored over half of the team’s total in ’84-85 which came to 120. Robert Donegan and Brian Taylor were the most experienced of the squad which had an average age of 23, the youngest member being 16 year old John Crean.
The merger between Victoria Athletic and Ballinlough Rovers was an instant success with the new club, Ballinlough Rovers, winning in Shawson Supply League 1A. The team was managed by that dedicated duo, Donie O’Leary and Dan Cullinane. Joe Hegarty was captain and John O’Brien was vice-captain. Ballinlough Rovers had to battle hard to beat Passage 1-0 in a midweek fixture and wrapped up the title with a fine 2-1 victory over long time rivals Grangevale. The scoring Rovers on this auspicious occasion were Barry Duggan and Joe Hegarty. They played a total of 39 games and reached the quarter-final stages in three cup competitions – the AOH, St Michael’s and Enterprise. In all competitions they scored 82 goals and conceded 40. The club’s leading scorers were Mick Buckley (14), Martin Davies (14), Barry Duggan (10), and Joe Hegarty (10). The panel: Michael Maher, Norman Fouhy, Maurice Barry, Fergie Irwin, Joe Hegarty, Conor Smith, Barry Duggan, John O’Brien, Mick O’Callaghan, Martin Davies, Mick Buckley, Dave Walsh, Adrian McAleer, John Cremin, Damien Hurley, Martin O’Brien and Emmett Hedigan.
The 1984-85 season was one of unprecedented success for Mallow Utd with a litany of devastating performances, culminating in a double triumph of First Division League title and County Cup. Led by the clinically efficient John Redmond from centre back, they created a playing record of awesome impressiveness that read: played 48, won 36, drew 7, lost 5; goals for 146, against 55. Guided through the testing early stages by the steadying hand of the vastly experienced Tony Allen, who instilled in them the necessary discipline and cohesiveness, their march to league and cup honours continued unabated after his departure to Cork City. Frank O’Neill, club servant supreme, was the reason for the continuity. An experienced player himself, O’Neill had functioned smoothly as Allen’s assistant. His good nature, allied to a canny tactical sense, quickly won the players to his side. Mallow’s progress to the league title was as inexorable as it was ruthless. From the 7-0 pasting administered to Ringmahon Rangers on August 29th to the 5-0 championship clinching destruction of Villa Utd on May 14th, they lost just one of the twenty-four matches they played. They scored 92 goals and conceded a mere 28.
Favourites Mallow got something of a fright, however, from second division Ballincollig Athletic in the two legged final of the County Cup. The first leg at Ballincollig ended scoreless. The underdogs had the better of the exchanges and only some fine goalkeeping by Con Buckley kept them at bay. The second leg in Mallow saw Ballincollig, the club’s third string, keep up the fight. Though they gave away a first half own goal they fought back to lead 2-1 with goals from Neil O’Donovan and big John Fitzgerald. Brian Coughlan was in great form for Ballincollig but his efforts were not enough and his tiring side were caught by an 82nd minute equaliser from Tony Scanlon. Keeper Con Buckley was the Mallow star in the penalty shoot-out which they won 4-2.
Crescent on the rise
One of the major ingredients in Crescent Athletic’s successful title campaign in Tom O’Kelly League 2A was the well attended pre-season training sessions under player-manager George Cummins. They won their first eight games and confidence grew. The knockers said they would falter but Crescent got stronger and won the league by a massive nine points. Indeed, they were unbeaten in the league and no team managed a goal against them in Crescent Park. Crescent were crowned champions after their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Killavullen. The two points, coupled with a Courtown loss, was enough to give them the title in early April. Their sharpshooters against Killavullen were Anthony O’Connell, Micky Heslin and Jim McCarthy. Crescent went through their league campaign with just 14 players, in ’85-86 remarkably the same 14 that won the third division for them in ’83-84. Needless to say, all 14 were signed up again and teams in the first division should have been forewarned. One of the leading players was centre half Neilius Dineen, one of the founder members. At their annual function he received the Player of the Year award from Lord Mayor, Mr Liam Burke. Anthony O’Connell won this award the previous season and in ’82-83 (Crescent’s first) there was a tie between John O’Donovan and Dominic Dineen.
Douglas edge out Carrig
The season long battle between Douglas Hall Utd and Carrigtwohill Utd needed a play-off to decide the destination of the title in Dennehy Ltd League 2 and needless to say, extra time was needed in that play-off. The city side eventually came out on top. This was the fourth meeting between the sides during the season. The Hall, having taken three points from four in the league and also having beaten Carrig in the President’s Cup, were the slight favourites. Douglas took the lead in the second half when Brian Foley was upended in the box and Con Harrington put away the rebound from his own spotter. With a few minutes left, Martin Donnelly confidently knocked in a Carrigtwohill spotter to send the match into extra time. At the end of the first period, Foley and Joe Harris combined to set up the match winner for Harrington and so Douglas gained compensation for their earlier defeat in the President’s Cup final. The winners, though, did not forget to wish all the best to Carrig. The Hall developed great friendships through visits to Carrig and through the numerous telephone calls after midweek matches when checking on each others results. Douglas Hall Utd, the club’s second string, played 42 games, winning 28 and drawing 7. Of the seven lost, only three were lost over 90 minutes. The team netted 112 and conceded 57,. Con Harrington being top scorer with 52 goals. Joe Treacy was their Player of the Year. Noel O’Donovan and Gerry O’Connell were the only players to line out in every game.
No catching Coachford
Coachford set off at a fast clip in Mall Tavern League 2B and had the championship wrapped up early in 1985. Under manager Barry Murphy, and captained by the lively Mick Walsh, the mid-Cork lads hit 75 goals in 22 matches and conceded 27; a goal surplus that helped them win 20 of those 22 league games.Coachford’s panel: Mick O’Connell, John P Murphy, Frank McSweeney, Mick Herlihy, Declan Murphy, Tim Buckley, Declan Casey, John O’Donovan, Liam Casey, George Lynch, Pat Barry Murphy, Pat Ring, John Allen, John Moynihan, Dan O’Connell and Tadgh Barry Murphy
Gaining determination from a few near misses over the years, College Corinthians went all out for the honours in Quinlan League 3. But, despite losing just three points in their opening twelve games, Corinthians had to constantly contend, right down to a play-off, with Tonyville. That 1-0 play-off win, the goal netted by Pat O’Neill, gave Corinthians (who were founded in 1971) their first ever trophy in AUL football. The new champions played 26 league games, winning 18 and drawing six. In the league they scored 80 goals and conceded just 22. O’Neill was the team’s leading scorer accounting for 34 of the 106 in league and cups. At a function to celebrate this success, Billy O’Connor (their hard-working treasurer) received the clubman of the year award while Eugene Moriarty (Senior), Mick Herlihy (1st Junior) and Neil Daly (2nd Junior) received Player of the Year awards. Much of the credit for the success was accorded to Kieran Grainger who guided the team over two previous seasons and to his successor Jim Callanan. Dan Murphy, unable to play due to injury, stepped in as manager and proved invaluable in that capacity.
Kilreen’s great bunch
Kilreen, the second string to Kilreen Celtic, took the championship in League 3B. Much credit went to Matthew Morrisey and a great bunch of lads who maintained a high standard in training. Tommy Morrissey was outstanding at centre half and was a worthy winner of the Player of the Year award. Kilreen also had sparkling performers in Harry Foley at right back, Liam O’Mahony at sweeper and midfield ace Peter Farrell. Skipper Michael O’Mahony was another inspiring figure as was Pat O’Leary in midfield. Up front, centre forward John O’Connor had his best season ever and was the team’s highest scorer with 24 goals. The wide players in the side – Mick Griffin, Adrian Kelly and Tim O’Connor – were reliable operators. Left full Pat McCarthy was another prominent figure. Seamus O’Connor, the veteran of the panel, was as steady as ever and turned in many a “super sub” performance. And last, but not least, a mention for one of the team’s major stars – keeper Tony Hurley – whose many goal-proof displays were a big factor in the title success. The club officers were Mr Seamus O’Brien (President), Mr John O’Connor (Chairman) and Mr Denis Kelly (Secretary). Kilreen took the title with a hard earned point from their top of the table clash with Hibernians which was drawn 1-1. Colin Jefferys scored for Hibs whose best were Martin Gorman, Jim Ronan and Greg O’Sullivan. Tops for the champions were Harry Foley, John O’Connor, Mick O’Mahony and scorer Peter Farrell.
Glen in a hurry
In their debut season, Glen United rushed to promotion by taking the title in 3A. During the league, they went 21 games without defeat and discovered some fine young talent in the process: Paul Corcoran, Tim Kelleher, leading scorer John Duggan and Danker Murphy. Jim O’Connor, signed from Grattan, had a big influence on the younger players. The team was captained by sweeper Mick O’Reilly who was elected Player of the Year. Fearless centre forward Sean Goldsmith, the crafty Josie Daly, influential John Phelan and cool keeper Niall Corcoran, were other members of the strong panel. The trainer was Martin Purcell who also acted as club treasurer. The team was coached by well known former AUL player Steve Yelverton.
St Mary’s had a well deserved 1-0 win over Douglas Hall in a disappointing final of the St Michael’s Cup. Mary’s thus became the first city team to win this knockout competition which was for teams from the Premier and First Divisions.
Deserved praise (1985-86)
At the League’s AGM, deserved praise was given to the AUL by distinguished guests Pat O’Brien, Vice-President of the FAI and Jimmy Murphy, Chairman of the MFA for their fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Turner’s Cross ground development project and their magnificent contribution to the staging of the international versus Spain at Flower Lodge.
The news of the amalgamation of the Youghal, Sarsfields and St Martin’s Utd clubs was welcomed and they affiliated as Youghal Utd and Youghal. Other newcomers noted included Castle Celtic (Castletownroche), Brooklodge Utd, Afton Villa and Celtic Wanderers.
Shortly after the commencement of the new season, a change was necessary on the AUL Management Committee when the efficient and courteous Secretary, Niall Sheehan, resigned and was replaced by Tony Fuller who had been co-opted during the previous term.
Through the side net to glory
On the field of play, the main talking-point of the season was Ballincollig’s controversial 2-1 win over unlucky Ballyvolane in the AOH Cup semi-final at Turner’s Cross and the mid Cork team’s subsequent annihilation of fancied Douglas Hall in the final replay. The controversy arose as a result of Ballincollig’s first goal in the semi-final when Brian McCarthy’s shot from an impossible angle burst through the side netting on the way to the net. The shocked Ballyvolane defenders were not the only ones surprised when a goal was awarded. I had a very close-up view of the goal attempt myself along with another fifty or so spectators watching from just behind the goal posts, and all our sympathies were with the victims. Ballyvolane’s subsequent frustrations were exploited when Anthony Hogan made it 2-0 soon afterwards. Hughie Collins’ late consolation score for the losers could not soften the earlier hammer blow. The second semi- final was a tame affair and Douglas Hall had a very comfortable 2-0 victory over cup specialists Castleview. Man of the Match Pat Mulcahy, made the first for Alan Cremin and scored the second himself.
The final was one of the poorest in years, ending in a 1-1 stalemate and both sides were delighted with the opportunity to show that they could do better. The John Coughlan managed Ballincollig had their chances but found Douglas keeper John Dwyer in great form. Dwyer crowned a brilliant display by saving a Tadgh O’Reilly spotter and it was from a penalty that the Hall secured a second bite at the cherry as Alan Cremin wiped out Pat Collins’ opener for ‘Collig. Ballincollig felt that they didn’t do themselves justice on the day while Douglas Hall, who played the better brand of football, were hoping for greater reward on the second day of reckoning. In the replay they actually began where they had left off with sustained pressure on the opposition goal. Ballincollig took the lead, against the run of play, in the 33rd minute. Brian McCarthy, who had taken a return pass from Anthony Hogan, was brought down in the box. Tadgh O’Reilly, who had a penalty saved in the first meeting, made no mistake on this occasion. Two goals from Anthony Hogan in a six minute spell midway through the second half killed, off the Douglas challenge. Jerry Ring made it 4-0 and Hogan completed his hat trick to give Ballincollig the most comprehensive victory scoreline AOH history. Hogan’s joy day was complete when he collected the Man of the Match award. Ballincollig: Kevin Coughlan, Gerry O’Mahony, Johnny O’Riordan, Paul Hogan, Paul Coomey, Tadgh O’Reilly, Jerry Ring, Richie Prenderville, Anthony Hogan, Brian McCarthy and Pat Collins.
On the Monday, just a few days after their AOH triumph, Ballincollig tasted defeat when beaten 1-0 by Clonmel Town in the Munster Junior Cup final. Both sides battled tremendously in the Bank Holiday heat. Ballincollig had the clearer chances (many on the break). Clonmel, though, played the better football and stole the title with a goal in the dying seconds of extra time, by Billy Byrnes after Kevin Coughlan failed to hold a fierce Sean Kiely drive. Crescent Utd ruined a bumper Ballincollig celebration, preventing an all Ballincollig St Michael’s Cup final when beating the mid Cork team’s second string in the semi-final. That really annoyed the premier outfit and they made sure that Crescent queued up to receive the runners-up medals in Turner’s Cross.
The race for the Premier League title was again very exciting with four teams – St Mary’s, Carrigaline, Douglas Hall and Wilton – in contention until the concluding weeks of the season. St Mary’s familiar May title march gathered momentum with a string of impressive victories over Grattan, Western, Mallow and Carrigaline, with the last mentioned side’s defeat signalling the end of their prospects. Douglas Hall then removed Wilton from the equation when beating them 4-2 in a thriller. It then became a two horse race between St Mary’s and the Hall and, with just two of the 26 match series remaining to be played, Mary’s held a one point advantage. The Hall’s dreams went up in smoke and Mary’s were crowned champions when Ballincollig inflicted a surprise 3-1 defeat on CJ’s boys. It was heartbreak for the wily old fox CJH, who was deprived of the Ben Dunne Cup pay day and for Pat Mulcahy, John Tighe, John Dwyer, Alan Cremin, Aidan Logan and Aidan Cotter to see their tremendous efforts going unrewarded. Mary’s manager Finbarr Murphy was thrilled with their post-Easter form which yielded the title. Aces in the Saints pack were veteran Mick Tobin, Philip Long (17 goals), Vincie Marshall (15 goals), Timmy Kelly (17 goals), Denis Daly, Martin O’Brien, T O’Neill (12 goals), Finbarr Redmond, Donal Mehigan and John Healy. The Saints lost their brilliant defender Declan Daly who was transferred to Limerick after starring for the Republic in a Junior International against Scotland. Fermoy, North End and Tramore all plunged down to Div 1.
The league race in 1A was even more fascinating with the Evening Echo declaring Coachford champions after nearest pursuers Castleview’s shock defeat by Buttevant. Coachford were celebrating after their 8-1 slaughter of Kilreen when the feast was shared by Dan Greene (4), Timmy Buckley, Michael Walsh, Declan Casey and Deccie Murphy. The celebrations were a little premature and Castleview’s relentless pursuit of the county team continued. They eventually met in a title showdown on the tight Coachford pitch when all the home team required to clinch the title was one point. Despite the valiant efforts of Thady Delaney, Dan Greene and Frankie Thornton Coachford succumbed as the View earned a play-off with goals from Brendan Mulcahy and Denis Rea. Coachford finally got to uncork the champagne when beating their arch rivals 2-1 in a Turner’s Cross thriller. Timmy Buckley gave them the lead on the half hour with Mulcahy restoring equality within minutes. The winning goal, engineered by Dan Greene, arrived midway through the second period and was finished in style by Micky Walsh. Best for the winners were Mick Murphy, Mick O’Connell and the scorers. Castleview had commendable performances from Tony Horgan, Damian O’Sullivan and Matthew Kenneally.
Villa meet their Waterloo
The league race in 1B mainly concerned Waterloo and Villa Utd and these great sides also needed a Turner’s Cross play-off to decide the destination of the laurels after Waterloo, with goals by Brian Murray and Ken O’Brien, earned the right when beating Villa 2-0 in the concluding fixture. The play-off was an occasion Villa’s Kevin Lynch will want to forget as, with the game scoreless, he blew a golden opportunity when missing from the penalty spot in the last minute of normal time. The winning goal arrived four minutes into the second period of extra time when Waterloo’s Connie O’Mahony’s powerful drive left Peter Gregson helpless in the Villa goal. It’s consistency over a season that wins championships and those to the fore in this regard for the champions were Pat Mullane, Tom Hegarty, Robert Linzell, Connie O’Mahony, Sean McAuliffe, John O’Halloran, Joe Walsh, Tony Booth, Pat Moynihan, Denis Mullane and Ken O’Brien. Villa were gallant losers and had regularly outstanding performers in Liam Ronayne, Willie Punch, Con Moynihan, Pat O’Callaghan. Micky Brosnan, Ger Rea, Willie Ashman and Kieran Dunlea. Earlier in the month ,Waterloo had won the County Cup when beating neighbours Killowen 2-0 in the final at the “Cross”. The Muskerry Arms Man of the Match award went to Ken O’Brien who put Waterloo ahead in the 42nd minute. The clincher did not arrive until the 82nd minute when a Killowen defender carelessly ballooned a ball into the air and Denis Mullane reacted quickest to head home. The Killowen lads who contributed most to the exciting game were Ted Dilworth, Dan Forrest and Richard Waugh .
Congratulations were tendered to Cobh Wanderers’ manager, Noel Keane, when his side’s scoreless draw with Ballyvolane was good enough to clinch the title in League1, and commiserations to losers Ballyvolane who finished in second position for the third season in succession. Wanderers leading goal scorers in the league campaign were Joe Stack (19), George Wilshaw (11), Terry Sheally (9) and Mick Lynch (9). Apart from the goalscorers they had major contributions from Willie O’Hanlon, Tim Stack, John Keating, Jim Gannon, Mick Halpin and Mick Mason.
The Barracka champions
Contenders for Team of the Year were Barrack Rovers who, along with winning League 2A, also annexed the Enterprise (City) and Saxone Cups. They won the league title when rivals Courtown dropped a point they could not afford to let slip and the following night, with Carl Humphreys playing a starring role, Barrack shocked Ballyvolane in the Enterprise final. Barrack had to come from behind after Mick Ahern had given Ballyvolane the lead. Confusion reigned in the Ballyvolane box and Stephen O’Donovan threaded home Humphreys’ teasing cross to raise Barracks hopes. In the 52nd minute, another Humphreys’ cross was headed to the net by Brian O’Connell. The introduction of Miksey Lyons sparked a Ballyvolane revival and Mick Ahern gleefully tucked away a penalty kick, awarded for hand ball to send the game to extra time and an eventual penalty shoot-out conclusion. The trophy was Barracks when Humphreys netted from the first of the sudden death penalties. The Rovers got a great welcome home to Barracka when they were led up by the famous Barrack Street Band. The treble was completed when they beat unlucky Avondale 6-5 on penalties after the sides had drawn 1-1 after extra time in the Saxone Cup final. Both sides played well in poor conditions but Avondale had the edge in football and should have had a few goals to show for it in the 90 minutes. Barrack were first to tally in extra time when Noel Martin swept in Humphreys’ corner and the penalty climax beckoned after Joe Giltinan’s superb equaliser in the second period. Amazingly, all Barrack’s successes (they played 43 and lost only 2) were achieved without training and were a tribute to the spirit instilled in the side by mentors Finbarr O’Donovan, John Murphy, Willie Martin, Philip Maher, Paddy Browne and Sean Cotter. The squad which made it a memorable year was Billy Mulryan, Ray Duffy, John Maher, Larry Buckley, Jackie O’Mahony, Noel Martin, Jerry Browne, Brian O’Connell, Paul O’Callaghan, Steve Donovan, Eddie Haines, John Browne, Carl Humphreys, John O’Brien, Eric Humphreys, Paddy O’Connor, Robert Dowling and Anthony O’Leary.
College Corinthians were Leeside’s closest pursuers in League 2 and they conceded the championship when the Little Island side whipped Grattan 3-0. Ger Lambe, John Ahern and Noel Greene were on target for the Charlie Crowley managed Leeside in that game and they had outstanding performances from Eddie Horgan, Paddy Ward, Ray O’Connor, Matthew Keane, Niall Twohig and Johnny O’Sullivan. Corinthians’ manager, Dan Murphy, was happy with his side’s promotion and Rory Sheehan, Pat O’Neill and Jim Callinan were some of those looking forward to their elevation to the 1st Div.
Wins for Bandon and Ballyvolane
Bandon and Avondale dominated the race for the Mall Tavern 2B trophy and, with seven games remaining, the city team topped the table. one point ahead of their rivals. Bandon set themselves a target of winning all their remaining games as Avondale had the easier run-in. The county team gained maximum points, defeating Macroom 6-2 in their concluding game, but were still playing second fiddle to Avondale who required a victory in their last match to clinch the title. Avondale, who had been unbeaten since September, slipped up when losing to third placed Telford and Bandon were champions. In all competitions, Bandon accumulated 135 goals and their leading scorers were Joe Cullen (35), Eoin Kelly (26), Brendan Wilmot (13) and Michael O’Riordan (11).
The destination of the Quinlan Div 3 League trophy was not decided until the leading contenders Ballyvolane Utd and Cobh Town (founded in 1984) clashed in the last game when the city team got the point they required after a hard fought 1-1 draw. Gerry Lougheed’s goal was the cause of the celebrations in the Fox and Hounds and others toasted were Sean O’Sullivan, Maurice Brown and Edward Ahern.
Area champions Ballyvolane
Ballyvolane’s first squad carried the Cork banner into the open stages of the FAI Junior Cup after gaining a hard earned win over other surprise finalists Mallow Utd in the Area final. Two well struck, second half goals by midfielder Mick Ahern, both from dead balls, gave Ballyvolane a 2-1 fightback win. The county side took the lead when Mick O’Shea’s aerial challenge forced keeper Noel Ahern to push the ball into his own net. Ahern recovered well and his many excellent saves prevented Mallow from gaining the equaliser their play deserved. Best for the winners were Niall Daly, Christy O’Neill and Jim Hanafin. It was the Gerry Finnegan managed Mallow team’s first defeat in fifteen games and they had good performances from Sean Powell, Tony Scanlon, John Redmond and Ned Lehane. Ballyvolane’s great four month unbeaten run ended in Inchicore when the local team advanced to the 8th round of the FAI Junior, netting the game’s only score in the 83rd minute.
The Mayfield club created AUL history when they took winners and runners-up awards in Drumcora League 3. It was the first time that such a remarkable feat was accomplished. The John Bowen captained Mayfield (the club’s second team) took the title with an impressive 36 points from 22 matches while third string Mayfield Ath earned the silver after a three way play-off with Buttevant Athletic and Kingston Rangers. The champions’ most consistent performers were Bowen, Jim Atkins, Pascal McDonald, Mark Leeson, Pat Power, Paudie O’Sullivan and Kevin Crowley. Mayfield were deprived of a double when beaten 2-0 by Castle Celtic in the President’s Cup final. Michael Fogarty and Dessie Mellerick netted the goals for the Castletownroche team who were in their first season in membership and were managed by John Batterberry and Mick Ryan. The Castle heroes were Tom Hunter, Dave Relihan, Donal Mellerick and Michael Fogarty, while John Bowen, along with Mark Leeson, tried hardest for the losers.
There were great celebrations on the north side of the River Lee, brought about by the tremendous first season campaign of Blarney Street Ath which saw them end up as champions in League 3B. But, there was much tension endured towards the end; they were involved in a three way play-off and won both games on penalties. They shared four goals in the semi-final with Afton Villa and advanced after a shoot-out to face Glenview in the decider. This ended scoreless and the Street’s marksmanship from the penalty spot again proved decisive. The victorious panel was Ger Sheehan, Anthony Peelo, Donal Lynch, Tom Murphy, Anthony Buckley, Vince Thompson, Mark Scannell, Flor Carey, Tony Thompson, Anthony Roddis, John Thompson, Felix Lane, Pat O’Leary, Alan O’Donoughue, Terry McCarthy, Tom Daly and John Cronin.
The Tony Wilson managed Casement Youths carried on where they left off the previous year – the Murphy Cup was retained and they regained the league championship. They were unlucky to come up against all conquering, Home Farm who beat them 3-1 in the quarter-final of the National Under 17 Cup and exited from the FAI Youths Cup when defeated 2-0 by St Malachy’s (Dublin). Their exciting Munster Cup run ended with a controversial 3-2 defeat by Vereker Clements (Limerick) in the final at Priory Park. They had qualified for the decider with impressive victories over Listowel Celtic and Wilton (semi-final). In the final, Casement fought back from 2-0 down, with Anthony O’Connor scoring both goals. It looked like a Cork replay until injury time when Vereker substitute McInerney, who seemed yards offside, netted from close range. Casement got off to a dream start in the Murphy Cup final against Everton when Richie “Minty” Fitzgerald’s 6th minute corner-kick went all the way to the net. Everton were on top either side of the interval but could not penetrate a resolute Casement defence. Another “Minty” corner-kick was headed powerfully to the net by Frank Fitzgerald to take the wind out of Everton’s sails though the gallant Bandon Road team did register in the final minute through Jim Keating. Casement: Lynch, Caulfield, Quinlan, Kelleher, Moynihan, Nagle, R Fitzgerald, O’Regan, O’Connor, F Fitzgerald, Calnan. Subs: Moloney and Towler.
Everton had earlier won the Coca Cola Cup with a deserved 2-0 victory over Wilton. Steve O’Keeffe set up Val Sexton to open the scoring after just two minutes. The energetic O’Keeffe then killed off the Wilton challenge when chasing a long ball before chipping it over the keeper for a delightful second. Tops for the winners were Liam Buckley, Jim Keating and Christy O’Donovan.
Midleton youths had a great year, winning League Div 2 and the CMP Cup while their outstanding Under 17’s reached the semi-final of the Johnny Giles Cup only to go under to Home Farm on a 3-1 scoreline. To cap a historic year three of the squad John Morgan, John Burke and Ian O’Brien were members of the Irish international panel for the match against Northern Ireland at the Mardyke. The Liam O’Brien managed side captured the 2nd Div title with a hard earned 3-2 win over Passage when their marksmen were Jason McSweeney, John Morgan and Mossie Horgan. They completed the double with an easier than expected 3-1 win over Greenwood in the CMP final. Defensive mistakes by Greenwood had made it easy for Midleton. The errors began with an own goal in the 34th minute, followed by another which was capitalised on by Micky O’Regan who touched the ball into an empty net. A Jimmy Morris goal threw Greenwood a second half lifeline which was severed completely when the scorer was dismissed shortly afterwards. Yet another fatal mistake gifted the trophy to Midleton when John Forde was allowed volley to an unguarded net.
It was not all doom and gloom for Greenwood who took the Youths League Div 2A in impressive fashion when claiming the title well inside the distance after beating Grattan 3-1 in the fourth last game of the series. Their target finders on that auspicious occasion were Declan Myers (2) and Brian McCarthy. Brian Carey, later to be capped at full international level by the Republic of Ireland, was an inspirational figure with the Togher based club who were also delighted with the performances of Clive White, Sean Twomey, John Collins, Don O’Keeffe, Brian Delea, Anthony Boyle, Sean Lynch, Norman Kelly and Ed Budden. Every member of the seventeen man, Liam O’Brien managed squad figured on the scoresheet and the boss pulled off a bit of a stroke when he backed his goalkeeper Brian Delea to score the club’s 100th goal. The bet was landed in an end of season 10-2 victory when the goal saver became goal getter from the penalty spot.
A first half goal by Richard “Minty” Fitzgerald, and a sterling second half defensive display, earned Cork AUL Youths a 1-0 away win over Limerick in the FAI Inter League championship, 2nd round. Outstanding for the winners were Ian O’Brien, Philip O’Riordan, Johnny Morgan, Kieran O’Mahony and Graham Quinn. They made their exit from the championship when losing on penalties to Waterford. The disappointing match, played in Cobh, ended at 2-2 after extra time. Cork took the lead in the 72nd minute when Morgan and Riordan combined to send local lad Ireland in for a low drive that rolled in off the advancing keeper. Power forced extra time when he gave Quinn no chance from close range. Cork again hit the front, three minutes into the second period of extra time. after O’Connor forced the ball to the net following a well taken Fitzgerald corner-kick. In the last minute Waterford’s ace, Power, popped up for the deserved equaliser. Cork: Quinn (Wilton), O’Mahony (Rockmount), O’Regan (Casement), O’Riordan (St Mary’s), O’Brien (Midleton), Fitzgerald (Casement), Morgan (Midleton), O’Connor (Casement), Long (St Mary’s), Ireland (Springfield), Quinlan (Springfield). Sub used McCarthy (Greenwood).
The Cork AUL juniors had a morale boosting win on penalties over Waterford in the first round of the Oscar Traynor. The match ended 1-1 and the Leesiders, who were the sharper side on the day, deserved to advance 4-3 on penalties. It was a fine team show by the winners who had Kevin Kearney (scorer), Denis Keane, Austin Ricken and Finbarr Redmond in great form. The AUL then advanced to the third round after a comfortable win over Kerry. They qualified for the semi-final for the first time in six years when Pat Mulcahy scored the only goal of the game against North Tipperary. The Gerry Geaney-Denis Bennett managed squad were on the road again when they journeyed to Galway for a difficult assignment against the local league. It was the end of the road, however, for the visitors who, despite a bright opening, were outplayed by the livelier home side had deservedly advanced to the final on a 3-1 scoreline. Cork, a goal in arrears at the break, got on terms on the hour when Philip Long scored from the penalty spot. Extra time looked a certainty; that is until the 80th minute when Mick Tobin was adjudged to have handled in the area and Galway regained the lead which they added to in the last minute with a brilliantly executed free kick. Cork: Redmond (St Mary’s), Hayes (Wilton), Long (St Mary’s), Tobin (do), Kenny (Temple), Mulcahy (Douglas Hall), Kelly (Carrigaline), Ricken (Temple), Mulcahy (Castleview), Fitzgerald (Carrigaline) and Keane (Temple). Subs used Dennehy (St Mary’s) and Daly (do). In the annual Tayto Cup challenge Cork scored a merited 1-0 win over their capital city counterparts on a magnificent pitch in Clondalkin. The winning goal was hammered home in the 34th minute by Ger Hayes after the Dublin keeper had failed to hold a spinning, Aidan Cotter shot. Outstanding for the Leesiders were junior international Austin Ricken and keeper Finbarr Redmond. Cork: Redmond, Tobin, Dennehy, Hayes, Long, Ricken, Keane, Butler, Kenny, P Mulcahy and Cotter. Subs used were Bowen (Wilton) and O’Donovan (Crescent).
Cobh Ramblers suffered a tragic bereavement during Easter ’86 with the unexpected death on the sportsfield of their esteemed player Gerry Brennan. He was one of the most popular players in the AUL, being a skilful, tireless midfielder and a tremendous sportsman who was a credit to his club and the League.
AUL see red (1986-87)
A number of controversial issues were given press airings prior to the commencement of the playing season. The surprising development, whereby the Munster Senior League accepted applications from four of the Cork AUL’s top junior sides drew an angry response from Vince Cummins, (Chairman AUL), when, at the opening delegate meeting of the year he accused the MSL of decimating his league’s premier division by accepting the new entrants. To fully understand the implications of the move one would have to be aware of efforts that had regularly been made to introduce promotion and relegation between the MSL and the AUL; talks had taken place but the discussions were unfruitful. This was not surprising as the MSL was, naturally keen to protect the senior status of a number of its established clubs who were struggling in the basement and who, with the introduction of promotion and relegation, would be in grave danger of slipping into junior football. The AUL, too, had made an application to the FAI to form its own senior division at the request of its top clubs who had despaired of gaining higher status by other means. The application was turned down and Mr Cummins was scathingly critical of the parent body who were hindering the development of the League. The transfer of the four clubs, namely St Mary’s, Carrigaline Utd, Midleton and Casement Celtic, was a major coup for the Senior League, particularly as the first three named were the proud possessors of some of the finest grounds in the country and Casement were ambitious, had similar plans for development. Carrigaline’s excellent complex had been opened only twelve months earlier by Irish International Kieran O’Regan while Midleton’s delightful facilities at Knockgriffin were due to be officially opened for the first round of the Munster Senior Cup by the President of the FAI, Pat O’Brien. St Mary’s, the reigning AUL Premier League champions, were aggrieved when the AUL, subsequently, refused to accept their right to defend the title. Their entry was refused on the grounds that it was now only their second eleven and the reserves would not do justice to the premier league. Disciplinary action was taken against some of the clubs who appealed the decision to higher authorities, resulting in eventual complexities regarding name changes,for clubs, etc, which will not be reviewed here. The AUL was consoled by the performance of its former clubs who very quickly won promotion from the Munster Senior League’s new First Division to its Premier Senior Division.
Pride of place for 1986-87 has to go to Temple Utd who became the first Cork team since St Mary’s in 1972 to qualify for the final of the FAI Junior Cup. To earn the glorious honour of duelling with hot favourites Cherry Orchard for the blue riband of Irish junior soccer, they had to overcome the following teams on that perilous journey along the rocky road to glory: Grangevale, Castleview, Greenmount, Douglas Hall, Mallow (after a replay), Tramore (penalty shoot-out after two draws), Inchicore Ath (replay), Ormondville (replay) and Usher Celtic. They conceded just six goals en route and netted twenty four which were shared by Austin Ricken (5), Martin Hurley (5), Tony Horgan (3), Dommie Hussey (2), Sean Walsh (2), Denis Keane (2), Ger Manning (2), Tony Ring (2), and Dan Devereaux (1).
Temple,were aided enormously by top class shows from keeper Tony Horgan and defender Gerry Butler, when beating Usher Celtic 1-0 in Dublin (to become the first Cork team in fifteen years) to reach the decider. Their huge band of colourful supporters, enhanced a great cup final day occasion at Tolka Park and, unfortunately, they had to return to the Leeside beaten, but unbowed, after watching their idols go under to a classy outfit. Cherry Orchard’s experience carried the day and they deservedly took the trophy by the slenderest of margins. Brave Temple had designs on a draw but Kearns destroyed their hopes as he took advantage of slack marking to head the game’s only goal from a left wing cross. The Cork team almost equalised in the final minutes and it would have been a deserved reward for gallantry – but few could dispute the justice of the result. Temple’s player-manager Danny Devereaux, gracious in defeat, commented afterwards: “Overall we were beaten by a better side they were more experienced and their class showed particularly with their junior international players.” Devereaux singled out Butler, Hurley, Keane and Horgan as the Temple stars. Temple: Horgan, Ryan, J Ricken, Butler, Ring, Manning, Hurley, Walsh, Devereaux, A Ricken, Keane. Subs: Hussey, O’Sullivan.
A major consolation
Devereaux’s boys quickly put the disappointment of the defeat behind them as they skipped through a backlog of fixtures in the quest for Tennents Premier League glory before turning their attention to the Munster Junior Cup and eventual final qualification as a result of a marvellous semi-final win over Pike Rovers (Limerick). Pike had earlier beaten St John Bosco’s after a replay of the Water Rock Park tie which will be remembered for the tragedy which befell the Limerick side on their return journey when the bus in crashed. Committee man Tony Hanley died in that crash and 53 others were injured, 5 seriously. Temple’s previous Provincial final appearance ended in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Star Rovers (Limerick). Three years after the Star lesson, Temple returned to Priory Park as hot favourites against Kilmallock. The underdogs put up a brave show, actually outplaying Temple for long periods, and were deprived of a replay only when Denis Keane, avoiding several tackles, hit the game’s solitary goal in the last minute to give Temple their first major award.
Temple had already been crowned league champions, having accumulated the twelve points required from their last eight matches. They were only able to relax after the title had been secured and, fittingly, the team to take advantage of the wind down was Waterloo who defeated the champions 5-4 to take the runners-up awards. Waterloo were thrilled with the consolation prize and owed much to their strikeforce of Ken O’Brien, Denis Mullane and Connie O’Mahony who netted 29, 22 and 12 goals respectively during a season in which their only league defeat was to Temple in the first match. Relegated from the Premier League were Western Rovers, Grattan and Coachford.
Buttevant joined Temple and company in the premier grade when a 3-2 win over Passage gave them the title in League 1A. James Curtin first raised Buttevant’s hopes with the opening goal but visitors Passage fought back to lead 2-1 at the interval. Then, the North Cork side switched defender Michael Ring to centre forward and he responded with two second half scores. Others in form for the new champions were Denis and John Bowles and Walter Cole.
Tennents sponsor AUL
In February, the AUL, announced a major sponsorship deal with Tennents Ireland Ltd to cover the remaining four months of the season. The company agreed to sponsor trophies for the Premier, 1st and 2nd Div Leagues and also offered special awards such as the “Tennents Fair Play Award”; “Team of the Month Award”; and “Player of the Month Award”. The new development was welcomed by AUL Chairman Vince Cummins when the details were announced at a function in the Metropole Hotel attended by Pat O’Brien, President of the FAI.
Dunbar were the most consistent of the first division teams to gain promotion. Under player-manager Eddie O’Connor, the successors to Mortonville won Tennents League 1B with an undefeated record. They clinched the title with a 4-2 victory over Everton on a day in which only one of their goals was scored by a Dunbar player as Everton netted three own goals. The Dunbar man to tally was Neil Hannigan. Other vital scores in the run-in were provided by the Hewitt twins (Richie and Timmy), Francie Holland, Pat Martin, Tony O’Brien and manager O’Connor. Glasheen beat Youghal in a play-off for second place.
Mayfield celebrated success in Tennents 1 following an Easter double and a defeat for closest challengers Tramore at the hands of College Corinthians. Two of Mayfield’s points had come against Corinthians whom they beat 3-1 with goals by Billy O’Flynn, Aidan King and Brendan O’Keeffe. And on the day that Corinthians beat Tramore 5-2, Mayfield returned to their local as champions having dispensed with the challenge of Douglas Hall Utd on a 3-1 scoreline, thanks to goals from O’Flynn, John Ryan and Johnston Keane. After the Easter disappointment Tramore went to “bits” and were overtaken for the runners-up awards by strong finishing Leeside. Teams relegated from div one were Dillon’s Cross, Central, Blackpool, Grangevale, Wolf Tones and Passage Wanderers.
Students masters in Tennents 2
A 2-0 defeat for St Mary’s by Everton Utd, and a 6-2 win for UCC against Midleton gave the students their first ever victory in AUL competitions. They got a fright when the East Cork team raced into a 2-0 half-time lead but College, inspired by Tony Walsh and Pat Attridge, then went on the rampage and goals from Eoin O’Regan (3), Mick Keane (2) and Attridge gave them the title in Tennents League 2 where Cobh Town filled the runners-up berth. Cobh, under the managership of Eddie Ronayne, came with a late rattle accumulating 18 points from 20 to deprive St Mary’s of the promotion ticket and in the process land some nice wagers for supporters who availed of generous 50-1 odds. UCC were guided by Kieran Grainger and Pat Horgan. The Liam Gillen managed Killavullen claimed the trophy in 2A when they defeated Killowen 2-0 in a game from which one point would have been sufficient to give them the title ahead of Glanmire. Ace marksman Sean Browne ensured they did it in style with a brace of goals and he received great assistance from Gillen, Kevin O’Regan, Denis Scully and Joe Butler. Tennents 2B was a ding-dong tussle between Fairview and Telford. The latter, who had very consistent performers in Denis McCarthy, Michael Barrett, Tony Fenton, Liam McAuliffe, Frank Murphy and Alan Good, actually beat Fairview in the last game but Steve O’Donovan’s team had already been crowned champions. Fairview owed a lot to the expert managerial skills of John O’Flynn and Jim Cronin, and the driving inspiration of Micky Crowley, Cal O’Leary and Tony Cronin. Ard-na-Laoi, Midleton, Alberts, Wilton Ath, Togher and Bohs, all plunged into the basement after their disappointing performances.
Evergreen, Kingston and Portview champs in Div 3
Evergreen clinched the title in 3B, when goals by Niall Brady and Alec Gibbons gave them a 2-1 win over early pace-setters Rockview, to commit brave Afton Villa to the runners-up role. A late second half goal by PJ Hennebry gave Kingston Rangers the point they needed for the championship in 3A. Others to play well in the 1-1 draw with Fermoy were John Piggott and Pat Fanning.
Despite all their high scoring, Portview just managed to edge out Greenwood in an absorbing battle for honours in Tennents League 3. Leading scorer Thomas Woods was on target in the 6-0 trophy winning performance against Douglas Hall Wanderers when their other scorers were Tony Connors (2), Paul O’Connor, Pat O’Sullivan and Pearse Leahy. A few days earlier the crucial top of the table clash with Greenwood ended in a 2-2 deadlock when goals from Woods and O’Connor deprived the Togher boys of the two points they needed to overhaul the leaders. Greenwood’s scorers were Colm Buckley and Brian Carey.
Wilton’s first Blue Riband
Both semi-finals of the AOH Cup were played at the same time in St Mary’s Park. On the top pitch, Cormac Cotter scored early on for Wilton who survived tremendous second half pressure from Ballincollig before advancing to their first decider. Kieran O’Hanlon of John Bosco’s was the first and last player to score in the excellent tie played on the lower pitch. His goals – the early one a gift, the second a spectacular volley – put Bosco’s through to their third final. Tom Collins provided Ballyvolane’s equaliser on another disappointing night for the city team. Bosco’s tuned up for the big day by beating Passage 1-0 in the County Cup final when Aidan Berry from a great pass by O’Hanlon netted the match winner. The big question everyone was asking, as two fine clubs squared up to one another on AOH final day, was would Bosco’s renowned cup fighting tradition see them through, or, would it be a case of Wilton’s skill proving too much for the county team.
Wilton started the stronger and deservedly led through Frank McCarthy. The tireless Billy Ahern had the Bosco’s supporters in fine heart with a splendid equaliser. As the minutes ticked away, supporters were looking forward to extra time but Paddy Ward became a spoilsport, and ensured his fame, by netting a late winner to give the city team their first ever blue riband. It was a fitting reward for the small dedicated squad, organised by player-manager Ger Hayes and well led by Cormac Cotter. Wilton had an excellent midfield which helped them both absorb pressure from Bosco’s (particularly during the third quarter) and to reinforce their attack with a zest that the East Cork engine room (two of whom carried County Cup final injuries into the game) could not match. Wilton star Gus Bowen joined the elite group of Anthony Hogan (Ballincollig ’86), Eamonn Kelly (Carrigaline ’85), Aidan Cotter (Douglas Hall ’84) and Bertie Cullinane (Central ’83) when presented with the prestigious O’Riordan’s Joinery “Man of the Match Award” after the game. Wilton: Ger Screenan, Mick McGregor, Mick Buckley, Ger Hayes, Micky Duggan, Cormac Cotter, Fergus Bowen, Tommy Bruton, Terry Connolly, Pat Ward and Frank McCarthy. Subs: Tadhg Bowdren and Seamus Walsh.
Douglas Hall won the St Michael’s Cup after a rather comfortable 3-1 win over Passage. The riverside team started brightly but suffered a self-inflicted setback when a goalkeeping error gifted Aidan Cotter with a soft opener in the 20th minute. Penalty king Brendan “Bags” Murphy equalised from the spot after Pat McSweeney was brought down, but it was to no avail as only superlative saves from keeper Collins prevented the Hall from wrapping the game up sooner than they did with excellent scores from Bertie Cullinane and Pat Collins. In a sporting City Challenge Cup final, a solitary goal netted by George Jackson, after a Jimmy Cahill cracker came back off the crossbar, was enough to quench the fire of spirited AOH. Pat Crowley was magnificent for Tramore, while best for the losers were Don Varian, Pat Kelleher and Paul Murphy.
Midleton started confidently against higher ranked opponents Avondale in the Saxone Cup final but were caught on the break when Dave Molloy applied the finishing touch to a tremendous Joe Giltinan run and pass. In the second half, they increased their lead when Kevin O’Sullivan crashed an unstoppable shot to the net after a brilliantly executed free kick. Midleton’s never say die spirit was rewarded with a Billy Keane consolation score in the 87th minute. The bare 2-1 scoreline does not adequately reflect the superiority of Killowen who had a very popular success when defeating Wilton Ath in the President’s Cup final. Goals from the Dilworth brothers, Michael and Teddy, gave the winners a very comfortable cushion which Wilton only managed to reduce in the closing minutes. Outstanding for overjoyed Killowen were Ger Healy and Richard Walsh.
Trophies evenly distributed
In youths football, the trophies were evenly distributed among six clubs with St Mary’s claiming the premier award of 1st Div League. The crucial game here was their 1-0, top of the table win over Ballincollig, gained by Georgie Murphy’s great strike. Best for the winners were John Harrington and Ken Quinn, while Terry Coomey, Philip Brady and Barry Fitton tried hard to overthrow the leaders who wrapped up the title a few weeks later. Albert Rovers, in their first year in youths football, turned the second division title race into a procession when, inspired by Vincent Hegarty, Anthony Kenneally, Colm Sheehan, Robert Buckle, Martin Giltinan and Colin Banks, they accumulated maximum points from 16 games, leaving Douglas Hall way behind in second place. The struggle in Imperial Hotel 2A went to a play-off in which Ballyvolane beat Portview 2-1 after extra time at St Mary’s Park. Portview again filled the bridesmaid’s role when having to give best to the Mike Keane managed Park Utd who beat them 3-2 in an exciting CMP Cup final at the same venue. Thomas Gallagher (2) and Mike O’Donnell were on target for Park, for whom Liam O’Grady, Aidan Keane and Pat O’Connor all made excellent contributions.
Alberts advanced to the open draw in the FAI Cup and put up a brave show before going out to Johnville. St Mary’s lasted one stage further than Albert’s before being knocked out 1-0 by St Luke’s (Dublin). Little Leeds raised eyebrows with their magnificent run in the Munster Minor Cup and only succumbed to eventual winners Johnville in the semi-final. Another Cork side to perform creditably in outside competitions was Tramore who were beaten 4-0 after a replay by outstanding Dublin side Rivermount.
Rockmount shock Casement
Rockmount, relegated to Div 2 (along with Everton), won the Murphy Cup when they surprised holders Casement by beating them 1-0 in the final. The goal, which arrived towards the end of the first quarter, was netted by Keith Cronin who controlled a long through ball before cleverly beating advancing keeper Jim O’Mahony. A determined Casement gained consolation for the unexpected defeat in the Murphy Cup decider by winning the Coca Cola Cup against Midleton. The issue was decided on penalties after a 1-1 tie. Casement keeper Eric Goulding was their hero in the shoot-out, saving two to earn his side a 4-3 victory. Bobby McCarthy had put Casement ahead in the 67th minute and Midleton skipper Damian Devlin equalised just three minutes later. Casement recovered quickly and had the better of the closing stages, but a resolute Midleton defence was unyielding and almost snatched the trophy in the dying seconds of extra time.
With no dominant team in youths football, the omens were not good for the AUL’s prospects in the Inter League series. The Pat McCarthy managed Cork AUL advanced to the quarter-final with a 1-0 win over hosts Desmond League, at Rathkeale. The scoreline did 0’t reflect the superiority of the winners who had to depend on Ollie Nagle’s lone strike to get them through. The shortcomings were more obvious in the home clash with the Limerick District League who advanced to the semi-final with the help of an early blitz which yielded three goals in eleven minutes. Plucky Cork kept fighting to the end, but had no joy and eventually lost 4-0. Cork: Lynch (Cobh Ramblers), Kelleher (Casement), Forde (Midleton), Moloney (St Mary’s), Long (do), Murphy (Tramore), O’Donoughue (do), Fitzgerald (Casement), O’Rourke (Cobh), Nagle (Tramore) and Drummond (Greenwood). The team showed two changes from that which defeated the Desmond League; Lynch and O’Rourke, replacing O’Sullivan and O’Connor. There was no joy either for the well prepared, Danny Devereaux managed junior squad who had too many players off form when they made their exit against Waterford in the 2nd round of the Oscar Traynor Trophy. The match ended 1-1 and the visitors advanced following a penalty shoot-out. Cork took the lead in the 37th minute when Brendan Murphy’s excellent left wing cross was lashed home by Mick O’Shea. John Faulkner headed Waterford’s equaliser on the hour. Austin Ricken’s penalty miss was the only one of the shoot-out and allowed Waterford through. Cork AUL: O’Hanlon (Cobh Wanderers), Daly (Ballyvolane), Cullinane (Douglas Hall), Cotter (Wilton), Redmond (Mallow), O’Shea (do), O’Callaghan (do), Ricken (Temple), Devereaux (Castleview), Murphy (Passage) and Keane (Temple). Subs: Hogan (Ballincollig) and Lynch (Grattan). Cork had reached the second round as a result of a comfortable 4-1 win over the Desmond League in Rathkeale when those to find the target were Mick O’Shea, Denis Keane, John Devereaux and Tim Stack..
Cork regained some pride with a marvellous 3-1 win over Dublin AUL in the annual Tayto Cup challenge against their Dublin counterparts. The scoring started in the 53rd minute when Mallow’s Daniel O’Callaghan, displaying great determination, burst through before finishing with a cracking 12 yard shot. Dublin responded immediately and, after sustained pressure, centre forward Grace headed the equaliser. The game appeared to be heading for a penalty conclusion until a Brendan Murphy corner- kick was headed powerfully to the net by Mick O’Shea in the 85th minute and two minutes later Aidan Cotter put the icing on the cake with a scintillating third goal. AUL: O’Hanlon, Daly, Cullinane, Murphy, C Cotter, O’Callaghan, Stack, O’Shea, Connolly, Ahern and A Cotter Subs: Hogan and Devereaux.
Tyler Cup for auction
A story in the Evening Echo revealed that the magnificent Tyler Cup, first competed for in 1902, had passed into private ownership and was to be auctioned on May 2nd. When the Munster Football Association was reformed in 1922, this magnificent trophy was awarded annually to the winners of the Munster Senior League 2nd Div (the Junior section of Munster League). The first winners after the reformation were Barrackton in 1923 and the last holders were Brideville (MJL Div 1 champions in 1964-65). Soccer historians may recall that there was actually another Tyler Cup which was played for between 1977 and 1981, by teams from North and South of the border. It was won by Shamrock Rovers ’78, Athlone Town ’80) and Linfield ’81.
Tennents Lager AUL Junior League (1987-88)
Tennents Ireland Ltd agreed to continue their sponsorship of the AUL Junior League which was to be known as “Tennents Lager AUL League” and some of the features of the deal included a Manager of the Year award, major cash prizes for the Team of the Month and for the club scoring the most goals per month and season. Tennents also sponsored the AUL representative team and inaugurated a new trophy which was to be known as the Champions Cup. AUL Chairman Vince Cummins expressed delight at the magnitude of the sponsorship which he said would ensure great competition and thereby bring about an improvement in standards.
Holders Temple Utd were most people’s fancy to retain the Premier League title and they were never far off the pace as an exciting struggle developed involving themselves, Ballincollig, Ballyvolane and promoted Dunbar. Entering the concluding stages, Temple and Ballincollig got away from the pack and Ballincollig closed the gap to two points with a brace of fine wins as the leaders were surprised by fading Ballyvolane. The big two met in a showdown at Crossbarry where Temple needed just one point and Ballincollig both. It was a pulsating climax to the competition and, entering the final, quarter the county team had a handsome 2-0 lead, given to them by Anthony Hogan and Richard Prenderville. Temple needed a miracle and their prayers were answered when super sub Paul Lynch repaid them by netting, not once but twice, to get the precious championship match point. Donal Luxford and Liam Walsh starred for the winners who also had valuable contributions from Ger Manning, Anthony Ryan and John Ricken. Villa Utd, isolated at the foot of the table, were relegated along with unlucky teams Ballinlough and Mallow Utd who went down as a result of inferior goal difference. Ballinlough, in second last berth, were only seven points behind 4th placed Dunbar.
Grattan, propelled by Benny Galway, Joe Lynch, Don O’Neill and Pat Chandley, led the almost futile pursuit of runaway leaders Tramore in Tennents 1. The Turner’s Cross side wrapped up the title when they hammered Leeside 4-0 with goals from Kevin Hurley, Tony O’Reilly, Dave Burke and Nigel O’Callaghan. They lost only one of the 22 matches and finished with 47 points, nine ahead of clear second best Grattan. Tramore made it a double when they retained the Enterprise Cup by beating arch rivals Grattan 2-0 in Passage. Tom Jackson and Dave Burke were on target for the winners and Grattan, who missed a penalty in between, had great triers in Joe Galway, Georgie Murphy and Pat Chandley.
Avondale’s great year
Avondale, who had a backlog of fixtures to complete in 1A, had a hiccup in their penultimate tie when beaten 1-0 by promotion rivals Passage whose match winner was provided by Paddy Murphy. However, they secured the points needed to clinch the title with a 3-0 win over Kilreen when Dave Molloy, Joe Giltinan and Martin Giltinan, were on target. Avondale emulated Tramore by doubling up and retaining a trophy won the previous year when defeating Glanmire 2-1 after extra time in an exciting Saxone Cup final. Avondale’s opener, netted by Martin Giltinan was gift wrapped but the underdogs recovered and deserved their equaliser, forced home by McCarthy after John Power’s header came back off the crossbar. The winner, which arrived in the 7th minute of extra time, was a gem – ace marksman Brendan O’Sullivan swivelled on his left foot before cracking a great volley to the net.
Glasheen and Glenvale were the principals involved in the race for honours in 1B. There was never more than a few points between these excellent teams, and the agonising continued right to the death when Glasheen secured the title by the minimum margin in coming from behind to beat neighbours Western 2-1. Pat O’Leary equalised and Paul O’Sullivan was mobbed after netting the golden goal. The six teams dropping down to Div 2 were Rockmount, UCC, Killavullen, Glanworth, Bandon and Carrigaline Utd.
Blackpool Celtic were always likely champions in 2A and eventually took the title by six points from Castle Celtic. They clinched it inside the distance with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Greenmount Celtic when Nick Montgomery (4) and Tom O’Connor (3) shared the haul. The ammunition was provided by Paul O’Connor, Tony Cronin and Alex Duke. The Castletownroche boys had great compensation when they outclassed Ballincollig Utd in the County Cup final. Well drilled Castle surprised their fancied opponents and were worthy 3-1 winners. John Crowley’s goal had them 1-0 up at the interval but a determined Ballincollig fought back to equalise with a Kevin Dillon goal on the hour. From then to the finish, it was all Castle and Billy Linehan’s superb chip put them back in front. The champagne was readied when Crowley took a pass from Dessie Mellerick in his stride before rounding Kevin Coughlan to fire number three into an empty net.
Rampant Macroom – Mary’s come out of the dark
A play-off was needed to decide the destination of honours in Tennents 2B and on that fateful night out in the John A Woods complex in Ovens, Macroom defeated West End 5-3 after a thrilling struggle. Macroom’s chances faded when they went 2-0 down in the first quarter to the city team who tallied through James Horgan and Neilus Cummins. But, their dream was resurrected as scores from Connie Foley and J J Murphy had them level only to find that the first half scoring was not finished yet as Horgan restored West End’s advantage when netting from the penalty spot just minutes from the break. The half time talk worked wonders for Macroom, and their huge support, finding its voice for the first time, inspired the team which responded with a magnificent second half performance. West End were outrun, outsmarted, outplayed and outscored as rampant Macroom took the trophy with a hat trick of goals from J J Murphy(2) and Leo Gould. St Mary’s were real dark horses in AUL League 2 with their games going unreported but, for them, the important thing was the crowning ceremony after seeing off the challenge of Central Rovers. On paper they looked a formidable outfit and prepared well under player-manager Donal Galvin and his sideline assistant Denis Cummins. They picked from Steve Murphy, Mick Hosford, Brian Fox, Packie Kearney, Paul Crowley, Ken Owens, Thomas Harrington, Raymond Hayes, Donal Galvin, John Harrington, Anthony Goulding, Willie Butt and Denis Rea. Teams relegated to Div 3 were Castleview Utd, Corkbeg, Kingston Rangers, Mallow Ath, Passage Wanderers and Evergreen.
Titles for Springfield, Mallow Rangers and Doughcloyne
Springfield clinched the title in Tennents 3 with a 1-0 win over Midleton. John Keating, who missed one penalty, scored from another to initiate the celebrations. A week earlier, party preparations commenced when they beat closest rivals Glanmire 3-1, thanks to scores from Michael Ireland, Colm McDonagh and Christy Fitzgerald. Springfield, managed by John Murphy, included three internationals – James Cullimore, Michael Devine and Michael Ireland – in their line-up. Favourites in 3A were Mallow Rangers and Wilton Ath, and their meeting settled the issue. The county team went into the crucial tie with a two point advantage and at the final whistle it had stretched to four thanks to excellent defensive play from keeper Con Buckley and Philip Barrett, and clinical finishing by Denis Carey and Martin Hanover, scorers in the 2-0 victory. The race in 3B was never exciting. In fact, it was hardly a contest at all as star-studded rookies Doughcloyne Utd literally ran away with the title which was secured well inside the distance with their 3-0 defeat of nearest challengers College Corinthians. On target against Corinthians were Richy “Minty” Fitzgerald (2) and prolific scorer Timmy Kelleher. Five star performers during the season were Deccie O’Regan, Martin “Maz” O’Donovan, Jimmy Connors, Pat Martin, Owen Fitzgerald and John and James Collins.
Cup final repeat
Wilton became the first team since Ringmahon Rangers and Castleview in the early sixties to retain the AOH Cup sponsored by O’Riordan’s Joinery when they scored a deserved 2-0 victory over St John Bosco’s in a rematch of the previous years finalists. The holder’s experience of premier football showed as they outplayed a physically stronger Midleton based team. A clash of colours delayed the start and Wilton kicked off in a changed strip. The match never lived up to its billing and was over as a contest when Cormac Cotter scored a brilliant second goal before the half-time break. Wilton had taken the lead when John Lynch headed a well flighted Fergus Bowen corner-kick to the net. Wilton: Screenan, Claffey, Coleman, Hayes, Duggan, Cotter, Bowen, Bruton, B McCarthy, F McCarthy, Lynch. Subs; T Bowdren and Buckley. The Bosco’s club had earlier gone through a traumatic period as they mourned the loss of their great player Johnny Barry, who collapsed and died while doing what he loved best, playing for his beloved St John Bosco’s. The tragedy occurred on Sunday, February.29th
Mayfield and Buttevant surprising Area finalists
All the big guns fell by the wayside in the FAI Junior Cup, with Mayfield and Buttevant getting through to contest the Area final. Mayfield were actually beaten 2-1 in the semi-final by Everton but their objection to the ineligibility of the winner’s John Sweeney was upheld. The final, played at Midleton’s excellent complex, was keenly contested and the city team just about deserved their 2-1 victory. They took the lead when a Richie Keating flick was blasted to the net by Brendan O’Keeffe. Buttevant’s response was immediate and Jimmy Cronin was the player who restored equality. Man of the Match Keating earned Mayfield their 7th round ticket when beating Michael O’Connor in the Buttevant goal. Mayfield, with home advantage, were expected to overcome the challenge of Galway Hibs but they were unable to produce their giant-killing performances of the earlier rounds and made a tame exit at Silverheights. They later salvaged something from a year which had earlier promised riches when beating Crofton 3-0 in the St Michael’s Cup final. They were flattered by the deceiving scoreline as all the goals came in extra time and were netted by John O’Leary, Brendan O’Keeffe and Tom Murphy.
Douglas Hall’s greatest day
Douglas Hall celebrated the greatest day in the club’s history when they beat Janesboro (Limerick) 2-1 in the final of the Munster Junior Cup at Turner’s Cross. The Limerick side, with wind advantage, dominated the early exchanges but failed to penetrate a well organised Douglas defence, superbly marshalled by centre backs Noel Elliot and Mick O’Connor, and inspirational keeper Andy Lehane. The Hall grabbed the lead on the hour when Declan Hurley, after playing a one-two with Aidan Cotter, drove past Breen in the Janesboro goal. Thirteen minutes later Francie Brosnahan pounced for a deserved equaliser. Their joy and the replay expectations were short-lived as Douglas responded with a delightfully conceived winner netted by scoring ace Cotter.
The Hall qualified for the final by beating Geraldine’s (Limerick) in the semi-final after having defeated St Michael’s (Tipp) in a memorable eleven goal quarter-final tie. That was a game highlighted by spectacular goals and the Hall’s bagful was shared by Declan Hurley (2), Pat Walsh, Alan Cremin, Aidan Cotter, Joe Treacy and Bertie Cullinane.
The Danny Devereaux-Noel Keane managed Cork AUL Juniors began on a winning note when defeating Waterford 1-0 in the Oscar Traynor Cup, 2nd round. Austin Ricken got the match winner and those to impress were Anthony Ryan, Donal Luxford, Tony Kenny, Bertie Cullinane and the scorer. Pat Bozynski and Kieran O’Hanlon were the scoring heroes as they advanced to the semi-final with a comfortable win over Clare. Penalty incidents were the topic of conversation after the AUL made their exit from the competition when defeated 2-0 by the Dublin Amateur League in the capital city. The home team took the lead from a disputed penalty and Cork were further infuriated when their legitimate penalty claims were turned down after Denis Keane was felled in the box. To rub salt into the wounds the official again turned a deaf ear when a Dublin player deliberately handled the ball inside the area. Dublin’s second, and clinching goal was a gem and it killed off Cork’s brave challenge. The Oscar Traynor squad was Tony Horgan, Anthony Ryan, Gerry Butler, Denis Keane, Sean Walsh and Donal Luxford (all Temple), Bertie Cullinane (Douglas Hall), Cormac Cotter (Wilton), Mick O’Shea (Mallow), Kieran O’Hanlon (Bosco’s), Brendan Murphy (Passage), Mick Ahern (Ballyvolane), Tim Stack (Cobh Wanderers), Paul Murphy (Castleview), Mark Hutchinson and Pat Bozynski (Mayfield).
Cork looked set for victory, in the Tayto Cup game played in Dublin, when they led 2-0 at the break but they collapsed after the resumption and lost 3-2 after extra time. Brendan Murphy and Donal Luxford accounted for Cork’s first half goals. Cork: Horgan, Ryan, Bozynski, Butler, O’Reilly, Ahern, Luxford, Stack, Manning, Ricken and Murphy. Subs: J Keane and O’Donovan.
Cork Youths champions again
The Cork AUL, managed by Jamesie Wilson and Denis Murphy, captured the FAI Youths Inter League title for the first time since 1980 when they defeated the Dublin AUL 2-0 in the final at Turner’s Cross. Dublin had the strong wind at their backs in the first half, but two goals in the space of six minutes, just before the interval, rocked them and the solid Cork defence had little difficulty in coping afterwards. Cork’s first goal came in the 39th minute when Colin Banks headed in his Albert’s clubmate Anthony Kenneally’s cross and then, two minutes before the break Ollie Nagle grabbed the second after getting on the end of an Anthony O’Connor pass. Cork’s goalkeeper Vincent Hegarty, pulled off a brilliant save from Pat Dowling in between the goals and this had a major effect on the outcome. In their quest for glory Cork spared no expense and flew the imposing giant Frank Fitzgerald home from England on the morning of the match and he, along with stand-in John Kelleher ( replacing injured centre back Ray Clifford), performed magnificently to keep Dublin at bay during the opening half hour. Cork: Vincent Hegarty, Stephen Neiland, Liam Dawson, Fergus O’Donoughue, John Kelleher, Ken Quinn, Frank Fitzgerald, Anthony Kenneally, Colin Banks, Austin O’Connor, Ollie Nagle. Subs Ger Long and Derek O’Sullivan. The other reserves were Conor Crowley, Derek Long and Brian Murphy. They had qualified for the decider when they shocked the powerful Dublin Schoolboys League 1-0, thanks to a superb Frank Fitzgerald header. Earlier in the competition, Cork had beaten the Desmond League (6-1) and the Kerry League (2-0) with their goals in those ties coming courtesy of Nagle (4), O’Connor (3) and Fitzgerald (1).
The exciting race for the Youths Div 1 title mainly concerned Tramore, St Mary’s and Cobh Ramblers. Unbeaten Tramore’s greater consistency yielded the ultimate reward when Liam Power’s goal was enough against scoreless Cobh. Mary’s slipped up on the run-in when beaten by lowly Casement Celtic. Tramore, beaten 3-0 by Rivermount (Dublin) in the FAI semi-final, were not up to the very high standard of their previous championship winning teams and were unable to add to that success as the standards, locally, continued to even out leading to another sixway trophy distribution. Those to impress most for the Turner’s Cross club were Ollie Nagle, Ray Clifford, Fergus O’Donoughue, Austin O’Connor, Daniel Moynihan and Liam Power. Cobh, too, were out of luck when beaten 4-0 by Waterford Bohs in the semi-final of the FAI Under 17 Cup when only Eddie Stanton, John O’Rourke and Tony O’Shea impressed. Mary’s picked up a trophy when defeating Carrigaline 4-2 in the Coca Cola final but the top dogs were made fight all the way by the second division outfit. A feature of the game was a hat trick netted by Trevor Bennett for the Saints who had excellent performances from Malcolm Stokes, Nigel Twomey and other scorer Ken Quinn.
Casement created something of a surprise when beating champions Tramore on penalties in the Murphy Minor Cup final replay. Casement led 1-0 in the first tie through Colin Corkery but a quick response from Tramore, and subsequent stalemate, resulted in the replay. This time it was Casement’s turn to come from behind when Kevin O’Connell’s goal ensured extra time and the eventual penalty climax. Casement players used in the competition were Brian Murphy, Liam Dawson, Peter Kiely, Jonathan Barry, Tim Wilson, Tony Noonan, Frank Fitzgerald, Kieran Bowdren, Kevin O’Connell, Colin Corkery, Declan Fagan, Derek O’Sullivan, Timmy O’Keeffe and Eddie Cotter.
The Eddie O’Mahony managed Avondale youth’s won the club’s first ever underage league title when they got the point needed from a top of the table clash with Rockmount. Dan Leahy scored for the champions with Eric Hogan replying for Rockmount who had excellent displays from Garvan Virgo, Damian Martin, Derek Clarke, Ivan Swann and David Murphy. Rockmount had their day when they outplayed Everton in the CMP Cup final and they took the trophy on a 2-0 scoreline. The Bandon Road team had better luck earlier that week when they came from behind to beat title hopefuls Douglas Hall 3-2 in the deciding game in 2A. Gary Twomey (2) and Dougie Browne were their scoring heroes while Martin Higgins, Dessie Murray and Denis Kavanagh hit top form.
158 teams and 3,200 players (1988-89)
The Cork AUL became the first league in the country to be computerised when they purchased an Amstrad PCW. The move into the hightech computer age made work much easier for Fixtures Secretary Tony Fitzgerald and Press Officer Billy Lyons as they coped with the 158 affiliated teams and 3,200 registered players. At their first meeting following the AGM, the management committee elected Denis O’Driscoll as chairman, replacing Vincent Cummins who did not seek re-election but who remained on the Committee. The other officers were Billy Murphy (Vice-Chairman), Tony Fuller (Sec), John O’Sullivan (Treas), Paddy Barry (Reg), Tony Fitzgerald (Fix Sec) and Billy Lyons (Press Officer).
Three in a row
Temple Utd’s dominance of the Premier League continued and for good measure the coveted AOH Cup was also added to their collection of honours. The Premier League trophy could have gone to the engravers prior to Christmas such was the authority with which the classy northsiders retained the trophy. With six games remaining to be played, they needed just four points to take the title for a third year in a row and the countdown commenced with a point from a thrilling 4-4 draw against Cobh Wanderers. As Temple squared up to Ballincollig, they were all prepared for the crowning ceremony – Bob Coleman had black and white ribbons in his pocket ready to fasten to the trophy and Noel Hartnett arrived with the bottles of champagne. Ballincollig spoiled the party and the champagne was put on ice after four goals were shared. Terry Kelly put the mid-Cork team ahead but goals from Austin Ricken and Ger Manning looked likely to initiate the celebrations until Brian McCarthy’s late penalty ruined the plans. Meanwhile, Avondale dropped a point to Ballyvolane which left Temple needing only a draw from their visit to Cobh Wanderers. There were no further delays as the locals were no match for the champions who competed a hat trick of premier titles.
Number one priority with Temple was the FAI Junior Cup and had been since that memorable occasion in 1987 when they failed narrowly to Cherry Orchard. They qualified for the Area final, and a meeting with great rivals Greenmount at Turner’s Cross. Temple benefited from a bizarre own goal after just two minutes when John Lyne’s clearance rebounded from the face of comrade Niall O’Shea and into an empty net. Brave goalkeeping from Greenmount’s Ger Cahill kept the score to the minimum until Mick Long added the second in the 57th minute and Denis Keane gave the scoreline a one-sided look when netting a third in the final minute. They then overcame a difficult hurdle when beating Ennistymon 1-0 in the 7th round, a victory which earned them a crunch tie away to cup favourite’s Tolka Rovers. Well organised Temple played brilliantly and the scoreless draw had them dreaming of ultimate glory as they journeyed home to prepare for the replay. Unfortunately, the dream was shattered by an 84th minute penalty, converted by Tolka’s Martin Lynch, which gave the visitors a hard earned 2-1 win in the replay at Knocknaheeny. The Dubliners got off to a perfect start when jumping into a fifth minute lead but Donal Luxford’s opportunism had Temple back on equal terms within minutes. From then until the moment Tolka’s Reggie George was taken down in the box, resulting in the decisive score, it was nip and tuck with both teams squandering some golden opportunities.
AOH Cup for Temple
Rich compensation awaited Temple when they qualified for another AOH Cup final and an opportunity to exorcise the ghosts of the past. A well taken goal by centre forward Mick Long, after just five minutes gave them their first victory in the AUL’s blue riband event. Man Of the Match Denis Keane’s inch perfect cross to the far post was headed down by Austin Ricken for Long to smash home a perfect goal. Bandon’s scoring duo of Andy Cullen and Mick O’Sullivan were close to equalisers in the next ten minutes before Temple settled down to control the game to half-time. The entertaining second half was punctuated by many goalmouth incidents, and scoring chances which went a-begging, and Temple, who had the better opportunities, survived to deservedly take the coveted trophy. The closing stages were delayed as an ambulance had to be brought into the ground when Bandon’s Mick O’Riordan suffered a nasty facial injury and had to be removed to hospital. Temple: Horgan, Daly, Butler, Walsh, Ryan, Luxford, Ricken, Manning, D Keane, J Keane and Long. Subs: Greene and Hurley.
The title race in AUL League 1 attracted great interest as the principal protagonists Crofton, Greenmount and Kinsale (dark horses) all advertised their claims with some sparkling successes. Greenmount’s inconsistency and Kinsale’s slow start gave Crofton the edge, with back-to-back meetings involving the two city teams likely to decide the trophy’s resting place. A bad-tempered game between Crofton and Greenmount in Killeady ended in stalemate, with the result suiting the former most as they retained a three point advantage. The return at the ESB grounds attracted a huge crowd, and there, Greenmount reduced the deficit with a deserved 1-0 victory in another very fiery encounter. A week later, the Sean Caulfield inspired Crofton wrapped up the title when beating Ballincollig Utd 3-1 – with goals from Jerry McGowan, Pat Lane and Tony Dorgan – as closest challengers Greenmount slipped up in losing to Coachford, allowing Kinsale to leap frog into second place. The consistency of Denis “Pele” O’Sullivan, Paddy Cremin, skipper Derry Crowley, Liam McCabe, Harry Lane, Joe Hayden and Ken Callinan throughout the season paved the way for Crofton’s success. Crofton were managed by Kerryman Tadgh Ryan. Blackpool Celtic, champions in 2A a year earlier, took another giant step when earning promotion, and the championship, after an excellent 2-1 win over contenders Castle Celtic. A top class show from keeper Anthony Murray, and a golden goal by the dynamic Mick McAuliffe, earned them the title. Portview’s close season signing spree, which gave them the opportunity of parading stars like Mick Tobin, Matthew Keane, Jimmy Brady, Noel Greene, Jimmy Mannix, Jimmy O’Driscoll and Brendan Coade, made them a team to be feared in 1B where they lived up to their favourites’ role in taking the title ahead of second placed Ballinlough.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Season 1987-88 had been disastrous for Bandon as the injury hit team was forced to withdraw from Div 1 and suffer automatic relegation. It was the darkest moment in the club’s history. However, every cloud has a silver lining and, so it proved, when Jim Nyhan took over as manager and assembled a squad with a burning ambition to return to its rightful place in the higher grade. A long, unbeaten run put them on course to achieve that aim much to the surprise of high-flying Doughcloyne who had to play second fiddle all the way to the winning post. As already mentioned, they contributed to an exciting AOH Cup final and, before that, were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Blarney Utd in an epic County Cup final after the sides had shared six goals. A high level of commitment, top class sportsmanship and some quality goals made this a final to remember. After 15 minutes Micky O’Sullivan gave Bandon the lead when blasting an unstoppable shot to the net. Outsiders Blarney, who had made the early running, were on terms when Jamesie O’Leary pounced to equalise and deserved their 2-1 interval lead given to them by Paul Heelon who converted after Ken O’Brien was sent crashing in the box. Bandon looked far more determined after the resumption and were rewarded with an equaliser on the hour from Brian O’Donovan. Roared on by their huge following, they looked to have grabbed the trophy winning goal in the 80th minute when Mick O’Riordan’s brilliant header put them back in front. With three minutes left, and the whistles from the Bandon supporters filling the air, Frank Cumberton crossed for goal ace O’Leary to head a dramatic equaliser. There was no further scoring in extra time and the concluding act in the drama was staged in semi-darkness as Blarney’s accuracy from the penalty spot gave them a famous victory.
Team of the Year – Bandon
Bandon revenged the County Cup defeat when beating Blarney 1-0 in the President’s Cup final played in Passage. The Bandon supporters were hardly bothered by the fact that the match never reached the standard of the previous encounter as they celebrated after John Ahern goaled from the penalty spot when Andy Cullen had been brought down. Div 1 champions Portview, who took Temple’s scalp on the way to the Champions Cup final, were slight favourites to lift their second trophy of the year at the expense of Bandon who were chasing a third set of winners’ Medals. Bandon triumphed 4-3 but the scoreline conceals a magnificent fight back by the city boys who came from behind twice to draw 3-3 after 90 minutes. Goals from John Ahern and Eamon O’Driscoll had Bandon two up before Portview clawed their way back when Timmy O’Regan converted a spotter after Jimmy Brady had been fouled. They levelled when Pat O’Callaghan obliged from a Jimmy O’Driscoll cross but looked to be dead and buried when the other O’Driscoll, Dan, got Bandon’s third in the 87th minute. The “fat lady” had not sung and as she cleared her throat, Brendan Coade snatched a late equaliser. A penalty shoot-out looked imminent as two tired teams battled towards the end of extra time but Bandon’s Ahern popped up to hit the winner which, later in the month, was the deciding factor in earning his side the “Team Of the Year” trophy.
Springfield, who had not lost a league game for two seasons (45 games) clinched the title in 2B by beating nearest challengers Ballyvolane Utd 4-1 with the help of goals from Colm McDonagh (2), Conor McCarthy and John Dunphy. Goals from Frank Cumberton and James O’Leary in a 2-0 win over Mallow Utd earned Blarney a play-off against Rockmount in 2A. The Rockmount squad, who were managed by Denis O’Donovan and had been together throughout the previous decade (from schoolboy days), were hot favourites in the decider and went on to claim a comfortable 3-0 victory, a feature of which was a brilliant hat trick netted by prolific marksman Eamon Cassidy.
Manager J J Sheehan was delighted with his Midleton side who, in their 26th and final game, took the title in AUL 3 in brilliant style when defeating arch rivals Togher Rovers 6-1. Skipper Steve O’Donoughue settled the nerves when he connected with a Donal Fenton throw-in to open the scoring and later went on to complete a hat trick. The other goals were hammered home by Dan Kenneally, Denis O’Flynn and Timmy Hyde. They earlier, took a giant step when containing closest challengers Bishopstown in a scoreless draw, a result which maintained the status quo of them having a two point advantage over the city team. Mallow Celtic were almost as convincing in 3B and they began their celebrations after a comfortable 3-0 win over North Cork neighbours Fermoy. Paul Egan (2) and Dermot Buckley were on target for the winners who had outstanding performers in Raymond Sheehan, Sean Hussey, Tadgh Buckley and Timmy Kelly. Ballyphehane, in their first season, took League 3 by storm and had the title wrapped up early. The Denis Kelly managed squad, inspired by Tommy Corcoran, Barry O’Leary, Harry McGovern, Sean Wade and Kevin O’Mahony, were even tipped to go all the way to the top league in record breaking time. The individual goal scoring performance of the year was that of Greenwood Celtic’s Philip Browne who hit all his team’s seven goals in the demolition of promotion hopefuls Brooklodge.
Glory for Ballincollig
Ballincollig erased painful memories of their defeat by Clonmel in the Munster Junior Cup final of 1986 by collecting the trophy this time, as a result of a hard earned win down in “Beauty’s Home”. Ballincollig had to battle right up to the final whistle before they eventually beat surprise packets Killarney Celtic 2-1 in an exciting final at Fossa, Killarney. Mick Cahill gave the Kerry team an 8th minute lead, much to the delight of the enthusiastic home supporters. “Man of the Match” Gerry Ring equalised in the 37th minute and Terry Coomey was the Cork team’s hero when netting the golden goal. Ballincollig: F Hogan, Hennigan, O’Driscoll, O’Mahony, P Coomey, O‘Reilly, Prenderville, Ring, A Hogan, T Coomey, Hurley. Sub: McCarthy. A week later, John Coughlan’s lads made the shorter journey to Turner’s Cross to confront Ballinlough in the St Michael’s Cup final. Without ever displaying the passionate commitment that won them the Munster Cup, they still managed to win a disappointing game by 4-2. It was a brave performance by Ballinlough, who managed to score either side of the interval though it was not enough to prevent the Mid Cork team from engraving its name on the trophy for the third time. Canice Kennedy posed Ballincollig most problems while others to impress for the losers were Barry Duggan, Joe Hegarty and Eugene Barrett. Anthony Hogan led the Ballincollig attack with style and dash and it was mainly due to his untiring efforts that the Munster champions took the laurels.
The renowned penalty taking expertise of Doughcloyne Utd was put to the test in the Saxone Cup final against Park Utd at Turner’s Cross after the game had ended 1-1. Pat Martin got Doughcloyne off to a good start in the shoot-out but they did miss one and needed two good saves from keeper Kevin Buckley before taking the cup in the third of the sudden death kicks. In the ordinary exchanges, Eoin Fitzgerald, set up by Jimmy Connors, had given the city team the lead and it was a late equaliser from Thomas Gallagher which caused the penalty suspense. Doughcloyne claim the AUL record for the highest penalty shoot-out win which they achieved with a 16-15 victory over Bohs in a 34 penalty contest.
Penalty kick confusion was the main topic of conversation in northern junior soccer circles after Grattan’s 1-0 win over Portview in the City Challenge Cup final. Twelve minutes from time a Joe Galway shot was handled in the box and Joe’s brother Benny was entrusted with Grattan’s match winning opportunity. Matthew Keane guessed correctly and dived to save but referee Tom Cannon ordered a retake as he considered Keane to have moved too soon. Benny made no mistake the second time but on this occasion a Grattan player was penalised for encroaching and another retake was ordered. Galway’s third attempt hit the upright and ran behind the body of the fallen keeper before entering the net off the far post. The game was played manfully and sportingly in driving rain and was enjoyed by a good attendance.
Great promise – then crash
The Cork AUL Juniors moved into the third round of the Oscar Traynor Cup with a deserved 3-0 win over the Desmond League in Ballingarry. Only for a brief period in the second half did Cork appear to be under pressure, a pressure that was eased by the safe handling of keeper Mick O’Connor. Cork’s scorers were Mick Long, Neil Hannigan and Gerry Butler. After that impressive display, which was achieved without the services of key players, few could have predicted their total collapse in the quarter-final against Waterford. The talented Suirsiders, containing seven of the all-conquering Bohemians team which was causing shock waves in the FAI Junior Cup, embarrassed Cork and the eventual 6-0 hammering stunned the Turner’s Cross crowd. Cork: Michael O’Connor, Anthony Ryan, Bertie Cullinane, Pat Bozynski, Gerry Butler, Kenny Cotter, Sean Walsh, Michael Aherne, Mick Long, Donal Luxford and Denis Keane. Subs: Denis O’Reilly and Barry Dennehy. Other panellists were Johnny O’Sullivan, Colm McDonagh and Neil Hannigan. The AUL later erased the humiliating memory by beating eventual Oscar Traynor champions Dublin 2-0 in the annual Tayto Cup challenge at St Mary’s Park. Mick Tobin, playing his second match of the day, outfoxed the visitors defence before shooting the opening goal and an Alan Ramsell rocket then put the game out of the Dubliner’s reach. The Cork side, managed by Miksey Lyons and Tadgh O’Neill, which showed wholesale changes and lined out as follows: T Horgan, P O’Neill, P Sheehan, C McCarthy, J O’Sullivan, S Walsh, A Ramsell, J Giltinan, D Luxford, M Tobin and N Hannigan. Subs: M Long, C McDonagh and J Ring.
The Cork AUL youths team provided the local League of Ireland clubs with a rich source of talent. The previous decade had unearthed gems like Liam Murphy, Dave Barry, Eddie O’Halloran, Terry Kearns, Philip Long, Pat Morley, Paul Bowdren, Colman Mulcahy and Steve Bruton. The defending champions in the FAI Youths Inter League championship made a winning start to the campaign, beating Waterford 1-0 at St Mary’s Park when Brian O’Sullivan netted. Under the microscope on that occasion were another batch of talented stars including John O’Rourke, Damian Martin, Jason Lynch, Anthony Kenneally, Eric Hogan and substitute Roy Keane. They moved smoothly into the 3rd round with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Kerry, a game highlighted by an excellent hat trick from Eric Hogan. Brian O’Sullivan swept home the fourth after being set up by Roy Keane. Expectations for another success were high, so grave disappointment was expressed when they made their exit in the next round after losing 3-2 to Limerick on home soil. Cork took a long time to get going and were 3-0 down at the three quarter stage. Kieran Bowdren reduced the deficit in the 80th minute and further pressure rattled Limerick who conceded another to Anthony Kenneally in the 86th minute. Cork: Pat Walsh, Jason Lynch, Damian Martin, Ger Long, Kieran Bowdren, Anthony Kenneally, Colin Clancy, Jamie Cullimore, Len Downey, Brian O’Sullivan and Eric Hogan. Subs: Declan Fagan, Trevor Bennett and Roy Keane. Others involved in earlier rounds were Bertie Daly, Dave Moynihan, John O’Rourke and Ivan Swann.
Rockmount too strong
The “Team of the Year” in youths football was Rockmount who captured all the domestic competitions for which they were eligible, the haul including Murphy Cup, Coca Cola Cup, 2nd Div Youths Cup and League. But, it was their gallant effort for Munster Minor Cup glory which had captured the headlines. They lost to Limerick City in the worst circumstances possible – the penalty shoot-out – after extra time failed to resolve the issue. That was a very unsatisfactory outcome to a splendid day’s entertainment after both sides had served up a very appetising dish. Rockmount deserved their 25th minute lead goal, netted by Mark Collins but allowed Limerick back into the game eight minutes later when Gerry Cheung scored a splendid equaliser. Limerick grabbed the initiative when impressive Barry Ryan was fouled in the box and converted the spotter himself. Rockmount battled back bravely and equalised in the very last minute through Len Downey (Munster Youths Sport Star winner for 1988). Extra time failed to provide any further scores and then came the joy and the heartbreak of the penalty shoot-out. Rockmount had to come from behind twice in the first game played at Turner’s Cross to force the replay. Their scorers on that occasion in a 2-2 share were Anthony Elliot and an own goal. Rockmount: Clarke, O’Mahony, Martin, Lynch, Byrnes, Keane, Downey, Cronin, Elliot, Collins and Hogan. Subs: Healy and Long.
They won the Youths 2nd Div title by the wide margin of nine points from Mayfield and they wrapped it up when beating Portview 4-0 with the help of goals from Elliot, Lynch, Kelleher and Hogan. The Murphy Cup final was a thriller and underdogs Tramore lifted by an early goal made Rockmount sweat for an hour. The Dave Moynihan inspired Tramore ran out of steam as the Rockmount fight back produced dividends. There was little between Rockmount and Casement in the Coca Cola final and, showing no signs of staleness, the northsiders added to their silverware when Len Downey’s solitary goal was enough to decide the tie. They had to come from behind to pip Ringmahon 4-3 in the 2nd Div Cup final. Fergus Ryan netted the opening two for Ringmahon but Roy Keane and Anthony Elliot had the Mount level at the interval. Keith Cronin put Rockmount in front after the resumption and Ringmahon’s great heart was emphasised with an excellent equaliser from Paul O’Leary. Rockmount settled matters with a magnificent goal created by Len Downey and headed powerfully home by Elliot.
Although they had the title in Imperial Hotel Youths 2A wrapped up very early on, Ringmahon kept up the momentum and finished the campaign with an unbeaten record. Matty Hayes’ boys finished nine points ahead of second placed Passage and great credit was due to keeper Don Collins who kept twelve clean sheets during the competition.
The championship race in the premier youths grade was overshadowed by the performances of teams in the lower division, and Cobh Ramblers, managed by Eddie O’Rourke and Tommy Boyle, were worthy winners. The point they took from a bad-tempered scoreless draw with nearest challengers Everton was enough to give them the title. A win would have given Everton a play-off with the Cobh boys who had led the race from the beginning. Everton had the best of a poor opening half in which each had a player sent off. Everton had another lad dismissed in a robust second half, the feature of which was the brilliant goalkeeping of Cobh’s Pat Walsh who saved pile drivers from Martin Higgins, Gary Twomey and Dougie Browne.
Bottom placed teams, who avoided relegation at the end of the season as a result of the formation of a new, higher grade league, were as follows – Premier: Ballyvolane (upgraded to Intermediate instead), Mayfield (upgraded) and Tramore. Div 1: Farnanes, Coachford, North End, Telford, Ringmahon, Leeds. Div 2: Glenview, RTC, Afton Villa, Kilreen, Knocknaheeny, Glanworth. Youths Div 1: Ballyvolane and Albert’s.
AUL Senior Division gets green light (1989-90)
The big news story to emerge from the AGM was that the AUL had introduced its own senior division, which was to be known as the Intermediate League, and the clubs selected to form the new grade were Ballincollig, Ballyvolane, Mayfield Utd, Temple Utd, Passage, Springfield, Wilton Utd, Cobh Wanderers, Douglas Hall and Hillington. The failure of Castleview and Greenmount to gain entry to this intermediate grouping was very surprising. The teams in the senior division competed for the Intermediate League Championship, Mossie Linnane Cup, Corinthians Cup (trophy kindly donated by College Corinthians) and AUL Shield. Its teams also entered the Munster Senior Cup and FAI Intermediate Cup. Changes on the AUL Management involved Vince Cummins resuming as Chairman and the addition of former referee John Bird to the Committee.
Five of the teams reprieved from relegation as a result of the new leagues formation were not among the entries for the new season; they were Telford, Leeds, Ringmahon, RTC and Albert’s (youths). The MSL formed its own junior and youths divisions, and clubs, who had senior teams in the other league, transferred from the AUL with just a few exceptions.
AUL teams big impact
Temple Utd were no doubt the dominant team in the short six year history of the AUL Intermediate League but that dominance was not really emphasised until the final three years. The northsiders were the league’s first champions but the other honours in 1990 were evenly shared. Springfield won the Linnane Cup; Ballincollig were successful in the Corinthians; while Cobh Wanderers tasted victory in the Shield (and also reached the semi-final of the FAI Intermediate Cup).
The AUL senior teams made a big impact on entry to the Munster and Intermediate Cups. Two of its clubs, Temple Utd and Cobh Wanderers, were proud standard-bearers in the FAI Senior Cup where they were joined by College Corinthians and Rockmount of the Senior League. Qualification for the FAI Senior Cup was earned as a result of the teams winning through to the closing stages of the FAI Intermediate Cup. Temple progressed to the quarter-final where they were beaten 2-0 by St Francis after a replay, and on the way they accounted for Douglas Hall, Crosshaven, College Corinthians and Wayside Celtic. Pride of place went to Cobh Wanderers who reached a stage further before being beaten 2-1 in the semi-final by Ballyfermot Utd at St Colman’s Park when John Murphy scored their goal. To qualify for the semi-final, they had beaten Crofton, Fermoy, Mallow, Swilly Rovers and Ballina Town.
FAI Senior Cup
Cobh Wanderers never to be forgotten entry into the big time and the Senior Cup ended at St Colman’s Park when Limerick, who were captained by former Cork player Declan Daly, scored a comfortable 2-0 victory. Team: Keating, O’Sullivan, Naughton, McSweeney, O’Neill, Burns, Stack, Morgan, Mahony, Abbot, Frahill. Subs: J Murphy, J Stack. Gate Receipts £1,100. Temple United rarely threatened to cause an upset against Premier Division opponents Athlone at St Mel’s Park. Their task, initially daunting, became an impossible one after only three minutes when Athlone took the lead. Yet it was only in the dying moments that Athlone added two more to give them a comfortable 3-0 verdict. Temple: Horgan, Daly, Butler, Walsh, Burns, Luxford, Manning, Ricken, Keane, Hurley, D Murphy. Subs: M Murphy, Kearney.
Temple first champions
Temple Utd, with two games in hand, became Intermediate League champions when they took the point needed from their visit to Douglas Hall. Brian Foley gave the southsiders the lead but a marvellous equaliser from Denis Keane earned them the point and the title. Much of the running in the championship race was made by Ballincollig (eventual runners-up) and Springfield. Temple’s home and away victories over those close challengers were significant steps on the way to the trophy finding its first resting place in the Templeacre Tavern. The honour of winning the first AUL Intermediate trophy went to Cobh Wanderers who defeated Ballincollig 1-0 in the shield final; Mossie Mahony’s lone goal being enough to give Wanderers a happy New Year’s Eve celebration.
Ballincollig gained consolation when beating Douglas Hall 4-2 on penalties after the sides shared four goals in an entertaining Corinthians’ Cup final. Bertie Cullinane’s spectacular strike gave the Hall an interval lead which was snuffed out by an equally impressive goal from Richie Prenderville. Terry Coomey scored early in extra time to put Ballincollig into the lead and Mick O’Connor’s last gasp equaliser ensured the shoot-out. A four team trophy share-out was guaranteed when Springfield and Wilton qualified for the Mossie Linnane final. The magnificent trophy which commemorates an AUL legend found a resting place on Springfield manager John Murphy’s sideboard after his team’s 1-0 win in a well contested final. Christy Ryan’s rocket was a fitting decider for the special occasion.
All-County AOH final
A side effect of the Intermediate League launch was that the top AUL teams were no longer eligible to compete in the coveted AOH Cup and this was expected to detract somewhat from the glorious competition. Luckily, the contestants in the final, Hibernians and St John Bosco’s, were of a high standard and also brought with them bands of colourful supporters to enhance the occasion. Bosco’s were the ones to leave Turner’s Cross with the coveted trophy after sweeper Ger Glavin’s solitary goal decided the hard fought final. Many were surprised that Bosco’s highly rated forwards – Berry, Ahern and O’Hanlon – found the going tough against the underrated Hibs back-line. But that back four, inspired by centre half Mike O’Grady, were brilliant in the semi-final victory over Glenvale. The Man of the Match award was won by Bosco’s midfield powerhouse Martin Donnelly, who just shaded the honour from team mate Barry McMahon, while Owen McCarthy and Joe Hartnett also shone for the winners. Prominent for Hibs were Martin Punch, Eddie O’Brien and Robert Smyth. Bosco’s made it a double when they came from behind to beat Leeside 4-2 to clinch AUL League 1B. They had assistance from Douglas Hall who, surprisingly, ended Ballyvolane’s title dreams. Bosco’s scorers against Leeside were Barry McMahon, Billy Ahern, Martin Donnelly and Kieran O’Hanlon.
Greenmount – Team of the Year
The absence of Temple Utd opened the door for southside rivals Greenmount Rangers and Dunbar Celtic to battle it out for Premier League honours. Greenmount took the title for the first time in their 25 year history when drawing 1-1 with their friendly neighbours in a thrilling showdown at packed Water Rock Park. Dunbar, who set up the confrontation with a couple of midweek wins, needed both points to take the title. Over an hour of tense football had elapsed before the deadlock was broken. Francie Holland, under pressure from Johnny Crowley, hit the ball into his own net to give Greenmount the crucial lead goal. It signalled a very lively final 30 minutes for the large attendance. Dunbar threw everything at Rangers but did not equalise until six minutes from the end when Richie Hewitt headed to the net. In the frantic closing minutes, Greenmount keeper Bertie Lane made some brilliant saves as tiring Rangers held on to claim the title. Alan Murphy, John Lyne and Niall O’Shea starred for the winners, while Hewitt and Finbarr Connors impressed for the losers. Greenmount doubled up shortly afterwards when beating Bandon on penalties after the St Michael’s Cup final at Everton Park ended in a 1-1 draw. Greenmount, who took the field without injured skipper Alan Ramsell, were a goal down after five minutes when Micky O’Sullivan availed of a poor back pass to put Bandon in front. Prolonged Greenmount pressure finally paid dividends in the 70th minute when substitute Sean Long netted after an incisive breakthrough by Johnny Crowley. Bertie Lane made a brilliant save in the shoot-out to end Bandon’s brave challenge. Brendan Wilmot, John Ahern, Mick O’Riordan and Andy Cullen played well for the losers, while the Greenmount stars were Lane, Paul O’Callaghan, Crowley and Martin Murphy. Greenmount went on to defeat St John Bosco’s and Intermediate League champions Temple Utd on their way to capturing the Champions Cup with a 2-0 extra time win over Mayfield Utd when Anthony Walsh and Martin Murphy tallied. Greenmount’s treble success earned them the Tennents Team of the Year award for which much of the credit was attributable to ace marksman Greg Cooney who scored 32 times during the season.
Bandon went close to retaining that Team of the Year tag by also recording a great treble with triumphs in League 1, County Cup and Saxone Cup. Bandon, because of their cup successes, fell behind in their league programme and, as a valiant effort was made to catch up a couple of vital games were lost, including a top of the table clash away to Dan Cullinane’s Hibernians. With three games remaining, Bandon needed maximum points to force a play-off with HIbs and this was accomplished with wins over College Corinthians and Doughcloyne (twice). The play-off was fixed for Everton Park and Jim Nyhan’s boys returned to the west in celebratory mood after a hard earned 1-0 victory over luckless Hibs. Bandon’s goal scoring hero was Leonard Waugh and their stars on the night were Jerry O’Donovan, Donal Warren and Kenneth Doyle. It was tough luck on Hibs who finished empty handed and the sterling efforts of men like Jim Cowhig, Richie Drivers, Joe McCarthy, Mickie Cotter and penalty king Pat McAuliffe went unrewarded. Bandon’s first success of the season came in the County Cup final when, once more, a solitary goal (netted this time by Mick Riordan), and excellent defending by Micky Cahalane, Jerry O’Donovan and John Meighan, gave them victory over Leeside as well as compensation for the previous year’s defeat. Captain (for the night) Brendan Wilmot, brought the Saxone Cup home to Bandon after yet another single goal triumph as plucky underdogs Grangevale went under to a rare Kenneth Doyle goal, netted in the 77th minute when Dan O’Driscoll’s header from a Leonard Waugh cross came back off the crossbar. Grangevale, for whom keeper Alfie McCarthy was in brilliant form, could well have caused an upset had the usually reliable Colm Moore not blazed a penalty shot over the bar.
Rockmount champions again
Rockmount’s juniors did it again. The previous season’s champions in 2A topped 1A with six points to spare over Northvilla. Courtown and Blarney were their early season challengers but they wilted, leaving Northvilla to make a late rush which Rockmount resisted. In the league, they scored 59 goals with Eamon Cassidy the leading marksman on 19, six ahead of Ger Cronin. The top two had plenty of help with no less than twelve squad members scoring during the campaign. Goals from Aidan Kearney (pen) and Eamonn Cassidy helped the Denis Donovan managed Rockmount beat higher ranked Castleview 2-1 in the FAI Area final before journeying into the perilous open draw stage. The Mount battled well on their own Whitechurch pitch but found Dubliners Ballymun Utd too hot to hold. Ballymun, down to ten men for three quarters of the game, deserved their 3-1 winning margin which would have been much greater but for the brilliance of Rockmount’s stand in keeper, Pat Cassidy, who deputised for the injured Derek Clarke. Aidan Kearney scored the Cork side’s consolation score. Greenwood wrapped up the championship in League 2 in style when beating Corinthians Ath 7-1. Skipper Tony O’Brien and John Ahern were in great form for the winners whose marksmen were Sean Ryan (3), Donnacha Ryan (2), Fionnáin O’Neill and Sean Dennehy.
Honours for Park and Mayfield
A huge crowd turned up at Buttevant for the crucial top of the table clash in 2A between the home side and Park Utd. A draw was all that the visitors needed, while a win for Buttevant would ensure a play-off. Brilliant goalkeeping kept the game scoreless until the 48th minute when Buttevant’s Tommy Daly crashed an unstoppable forty yarder to the net. But the local cheers were silenced three minutes later when Noel Roche shook the Buttevant net with a rocket to give Park the trophy. Buttevant were the Cork standard bearers in the concluding stages of the Munster Junior Cup and their giant killing ended when beaten by eventual winners St Michael’s in the semi-final. Mayfield Utd’s late surge, including two wins over long time leaders Ballyphehane, earned them the championship in 2B. The second victory over Ballyphehane put them on course for the title, the points being secured by a J J O’Sullivan goal and a late penalty save by Robert Walsh. That left them needing two points from as many games which they gained with a 5-1 win over UCC as Mick Kennefick, Barry Punch, Sean Lane, Mick Keohane and Tony Carroll got on the scoresheet. For Mayfield Robert Walsh was a keeper with no fear of penalty kicks and, during the successful run, Robert saved five out of six spotters. Mayfield, with 59 goals for, were handy enough at the other end of the park also. Mick Keohane was their ace marksman with 18 and had the help of two other hotshots in skipper Ray Horan and Dave Hourigan.
Ballyphehane gained some measure of compensation when winning the City Challenge Cup by beating holders Grattan Utd 1-0 in an excellent game at the well prepared Rockmount complex. The only goal came in the second half when a quick free kick for Ballyphehane by Neil Dorney was headed to the net by Dougie Twomey, past the outstretched hands of Joe Lynch. That goal saw the exchanges get lively and a player from each side received their marching orders. Keeper Mick Hayes was in sparkling form for the winners who were also indebted to the brilliance of skipper Tommy Corcoran, Steve Kelleher and the errant Neilus Harrington who was the player dismissed along with Grattan’s Christy Bowdren.
Corkbeg, thanks to a flying finish, during which they took maximum points from their last four games and netted fourteen times in the process without conceding a goal, captured the Div 3 League title. They finished three points in front of Mahon and clinched the award with a 4-1 away win over Southern Rovers as Jim Reaney, Dan Kenneally, Willie McCann and Timmy Hyde were on target. The emergence of Peter Cashman as a quality goalkeeper, and sterling displays from Joe Sheehan, John McCann, Brian Martin, John Mulcahy, Kieran Higgins and the O’Shea brothers (Kieran and Pa), contributed to the richly deserved success. Castleview Utd became the first league championship winners of the season when two Davy O’Connell goals gave them the point needed in a 2-2 draw with Park Albion. Finbarr Kearney and Paul Crinnion starred for the new champions in 3A who also had vital contributions from Vince Forde, Pat Cooney, Dave Murphy and Raymond O’Donovan. Killumney Utd clinched the title in 3B with a champagne last game performance against Villa Utd, winning 5-1 with goals provided by Kieran Murphy, Mick Lordan, Marty Cremin, Brendan Coughlan and Kevin Murray. They were pressed all the way to the wire by Albert Rovers who blew their title prospects when ambushed in Macroom. The Jewtown team, managed by Joe Whelton, had very consistent performers in Ian Yelverton, Steve Walsh, Peter Creedon and Willie O’Brien, and were more than satisfied with promotion to Div 2.
Killumney failed in a double bid when they lost to higher ranked Fourth Battalion on penalties after an entertaining President’s Cup final ended in a 2-2 stalemate. The Ovens based team got off to a bad start when a defensive error gifted Tony McCarthy with the opening score. They equalised in the 23rd minute through Gerry Murphy with Johnny Gorman adding the second shortly afterwards. Victory was snatched from Killumney’s grasp when Paul Shaw headed a Paul Cummins cross to the net.
Teams who finished in relegation positions at the conclusion of the league campaigns were as follows. Premier: Waterloo, Castle Celtic and Tramore. Div 1: Farnanes (started and withdrew after short period), Fairview, Grattan UTd, Barrack Rovers, West End and Carrigtwohill. Div 2: Afton Villa, Togher Rovers, Knocknaheeny, Killavullen, Red City and UCC. Youths 1: Ballyvolane and Tramore Ath.
Wilton win many friends
Wilton United were in line for a remarkable double when they reached the finals of the FAI Youths and Under 17 Cups. It was the sheer volume of matches which prevented them from tasting success as they attempted the double with practically the same eleven players. They lost 1-0 to Cherry Orchard in the Youths Cup final at Turner’s Cross. Wilton gave as good as they got, but two crucial decisions went against them and one led to the 84th minute winner from a disputed penalty. Wilton themselves had a penalty claim when Fergal Giltinan was brought down but the referee deemed the offence to have been committed outside the box. In the greatest final in the history of the under-17 competition, they were beaten 3-2 after an absorbing replay by Belvedere at St Colman’s Park. “Saturday was the day football returned to Dalymount Park”, enthused an FAI official after the under17 Cup finalists shared six goals in the absorbing first clash. Brilliant teamwork, breathtaking flashes of skill, six well taken goals and not a yellow card in sight made it a game to remember. The Leesiders’ scorers were Jason Murphy, Damien Bennett and Anthony Buckley. Wilton were a little unlucky to be caught with a last second equaliser which gave Cork soccer followers the opportunity of witnessing the equally outstanding replay, in which Wilton failed narrowly and heroically to wipe out a three goal deficit resulting from defensive lapses. The brave comeback yielded excellent scores from Jason Murphy and Fergal Giltinan. Wilton: D O’Leary, S Cronin, K Healy, P Hally, C Byrne, J Murphy, A Buckley, F Giltinan, M Dennehy, D Barry, R Hally. The only change in the youths team was D Bennett for R Hally.
Wilton’s closest pursuers in Youths Div 1 were Casement Celtic and their crucial end of season tie ended 1-1, a result which suited Wilton best, leaving them needing three points from the two remaining ties. They clinched the title when beating Tramore in the concluding match of the campaign. Casement extracted sweet revenge with a tremendous 2-1 victory over Wilton in the Murphy Cup final. Casement’s goalscorers in that memorable decider were Philip Martin and Timmy O’Keeffe. A late, late extra time goal by O’Keeffe gave Casement a 2-1 victory over gallant Rockmount in the Coca Cola final at the well prepared Everton Park. Casement took the lead through Ivan Swann but Rockmount fought back well and deserved the great equaliser netted in style by Seanie O’Donoughue. Outstanding for the winners were Kevin McTernan, Alan O’Neill and Declan Fagan, while Colin O’Mahony, John O’Sullivan and Ken Stephens derived consolation from their brave efforts on behalf of the losers. After the withdrawal of the outstanding Wilton team due to pressure of fixtures, the newly inaugurated Under 17 League developed into a struggle between Casement and Douglas Hall. Prior to their meeting in the decider at Ballyphehane Park both sides had maximum points from eight games and the match concluded with the Ballyphehane team retaining their 100% record as a result of a deserved odd goal in three victory. Philip Martin and Colin Crowley were on target for the Tony O’Leary coached Casement who had excellent performances from John Ryan, Paul Nagle and Paul Humphreys. Two days earlier, Sydney Kennedy’s lone goal was far from sufficient as Casement were overpowered 4-1 by mighty Wilton in the Under 17 League Cup final.
The early, second half introduction of sub Mick Whitty, and the switch of centre forward Paddy Martin to midfield, were key factors for Coachford as they came from two down at the break to draw level with St John Bosco’s, and eventually beat them on penalties, in the 2nd Div Youths Cup final. The East Cork team got off to a great start and took the lead after just two minutes when Eamonn Crotty scored from the penalty spot. Bosco’s went two up on the half hour when Mick Corkery slammed the ball home from close range. Adrian Martin reduced the deficit early in the second half and, four minutes later, Martin Underhill punished the panic stricken Bosco’s when knocking in the equaliser from close range. Douglas Hall wrapped up the 2nd Div Youths League title well before finishing their 22 match schedule and eventually relaxed to come home five points ahead of closest rivals Brooklodge Utd. Key players in the triumph were Mick O’Connor, Brian Sharkey, Brian McSweeney, Barry Deasy and Robert McSorley.
The AUL Youths advanced in the FAI Inter League championship with a comfortable 2-0 win over Kerry in the opening round in Tralee. The winners excelled on the day and the goals, which ensured their safe passage, were scored by Mick O’Connor and Paul Coughlan. One month later, a top notch first half performance enabled them move smoothly into the 3rd round at the expense of Waterford. They led 3-0 at the break and matched Waterford’s one in the second half, to stroll home 4-1. Mick O’Connor, Philip Martin (2) and Paul Coughlan obliged for the winners. The AUL made their exit when defeated 2-1 by the newly formed MSL Youths in an entertaining game at St Colman’s Park. The MSL broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when Len Downey crossed for Darren Fenton to head past Kevin McTernan. Cork AUL, with a second half wind advantage, had the better of matters territorially and equalised in the 55th minute when Paul Coughlan scored from an acute angle. With three minutes remaining, Cobh lads Fenton and Tommy Cregoe combined for colleague Jamie Cullimore to steer the winner past the helpless McTernan. AUL: McTernan, Murray, Healy, Giltinan, O’Connor, Buckley, Fagan, Hally, Barry, O’Keeffe and Coughlan. Sub: Swann.
Another of the side effects of the new Intermediate League was the weakening of the Oscar Traynor squad which resulted in an early exit from the competition at the hands of the Desmond League in the first round. The Cork team conceded goals after 15 seconds and 15 minutes in losing 2-0 in Rathkeale. They tried hard to get back into the game but, despite majority possession, failed to breach a solid Desmond defence. AUL: O’Malley (Dunbar), Dawson (Casement), Ryan (Northvilla), Bowen (Casement), McCarthy (do), O’Neill (Greenwood), Murphy (Greenmount), Ramsell (do), Cooney (do), Cullen (Bandon), Tobin (Portview). Subs: Ahern (Bandon) and Barrett (Tramore). The annual Tayto Cup match, normally held in June, was deferred until October of the new season to coincide with the opening of the Dublin AUL grounds at Clonshaugh.
The AUL representative side took part in an FAI inter leagues series in 1990, losing both to Connacht and the MSL. The latter game was played in dreadful conditions at Mayfield in February with the MSL goals, in a 3-2 win, coming from Coleman Mulcahy, George Wilshaw, and Jim Leahy. An own goal and a Denis Keane strike accounted for the losers’ goals. As the AUL failed to tally against Connacht, Keane was, therefore, the only player ever to score for the league at intermediate level. The AUL side against the MSL was Paul Keating, Tony McCarthy, Paul O’Neill, Gerry Butler, Pat Bozynski, Robbie Cuthbert, Sean Walsh, Ger Morgan, Thomas Jackson, Denis Keane and Andy Lehane. Subs used: Gerry Ring, Donal Luxford, Bertie Cullinane and Brendan Murphy.
Increase in youth affiliations encouraging (1990-91)
The new season began with 8 senior, 108 junior, 25 youths and 10 under 17 teams. Satisfaction was expressed with the increase in affiliations at youths level, although the loss of Tramore, who were unable to field a team, was a setback. SO, also, was the departure to the MSL of Cobh Wanderers and Douglas Hall after just one term in the senior grade with the AUL. Passage, too, decided to return to junior but Greenmount stepped up to fill one of the vacancies. The entry of ten teams in the under 17 grade, where the likes of Grangevale and Castle Celtic were welcome entries was encouraging. John Bird commenced his term as Hon Sec replacing Tony Fuller, and a newcomer welcomed aboard was another former referee, Liam Lewis. 1990 was also the year that the sale of shin-guards went through the roof as FIFA made it compulsory to wear protection inside the stockings. The AUL appointed Ned McAuliffe as manager of the junior inter league squad with Denis McSweeney as assistant.
Cork City’s lucky escape
The senior teams had an earlier than usual start due to their Munster Senior Cup involvements and did very well in matches against sides from the MSL. Greenmount Rangers disposed of a couple of Munster Leaguers before making an unlucky 1-0 exit to League of Ireland team Limerick, who included three English signings, in round three Ballincollig progressed a stage further and frightened the life out of Cork City before bidding farewell in a penalty shoot-out after the sides had finished 1-1. Richard Prenderville had given the underdogs a lead which was greeted with a mighty Ballincollig roar. Wilton became the first AUL team to reach a Munster Senior Cup semi-final and were Cork City’s next victims in a Turner’s Cross mismatch from which the minnows derived some credit after a brave performance.
No shortage of representative games
Ned McAulliffe and Denis McSweeney had no time to leave the grass grow under their feet as they were in action early, preparing a squad for an MFA inter league Blitz in Limerick. A lack of scoring power cost them dearly in that tournament, played on the excellent Thomond College grounds. This deficiency surfaced again in their first game against the Clare League. The AUL dominated possession but failed to make it count and lost 1-0. That defeat resulted in Cork facing Waterford in the plate semi-final. Aidan Berry gave Cork an interval lead, but Waterford equalised in the 55th minute to take the tie to extra time and an eventual penalty shoot-out which ended with the Leesiders advancing to meet South Tipperary in the decider. Once again the AUL had majority possession but failed to make use of it and even missed a penalty. Tipp scored twice on the break and though J J O’Sullivan reduced the deficit from the penalty spot, Cork never looked like getting an equaliser. AUL panel: Denis Mulvihill, Ger Desmond, Donal Warren, Patsy Burke, Ger Glavin, Aidan Kearney, Terry Barrett, Leonard Waugh, Jamesie Corcoran, Aidan Berry, John Ahern, Fionnáin O’Neill, Anthony Ryan, Tom Hegarty, Mossie Buckley and J J O’Sullivan. The AUL were kept busy in the following weeks and they defeated the Shipping League 3-1 with goals from Hegarty, Berry and Frankie Shaw. Further friendlies were arranged with Cobh Ramblers, Rockmount and the AUL Intermediate squad. The annual Tayto Cup challenge, deferred from June, was played to mark the opening of the Dublin AUL’s million pound, 13 pitch complex in Clonshaugh. Determined Cork were intent on spoiling the Dublin party and the alert J J O’Sullivan intercepted a poor throw by their keeper to shoot the opening goal. The sides were level before the break as Terry Barrett returned the favour when his poor back pass allowed the Dubs to tie the scores. Cork were heroic in the second half when they defied a strong wind and countless home attacks to earn a penalty shoot-out. In the shoot-out Ballyvolane keeper Denis Mulvihill enhanced his growing reputation with splendid saves and Cork returned home triumphant. Team: Mulvihill, Warren, Burke, Glavin, Riordan, Murphy, Shaw, Barrett, Berry, O’Sullivan, Waugh. Subs: Milner, Ahern, Corcoran, Ryan and Cassidy.
Manager McAuliffe’s thorough preparation failed to plot the Kingdom’s downfall in the opening round of the Oscar Traynor Cup. The exciting tie at Rockmount Park had more than its fair share of goals as Kerry scored a 5-4 extra time win over the AUL. Cork, thanks to a combination of defensive mistakes and missed chances at the other end, contributed to their own defeat by a sharp and well organised Kerry outfit. The side showed three changes to that from the Tayto Cup victory; O’Reilly, J Corcoran and Cullen replaced Shaw, Barrett and O’Sullivan.
A busy year on the representative front continued when the AUL Intermediate squad played a 1-1 draw at Silverheights with Aberystwyth Town from the Abacus Welsh League. Robbie Cuthbert gave Cork the lead after just 30 seconds but, in an entertaining tussle, the visitors were worth their equalising goal. AUL: Tony Horgan, Tony McCarthy, Sean Walsh, Pat Bozynski, Conor McCarthy, Mick Jones, Mick Tobin, Austin Ricken, Robbie Cuthbert, Tom McCarthy, Denis Keane. Subs: John Coleman, John Crowley, Gus Bowen and Dave Quinn.
The Cork AUL Intermediates also travelled to the capital at the end of the season to play their Dublin counterparts in a challenge at Clonshaugh. The Leesiders returned triumphant after a 1-0 victory in a competitive tie. Gus Bowen and Frank McCarthy combined to make the opening for Mick Tobin who outpaced the home defenders and chipped the advancing keeper. Cork netminder Bertie Lane (who came on as a sub during the game) prevented a certain Dublin equaliser with an amazing last minute save. AUL: Tony Horgan, Tony McCarthy, Paul O’Brien, Rory O’Connor, Conor McCarthy, Christy Ryan, Mick Jones, Gus Bowen, Mick Tobin, Sean Walsh and Frank McCarthy. Subs: Tom McCarthy, Colm McDonagh, Bertie Lane and Jimmy Nodwell. In an end of season “international” at Turner’s Cross against an English semi-professional selection, Denis Keane and keeper Tony Horgan were capped. It was the second cap for Keane who had won his first a few months earlier against the Northern Premier League in Spennymoor, England.
Juniors lose Tayto
On the same week-end, Ned McAuliffe’s juniors entertained the Dubs in the Tayto Cup challenge at Rockmount Park. Here the visitors came from behind twice to regain the trophy. Kieran O’Hanlon opened the scoring but the away side hit back to gain an equaliser which flattered their opening half performance. The Dubliners’ substitutes played major roles in the second half improvement which provided a brace of goals against Cork’s lone reply from Billy Sherlock. Players on both sides worked hard in an effort to impress watching international manager Dave Mahedy. Cork AUL: G Desmond, D Warren, L Dawson, G Glavin, B Ahern, B Murphy, K O’Hanlon, T Barrett, M O’Sullivan, A Keegan, J Ahern. Subs: L Waugh, B Sherlock, A Browne, P Tynan, T Leahy and D Mulvihill.
There was no joy either in the Youths Inter League championship as the AUL disappointed in going down 2-1 to the MSL in the opening round at St Colman’s Park. The only highlight from an AUL point of view was the excellent equaliser scored by Jason Murphy from Anthony Buckley’s delightful through ball. AUL: B Long (Casement), D Walsh (do), L O’Halloran (do), F Giltinan (Wilton), M O’Connor (Douglas Hall), M Dennehy (Wilton) J Murphy (Wilton), A Buckley (do), R McSorley (Douglas Hall), P Martin (Casement), P Nagle (do). Subs: T O’Brien (Casement), P Hally (Wilton), J Cullinane (Bandon), A Kenneally (Mayfield) and D McCarthy.
Ballincollig’s first major league award
Ballincollig’s prolonged activity in cup competitions allowed Greenmount Rangers and Springfield to share the early limelight as leaders in the Intermediate League. However, after the mid-Cork team’s unlucky defeat by Edenmore in a 3rd round FAI Intermediate Cup tie, they turned their attention to the title race and soon overhauled Greenmount. In a crunch game against Springfield, Ballincollig came good in the second half to win 2-0 and so clinch their first major AUL league title, finishing five points clear of Greenmount. On the occasions when Springfield threatened, Finbarr Hogan made outstanding saves. The introduction of sub Jerry Ring in the second half with his bustling style, helped change the course of the game despite valiant efforts by Springers who had centre back Conor McCarthy in brilliant form. The opening goal – a violent 18 yard volley from the boot of Sean Murphy – was described as the goal of the season, in contrast to the second which was something of a gift and was netted by Danny Horgan who pounced on a defensive mistake to lift the ball over the stranded keeper. Best for the winners, who only conceded four goals in their unbeaten championship run, were Philip O’Sullivan, Micky O’Mahony and Horgan.
The name Greenmount Rangers figured on the senior honours list for the first time in over forty years when they beat Temple Utd 1-0 in the AUL Shield final at Turner’s Cross. Johnny Crowley scored that lone goal after a brilliant pass from Greg Cooney. The diminutive Crowley was a constant thorn in Temple’s side and received great support from the inspirational Alan Ramsell. Temple, who did not enjoy the best of luck, received encouragement from the performances of Austin Ricken and Sean Walsh. Ballincollig retained their Corinthians’ Cup when defeating juniors Bandon 7-6 on penalties after the match itself had ended 1-1. Bandon’s ploy of using centre back Micky Cahalane as a keeper in shoot-outs only paid half dividends when he was handed the role again. He saved the first shot but this was his only joy and his failure to convert in the third of the sudden deaths gave the senior side the trophy. Andy Cullen had given Bandon the lead in the 26th minute and Anthony Hogan equalised for Ballincollig before the interval.
Springfield’s storming victory
Holders Springfield came from behind to defeat Temple 2-1 in the Mossie Linnane Cup final at Rockmount Park. Temple had the better of the opening half but had little to offer when Springers, inspired by Colm McDonagh, came storming back in the second. Temple’s lead goal arrived in the 44th minute when Austin Ricken netted following a Dan Greene corner. Springfield were in determined mood after the break and harassed the Temple defence, particularly in the third quarter. Temple keeper Tony Horgan defied them on several occasions, but he could do little about the equaliser, blasted to the net by McDonagh, and was again powerless when Christy Fitzgerald broke through for the winner.
Eight players booked – two sent off
Dunbar Celtic were on the crest of a wave as they faced College Corinthians (who had moved to the MSL junior section from the AUL) in the Area final of the FAI Junior Cup. Very few people gave Corinthians a chance but Dunbar’s continuing fear of the Turner’s Cross venue was just one of the excuses offered after their shattering 2-0 defeat. An explosive ten minute spell at the start of the second half, which yielded both goals, enabled Corinthians win a junior trophy for the first time in their history. It was a tense and vigorously contested tie with eight players booked (six from Dunbar), and Thomas O’Brien and captain Finbarr O’Connor (both Dunbar) sent off. Still, it was never a dirty game. The second half was barely a minute old when Corinthians centre back John Wilkins floated a free kick into the box where midfielder Shea Daly headed down for centre forward Michael Dolan to score from close range. Before Dunbar could settle, Corinthians struck again six minutes later. Kieran Nestor was taken down just outside the box, and from the resultant free, Sean Williams headed powerfully home. Dunbar tried hard to get back into the game but the nearest they came to scoring was when Dave Noonan headed against the upright from one of Richie Hewitt’s many excellent crosses.
Villa win first AOH
Dunbar’s Turner’s Cross jinks struck again in the AOH Cup final. Villa Utd took the trophy for the first time when they beat the hot favourites 1-0 in the 40th final of the competition. There were thrills and spills galore to keep the big crowd entertained. Higher ranked Dunbar had the better of the opening exchanges but lived to rue the poor finishing which led to another horrible Turner’s Cross experience. The winner in this sporting encounter came six minutes into the second half. Liam Ronayne’s powerful free kick from a few yards outside the box crashed onto the crossbar. The rebound went high into the air and Paul McCarthy jumped to head home from close range before keeper O’Malley, or any of his colleagues, could recover position. Dunbar came back strongly in the last ten minutes but a rock solid Villa defence, well led by Man of the Match Michael Moynihan, held firm. Both teams deserved congratulations for the excellent match programme, the proceeds from which went to the Ger Healy Haemophilia Fund. Dunbar’s poetic contributions to the publication were noteworthy and led to a fair bit of slagging which suggested that they were better scribes than soccer players. Villa Utd: O’Driscoll, Ashman, Meaney, Ronayne, M Moynihan, L Meaney, Rea, C Moynihan, Ray, K Moynihan and P McCarthy. Subs: Walsh and Lynch.
Dunbar’s trophy quest ends
The 26 match battle for the Premier League title went all the way to the wire and, with over 170 games played in the exciting campaign, the chase continued. Casement, Castleview, Bandon and Dunbar were all in contention and played leap frog as each in turn had spells at the helm. Favourites Casement were shocked by Rockmount and threw two points at Dunbar before giving up the race after a scoreless draw with Bandon. Meanwhile, Dunbar came with a late rattle and banished Castleview’s hopes as they jumped to pole position. Dunbar’s 24 year trophy quest ended when they got the precious point needed in a scoreless Sunday morning draw with persistent challengers Bandon at Water Rock Park. Bandon regretted many missed chances while Dunbar pointed to the exceptional positional sense of goalkeeper Len Murphy as a major factor in their triumph. The better chances came early and late in this tense, sporting game. Bandon should have taken the lead in the 5th minute but the unmarked Andy Cullen blazed his shot over the top. Excellent saves from Murphy, midway through the second half kept Dunbar in the game and they had their own chance to become champions in style, but Andrew Keegan’s brilliant scissors kick scraped the upright. There was not a dry eye in the old Mortonville area as the horn blaring cavalcade returned to Whitnell’s (the venue for many Tower Rovers’ shindigs in the past) to commence week long celebrations. There was genuine delight at the fact that justice had been done for people like John Kenneally (manager), Denis Kelly, Dinny Keane, Tony Chambers (Committee) and excellent players Stephen O’Malley, Finny and Eddie Connors, Thomas O’Brien, Pat Martin, Dave Noonan, Kieran Barrett, Tony O’Brien, Francie Holland, the Hewitt twins (Richie and Timmy), Frankie Scannell, Neil Hannigan, Paul Walsh, Ger Keegan, Joe Kelly and Freddie Walsh as the cup was filled in Whitnell’s. Dunbar’s double prospects went by the board when they were beaten 2-1 by Casement Celtic in a lively St Michael’s Cup final at Everton Park. Casement centre forward Richie Kenny struck the opening goal after 14 minutes when he put the finishing touch to an Adrian Kelly cross. The busy Kenny regularly popped up in defence to take the sting out of Dunbar counter attacks. Dunbar did equalise in the 31st minute when Finbarr O’Connor headed Kieran Barrett’s corner to the net. Both sides had chances to wrap it up in the cracking second half but it was a handball indiscretion by Barrett, eight minutes from time, which settled the issue as Noel Rea gleefully tucked away the resultant spot kick. The victory was deserved compensation for Casement who had been one of the principals in the absorbing premiership battle.
Coachford’s title rush in League 1 ended with them being declared champions after coming from behind to beat Fairview 2-1 with goals from Mick O’Connell and Johnny Moynihan. The crunch game had taken place earlier in the week against Villa Utd when an own goal decided it (1-0) in favour of Coachford whose best were Moynihan and Derry O’Donnell. Sandwiched in between was a local derby against Ballincollig when scores by Declan Casey (pen) and Denis Ring made it 2-0 for Coachford.
Leeside, who always held pole position, required two points from three games, but needed just one match to make the title safe in 1B. The celebrations began early as a result of a 3-0 verdict over Mayfield Utd when Trevor Dunlea (2) and Declan Ahern scored for the winners whose best were Dunlea and Tony O’Keeffe. Their marksmen in a 3-3 split with Central were Billy Cashman, Ken O’Brien and Paddy Ward (whose last gasp equaliser preserved an unbeaten record). They finished off with a 3-2 decision against Fourth Battalion and, here, Joe Giltinan (2) and Tony O’Keeffe did the scoring. The crucial result had arrived several weeks earlier in a table topper with Ballyvolane which the city team needed to win, as they had only a one point advantage over Leeside who had three games in hand at the time. Ballyvolane had the boost of an early Steve O’Mahony goal, but Leeside came back well and Ken O’Brien’s equaliser from a Trevor Dunlea pass was the season’s decisive strike.
Crescent needed maximum points from their last three games to pip Castle Celtic in 1A. Goals from Joe O’Sullivan, Niall O’Regan and John O’Donovan gave them a 3-2 win over Courtown and their marksmen in a 5-1 victory over North End were O’Sullivan (2), Micky Harris, John O’Keeffe and O’Regan. The run-in began with a match against deadly rivals Glenvale which was abandoned in controversial circumstances, with Crescent leading 1-0 and Glenvale about to take a penalty kick. The risk laden chase (they had to win their eight remaining games) of long time leaders, Castle Celtic ended successfully when they beat Glenvale 2-0 in the re-fixture of the abandoned game. Skipper Anthony O’Connell opened the scoring and the clincher came seven minutes from time when O’Sullivan netted with an overhead kick. Outstanding for the winners were Packie Murphy, Mick Harris and Dominic Dineen.
Darkest hour just before the light
Bishopstown, in a lowly position themselves, turned out to be kingmakers when their 2-0 win over title chasers Killumney was one of the factors that gave Lakewood the title in League 2. While Albert’s blew their prospects with a 2-1 loss to Crosshaven, Lakewood went to the front before Christmas and battled away match by match. But their tenacious grip on the first spot slackened after a 3-1 defeat by Crosshaven in February. The pessimism increased when they suffered their heaviest defeat in years when beaten 7-1 by Crescent in the City Challenge Cup. The darkest hour is just before the light and Lakewood shone brighter than ever when winning four and drawing one of their next five. The final game was against challengers Killumney when a great defensive display in the first half paved the way for a 2-1 win and the championship. Frenchman Alain Valluy scored in that match and was the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals. Pascal Doyle (the only ever-present), skipper Tadgh Leonard, Michael Cleary, Elwyn Moore and keeper Greg Cotter were the stars of the Noel Mullins managed Ovens based squad.
A stingy defensive unit, led by centre half Richard Walsh and backed up by keeper John Murphy, helped Killowen take the title in 2A. The solid back four conceded just 10 goals in twenty matches and often saved the blushes of the front-line, though Declan Cassidy and John White did well in helping the side to a 34 goal haul. The promotion drive was helped by the fact that the team was rarely disrupted by injury. Walsh, Mick O’Sullivan, Michael Dilworth, Maurice Walsh and Justin White were ever-present.
Everton brought off a nice double, winning League 2B and the President’s Cup. The Tadhg Goggin managed Bandon Road team deserved their 3-1 victory over Hibernians Ath in the cup decider at the ESB grounds. Everton started well; were a goal down against the run of play; but turned on the style to run out convincing winners. Hibs took the lead in the 38th minute, Dick Andrews’ pass giving Mick Kidney the gilt-edged chance to fire home. Everton dominated the second half and equalised in the 64th minute when Eddie Kelly headed home Anthony Keane’s corner-kick. Barry Kelleher supplied the lead goal from a goal-mouth scramble and Aidan O’Sullivan sealed the issue with a clever third. Everton finished off the League 2B championship in style, beating UCC home and away. The away game was won 5-2 with scores from Kelleher, Ger Stanton, Pat O’Flynn, O’Sullivan and an own goal. They won the return 2-1 with the help of another own goal and one from O’Flynn. Their only league defeat was by second placed Corkbeg who conceded the title when ambushed by Blarney, allowing Everton celebrate with two games to spare. Everton’s leading marksmen were Aidan O’Sullivan (19), Niall Kavanagh (14), Eddie Kelly (12), Paul Cummins (11) and Pat O’Flynn (9).
Southend edged closer to the title in 3A by beating closest rivals Bohs 3-2 in the decisive table topper. Southend’s keeper Jason Eslick, included a penalty stop in his top drawer performance. Pat O’Sullivan, Chris O’Donovan and Aidan McSweeney goaled for the winners. Thanks to UCC’s surprise defeat at the hands of Newberry Rangers, rookies Southend had it all sealed up before travelling to play Buttevant Albion. They were too cocky and being were caught on the hop, trailing the home team 3-0 before pride surfaced in the second half when they fought back to win 4-3. The champions’ leading scorer was Aidan McSweeney and their outstanding performer, Chris O’Donovan. In League 3 Brooklodge took the honours with a 4-2 victory against Blarney Street Athletic, Barry Dennehy and Mick O’Flynn sharing the trophy winning goals. Earlier on in the run-in, Brooklodge stumbled when losing to Passage but got back on track with a series of victories when the goal scoring expertise of Dennehy, Flynn, Billy Pearson and Brian Quinn was decisive. Barry Dennehy was in great scoring form and netted 31 times for Paul McCarthy’s squad.
Two hour thriller
Leeside, beaten finalists in 1990, became County Cup champions when, in a two hour thriller at Turner’s Cross, they beat Coachford 4-3 on penalties after extra-time. The major talking point came in a two minute spell early in the second half when Coachford, who were a goal up, saw Paddy Martin’s shot come back off the crossbar. Leeside broke and forced a corner which was headed home by the flying Johnny O’Sullivan. Deccie Murphy had given Coachford the lead when he outfoxed Leeside keeper Denis McCarthy; but McCarthy was to have the last laugh. He got his fingers to Coachford’s first in the shoot-out but could not prevent Declan Casey’s bullet hitting the net. McCarthy’s big moment came when he saved from his opposite number Mick Murphy to give Leeside the title on a 4-3 scoreline.
Ballyphehane retained the City Challenge when they defeated Crescent 3-2 on penalties after the final at Everton Park had ended scoreless. Both teams had their chances during normal time but defences were generally on top and the keepers made impressive saves. The respective netminders Francis Lennox (Ballyphehane) and Pakie Murphy (Crescent), each made a terrific save in the shoot-out, the decisive kick here struck by Ballyphehane veteran Tom Corcoran, who reclaimed the trophy for the holders.
Corkbeg brought the Saxone Cup back to Whitegate for the second time in their history when they beat Boher Celtic 3-1 at Rockmount Park. Tim Hyde opened the scoring after 15 minutes when, following an exchange of passes with Willie McCann, his angled shot went in off the far post. It was all Corkbeg at this stage and constant pressure yielded a second goal from John Fleming. An interesting second half was assured when Boher capitalised on some slack Corkbeg work to reduce the arrears. The Beg now had a fight on their hands and it was nip and tuck until Willie McCann sealed victory with a well executed third goal midway through the half. Best for the winners were Peter Cashman, Brian McCann and Dan Kenneally.
Classy Wilton youths retained the League 1 title where Casement provided the stiffest resistance. They beat Rockmount 5-1 and came from behind to defeat Mayfield 4-2. The highlight was an Anthony Buckley hat trick in the Rockmount match. Jason Murphy accounted for the other two and the marksmen against Mayfield were Buckley, Alan Moore, Mick Dennehy and Fergal Giltinan. The season provided what was becoming a customary feature – a cup final meeting between Wilton and Casement. They met in the Coca Cola final at Everton Park but the decider lacked the usual sparkle associated with their clashes. Wilton won 4-2 on penalties after the sides had failed to provide a goal in a tame affair. The usually reliable Fergal Giltinan even missed from a spotter in the second half, his poorly struck kick being easily saved by Casement’s Mark Sheehan. The miss did not bother Giltinan as he hammered in the first kick of the shoot-out as his opposite number, Philip Martin, missed. Anthony Buckley (Wilton) and Alan McCarthy (Casement) were then on target before Jason Murphy missed, and William O’Keeffe scored, to level matters. Mick Dennehy scored for Wilton and Trevor O’Brien’s miss allowed Phil Hally in to convert the match winner. Wilton added a third trophy with a well deserved 3-1 win over Rockmount in the Murphy Cup final at Turner’s Cross. The losers dominated the opening forty minutes but failed to take their chances mainly because of the fail-safe handling of Wilton keeper Declan O’Leary. Wilton shook off the cobwebs and took the lead just on half time when Jason Murphy finished off a four man move. Wilton were in total control after the resumption and goals from Anthony Buckley and Mick Dennehy put them into an unassailable three goal lead. Rockmount rallied in the closing stages and pulled one back in the 81st minute when Fergus Buckley’s accurate cross was finished by Ken Tuohy. Barry Egan, Denis McAuliffe and Tuohy played well for the losers, while Wilton had aces in Ian Hutchinson, Mark McElligott, Buckley, Giltenan and Murphy.
Kilreen Celtic brought off a great double with victories in Youths 2A and the 2nd Div Cup. They won the league title when defeating Passage 2-0 with late goals from Pat Collins and Tyrone Looney and captured the cup with a thrilling 1-0 victory over unlucky Greenwood at Everton Park. The winning score came in the second half when an excellent exchange of passes between Trevor O’Mahony and Looney ended with the former hitting a peach of a goal before being swamped by his ecstatic team-mates. Outstanding for Kilreen were Shane McSweeney, Kieran Hennessy, Terence Carroll and Alan Lynch.
Youghal won Youths League Div 2,. recording only their second success in AUL football, the first being the Youths League Cup victory exactly ten years earlier. It was a very popular success for the Seamus Murphy coached squad who wrapped up the title with an excellent 3-2 win over challengers Castleview. They started brilliantly and scores from John Kennefick,John O’Flynn and Francis Kearns had them three goals ahead at the break. Castleview put on a great second half show to reduce the deficit to the minimum but could not catch the seasiders who had Kennefick and keeper Adrian Yellop in top form.
Alan Kenneally was Man of the Match for Mayfield Utd as they scored a deserved 1-0 win over Casement Celtic in the final of the Imperial Hotel Under 17 Cup at the ESB grounds. Kenneally, who had a header taken off the line and had a shot hit the bar in the opening half, scored the winner midway through the second period. Eoin Daly floated over a perfect corner and Kenneally headed powerfully home. Mayfield had the better of the exchanges all through. In the first half Kevin Tynan and Pat Keane were both unlucky on several occasions and a brilliant second half save by Casement keeper O’Leary prevented a certain Keane goal. Eddie Sweeney, Trevor O’Brien, Sydney Kennedy and Paul O’Sullivan tried hard to get Casement into contention but their best efforts were resisted by Eoin Daly, Ian Mulcahy, Keane and Kenneally. Rockmount wrapped up the Under 17 League in style by beating Portview 5-2. Tony Leahy, Robert Hull and Jonathan Busteed impressed and their scores were provided by Terry Dalton (2), Fergus Buckley, Hull and Ian O’Connor. That victory.enabled Rockmount complete their programme with an unbeaten record.
Cork AUL join the movement (1991-92)
When the AUL was founded in 1947, Lady’s Well Brewery was one of its first teams. Forty four years later the partnership was renewed when Murphy’s Irish Stout took over sponsorship of the AUL Intermediate and Junior competitions. The sponsorship details, which were announced at Murphy’s Brewery in the presence of Lord Mayor Cllr Denis Cregan, covered trophy costs for the adult leagues and monthly and annual awards. At the AGM, the question of public liability insurance was discussed as the importance of such cover had been highlighted by the plight of a Galway club whose officers, when faced with a claim, found their personal assets at risk. At the statutory meeting following the AGM all outgoing officers were re-elected The breakdown on the previous years membership is worth recalling as it differentiated between clubs and teams and read as follows. 89 actual clubs fielded 156 teams: 8 at intermediate, 108 junior, 25 youths and 15 under 17.
Quantity not quality
Premier champions Dunbar and AOH Cup winners Villa Utd, along with Castleview, spearheaded the new entries to the Intermediate League which was expanded from eight to fourteen teams. It was a classic case of quantity rather than quality as some of the newcomers to the grade were hardly of top junior status. I would have to row along with numerous junior soccer followers who were critical of the expansion which, in my opinion, tarnished the status of the senior division to which promotion should have been earned. Barrack Rovers only avoided the relegation trap door to Div 2 by having their application for membership of the Intermediate League accepted. It was a ludicrous decision and was precedented only by the acceptance of Southend’s application for upgrading to the MSL in the late sixties after the side had failed in consecutive seasons to win promotion from AUL League 3. The expanded intermediate section was made up as follows: Ballincollig, Ballyvolane, Barrack Rovers, Blarney Utd, Castleview, Dunbar, Greenmount, Greenwood, Kilreen, Mayfield, Springfield, Temple Utd, Villa Utd and Wilton.
Temple v Castleview showdown
The old horse racing cliche “the bigger the field the bigger the certainty” resulted in the experts pinning their hopes on Temple to take their second championship. However, it was anything but clearcut and as Easter passed it became a three team war involving Castleview (leaders), Ballincollig and favourites Temple. Castleview set up a title confrontation with Temple when their 2-1 victory over Ballincollig in Knocknaheeny removed the mid- Cork team from the permutation. Hughie Cooney and Niall Curtin’s goals kept the View on course while Richie Prenderville’s excellent lone reply was a waste in the circumstances. Castleview’s final match in the 26 game programme, against deadly rivals Temple, drew a massive crowd to “Knocka” and manager Dan Devereaux was more than hopeful of gaining the two points neccessary for the title. Any other result would give Temple the chance to pick up the points needed in their remaining games against Kilreen and Dunbar. There was as much excitement on the sidelines, where the tension was unbearable, as on the field of play, where both teams were aware of the momentous reward, and the game developed into a cup tie affair with risk-taking at a premium. Paul “Curles” Murphy netted for Castleview but Alan Burns spoiled the party when his spectacular overhead kick accounted for Temple’s equaliser in the thrilling 1-1 draw. It was now a mere formality and Temple’s expected victory over Kilreen was followed a few days later by a more difficult assignment against Dunbar which, after a hard earned 3-1 victory, gave skipper Tadgh Bowdren the honour of holding aloft the championship trophy. Temple were handicapped all season by the absence of injured stars Ger Manning and Ger Butler, forcing manager Austin Ricken to introduce some newcomers to the team including Kevin O’Riordan, John Sweeney and former Greenmount and Portview striker Mick Tobin. Johnston Keane was leading scorer with 28, Tobin netted 27 and Denis Keane 15.
First for View in 13 years
A few weeks earlier, Castleview had broken Springfield’s stranglehold on the Mossie Linnane Cup when beating the Cobh side 1-0 in the final at Turner’s Cross to end their 13 year wait for a trophy. The Barrett brothers combined for the 61st minute winner, with captain Gerry heading home Terry’s cross at the far post. In the first AUL final of the season, Dunbar took full advantage of defensive lapses to beat Castleview 2-1 in the Murphy’s Stout Shield final. It had taken Dunbar 25 years to win a junior trophy but less than 25 weeks to succeed at intermediate level. Castleview went ahead after just 90 seconds when Paul Murphy beat Brian Long in the Dunbar goal. Latecomers to Turner’s Cross were disappointed as, less than 90 seconds later, Dunbar were level again when Eddie Connors set up Richie Hewitt for the equaliser. There was no further score until the 67th minute when the View defence hesitated and Andrew Keegan blasted the winner home. Ballincollig completed a remarkable trophy hat trick when, with Mick Savage (FAI Senior medalist with Sligo in 1983) playing a leading role, they brought the Corinthians’ Cup home for the third season in a row, defeating Wilton 2-0 in the final. Midfielder Savage was a thorn in Wilton’s side until he limped off injured after an hour. By then, the damage had been done. In the 42nd minute, Savage’s perfectly flighted free kick was finished to the net by Anthony Hogan and, before departing the game, Savage made it safe when he beat Wilton keeper Screenan with a glancing header.
Overall disappointment in Inter League
It was a very disappointing year at inter league level for the AUL whose sides failed to advance beyond the second round in their respective competitions. The youths were first into action and were not impressive in defeating Clare 2-1. Shane O’Halloran opened the scoring in the 28th minute but the alarm bells were ringing after Clare’s 50th minute equaliser. The blushes were saved when Ken Tuohy headed a late winner. The pessimism was justified when Cork were no match for Waterford in round 2. Two goals in the closing minutes of the first half put the Blues on the way to a 3-0 triumph. The Waterford goals were delayed by a super performance from Mallow Celtic’s keeper Colman Sheehan. AUL: Colman Sheehan, Ian O’Connor, Paul McCarthy, Philip Hogan, Denis McAuliffe, Ken Touhy, Bernard Murphy, John Hurley, Aidan Whitty, Terry Dalton and Kieran O’Connor. Subs: Fergus Buckley and Tyrone Looney.
Cork AUL juniors had the consolation of a local derby verdict over the MSL as they advanced to round two of the Oscar Traynor Cup. It was only on penalties that they had earned their ticket as the poor Corinthians Park tie ended scoreless. A last quarter collapse saw the visiting Corkmen slide out of the competition when losing 5-0 to a much better South Tipperary team. AUL: M Murphy, F Shaw, L Dawson, G Glavin, M Riordan, M Walsh, J J O’Sullivan, J Ahern, A Berry, M Davis, T Buckley. Subs: L Waugh and I Yelverton. Cork did have a victory at inter league level when they beat the MSL 2-0, with a brace of goals from Richard Fitzgerald, in the semi-final of the inaugural Shipping League Tournament. Dreadful finishing then cost them dearly in the final against the hosts who won 5-4 on penalties after a scoreless encounter. AUL: Murphy, Dawson, Flaherty, Ahern, Cronin, Walsh, Waugh, O’Sullivan, Fitzgerald, Luxford and Kelly. Subs: Twomey, Murphy.
Dublin in crisp form
Dublin AUL defeated Cork 1-0 in a lively Tayto Cup match. The winner came from a debatable penalty. The Dubs had the edge in skills but Cork, under new manager Florrie Meighan worked hard and had the better scoring chances. Meighan went with the old regime in this match and made only one change from the previous game, sending in Barry Dennehy instead of Eoin Kelly. The subs were Murphy, Cassidy, Twomey, Carey and Kelly.
The first Sunday in March was a heartbreaker for Hibernians. They saw their FAI Junior Cup hopes scuttled in the quarter-final by their namesakes, Hibs (Galway) whose Dermot McSweeney. scored the game’s only goal in the last minute. The Shanbally club were great hosts on the day. The pitch was in excellent condition, and the Ringaskiddy Pipe Band kept the large attendance entertained before the game. The Pat McAuliffe influence was noticeable with the provision of a high class public address system which kept the fans informed, updating and adding to the information already contained in the fine match programme. In the Area final Hibs had beaten Rockmount in a dramatic penalty shoot-out after the sides had drawn 1-1. Hibs had gone ahead when Ger Flaherty forced Willie Pierce’s through ball past the advancing Packie Cassidy. A handling error by Hibs keeper Joe McCarthy led to Ger Cronin striking the equaliser. McCarthy made up for his error in the shoot-out. He made a brilliant save in the second series, and scored in the 11th, to send Hibs through to the 7th round on a 10-9 verdict. Their penalty expertise was put to the test again against Janesboro in Limerick. A scoreless game saw Hibs’ sharpshooters once more take centre stage with five bull’s-eyes against the Shannonsiders four.
Crescent, Casement, Coachford, Bandon and Bosco’s, all figured prominently in a terrific race for the Premier League title. Bosco’s, being more equipped for cup football, were first to fade and Crescent were knocked from their top perch when crushed 4-0 by Casement. Luxford (2), Kelly and Sexton did the scoring. The turning point came three matches from the end when Casement performed brilliantly to beat title challengers and hosts Coachford, while Bandon were ambushed by Rockmount. The final pieces of the puzzle fell into place in the campaign’s concluding games when Casement were home to Bandon and Crescent took on Coachford. Casement’s victory at the Farm, and a defeat for Coachford, meant that Jim Power’s boys were champions. Casement carried the Cork banner as far as the Munster Junior Cup semi-final where they were defeated 4-0 by Tramore (Waterford). Included amongst Casement’s victims in the open rounds were Hyde (Limerick) and Avenue (Clare). Donal Luxford was Casement’s top scorer with 21 goals, and other major contributors in this department were Adrian Kelly (16), Eric Goulding (13) and Len Sexton (13).
Kelly’s goal a Bandon clincher
Left winger Owen Kelly was the toast of Bandon after his 59th minute header proved to be the winner against Crescent Ath in the Murphy’s Stout sponsored AOH Cup final at Turner’s Cross. It was a sweet recompense for Bandon’s 1989 defeat by Temple. Bandon opened the scoring after just ten minutes when Paul O’Driscoll touched home John Ahern’s free kick which was headed on by Kelly. Gradually, Crescent clawed their way back and scored a deserved equaliser eight minutes later. Niall O’Regan’s accurate free kick was headed to the net by Dominic Dineen. Crescent were right back in the hunt, and the Bandon goal had a charmed life, as Joe O’Sullivan and Michael Heslem went agonisingly close to snatching the lead. Bandon again stepped up a gear and created the winning goal in the 59th minute. Crescent had one great chance to level matters again but this time Dineen hooked his shot over. The “Man of the Match” award went to Bandon’s John Ahern. Bandon: O’Donovan, Warren, Ahern, Cahalane, McCarthy, Waugh, P O’Driscoll, Riordan, Kelly, D O’Driscoll and Cullen. Sub: Daly.
The St Michael’s Cup final produced one of the season’s highlights and Crosshaven’s delightful complex provided the ideal setting for the clash of junior Titans Bandon and Casement. Andy Cullen gave Bandon the lead and only brilliant goalkeeping by Ger O’Donovan prevented Casement from wiping it out. Their perseverance paid off in the 80th minute when Ger Power fired home the equaliser. Casement were still celebrating when the brilliant Cullen struck again to hit a glorious match winner. However, Bandon’s victory was not assured until O’Donovan made a miraculous save in the very last minute of an exciting final.
The Denis Kelly managed Ballyphehane Utd made it a championship double for the district when they took the pennant in Murphy’s Stout League 1. Ballyphehane’s Easter stumble put their title ambitions at risk as they relinquished a three point cushion, following defeats by challengers Hibernians and Macroom. They brushed away the cobwebs and got back on course with a revenge 4-3 decision over Macroom when Micky O’Leary, Seanie Wade, Dougie Twomey and Jonathan Barry netted. Harry McGovern sparkled as they went on to beat Kinsale 3-0 with goals from O’Leary (2) and Wade. The state of the parties then was: Ballyphehane, played 18 – 31 points; Hibs, played 19 – 30 points. They took the point needed from the top of the table clash with Hibs. The tension packed game saw chances galore but no goals. Mick O’Leary (16), Jonathan Barry (15) and Sean Wade (12) were the leading scorers for the team captained by Steve Kelleher, with sideline motivation provided by assistant manager Tommy Corcoran.
The Dilworth influence
A good start, and vital contributions from the Dilworths, put Killowen on the way to the title in 1A. The team, managed by Michael and Teddy Dilworth and with Sean Dilworth as trainer went unbeaten in eleven games from September to December. They recovered from a pre-Christmas setback and had the title wrapped up early in February. Maurice Walsh, Mick Dilworth and Richard Walsh played in all games. Midfielders Sean Dilworth and John Moore played scoring roles and the forwards were well led by Barry O’Brien, who received great support from Declan Cassidy and Owen Bruen.
The boys of the Fourth Battalion won League 1B when they got the point needed by drawing with Corkbeg. Manager Mick Daly conscripted no less than thirty players as he set out to guide the Battalion to the championship. Although he did not use all thirty, he needed the big squad because of the demands of army duties. Leading scorer for the side was Paul Shaw with 18 league goals. Paul, who netted 33 in all competitions, was one of three ever-presents, the others being Billy Mulryan and Finbarr Murphy who skippered the side in the final weeks when Austin Brown left for the Lebanon.
Ballincollig were always to the fore in League 2 and settled matters in April when needing only a point from their clash with neighbours Ard-na-Laoi. There were no half measures here and Ballincollig did not disappoint their supporters as they captured the trophy in great style with a 4-1 win. Manager Martin O’Neill was delighted with the manner of the victory and with scorers Tadgh O’Reilly (2), Niall Kelly and Terry Kelly. Over a dozen players got on the scoresheet during the season and those to contribute most frequently were Pat O’Driscoll (7), Colm Hogan (6), Declan Hogan, Terry Kelly and Dave Garrett (three each).
Cobh Celtic had company galore at the top of League 3B until the final day. The main opposition was provided by Glenview, Carrigtwohill and eventual runners-up Beaumont Rangers. Cobh Celtic were founded in 1989-90 and were originally known as Mitchell Utd, playing their games on Spike Island. The name was, subsequently changed to Cobh Celtic. Player of the year was Eric Hickey and the leading marksman in the triumphant season for the Mick Halpin coached squad was Brian Stromsoe. Village Utd took 3A by storm with Jinty O’Sullivan being the player to most catch the eye. Village, who had the best defence in the league, scored in all 18 league games. Edward O’Driscoll was leading scorer and they elected Jason Power as the “Player of the Year”.
Jim Hawkes guided Mahon to their first ever AUL success when they captured the title in 2B. The most influential member of the Willie Carey captained side was Pat O’Keeffe who scored an impressive 24 goals during the campaign.
Dunbar Celtic (second string) took the title in 3B with a jittery 1-0 victory over lowly Greenwood. The winning score netted from a penalty kick by Neil Hannigan, did not arrive until the 82nd minute, much to the disgust of the watching Afton Villa observers who, as a result, had to settle for the runners-up tokens. Dunbar were guided by Steve O’Malley, Francie Holland and Timmy Hewitt. The key to success here was the blending of youth with experience. Joint leading scorer Neil Hannigan and sterling defender Frankie Scannell provided the experience; newcomers Pierce Cremin and Mick Roche (the other top scorer with 17 goals), the youth and the speed.
Double for Boher
Boher Celtic became the first junior side to complete a double in ’92. The 2-0 win over Ballincollig Ath in the President’s Cup final put two trophies on skipper Declan Cahill’s sideboard. A few weeks earlier, they had captured the title in 2A. Ballincollig, the League 2 champs, did not do themselves justice on the day. Their injury hit side suffered a body blow when Boher went 2-0 up with early scores from Cahill and Denis Carey. They regrouped but never really threatened confident Boher who were well coached by former players Jimmy O’Mahony and Eddie Corcoran. Mahon had recorded two wins over runners-up Brooklodge in the league when the city team finished as champions. Brooklodge manager Paul McCarthy, who had served his time with Ringmahon, learned most from the games and plotted the champion’s downfall when the sides met in the Saxone Cup final. Still, very few could have predicted such a comprehensive reversal of league form as Brooklodge romped to a cosy 4-1 victory. The first thee goals came from breaks; two by Kevin Tobin and the other from Mick Mooney. Sub Tony Leahy added number four and the wholehearted Denis McCarthy provided Mahon’s consolation score.
A three goal, third quarter haul put the Saxone Cup winners Brooklodge on their way to victory over Corkbeg in the County Cup final. After a disappointing first half, the game livened up two minutes after the interval when Bobby Lotty put Brooklodge ahead with a shot from the edge of the area. Barry Dennehy increased the lead three minutes later and sealed the issue when adding a third from Mick Flynn’s well drilled free kick. Corkbeg derived some consolation from the game when sweeper Steve O’Donoughue reduced the arrears with a brilliant shot on the turn in the 80th minute to leave the final score 3-1.
Rockmount brought off a four-timer in underage football. They won the Youths 1 League and Murphy Cup. and the younger group also made it a double in the under 17 grade. In the Murphy Cup final, Rockmount’s 3-0 winning margin did not do justice to second division Leeds brave effort. Both sides played great football in a final which was a marvellous advertisement for the game. Damien Long put Rockmount two up and Fergus Buckley’s clincher from a superb Conor Twomey pass put the icing on the cake. Rockmount’s major win on the way to the league title was at the expense of then leaders Passage. A successful first half penalty, converted by John Hurley, and a second half strike by Terry Dalton earned Peglar’s lads the crucial 2-0 win.
Passage, who pushed Rockmount all the way in the championship, got a deserved reward when defeating Casement 4-1 in the Coca Cola Cup final. Ger Curtin fired in a twenty yard shot, and Sean Moynihan’s foraging produced a second, to give Passage a 2-0 interval lead. Casement cut the gap in the 55th minute but midfielder Bernard Murphy scored twice to give Passage the Coca Cola.
Castle Celtic were the surprise packets in Youths 2A and, after beating Coachford 2-1, with goals from Packie Cummins and Tom McAuliffe, they needed only a point from the remaining two matches to sew things up. This was easier said than done and challengers Portview ensured it went to the wire when beating them 2-0. Castle bounced back from that reverse and annexed the trophy with an exciting 3-2 victory over Leeside. John O’Sullivan, Alan O’Brien and match star Niall O’Callaghan goaled for the Seanie Sheehan managed winners whose top scorers during the campaign were O’Sullivan and Richard Relihan.
Nine man Tramore
Tramore Ath looked strong fancies for the championship in 2A until trounced 4-1 by nearest challengers Macroom in Youths League 2. Dave McSweeney and Liam O’Brien were in top form for the winners whose marksmen were Pat Buttimer (2), Dan O’Riordan and Michael Murphy. Ian Mulcahy scored for the losers. A point was still all that Tramore required but another shock defeat, this time by Wilton, threw Macroom a lifeline. It then became a play-off situation and the decider was staged at Lakewood. Here, Tramore won their first youths title since 1988 when they defeated Macroom 3-1 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1. Pat Buttimer put Macroom ahead and it looked as if they would confirm the previous result until Paul McCarthy saved Tramore’s bacon with a tremendous volley from a James Daly cross. The new champions did well to take the game to penalties, having had two men sent off in separate incidents midway through the second half. Keeper Alan Creedon saved twice in the shoot-out in which the trio on target for the winners were Paul McCarthy, Tomás Carter and John Hodnett. Crosshaven proved too strong for Coachford in the 2nd Div Youths Cup final and won 5-1 much to the delight of the management team of Johnnie Wade and Noel Condon. The seasiders’ scorers were Kieran Enright (2), Thomas McMullen, Conor O’Keeffe and Paul Condon.
In the Under 17 League, Rockmount got the points needed when Conor Twomey scored the winner in a 3-2 decision over Tramore. The other Rockmount marksmen were Alan Falvey and Damian Long. Three first half goals gave Rockmount a 3-0 interval lead over Douglas Hall in the League Cup final. The Hall did not enjoy the best of luck in the opening period and missed two great chances before Kevin O’Connor put Rockmount in front after 20 minutes. Skipper Denis McAuliffe added the second, Damian Long the third. There was no further scoring in the second half. Leeds, who had Mick Daly in great form, wrapped up the championship in 2A when defeating Leeside 3-2 with goals from Paul McCarthy (2) and John Kelleher.
Temple grab the St Valentine’s bouquet (1992-93)
There was no doubt where the big story of 1993 lay. It belonged exclusively to Temple Utd as a result of their marvellous performance against mighty Derry City in the FAI Senior Cup at the Brandywell. Temple brought great credit to the AUL and to the city of Cork. Even the supreme optimists among the colourful band of Temple supporters, who jetted from Cork Airport, were predicting nothing less than a five goal trouncing, but the anticipated St Valentine’s Day massacre never materialised and it took two goals in the final quarter from Mark Ennis and Noel Murray to kill off the determined challenge of brave Temple. Rarely does the “Man of the Match” award go to a member of the losing team, but on this occasion it was claimed by Temple keeper Joe Barrett, who was the unanimous choice of every soccer reporter in the stadium. He could not be faulted for the three that beat him, the first of which arrived in the 20th minute when Donal O’Brien netted from five yards range, much to the relief of the impatient Derry supporters. Temple followers, who were accompanied by a piper, made sure they enjoyed themselves.They were in tremendous voice and sang everything from Top Twenty hits to “De Banks of My Own Lovely Lee”. Memories of the glorious trip will remain with them for the rest of their days. The attendance paid receipts of £7,156 – the biggest of the day – and Temple pocketed a tidy £2,300 which eased considerably the financial burden imposed by their jet set trip to the North. Temple: Barrett, Ahern, Hurley, Walsh, Greene, Griffin, Keane, O’Donovan, Corcoran, Manning, Tobin. Subs: Kearney and Grace.
Castleview out too
Temple’s name was accompanied in the hat for the FAI Cup draw by their neighbours Castleview who drew an unglamorous League of Ireland side UCD. Making their first appearance in the FAI Cup,the Cork team played the entire game in their own half and were decisively beaten 2-0 by the students at Belfield. Needless to say, Castleview’s player-manager, goalie Tony Horgan, was the busiest player on the park and prevented the score from running into double figures. Castleview: Horgan, O’Shea, Barrett, Ryan, O’Brien, Lee, Murphy, Mulcahy, Buckley, Kelleher, Kearney. Subs: Curtin, O’Sullivan.
A week before their FAI Senior Cup exploits, the northside giants had met in an FAI Intermediate Cup quarter-final replay. That game, in any other season, would have assumed epic proportions and Temple’s victory, which was achieved thanks to Mick Tobin’s lone goal (the only one, in fact of the 200 minutes played) was almost forgotten as a result of the Derry journey. Temple looked to be on their way to the greatest day in their history when they led Bluebell (Dublin) 2-1 in the semi-final of the Intermediate Cup at Turner’s Cross. Tragically, conceding a penalty kick in the 80th minute which gave the Dubliners a replay they scarcely deserved and an eventual passport to the final with the help of a 1-0 victory. The Turner’s Cross clash was a thriller and Temple, playing beautiful football, went ahead in the 27th minute with a typical Bobby O’Donovan header which was, of course, followed by the customary “Handsome Bob” victory shuffle. Bluebell equalised in the 51st minute, followed minutes later by a deafening Temple roar as Denis Keane converted a penalty for a foul on himself. Calamity struck when Seanie Walsh’s mistimed tackle resulted in the controversial penalty award which threw the Dubliners their lifeline.
Moral victories are not written into the record books, so Temple set about rectifying the matter and engraved their name in bold print in the appropriate listings with four great local triumphs. Pride of place went to the Intermediate League success achieved in a play-off with long time leaders Ballincollig. The mid-Cork team displaced early pace-setters Greenmount after Christmas and held a slender advantage over Castleview before Temple began to reduce the leeway when freed of their FAI commitments. Castleview’s hopes ended when beaten 1-0 by Temple in a tense tie at Knocknaheeny as Mick Tobin was once more the deadly executioner. Temple’s three match a week programme took its toll and they lost several players through injury, but they eventually accumulated enough points to force a play-off with Ballincollig. The exciting, well attended showdown produced no goals but compensated with lots of goalmouth incidents as both sides squandered gilt edged opportunities. Spectators rushed to take up vantage positions in the Turner’s “Shed” as the destination of the championship trophy was about to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Ballincollig’s fate was soon sealed by the brilliant Joe Barrett who pulled off a sensational hat trick of saves while Temple’s first three marksmen – Denis Keane, Seanie Walsh and Kevin Kearney – all fired past Finbarr Hogan. It was Temple’s fourth trophy of the season. They had taken their first with a 3-1 victory over Ballincollig (again) in the shield despite conceding a first minute penalty which was blasted to the net by Mattie O’Driscoll. Temple’s response was immediate and Mick Tobin scored at the far post after good work by Thomas Ahern and Kevin Kearney. Temple were the masters afterwards and Denis Keane provided the ammunition for Tobin and Bobby O’Donovan to shoot further scores.
The scoreline was the same when they defeated Mayfield Utd in the Linnane Cup final. Denis Keane converted a penalty in the sixth minute to give Temple a lead they held until the 70th minute when Mayfield (who were unlucky in the opening seconds) deservedly levelled through Richard O’Callaghan who finished off a perfect Ian Yelverton cross. Mayfield’s good work was spoiled by a defensive error which gifted Mick Tobin with a soft lead goal. Things then turned sour for Mayfield who had a player sent off before Kevin Kearney added a third to seal it for Temple. The intermediate champions were on the rack in a scoreless Corinthians’ Cup final first half against juniors Passage. Temple found it hard to cope with the pace and the passing of the underdogs in the lively opening period and were fortunate not to concede a goal. Passage were on the receiving end 90 seconds into the second half when Bobby O’Donovan fired past Thomas Farrell from 25 yards. They bounced back and equalised on the hour when Brian Hennessy scored after good work from Aidan Whitty. That was the final highlight for Passage. Temple finished strongly and killed off the outsiders’ challenge when Ger Manning twice supplied the crosses for a two goal Kevin Kearney salvo which completed Temple’s clean sweep. No surprise, therefore, that Temple skated away with the “Murphy’s Stout Team of the Year” award.
When Ballincollig won the Corinthians’ Cup in 1992, they had only 13 rivals to contend with. Temple’s victory was achieved in a competition involving 126 teams, making it one of the largest cup competitions in the country. Eligible were the 12 intermediate and 114 junior sides. The junior affiliations were four up on the previous year with new clubs Dripsey Celtic, Sunday’s Well and Kenley Celtic enrolling along with extra reserve teams and returned clubs.
Buttevant worthy ambassadors
The AUL had outstanding ambassadors in Buttevant who proudly carried the Cork banner into the open draw of the FAI Junior Cup. Buttevant won the Cork Area final by defeating Ballincollig 1-0 at Turner’s Cross. Poor finishing, and an excellent display by the Ballincollig keeper, kept the score to the minimum, though it mattered not to the jubilant Buttevant supporters that all they had to show for their labours was Anthony Barry’s 65th minute goal. Buttevant were in unknown territory when entertaining Wharf Utd (Dublin) in the 7th round but emerged victorious on and off the field. Their match arrangements, sign-posting and stewarding were first class and they sent the biggest crowd ever to watch a soccer match in the town home in high spirits after a 3-2 extra time win. AUL supporters were delighted that the winner was scored by Billy Sherlock, a player who, despite significant injuries, continued to give loyal and sterling service to the club. Denis O’Reilly scored for Buttevant in normal time which concluded with the sides deadlocked at 1-1. The Dublin team went ahead in extra time before Anthony Barry equalised and the roar which greeted Sherlock’s winner in the last minute could be heard in Charleville. The fairy tale continued for a while longer when they defeated Newtown (Clare) in the quarter-final before it all ended in Dublin at the penultimate stage when beaten 2-0 by Kinvara Boys.
A third AUL club were on national duty and again a hard luck story was reported as Rockmount youths were most unfortunate to lose their FAI Youths Cup semi-final to Rangers at Oriel Park (Dundalk). Unlike Buttevant, Rockmount’s agony was tempered by the joy of a hat trick of trophy wins at local level where a classy squad captured the Youths League, Murphy Cup and Under 17 League. Up at Oriel Park, Rockmount, despite an early penalty miss, looked a vastly superior side in the opening twenty minutes after which the trauma of further wasted opportunities took its toll. They slipped two goals behind but, displaying great battling qualities, reduced the arrears through Ken Dennehy and almost snatched a deserved equaliser in the closing seconds. At Glanmire Station to see them off on the morning of the game was former club star Roy Keane. They won the Youths Div 1 title when coming from behind twice to beat Douglas Hall in a midweek thriller which the Hall had to win. The southside team opened and closed the first half scoring with Kieran O’Shea netting in between for the victors. Denis McAuliffe scored Rockmount’s second equaliser and their third, a beauty, was registered by Kieran O’Connor.
FIFA officials ended up running the line as Rockmount defeated Mayfield Utd 3-1 in the Murphy Minor Cup final at Turner’s Cross. Christy Byrnes came in at short notice when one of the original linesmen could not make it and, mid-way through the second half, referee Derry Sexton limped off and was replaced by linesman Brian O’Regan whose place was taken by Pat Kelly. The game was then level, Kieran O’Connor having put the Mount ahead in the 20th minute and Anthony Noone (who had a great duel with Denis McAuliffe) heading in the equaliser in the 65th. Rockmount put in a storming finish but the game looked likely to go to extra time until Conor Twomey set up goals for Dennehy and John Hurley to record a slightly flattering 3-1 victory. Twomey, Dennehy and O’Connor were the key men for the winners, while Mayfield had their aces in Trevor Cambridge, scorer Noone and David Keohane. Rockmount, who were able to include a high percentage of the youths squad, made it a points competition double when adding the under 17 championship to the sideboard despite the valiant efforts of runners-up Wilton whose best performers during the campaign were Darren Gubbins, Diarmuid Higgins, Steve McGilton and Andy Sheehan. Rockmount’s cause was helped by the high scoring of Kieran O’Connor (27 ) and Ken Dennehy (24) and by centre half Denis McAuliffe’s remarkable 23 goal tally. Others to figure in this department for the Harry Peglar managed squad were Damien Long and John Hurley with 17 each.
Castleview, the Youths League 2 winners, completed their programme with a 3-2 victory over top rivals Mallow Celtic. That win meant that the View went through the campaign with an unbeaten record and, apart from Mallow, they saw off major challenges from Leeside (runners-up), Ballincollig and Springfield. Rodney Power played like a product of the old school of centre forwards as he collected 34 goals from 31 games. Other marksmen in form were Mark Daly (14), Barry Babbington (10) and Jason McGillicuddy (7). Keeper Martin Collins played a major role and those who assisted him in shutting out the opposition were Ken Trindles and Paul O’Donovan. Mayfield won a thrilling Under 17 League Cup final, coming from behind to beat Rockmount 3-2. Keith O’Connell’s 29th minute header put Rockmount in front. Six minutes later, Mayfield skipper Leslie Kepple equalised with a brilliant free kick and they jumped in front when Brian McSweeney headed home from a corner. Rockmount missed several chances before McSweeney added another, giving Rockmount a mountain climb which they nearly succeeded in doing: Shane Power reduced the deficit; they went close with O’Shea striking the bar, and Brian Linehan grazed the upright. Mayfield also recorded a double success as a 1-1 draw with Tramore was enough to give them the League 2 trophy. The scoreline was much closer than predicted as, a week earlier, Mayfield hammered Tramore 7-1. But the southsiders, determined to do eventual runners-up Casement a big favour, turned in a great performance and were unlucky not to take both points, as they missed a penalty and had genuine goal claims turned down when another effort appeared to have crossed the Mayfield goal-line.
Staying with youths soccer, Douglas Hall derived consolation for their unlucky league defeat when capturing the Coca Cola Cup. A superbly taken hat trick by Ian Doyle, which included two goals in extra time, gave the Hall a 3-1 decision over Casement. Underdogs Casement played well in the first half and went ahead four minutes before the break. Martin Cronin’s well placed pass set up Sydney Kennedy to run on and shoot past keeper David Boyle. It was a big blow for the Hall as not only did they lose a goal but also, skipper David Grainger, injured in the 29th minute. The equaliser came midway through the second half from the third of successive corners. Doyle put the Hall ahead in the 102nd minute and completed his hat trick in injury time. Ballincollig were fancied to win the 2nd Div Youths Cup but were surprised by Mallow Celtic whose greater hunger for victory saw them take the trophy. A sensational solo goal by Declan Harrold was the highlight of the game as the well drilled Mallow scored a deserved 3-0 victory over the mid-Cork team. Mallow Celtic, who had no connection with other Mallow clubs, were founded in 1987 and managed by Timmy Kelly.
Well muscled Coachford
Coachford won their first AOH Cup by beating Passage 1-0 in an exciting encounter before a large crowd at Turner’s Cross. While Passage had the flair, their lightweight challenge faded against a well muscled Coachford midfield and were eventually beaten by Timmy Buckley’s 67th minute strike. It was a game of few chances, though there was plenty of fast flowing action. After the precious goal, the Coachford defence stood firm in the face of a wave of Passage attacks and keeper Mick Murphy earned his Man of the Match award with a series of excellent saves. Coachford: Mick Murphy, Toss O’Regan, Jim Martin, Mick O’Connell, Derry O’Connell, Mick Walsh, Declan Murphy, Paddy Martin, Johnny Moynihan, John McGrath and Timmy Buckley. Subs: Finbarr Murphy, Declan Casey. Other panel members included Noel Looney, Paul Neilon and John Linehan.
Hibs step up
Hibernians, runners-up in League 1 for the previous couple of seasons at last made it to the premier division. The promotion and the title were clinched with a 3-1 win over Temple Utd. Niall Coakley had Hibs one up at the break and Pat Cantwell tested the nerves when equalising for the northsiders. With Richie Drievers and Martin Punch urging Hibs on, they finished in style and deserved the great reward that further goals from Alan Twomey and Adrian McAleer brought. It was a great relief for Hibs popular manager Dan Cullinane who put the success down to a massive team effort. Leading scorers for the champions were Ger O’Flaherty (18) and Niall Coakley (14). Blackpool Celtic, who were the highest scorers in the league with 48 goals, finished just two points behind in second place. Accompanying Hibs to the premier division were Park Utd, managed by Michael Keane, who had lost just two games (both of them at home) on the way to the title in 1A. They won 15 and drew 3 of the 20 played to pip Waterloo by just two points. Keeper Brendan Hannon was one of the leading contributors, while John Creedon and John O’Shea led a solid defence. Midfield magic was supplied by Tony Mullally and Thomas Gallagher while, up front, expert goalsmith Dave O’Connor was leading scorer with a haul of thirty. Ballyvolane’s Intermediate League experience stood to them in their promotion battle in 1B. They secured the title with a brace of mid-week wins over Mayfield and Central. They had edged closer with a thrilling, nervy 3-2 victory over neighbours Mayfield, their goals coming courtesy of Frank Mulvihill (2) and Mick Ahern. They clinched the title two days later with another odd goal in five triumph over Central when their scorers were Mulvihill, Ken O’Neill and Ian Grey. Ballyvolane went unbeaten throughout the campaign, winning sixteen of the twenty played. Defence was the strongest part of the Mick Lynam managed team and the leading marksmen were Ken O’Neill (26), Mulvihill (23) and Grey (20).
Villa Utd, Village Utd and Togher Rovers, all won their respective 2nd Div titles and promotion to the 1st Div. Of the three, Togher had the most impressive record, accumulating 37 from a possible 44 points – 3 ahead of West End who made it a great contest. Blarney Street were the other major contributors while Wilton and Bosco’s also helped to make it a competitive league. Togher player-manager Jim Haines turned the also-rans of ’92 into the champions in ’93. He mixed the prodigals with the faithful to produce a title winning blend. They lost just once in the course of the 22 match campaign and needed a point from their concluding game to clinch the championship. Haines need not have worried as skipper Paul Sherlock settled the nerves when flicking home an early goal as Togher went nap against overpowered Wilton Utd. The champs other goals were scored by Mick Roche, Tom Murphy, Mark McDermott and Eddie Haines. They scored 87 league goals and prominent during the hard campaign were Trevor Meldrum, Trevor Walsh, Roche and Eddie Haines.
Village and Castle Celtic went into their final duel level on points. Top marksman Eddie O’Driscoll put Village ahead. They then missed a penalty and Castle converted one to leave the score 1-1 at the break. Tony Neiland and Rory O’Connor sparkled after the resumption for Village who clinched the title with scores from Adrian Saville and Alan O’Brien. Eddie O’Driscoll, with 22 goals was the leading scorer and others to contribute were Saville (15), O’Connor (13), Jinty O’Sullivan (12) and Greg Marshall (11).
Villa only needed a point from their trip to Crosshaven to take the honours in League 2 but they got both in a 2-0 win. They were pleased with the scoreless first half and scores from Liam Walsh and Jason Murphy after the interval started the celebrations in Nolan’s Bar. Pat O’Callaghan was leading scorer with 17. Ray Murphy was just one short of O’Callaghan’s haul and others to figure on the scoresheet were Flor McCarthy (7), Walsh (7), Morgan Kelleher (6), Martin Meaney (6) and Michael Brosnan (5). Villa scored in all but one – the President’s Cup quarter-final when they lost 1-0 to Afton Villa – of the 32 games played. Three of the seventeen man panel took part in all thirty two games: keeper Denis O’Driscoll; centre back John Murphy; and midfielder Flor McCarthy.
Two losses from their four opening games was hardly a recipe for success but Doneraile’s dithering start was soon put behind them and was forgotten by the time they took the championship in Murphy’s Stout 3A. The clinching points came against Boher Albion at the end of May. Doneraile had been unbeaten since October and at home, all season. Micky O’Sullivan did a great job as manager, keeping his charges up to the high standard then being set in North Cork. A major factor in their success was the excellent condition of the home venue where they also received great vocal support. They beat Boher Albion 1-0 in their decider, a result which also ensured that Buttevant Albion pipped Boher for the runners-up spot.
Hill Celtic earned a championship play-off in 3B when Donal O’Callaghan and Mick Sheehan led them to a 5-0 win over Lee Rangers. Their marksmen were Declan Freeman, Mick O’Leary, Sean Hegarty, Moss O’Keeffe and John Shine. In the decider, the Watergrasshill lads pipped Carrigtwohill 1-0 after extra time. It was a cracking match, played before a big crowd at Celtic Park. There were chances galore at both ends but none were converted until the first minute of extra time when Sean Hegarty broke clear and sent over a cross which was expertly finished by Declan Freeman. Carrig fought back, and shots whizzed all over the Hill penalty area, but Andy O’Flynn, with a string of great saves, cooled the temperatures.
It was a memorable year for Greenwood, the lively Togher based outfit, who brought off a great double when adding the Saxone Cup to the League Div 3 title. The league was something of a nail-biter and they annexed the trophy by winning their last game away to Dripsey which gave them a total of 34 points, just one more than unlucky Innishannon. Dripsey gave them a fright and Greenwood had to come from behind. Aidan McCarthy equalised and Martin Sweeney knocked in the championship winner. Greenwood added the Saxone Cup to the sideboard when beating Castle Celtic 9-8 on penalties. There were no goals in the match which was a disappointment for the supporters and the Samba Band (supporting Greenwood) who had to be satisfied with a half-time display. The band, and the intense sunshine, lent the game a Brazilian air. The shooting in the penalty decider was top class with not a sign of a miss until the ninth exchange when Greenwood keeper Finbarr Lynch saved from Fergal Barry. Damien Crowe then scored for Greenwood to start the drums beating on the terraces.
Rockmount won the St Michael’s Cup for the first time by beating Ballincollig 7-6 on penalties after the sides had ended level at one each. Despite the concession of an early goal, and being hit by a series of injuries, Ballincollig Ath, the first division underdogs, battled bravely against their higher ranked opponents. The opening Rockmount goal arrived in the 6th minute when John Joe O’Sullivan tapped in from close range after enterprising play by Mick McAuliffe. The equaliser, which eventually led to the penalty shoot-out, was hammered home by O’Callaghan on the half-hour. The shoot-out was an exciting affair, with all the players involved converting expertly until Rockmount keeper Dermot O’Brien spoiled the Ballincollig fun when he dived to his left to turn away the 14th kick and give Rockmount a 7-6 victory. At the presentation there was a huge cheer when Denis O’Donovan, in his last game as manager, was reluctantly persuaded to go up to receive the trophy from Denis O’Driscoll of the AUL.
It was a case of sweet revenge for Corkbeg when they beat holders Brooklodge 1-0 in a hard fought County Cup final to reverse the previous year’s result. Brooklodge held a slight edge in the first half but Corkbeg did the business in the second and fully deserved their triumph. The winner came in the 64th minute when Willie McCann won the race to finish off a left wing cross from Stan Horgan. The Beg continued to push forward in search of another but were deprived by outstanding Brooklodge keeper Mark Hutchinson who ensured that his side’s cup hopes remained alive. Indeed, they nearly snatched an equaliser in the dying seconds when Mick Mooney shot narrowly wide. A score then would have been an injustice to Corkbeg whose veteran skipper Joe Sheehan brought the curtain down on a quarter of a century’s activity when raising the County Cup aloft.
The success of Albert Rovers in the City Challenge Cup was long overdue. Their 2-1 victory over Grangevale in the final followed the disappointment of losing on penalties in the previous season’s decider against Mayfield Utd. Martin Davies livened a dull match when blasting past Grangevale keeper Graham in the 65th minute. Grangevale battled hard and were rewarded nine minutes from time when Dave Hayes set up John Foley to shoot past Ger Condon. The fat was now in the fire but the Grangevale flame was dramatically quenched within a minute. Tommy Morrissey was penalised for handball and Noel Hayes tucked away the spotter to put Albert’s into a winning 2-1 lead over the plucky second division boys.
Ard-na-Laoi won the President’s Cup 4-2 on penalties after extra time had failed to decide an entertaining tie against Ballyvolane which was deadlocked at 1-1. The Leemount team took the lead in the 5th minute when Ken O’Mahony’s cross was headed to the net by Ken Quinn. Ballyvolane’s deserved equaliser came in the 70th minute, sub Liam McAuliffe setting up the outstanding Jimmy Hennessy to turn the ball past the stranded Ricky O’Mahony. O’Mahony’s vital save in the fourth series of spotters provided Paul Lynch with the opportunity of netting the decider.
AUL Youths bowed out of the National inter league race when going down 3-0 to a much stronger Limerick side. Paul McCarthy and Kieran O’Connor were the best of an off form Cork team. AUL: N Cantwell, J Busteed, P Hogan, D McAuliffe, K Cronin, C O’Driscoll, J Hurley, P McCarthy, C Fitzgerald, G O ’Connor and P Hurley. Subs: S Kennedy and S O’Leary.
The bad news continued in the Oscar Traynor Cup as South Tipperary put paid to Cork’s chances for another year when defeating them 2-1 in the first round. A series of great saves from Cork keeper Mick Murphy kept Tipp’s interval lead to the minimum. AUL improved in the second half and Richie Fitzgerald equalised in the 65th minute, but Tipp responded immediately with an excellent match winner. Only keeper Murphy and Paul Coughlan played up to scratch in the Cork colours. AUL: Murphy, Ahern, Flaherty, Glavin, Cronin, Coughlan, O’Keeffe, Fitzgerald, Barrett, Dennehy and Courtney. Subs: Walsh and Leahy.
The AUL restored some pride with a marvellous 3-2 victory over their Dublin counterparts in the Tayto Cup, all the goals coming in a cracking first half. The winner was an own goal but the other four were well worth seeing. Dublin looked set for an easy victory when they jumped into a two goal lead but they reckoned without Mick McAuliffe who capped a great display by netting twice for the Leesiders. AUL: P Murphy. Drievers, J Flaherty, O’Brien, Dennehy, Coughlan, Walsh, Fitzgerald, W McCann, McAuliffe and Leahy. Subs: Ahern, Cullen, O’Keeffe, G Flaherty and McNulty.
Rockmount’s Mick McAuliffe with 14 goals, pipped Temple’s Bobby O’Donovan for the Murphy‘s Stout Golden Boot Award. The competition had run from February to the end of season and only goals scored in Intermediate and Premier League matches counted. Ger Manning (Temple) was named Manager of the Year while Billy Falvey took the referee award. Team of the Month award winners were Passage, Rockmount, Ballincollig, Buttevant, College Corinthians, Ballyvolane, Temple Utd, Hibernians and Greenwood.
Disappointment at failure of Merger talks (1993-94)
The biggest disappointment of the previous season was the failure to get the proposed merger between the AUL and the MSL off the ground. Delegates who had been informed of, and given their blessing to, the talks were told at the League’s AGM that there were no plans to re-open discussions. All hopes for talks on the merger faded dramatically on March 8th when five of the eight members of the MSL Management, who were originally in favour of discussions, resigned from the MSL when a vote on a motion in favour of talks was narrowly defeated. The League was in a very healthy position, evidenced by an excellent Treasurer’s report and the President, Vice-Presidents and management committee were all re-elected en bloc. The soccer boom continued and new teams welcomed were Lough Celtic, Brogeen Rovers (Kanturk), Shelbourne, Whitethorn (Douglas), Douglas Celtic and Carey’s FC. Churchvilla returned after a few years absence as did Hillington, following a spell in the MSL. Newcomers to the Under 17 grade were Ballyphehane and Kinsale. Under a new rule, teams were permitted to list five subs but could only play two from that five.
Temple’s clean sweep
Temple’s FAI Cup exploits of the previous season were not to be repeated as they were beaten 2-0 by Cherry Orchard in the Intermediate Cup 3rd round in Dublin. Neighbours Castleview survived a stage further when Terry Barrett grabbed a second half hat trick as they stormed back from a 2-1 interval deficit to beat Lansdowne Rangers (Dublin) 5-2 in a replay. Niall Curtin and Ian O’Brien supplied the other scores. The View’s determined drive for another crack at the FAI Senior Cup was arrested when they were defeated 2-0 by a hard working Garda team in a wind ruined tie at O’Sullivan Park, Knocknaheeny.
Castleview and Temple, meeting in a final for the first time, clashed in the shield decider at Turner’s Cross. The hard fought thriller ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Temple retaining the trophy after a shoot-out. An early Kieran Corcoran goal confirmed Temple’s favourites tag but great credit was due to Castleview who fought back well and deserved even more than Terry Barrett’s equaliser. For the second season in succession, Temple won all four AUL Intermediate trophies. It was not that they were miles ahead of the others, but the keen competition for places helped them greatly and, of course, they had the edge in scoring with ex-League of Ireland players Kevin Kearney and Bobby O’Donovan leading the way in that department. When behind, they kept battling away as emphasised by a tremendous last 10 minute performance in a top of the table clash with Greenmount when a 1-0 deficit became a 3-1 victory. They showed when in front that there could be no easing off and clinched the championship with just such a display against Ballincollig. They hammered the mid-Cork team into submission with a scintillating 7-3 victory as centre back Anthony Elliot netted a rampaging hat trick. Castleview defeated Greenmount in a play-off for the runners-up medals. Mayfield, too, will vouch for Temple’s great determination. They outplayed Temple in the first half of the Corinthians’ Cup final and could have won on the basis of the first hours play, but, could just as easily have lost by more than 4-1 in the closing quarter. On target for Temple were Kevin Kearney (2), Bobby O’Donovan and Kieran Fitzgerald. Stephen Lyons netted Mayfield’s consolation score. The same teams contested the Linnane Cup final, which was a repeat of the previous year’s, and Ian Yelverton, who collected a losers medal on that occasion, set up golden boot award winner Kevin Kearney to head the game’s only goal in the 7th minute. Temple had the edge before the interval and the losers enjoyed majority possession afterwards, but, both created little in the way of clear-cut chances.
A glorious Passage
Passage won their first junior trophy with some style when, with skipper Paul Coughlan in excellent form, they defeated Grattan 3-0 in the final of the AOH Cup at Turner’s Cross. It was their first AUL trophy in 22 years and was expected to be the first of many for the harboursiders as ten of Florrie Meighan’s squad were aged under 21 years. Coughlan was the popular choice for “Man of the Match”. He scored two of the winners’ three goals, the other being a late own goal conceded by Mick Murphy who had the thankless task of of pursuing him all night. The Coughlan goals were brilliantly executed, the first a spectacular volley in the 67th minute and the second a delightful lob eleven minutes later. He almost completed his hat trick with what would have been a sensational goal in the closing minutes when he outfoxed the keeper before, unluckily, shooting into the side netting. Grattan had their chances and made a match of it for over an hour. Had Brendan Sheehan and Gavin O’Mahony been better supported, the city side could have caused an upset because, until Coughlan’s volley, there had been more style than sting in the Passage attack. Passage: S Kind, D Callaghan, J Flaherty, P Cronin, G Curtin, D O’Brien, R Fitzgerald, P Coughlan, A Whitty, T Hanlon, J Meighan. Res: B Murphy and B Hennessy.
Passage’s penance and joy
Billy Lyons, writing in AUL Shoot, said that Passage’s pilgrimage to the Premier League title was a mixture of penance and joy. First came the penance, perhaps for the over indulgent AOH Cup celebrations. They suffered when beaten 2-1 by closest challengers Rockmount for whom Aidan Kearney and Mick McAuliffe scored. Ger Curtin tallied for Passage. They won a five goal thriller by the odd goal against plucky Hibernians as Thomas Hanlon’s (2) and Paul Coughlan’s scores kept them on course for the title. Mike O’Grady and Martin Giltinan were the Hibs lads whose goals gave Passage the scare. The Passage posse then headed for Buttevant and a difficult task became harder when they fell behind to a Denis Bowles goal. Bernard Murphy had Passage level at the break and Curtin snatched a late winner. That victory left Passage needing just one point from a visit to Bandon to take the title for the first time, and the task was accomplished with ease as Meighan’s kids went nap and claimed both with a 5-0 triumph.
There was an abundance of riches within the Rockenham Park club as the youths, under the guidance of Paddy Carroll and Finbarr Burke, brought off a splendid double when capturing the 2nd Div League and Cup. The league campaign eventually boiled down to a thrilling finish between Passage and Everton. Passage, who had played second fiddle to the city side in earlier meetings, came good when it mattered and won the final, crucial contest 2-1. David O’Neill scored the equaliser and leading scorer John Carroll supplied the 84th minute winner. The cup final, against a fine Macroom side, was a thriller with good quality goals and then excellent penalty taking in the 28 kick shoot-out. Passage went ahead in the opening minutes, thanks to a clever lob from Gordan O’Riordan. The prolific scoring Christy Kirby had Mallow on level terms at the break and they went on to take the lead through Gearóid O’Leary, but Passage brought the game to extra time and an eventual shoot-out, thanks to Pat Meighan’s equaliser. Best for the winners were Jason Treacy, Dave O’Neill and Meighan. Macroom had spectacular contributions by John Ronan, Steve Prenderville and Jeremy Daly. Leading scorers for Passage in a great season were John Carroll (37), Jason Tracy (20), Gordon O’Riordan (16) and Sean Moynihan (9).
Ecstasy then agony for Coachford
One of the best sporting stories of the season unfolded when Coachford won the Area final of the FAI Junior Cup, defeating Passage 1-0, to reach the last 16 for the first time in their history. The goal scoring hero was none other than Jason Murphy a brother of player-manager Finbarr Murphy (the ex-St Mary’s international defender) who hit the match winning goal nine minutes from time in what was his first competitive outing of the season. It was a repeat of Coachford’s 1-0 victory in the ’93 AOH Cup final over the same opposition when Timmy Buckley was the toast of the club. In the Area final Buckley, also in his first match of the season, led the attack for the first time with Murphy. Things really went wrong for the mid Cork team in the 7th round against Renmore of Galway at Turner’s Cross. Following an indifferent first half display, Coachford seemed to have got it together in the opening minutes of the second half. But a terrible miss, followed by the concession of a soft goal and then the dismissal of keeper Mick Murphy, spelt the end of their FAI Cup dreams.
Stablemates win promotion
Ballincollig, and stablemates Ballincollig Ath, won promotion to the Premier League but the rules allow for just one team per club in any one league and their AGM decided that it was the Martin O’Neill managed Athletic side, successful in 1B, which would advance to the higher grade. Martin’s team took the title in with a 4-0 win over Central which gave them a winning margin of two points over second placed Leeside. Their scorers against Central were John Kelleher (2), Danny Garrett and James Larkin. The crucial match against Leeside had taken place a week earlier and, to Ballincollig Athletic’s delight, ended in a 1-1 deadlock. Finny O’Callaghan put the mid-Cork team ahead. Gary Tobin equalised, knocking in the rebound from a free by Thomas Lyons. clubmates Ballincollig clinched their title with a 3-1 win over Killowen – goals netted by Frank McCarthy (his 28th of the season), George Meade and Kevin Dalton – giving them a century of goals for the season. At the beginning of May, Temple Utd were clear leaders with 24 points from 16 games, 8 points ahead of Ballincollig who had a whopping seven matches in hand. Guided by Finbarr Hogan and Eamonn Kennedy (former Tolka Rovers star), Ballincollig only dropped four points from their remaining eleven fixtures to take the championship in style, finishing five in front of Temple who were also the bridesmaids in the City Challenge Cup. A dodgy defence and a malfunctioning offside trap contributed to Temple’s heavy 4-1 defeat by Village Utd. The highlight of a well attended final was Village’s last goal which drew thunderous applause from the admiring attendance. It was a beauty and followed a swift attacking move, started from midfield by the elegant Jinty O’Sullivan. His ball put Eddie O’Driscoll clear on the right and his first time cross was powerfully cracked home by Mark Shinkwin. O’Sullivan had put Village two ahead with goals in the 6th and 22nd minutes. Fergal Manley pulled one back for Temple who were well in the game either side of the interval, thanks to good work by Mark Barry and sub Ger Manning. Man of the Match O’Sullivan engineered the third goal for Alan O’Brien which killed off the Temple challenge. Village went on to complete a great double when beating AOH Cup finalists Grattan in a play-off for League 1A honours. Grattan had forced the play-off when they came from behind to defeat Village 2-1 in a table topper. Noel Harris and Brendan Sheehan were on target for Grattan who then went on to take maximum points from their four remaining games to set up the showdown with Village.
Hill Celtic literally ran away with the title in 2B, finishing seven points clear of second placed Blarney St Ath who were the only side to lower the champions colours in the 22 match campaign. Blarney Street’s Ger Cronin was the executioner, netting the only goal in that thrilling tie. Prominent for the Watergrasshill side in the championship run-in were Moss and John O’Keeffe, Seanie Hegarty, Donal O’Callaghan, John Sheehan, John Barton, Declan Freeman, Mick O’Leary and Mick Sheehan.
Doneraile beat Blarney Utd 2-0 to claim the championship in Murphy’s Stout 2A, John O’Sullivan and Jerome Harrington netting the goals in that deciding match. Doneraile had been sitting pretty at the top while their challengers damaged one another and that trend continued when Bishopstown beat Tramore to allow Southend Utd take the runners-up medals. Hotshots James Collins, Trevor O’Mahony and Jerry Murphy, all hit double figures as Kilreen Celtic took the championship in 2A. They wrapped it up in style with a 2-0 win over Greenwood when their scorers were Denis Hayes and Jerry Murphy. The great game provided a fitting finale and among those prominent for Liam O’Mahony’s boys were Jerry Murphy, Anthony Kenneally, Declan Cotter and Kieran O’Sullivan.
The destination of the title in 3A hinged on the crucial top of the table clashes in April between leaders Park Albion and Kanturk, two matches which ended scoreless. In the first meeting, Park keeper Pa O’Mahony was in defiant form and protected his team’s points advantage against the Sam Barry and Edward Geaney inspired chasers. O’Mahony again broke Kanturk’s heart in the return tie and this time he received great support from Mick O’Donnell, Colman O’Farrell and Karl Burke. Longtime leaders Churchvilla clinched the title in 3B with a 5-2 win over Bohemians. The losers stayed with the new champs for an hour but the Cloyne side pulled away after that. Ger Lewis, Willie Hill, an own goal, Liam Dorgan and Paul Nelligan accounted for the winners’ goals. The tussle for the runners-up medals continued up to the wire with Ballinlough eventually edging out Douglas Celtic and Ballintotis.
Douglas Hall’s cup involvements left them with a fixture backlog in Murphy’s League 3 but an unlucky defeat in the Saxone Cup final made them more determined than ever to catch long time leaders Strand Utd. The Hall’s climb up the ladder was halted when beaten 2-1 in a head to head with Strand. Goals by Paul Neilon and Tim O’Sullivan increased Strand’s wobbly points advantage. The Hall recovered from the setback and had successive wins over Kenley and Strand’s neighbours, Dripsey Celtic. Scorers in a 5-0 win over Kenley were Pat Cotter (3), Brian Foley and Henry McSorley, while goals by Mick O’Callaghan, Martin O’Donovan and Ray O’Callaghan earned them a 3-1 verdict over Dripsey. They then needed three points from back-to-back games with lowly Killeady to take the title. Douglas were equal to the task and deservedly completed the President’s Cup and League 3 double. If Lady Luck turned against the Hall in the Saxone decider, she was very much on their side in the 2-1 Presidents Cup final win over Hill Celtic. Celtic looked the part in the first half, being busy and purposeful, and deserved the lead captain Moss O’Keeffe having headed home from a corner by Sean Hegarty. Luck took a hand ten minutes into the second when Carl Toal’s hard tackle in midfield saw the ball ricochet through the Celtic back-line. Mick Fallon followed up and equalised despite the best efforts of keeper Denis O’Leary. Hill Celtic responded with a series of corners but were rocked again four minutes from time. Pat Walsh floated over a corner. Toal’s challenge saw the ball break to Ger O’Keeffe whose low shot went in off the far post. Douglas Hall’s late season trophy hunt got off to a bad start when they, unluckily, went under by the odd goal in three to Ard-na-Laoi. Regular marksman Brian Foley was on target for the Hall who did not begrudge the popular Leemount team their hour of glory. The scores which initiated the celebrations out in the Anglers Rest were both netted by Joe Keane.
Hibernian’s (Shanbally) won their first St Michael’s Cup, and their third AUL trophy in as many years, when beating Macroom 1-0 in a keenly contested final at Turner’s Cross. Macroom had a good chance shortly after the kick off before Hibs grabbed the game’s only goal in the 8th minute. Alan Twomey touched on Martin Giltinan’s corner and was on hand, after a bout of head tennis, to finish it to the net when it again came his way. The losers were unlucky shortly afterwards when Tim Kelleher’s shot hit the bar. Darren Ring inspired a Macroom resurgence in the third quarter but it was the Shanbally side which created the better chances and could have taken the trophy with some ease but for some brave goalkeeping from Macroom’s Red Kerby. Leeside won the County Cup for the second time when they pipped Kinsale 1-0 in the final at Turner’s Cross. Their matchwinner was Thomas Lyons. He was in sparkling form in the opening quarter and scored in the 22nd minute after a great ball over the top by John Corcoran had set him free. Kinsale, with Peter Jones in an advanced role, did most of the second half attacking. But Jones and company were allowed very little scope by a defence which was manned by two teens and two vets. Outstanding for the winners were Tony O’Keeffe, Paddy Ward, Steve Walsh, Liam Twohig and skipper Gerry Holland.
Rockmount’s amazing achievement
In youths football, pride of place belonged to Rockmount, clear-cut winners of League Div 1 with an unbeaten record. It was their third consecutive triumph in that competition and remarkably, they did not lose a game over the three years. Managers Harry Peglar and John Delea were proud of the amazing achievement and heaped praise on the dedicated bunch of players, headed by skipper Conor O’Driscoll, and which also included Patrick Punch, Jimmy O’Shea, Walter McCarthy, Alan Martin, Mark Daly, Keith O’Connell, Steve Hegarty, Ken Cullinane, John Kearney, Dermot Kelleher and Derek Power. The club’s Under 17’s, managed by Barry Peelo and assistant Mick White, also captured the premier grade championship, losing just once during a season in which Brian Walsh and Neil O’Regan topped the scoring charts. Shane Power and Steve Yelverton also made major contributions as did keeper John Kearney. They collected the championship winning points with a 4-0 win over top challengers Leeds Ath. Patrick Punch notched a hat trick and Ray Peelo completed the scoring.
Greenwood captured the tile in Youths Div 2 with an exciting win over contenders Leeds Ath. Derek Dennehy and Jason Lynch had them two up at the break. A brilliant free kick saw Leeds get one back early in the second half but a great team performance allowed Greenwood hang on until Craig Murphy struck the clincher with ten minutes remaining. Castleview’s Under17s became the first champions of the AUL season, their 7-3 win over Everton giving them the 2nd Div title. Niall Drummond netted a hat trick and others on target were Eddie Kenny (2), Kevin O’Rourke and Anthony O’Donovan.
Everton caused a mild surprise when they beat higher ranked Mayfield Utd 3-1 after extra time in the Murphy Cup final. The Bandon Road team went ahead in the 40th minute when a defender’s hesitancy allowed Eddie Kelly break on the right. He squared to the unmarked Len Hurley and his powerful shot flew in off the post. Mayfield dominated the closing stages and fully deserved their injury time equaliser, scored by super sub Trevor Healy, which compensated for the earlier bad luck of having an Ian Willis beauty disallowed. Everton, showing the greater hunger in extra time, regained the lead when ace midfielder William O’Brien hit a low drive past advancing keeper Murray. There was time for another perfect finish and this time Brian Linehan took Kieran O’Sullivan’s through ball in his stride and lobbed the stranded keeper. Mayfield Utd were also out of luck in a thrilling Coca Cola Cup final when beaten 3-2 by Park Utd at Turner’s Cross. Leslie Kepple opened the scoring for Mayfield and Anthony O’Brien made it 1-1 at the interval by converting a penalty awarded when Richie Cahill was brought down n the box, but the referee’s whistle was blown only for an initial foul, deemed to have occurred inches outside the area. Coachford were two points clear and could take the title if they beat Passage and Greenmount dropped a point to Rockville in a double biller which packed John A Woods complex at Lakewood. This was not to be however, as Greenmount romped to an easy five goal (Cooney 4) victory over Rockville while Coachford struggle to overcome Passage in a needle encounter on the adjacent pitch. The crunch tie was played at the packed ESB grounds a few days later when Greenmount’s comprehensive 2-0 victory over Coachford ensured a play-off in Turner’s Cross. Shane McSweeney settled Greenmount’s nerves with a cracking opener and Greg Cooney, the man for the big occasion, added the second to join Ballincollig’s John McAlpine at the top of the Golden Boot charts with 25 goals.
Such was the city team’s supremacy in the ESB grounds that few gave Coachford a chance at spacious Turner’s Cross, but manager Martin Heffernan burned the midnight oil in doing his homework and his tactical changes made life difficult for John Lyne’s favourites. Coachford played very well and led twice, only for an 88th minute goal to force extra time. After a scoreless opening half, Coachford made the breakthrough on the hour as Mick McAuliffe touched on for livewire Deccie Murphy to fire past Bertie Lane. The equaliser came just minutes later when Brendan Cronin was pushed in the box and Mick O’Leary made no mistake from the spot. Coachford looked to have secured the title when, with eight minutes remaining, Mick McAuliffe headed home. With time almost up, the energetic Greenmount full back Pat Tynan raced up the right and fired over a centre which was volleyed goalwards by Cooney beating Ray Moynihan with the help of a deflection.
Greenmount looked the more likely to score in a sensational extra time period but indecisiveness assured the penalty shoot-out conclusion. Coachford got off to a bad start in the penalty series with both Mick O’Connell and Mick McAuliffe failing to beat Lane, as the Greenmount pair, O’Leary and Cooney, gave their side a 2-0 cushion. Dan Kelleher beat Lane and Tynan shot wide to give Coachford some hope; then Martin O’Connell and Conor Fitzgerald succeeded in the fourth, leaving Dougie Browne to wrap up the title with a well placed shot.
Sent off twice in same game
A sensational incident occurred in the second half of extra time when the referee stopped play and ordered Coachford player-manager Martin Heffernan, who had come on as a sub a few minutes earlier, to leave the action though another sub was allowed on in his absence. The reason given was that Heffernan, who had earlier been dismissed from the dug out, was effectively red carded at that stage and should obviously, not have been allowed next or near the pitch subsequently. Immediately, the football “lawyers” on the terraces were in debate as many questions were raised as a result of the unprecedented occurrence. The FAI – and even FIFA – when consulted on the matter, were at a loss to explain what the outcome of the affair would have been had Coachford gone on to win, or if the red carded Heffernan had scored during his participation. Now, if you were the judge, how would you rule in those circumstances?
Team of the Year
Greg Cooney proved he was the man for the big occasion again when netting a brace as Greenmount completed a treble by beating Springfield 3-1 in the Corinthians’ Cup at the Trophy donor’s magnificent Castletreasure complex. Brendan Cronin gave Rangers the lead in the 25th minute, beating Brian Farrell with a splendid strike. Ten minutes later, Springfield equalised when Conor McCarthy’s long range shot deceived Kevin McTernan in the Greenmount goal. In the second half, Cooney struck early and late to secure Greenmount’s third trophy of the season, a feat which resulted in the southside club taking the “Team of the Year” award for the second time. Greenmount owed much of their success to excellent team organisation with, in particular, bouquets going to Shane McSweeney, Eddie Cotter, Micky O’Leary, Bertie Lane, Anthony O’Brien, Davy Cooke, Barry O’Leary, Conor Fitzgerald, Brendan Cronin, Greg Cooney, Pat Tynan, Dougie Browne and veteran Alan Ramsell who bowed out at the end of the season.
It was a good year for AUL clubs in open competitions, beginning with Greenmount’s quality performance in the Lennox Trophy (pre-season) competition when they defeated MSL champions Avondale before losing by a solitary goal to an almost full strength Cork City in the final at Temple Hill.
AUL sides fare well
AUL teams fared well in the Munster Junior Cup, the most notable performances being Coachford’s defeat of FAI Junior Cup holders Clonmel and Togher’s great display when losing by the odd goal in seven to eventual finalists St Michael’s in Cooke Park. St Michael’s mentors paid tribute to Togher who, they said, were their strongest challengers in Tipperary all season. Hibernians were only pipped 1-0 by the international laden Fairview (Limerick) who were also controversial one goal winners over Coachford in Limerick. Passage survived longest of the Cork sides and, after a penalties decision over Greenmount, they succumbed to eventual winners Johnville in the quarter-final. A change in the FAI Junior Cup format resulted both in the open draw commencing at the third round stage and in the local teams encountering opposition from Limerick, Dundalk, Carlow, Dublin, Waterford and Meath. Passage, victors over Straide Foxford, and Hibernians, over Burrin Celtic (Carlow), were the only survivors. With a few hundred teams still left in the competition, the draw was unkind to the AUL when their representatives were drawn together. Hibs and Passage drew 1-1 in Shanbally. Brian Hennessy gave the visitors a 34th minute lead and Willie Ashman forced extra time with a late equaliser. The added twenty minutes was inconclusive and Hibernians’ woeful shooting in the resultant penalty decider, in which they failed to convert any of their first three attempts, put extra pressure on keeper Niall Coakley (with eight clean sheets from the previous ten games) as he tried in vain to prevent Passage advancing on a 3-0 verdict. Florrie Meighan’s boys progressed a stage further when beating Nenagh 1-0 in Rockenham.
Passage’s 7th round tie with Mungret Regional in Rockenham was abandoned by referee Kevin Murray at the end of 90 minutes, when the scores were level at one each, due to deteriorating ground conditions. For the refixture, the pitch was in perfect condition which should have suited Passage, but Mungret proved to be a far better team than in the abandoned game and well deserved their comfortable 2-0 victory.
An already congested fixture list worsened when the completion of the FAI Area competition was imposed, a tourney which, but for the inclusion of the MSL’s Tramore Ath, may not have actually been undertaken. It was ridiculous to ask teams to participate in such an event after they had all been eliminated from the competition proper and, wisely, the Cork leagues dispensed with the idea the following year. For the record, Hibernians beat Blarney Utd 3-1 in the final at Turner’s Cross. Ger Flaherty (2) and Richie Drievers (pen) tallied for the winners, while Neil O’Riordan was on target for Blarney.
Grattan’s tears for souvenirs
Grattan’s ageless supremo Dinny Pop O’Neill was besieged at the final whistle as his beloved club celebrated their finest hour with an injury time victory over Togher Rovers in the AOH Cup final replay. There was hardly a dry eye in the stadium as Dinny proudly held the coveted trophy. Grattan, with wind advantage, took the lead in the 13th minute when Mick Murphy drove a ball low across the face of the goal for ace poacher Donal Magnier to finish at the far post. The persistent Togher pressure, which intensified in the second half, paid off in the 47th minute. One of their attackers was pushed in the box and Deccie O’Regan gave Jason Downey no chance from the spot. Many observers were expecting the flood gates to open, that feeling being reinforced when Togher put a few great moves together, but Grattan’s defence continued to successfully restrict Togher’s chances to the minimum. They were happy to concede corners and did so regularly, pinning their faith in confident goalkeeper Downey. Then, in injury time, Grattan practically stole the coveted trophy when Michael Murphy’s almost hopeless pursuit of a ball, which was heading for the endline, was successful and his cut back was headed down by Pat Caulfield. From the resultant mayhem, Darren Geaney struck the winner before being swallowed by his delirious team-mates who were in a trance as the final seconds were endured. Grattan: Jason Downey, Terry Murphy, John Caulfield, Martin Doocey, Jim Walsh, Noel Harris, Pat Caulfield, Darren Geaney, Michael Murphy, Robert O’Callaghan and Donal Magnier. Manager: Joe Lynch. Coach: Georgie Murphy. Missing through injury were leading scorer Eddie O’Riordan and Jason Kearns. In the first clash, all the excitement was reserved for the closing half hour and Grattan had a shock for the hot favourites when replay hero Geaney rammed the opener past Trevor Meldrum. With ten minutes to go Richard “Minty” Fitzgerald’s corner-kick was headed powerfully to the net by Paul Sherlock, a goal which almost lifted the roof off the shed. Both sides had chances to steal a late victory but the rival supporters were glad of the opportunity to replay. The Murphy’s Stout “Man of the Match” award was credited to Grattan’s Martin Doocey.
We cannot leave the AOH Cup without referring to the semi-finals which produced the shock pairings of Coachford v Togher and Passage v Grattan. These were expected to produce a mouth watering decider between the premier giants. However, Grattan shocked Passage with a 3-2 extra time verdict, but the 5-0 hammering handed out to Coachford by Togher was unparalleled in the history of the famous trophy.
Togher Rovers had earlier put silverware in the cabinet when beating Corinthians Athletic 1-0 in the City Challenge Cup final. It was a game of few chances with defences dominating and ensuring that respective keepers Robbie Dalton (Togher) and Colin McTaggart were not overworked. The deadlock was broken four minutes into the second half when Richard Fitzgerald’s cross was headed to the net by Nigel O’Callaghan. A few days later, a terrific team effort helped Togher Rovers wrap up the title in Murphy’s 1B; but they needed to fight all the way to overcome Corkbeg 2-0. Paul Sherlock scored in the first half and player manager Minty Fitzgerald in the second. Fitzgerald, a former schoolboy international, won a great deal of praise for the way he had transformed Togher and was a very popular choice as Murphy’s Stout AUL Manager of the Year.
Kinsale’s trophy drought ended
Kinsale recovered from the shield final drubbing to get their league challenge back on the rails and a scoreless draw with principal rivals Macroom left them needing just two points from the final two games. Manager Liam Good was loud in his praise of keeper David O’Callaghan and defender Michael McCarthy who defied Macroom’s best efforts. Kinsale ended decades of trophy drought when they were crowned champions in Premier A. Grattan’s 3-2 win over Macroom sparked the celebrations as it made them champions. Ironically, it was after Kinsale’s 3-1 win over Grattan a few days later that skipper Michael “Scully” McCarthy received the trophy from AUL secretary Ger Delaney. For the record, Kinsale’s marksmen against Grattan were Stephen O’Donovan, Mick Madden and Jeremy O’Donovan.
The season long struggle between Albert Rovers and Killumney ended in stalemate after the sides had played an exciting scoreless draw in the penultimate league fixture. The well attended match was of a very high standard and the edgy supporters were kept on their toes for the duration. Killumney had stars in Colin Tynan, Pat O’Driscoll, Colin Cronin and Keith O’Hara. Albert’s were happy with the performances of John Lowry, Steve Walsh and keeper Shane O’Neill. As expected, Killumney beat Kilreen in their final game to force a play-off. Like the league campaign itself, the play-off was keenly contested. Killumney had the edge in the opening half, Albert’s in the second. Despite some noteworthy attempts, no forward could beat in form keepers Denis Cronin (Killumney) and Shane O’Neill so, after 200 minutes of blanks, the respective penalty kings stepped up to decide the destination of the trophy. Cronin got the breaks in the shoot-out and saved twice to give his side a 4-3 championship winning edge. Manager Johnny Bowen was later made a freeman of Killumney in recognition of that success.
Tramore’s slip costly as Castle become kings
Six times Castle Celtic had been second in AUL leagues – including third, second and first divisions – but they put that all behind them with a well deserved 1-0 win over Waterloo on a pitch where the high grass did not help either side. The win gave them the title in 1A. Celtic were worthy winners. albeit by a slender two point margin over Tramore Ath. Ironically, schemer-in-chief for Castle was a lad named Tony Neiland who had learned his trade with the southside team; others who played prominent roles were Brian Barry, Dessie Mellerick, Andrew O’Riordan, Sean Browne, John O’Brien and Declan Magner. Tramore, who defeated the champions 2-1 in early April with two scores from Ian Harrington, slipped badly against Waterloo and Castle grabbed that opportunity to mount the title winning challenge.
Bandon Town were the first 2nd Div championship winners to be declared when they wrapped up the title in Murphy’s League 2 with a stylish 5-0 victory over Lough Celtic. Earlier in that week, Denis Hayes’ troops had outgunned Innishannon by double scores, 4-2. Innishannon, fighting in vain against relegation, shocked the leaders when drawing level midway through the first half. An Andy Cullen solo effort put Bandon in front and Waugh doubled their advantage from the penalty spot after Cullen’s effort was handled. John O’Donovan then struck an Innishannon double, before Mick O’Riordan got in on the scoring act to leave Bandon 3-2 ahead at the break. Bandon finally made the game safe with a Garrett O’Donovan strike ten minutes from full time. Scorers for Bandon, when they went nap against Lough, were Cullen (2), O’Donovan (2) and Darren Crowley. Ballinhassig (3rd Div champs a year earlier) won promotion to Div 1 along with Bandon who failed to make it a double when, surprisingly, going under to Ballincollig Ath in the Saxone Cup final. Athletic tore the form book to shreds when scoring a 1-0 victory over the then clear league leaders in the decider at the ’Cross. The highly rated Bandon forward line did not get going, suffering a repeat of their blankety blank form a few days earlier in a league table-topper against Ballinhassig. The evergreen Dubliner Eamonn Kennedy led a solid Ballincollig rearguard who blunted Bandon’s attacks. Extra time looked on the cards but it was not to be as, three minutes from time, Brian McCarthy floated over a corner which the unmarked Larry Duggan headed past Michael Cahalane to give the mid-Cork king pins the surprise victory. Apart from Kennedy, Finny O’Callaghan, David Buckley, Davy Garrett and Brendan O’Driscoll excelled for the winners.
Glory for Con O’Riordan
The struggle for supremacy in Murphy’s 2A had more twists than the old Mallow Road and a variety of teams had spells at the helm, including Mallow Celtic and Alberts Utd who later made way for favourites Brogeen Rovers who, in turn, interchanged with Bishopstown and Blarney Ath. Using racing terms, it was true to say that Blarney Ath were held up and came with a flying, well timed finish to take the race with 7 points to spare from dead-heaters Bishopstown and Castleview. They were real dark horses and not regular correspondents with AUL Shoot but they took the championship with a 3-0 win over Fairview. Perhaps the decisive result was the fourth last of the campaign when goals by Ger O’Riordan (2) and Stephen McCann put nails in the Bishopstown coffin. Con O’Riordan was the link between Blarney Athletic’s success and their previous league triumph as a third division side 22 years earlier. Con, just a player then, jointly managed the new champions with Henry Murphy and Denis Forrest. Jim Bob O’Keeffe, Michael Horgan, Denis Forrest, Con and Ger O’Riordan, skipper Neil Twomey, Michael Ruby, Mick Reynolds, Steve McCann and Paul Collins were among the stars. Eventual runners-up Bishopstown’s crucial run-in reverse was suffered at the hands of late challengers Castleview but their pairing of hot shot Darren Gubbins with leading scorer Stephen Casey almost paid rich dividends. Others who figured in the brave bid for honours were Tony Hughes, Tommy Scott, John Peelo and Damian O’Leary.
Douglas Celtic took the title in Murphy’s 2B with a game to spare. Their 4-0 win over Central Rovers did the trick. Unbeaten Douglas had to wait until the 40th minute for their opener when a free kick by Pat Healy was finished off by Damien Lynch. On the stroke of half-time a cross by Healy was handled and Finbarr Heffernan made no mistake from the penalty. Healy was again the provider as Richard O’Brien made it 3-0 and it was from a Healy corner that Joe Murphy headed a late fourth. John Hayes, Lynch and Tony Keating impressed for the winners who concluded their programme by drawing with persistent challengers Leeside (overtaken for runners-up by Churchvilla).
Pearse winners in dramatic decider
Pearse Celtic became the champions in AUL 3 after edging out Hibernians in a rip-roaring bank holiday Monday play-off. The decider had everything – five great goals, incidents galore and a quality of football normally associated with much higher ranked teams. Pearse took the lead in the 44th minute against the run of play when Paddy Cremin drove through a crowded goal-mouth. Hibs equaliser came ten minutes into the second half when Ray Ryan stopped, but failed to hold, Richard Andrews’ shot and Mick Lannin followed up to score. Two minutes from time, the Hibs green and gold ribbons were fastened to the trophy when Arthur O’Mahony headed home from a free by Mark Hickey. The excited Hibs bench occupants were standing on the sideline awaiting the final whistle when sub Mark Nason’s curling volley rattled their net. The winner came two minutes into the second period of extra time when Cremin was brought down in the box and Damien Walsh confidently beat Hibs brave keeper John Horgan from the penalty spot. Jimmy Cowhig’s gallant Shanbally crew tried hard to retrieve the situation but it was not to be. In this section, long time leaders (third placed) Villa Ath lost the opportunity of winning the title, and even promotion, when they had two points deducted for using illegal players in a crucial end of season tie.
Another play-off was necessary in 3A; here Wilton Ath repeated an earlier league victory by beating Rathcoole Rovers 1-0 in the decider at Macroom. Diarmuid Higgins got the winner late in the first half when he headed in from a James Daly cross. Top performances for the winners came from Ray Claffey, Timmy O’Connor, Kieran Kelly and Padraig O’Sullivan. The Seamus O’Connor and Danny Higgins managed squad earned the play-off by surviving a scoreless encounter with Burton Rangers who would have replaced Wilton in the decider had they taken both points.
Midleton take League Evergreen the President’s
The remaining 3rd Div title became the property of Midleton Celtic who gained custody with a sparkling 5-0 victory over Hill Albion. Edser Clery (2), Michael Walsh (2) and Anto Clery netted for Midleton who were well led by stand-in skipper Pat McInerney. Midleton had three points to spare over Dave Brady’s Evergreen. The crunch game in this section was the March table-topper when the East Cork men withstood fierce Evergreen pressure in taking the points as a result of their odd goal in five victory. Pat McInerney, Kevin Fitzgerald and Edser Clery were on target for Midleton who owed their win to a powerful midfield quartet of Stan Horgan, Anto Clery, Kevin Morrisson and Rory McSweeney. Tommy Enright and Michael Kenneally (26 yard rocket) replied for Evergreen whose best were Paudie O’Callaghan and Ronan Fitzgerald. Evergreen’s hard work was rewarded a few weeks later when they won the President’s Cup for the first time with a deserved 2-0 win over Mallow Town at Turner’s Cross. The evenly matched first half was not the most exciting and much of the action, and the goals, came in the second period. Keith Sheehan, Paudie O’Callaghan and Don Heaphy were prominent all through for the winners but the nod for the AUL Shoot “Man of the Match” was given by Billy Lyons to Ivan Gibbons who showed that he could perform at a much higher level. Mallow applied fierce pressure after the interval and were unlucky when Micky Whelan’s shot bounced down off the crossbar and again when the Evergreen keeper saved a goalbound shot with his legs. Evergreen, thankful for the reprieve, then got a grip on the game and played attractive football which yielded the opening goal in the 54th minute; Liam O’Sullivan crossed and Niall Corkery applied a neat glancing header to beat keeper Dermot Buckley. O’Sullivan settled the issue 28 minutes later when he controlled a cross on the 18 yard line before firing an angled shot to the corner of the net. The teams produced a nice souvenir programme to commemorate their first appearance in the President’s final.
Brendan “Bags” a trophy after 23 years
There were contrasting fortunes for veterans Brendan “Bags” Murphy and Bertie Cullinane, two of the most popular players in AUL football, when they clashed in the St Michael’s Cup final at Turner’s Cross. Murphy’s Passage Wanderers took the trophy, winning 5-4 on penalties after a scoreless 110 minutes. Cullinane, switched early from defence to midfield, played well all through but had his penalty (Douglas’s fifth) well saved by keeper Brian Beale. Murphy who had also played a leading role, scored his penalty and then watched as Ray Shanahan cracked in the decisive kick. It was double joy for “Bags” as the victory meant he was winning his first junior trophy after 23 seasons and also received the Man of the Match award from Peter O’Reilly, representing St Michael’s (Tipperary) who donated the cup to the AUL.
The ‘Cross a happy hunting ground.
Ard-na-Laoi retained their unbeaten record in cup finals at Turner’s Cross when a goal by Terry Kelly earned them a 1-0 victory over Killumney in the County Cup decider. Ard-na-Laoi player-manager Noel Horgan deserved much praise for the victory. His side were well organised, played to their strengths, and the introduction of sub Brian Keane was an excellent move. The winning goal came two minutes into the second period when Kelly took the ball to the edge of the box, played a neat one-two with Roy Summers and drilled the return past Killumney keeper Denis Cronin. Killumney tried hard to equalise and went close in the 75th minute when Colin Cronin’s effort was just inches too high. They had a last throw of the dice in injury time but the winner’s keeper, Kevin Murphy, calmed Ard-na-Laoi’s nerves with a brilliant pressure fetch from Pat O’Driscoll’s dangerous corner.
In youths football, the three major trophies were shared: Wilton took the League, Mayfield the Coca Cola League Cup and Midleton the Murphy Cup. The well coached Midleton side overcame a nervous start to go on and win the Murphy Cup. Goalkeeper Aidan McCarthy played well behind a superb back four that included Man Of the Match Shane Ahern, scorer of two well headed goals. Skipper Mick Cashman led a hard-working midfield while Ciaran Aherne and Brian Lambe regularly stretched the Wilton defence. Midleton were slow to get going and Wilton deserved the opening goal netted in the 17th minute by Colin Byrne after great play by Ken Bruton and Stephen Daly. Lambe equalised in the 35th and Ahern headed his first on the stroke of half-time to put Midleton in the driving seat. Six minutes after the resumption, Ahern increased the lead. Wilton reduced the deficit from the penalty spot, Stuart Patterson converting after a foul on himself. With five minutes remaining Mick Barry sealed it with a powerful drive that left Eamonn Breen helpless.
Wilton had earlier relegated Mick Kirby’s Midleton to the runners-up role in Barry’s AUL League 1 when they defeated Leeside 4-1 in their penultimate game. That win gave Wilton a 23 points total which the East Cork side, who were seven points behind with two games in hand, could not match. Wilton did the scoring early against Leeside when Steve Daly (2), Colin Byrne and Eugene Connolly were on target for the winners. Wilton had an opportunity to become the first double achievers of the season, and were strong favourites to do so, when they met Mayfield Utd in the Coca Cola Cup final. But Mayfield, boosted by a third minute Stephen Hurley goal, went on to pip the champions 2-1 in a thrilling decider. They could have doubled their lead in the 20th minute but Wilton keeper Breen made an incredible save. As the interval approached, the action swung to the other end and Mayfield’s Mark O’Mahony performed heroics to maintain his side’s advantage. Midway through the second half, Stephen Hurley made up for an uncharacteristic miss by setting cousin and namesake Clive up for Mayfield’s second. Wilton never looked likely to retrieve the situation though Stuart Patterson did manage to reduce the arrears shortly before the final whistle.
Greenwood youths, managed by David O’Connor, became the first AUL league champions of the season by clinching the title in 2A with a stylish 5-1 win over Northvilla on February 25th. Their sharpshooters were Alan Morley (2), Sean Kent, Ken O’Connor and Alan Kelleher. Macroom concluded their programme in AUL 2 with a 3-0 win over Everton. Goals from William O’Riordan (2) and James Fleming plus valuable contributions by Paul Dunton, Brian Murphy and John McAuliffe, earned the points which gave them a total of 23 from 14 games. A play-off looked a certainty here as Kilreen would join them at the top by winning their two games in hand. However, Kilreen dropped a point in a 2-2 draw with Blarney and Macroom celebrated. Sean Madden put Kilreen ahead against Blarney who fought back with goals by John O’Leary and Martin Neilon to go 2-1 in front. Kilreen threw everything but the kitchen sink at Blarney but could only manage an equaliser, netted from a late penalty by Shane O’Donoughue. The trophy share-out continued when outsiders Everton upset the odds and gained their first victory of the season over champions Macroom in the 2nd Div Youths Cup final at Turner’s Cross. Extra time failed to separate the sides who did provide a fair share of excitement in the scoreless encounter. The respective keepers, Jason Luxford (Everton) and James O’Connor, played well. Everton showed the greater composure in the shoot-out, coming from behind to take the honours on a 4-3 scoreline.
Tramore Ath Under 17’s, managed by Gene Clifford and Barry Gould, scored 23 goals and conceded just 9 in winning the Hurley Supermarket League title by three points from Maymount Celtic. Most members of the squad, captained by John Russell, had been together since their under 10 days and the bond forged over the years, plus the introduction of some fresh talent, paid off in the unbeaten run to the title. Leeds did the business in Div 2, finishing two points clear of closest rivals Crosshaven after clinching the title by beating Midleton in their final game. Wilton took the Under 17 Cup when proving too strong for Crosshaven in a one-sided final at the Cross. The 3-0 verdict was an accurate assessment of the difference between the sides. Wilton were two up at the interval, the first a long range effort from Colin Byrne. Eugene Connolly grabbed the second with a goal direct from a corner. Crosshaven were much improved in the second–half and lost a great opportunity to mount a comeback when Dave McCarthy had a penalty saved by Eamonn Breen. In fairness to the seasiders, they never threw in the towel and Colin McGovern and Greg O’Halloran went close before Wilton sealed the issue with a late score from Ken Bruton. Brian Burke, Eamonn Breen, Kevin O’Riordan, Neil Horgan and Kieran O’Mahony took the honours for Denis Budden’s Wilton, while the losers had good performances from Brendan O’Connell, John Ward and Peter Scannell.
Teams relegated at end of season were as follows from Premier: Buttevant and Northvilla. Premier A – Wilton, Blackpool and Bandon. AUL 1: Southend and Killowen. 1A: Park Albion and Whitethorn. 1B: West End and Dunbar. AUL 2: Innishannon and Afton Villa. 2A: Killavullen (withdrew )and Waterloo. 2B: Cobh Celtic and Glenview.
Inter League Youths improve
There was a 100% improvement on Cork’s performances of previous years as the Rebel County began the FAI Inter League championship with an emphatic 5-2 win over Limerick. They began brightly and could have been two up before Limerick took the lead against the run of play in the 16th minute. Cork had a change of fortune in the 34th minute when a Limerick player turned a ball into his own net. Stephen Hurley put the Leesiders ahead early in the second half and added another ten minutes later. Cork received a double blow when Graham O’Connell was dismissed and Dillon reduced the deficit for Limerick. Short-handed, Cork still retained the whip hand and went on to complete a comprehensive victory with further scores from Martin English and Dave Healy. Next up was a visit from Clare and here centre forward Gary Quirke came to Cork’s rescue when his two goals in quick succession early in the second half put the Leesiders on the way to a 2-1 win over the visitors and a place in the third round. The result rather than the performance pleased manager Denis Campion and his assistants Connie O’Riordan and Noel Hartigan. First half defensive lapses cost the AUL dearly in Portlaoise as they made their exit from the competition when beaten 3-2 by the Leinster Junior League. The home side opened their account after just ten minutes when the ball watching Cork defence allowed an unmarked Liam England to score at the far post. Six minutes later, Leinster increased the lead when Declan Daly headed home from a corner. There was a further hammer blow for Cork in the 34th minute when a long range effort deceived keeper Anthony Fennelly. The situation looked impossible but, fair play to Cork who had already hit the woodwork three times, they kept plugging away and went in at the break with a reduced deficit, thanks to a Martin English goal nicely engineered by Mark Clifford and Dave Healy. Cork stepped up a gear after the resumption and were again frustrated when a Ken Bruton free rebounded from the bar and a Noel Hartigan header was taken off the line. There was trouble for the Leesiders in the 71st minute when Dave Healy was dismissed, making a then hopeless situation almost irretrievable. Cork did manage to reduce the gap with an injury time consolation from an own goal forced by Hartigan. Cork: Anthony Fennelly, Wayne Barrett, Ger O’Mahony, Noel Hartigan, Brian Burke, Graham O’Connell, Mark Clifford, Ken Bruton, Gary Quirke, Martin English and Dave Healy. Subs: Timmy Murphy, Mick Cashman and Colin Byrne. Other reserves: Robert Dumigan and Mark O’Mahony.
In contrast to the youths improved performance, the junior squad disappointed when making their exit in the opening game of the Oscar Traynor Cup. Martin Heffernan’s lads, finalists six months earlier, were outmanoeuvred and outscored by South Tipperary who advanced at Turner’s Cross on a 2-0 scoreline. Tipps two goal margin looked precarious enough at times during the second half as Cork fought hard to break their duck. Writing in AUL Shoot, columnist Billy Lyons said “It is no good going out against the likes of Tipp with one hand tied behind your back. Whatever the reasons, it hurt Cork that no players from the likes of champions Passage and Hibernians (our two remaining FAI Cup teams), none of the Golden Boot leaders, and no representative from Greenmount, Premier leaders Springfield, the in form Crescent and Premier A leaders Ballyphehane were in the squad.” Lyons, who looked for greater co-operation between the Premier clubs and the manager, credited Barry Dennehy, Derek Long, Derek Clarke and Jinty O’Sullivan with b eing Cork’s better performers on the day. Cork: Derek Clarke, Jinty O’Sullivan, Derek Long, Barry Dennehy, Mick O’Connell, Paul Fitton, Ray Fitzpatrick, Peter Jones, Paul Humphreys, Mick McAuliffe and Conor O’Leary. Subs: Patrick O’Connor, Georgie O’Mahony and Mick Mooney.
In September, an inexplicable collective lapse of concentration less than ninety seconds from time allowed the Dublin AUL defeat Cork 1-0 in the annual Tayto Cup challenge at Little Island. The game seemed destined to be decided in a penalty shoot-out until the Cork defence allowed a ball from the right go unchallenged for Keith Bolton to beat keeper Kieran Cogan with the second of his two attempts.
Cork deserved better and could have been celebrating a victory had the normally accurate Mick McAuliffe converted an earlier penalty awarded after a Conor Fitzgerald shot had been handled. Those to impress most in the red of Cork were Fitzgerald, Peter Jones, Eddie O’Halloran and Barry Dennehy. Cork: Cogan, Cooke, O’Halloran, Dennehy, O’Connell, Fitzgerald, Walsh, Jones, O’Sullivan, McAuliffe and Humphreys. Subs: Burns, Long and O’Connor.
Exceeded all expectations
It was said after the AUL’s inaugural Cork Soccer Honours awards night hosted by Murphy’s that the magnificent event could not be bettered, but the second gathering at the Kiln exceeded all expectations and was a credit to the organisers – Cork AUL and hosts Murphy’s – who left no stone unturned in ensuring that the overflow attendance of sports personalities went home in happy mood. Minister for Sport Bernard Allen graced the occasion and presented the category winners with their specially commissioned crystal trophies. Those honoured were: Hall of Fame – Johnny O’Driscoll; Cork Soccer Legends Award – Frank McCarthy (Cork Celtic); Distinguished Service Awards – Pats Noonan (Fermoy), Willie Cotter (Soccer columnist and Cork Ath), Denis O’Neill (Grattan) and Tim Rohan (Schoolboys League official). The Murphy’s Stout AUL Referee of the Year for 1995-96 was Martin Dorrity.
50th Season Begins (1996-97)
The 50th season of AUL football kicked off with 167 teams participating in its 27 competitions. A win in league football would be worth 50% more, as delegates at the AGM passed, without any debate whatsoever, an amendment to rule granting 3 points for a win. Efforts were made to eliminate the use of illegal players (cailín báns) with the introduction of a rule permitting a club committee member to secure, on request, a photograph or a signature of any player on an opposing team participating in a match. Failure to comply with such a request would render the club liable to disciplinary action by the management committee if they deemed fit. The management committee remained unchanged with all the outgoing officers re-elected unopposed. However, an additional member, Noel Cahill (formerly of Greenmount), was co-opted towards the end of the season.
The pride of the southside Greenmount Rangers captured most of the banner headlines in the AUL’s golden jubilee season and they brought the curtain down on a memorable year by adding the Munster Junior Cup to the Premier League trophy won earlier. They took the Examiner sponsored cup for the first time when an early, second half goal earned them a deserved 1-0 replay win over Clonmel Town in Clonmel. Rangers, to the regret of the local bookies who priced the Cork side at 13/5, grabbed the match winner from the penalty spot after the flying Davy Cooke was brought down in the box by Cyril Conran. Penalty king Micky O’Leary sent international keeper Stephen O’Neill the wrong way from the spotter. O’Neill’s brilliance, alone, kept the Tipperary team in the contest and, as Greenmount looked to consolidate their position, he prevented Darren Gubbins, Conor Fitzgerald and O’Leary from stretching the lead. The expected Clonmel resurgence gathered momentum during a spell in the closing quarter when Greenmount keeper Bertie Lane had to be at his best to keep his net intact. Aided by a clever switch that saw Greg Cooney introduced, Greenmount themselves created several chances and would have added a few more but for a five star show by the home keeper. But, that was all forgotten when the final whistle sounded and Greenmount’s bodhran beating supporters swarmed on to the pitch to congratulate their aces who went into the lions’ den and “robbed” a few bookies in the process. The first match, played at Turner’s Cross seven days earlier, was as good a scoreless draw as is imaginable. A sensational first half volley by Darren Gubbins and the failure of Clonmel Town to get more than one shot on target were the main talking points after the exciting draw. Greenmount’s magnificent back four unceremoniously crushed Clonmel’s highly rated attacking force and the lion-hearted Shane McSweeney along with the inspirational Jimmy Connors both earned ten out of ten for their top drawer displays. At the other end ,Clonmel’s sweeper Cyril Conran – the 1993 “Opel Player of the Year” – showed the class which had gained him his many Irish caps. Greenmount: Lane, McSweeney, O’Brien, O’Connor, Cotter, O’Leary, Browne, Cooke, Fitzgerald, Twomey and Gubbins. Subs: Cooney, B O’Leary, Linehan and Corcoran. Victory night in Clonmel was only part of the story. Other paragraphs had been written in the trek to the final which saw Greenmount record wins over teams from their own AUL in Macroom, Kinsale and Passage, as well as taking the “scalps” of sides from five other league’s in the province, Midleton (MSL) home, Askeaton (Clare), Waterford Crystal (Munster Senior Cup holders), Ratoo (Kerry) and Charleville (Limerick League)..
Avenue a-cul-de-sac for Greenmount.
The FAI Junior Cup early open draw system afforded Cork teams the opportunity of comparing their standards with outside teams and Leeside, Buttevant, Rockville and Greenmount flew the AUL banner. Comparisons proved that the Leesiders were up to par and some hard luck stories were reported. Leeside looked to have netted the match winner in the final minute of extra time against Aer Rianta when Frank Hogan headed a picture goal to make it 3-2 but the ref ruled that Leeside’s Kieran Hayes had crossed the end line with the ball before supplying the centre. Aer Rianta then rubbed salt in the wounds by advancing 4-3 in the shoot-out. John Corcoran and Mick Mooney were Leeside’s scorers in normal time. Another Dublin side, Moyle Park, ended Rockville’s dreams when they snatched the game’s only goal in the closing stages of a hard fought contest in Ovens. Buttevant’s youngsters put up a determined show in Waterford before bowing out to one of the glamour favourites, Waterford Crystal. After falling two behind, they recovered, pulling one back in the 70th minute when J D Murphy volleyed home, to make Crystal sweat for victory. Greenmount, tipped by many to reach the concluding stages, looked like doing just that after seeing off their most difficult opponents, Passage. They advanced to the 7th round with big winning margin,beating fancied Dubliners Dundrum and St Columban’s Boys (conquerors of holders Waterford Bohs). The morale sank and hearts were broken when they succumbed on penalty kicks to Clare champions Avenue Utd. It was a magnificent cup tie, played on a pitch more suitable to angling than football and, after conceding two sloppy goals, Greenmount clawed themselves back to equality with splendid strikes from O’Leary and Cooke. They should then have buried the visitors in the ESB mud but Clare keeper Purtell blocked every attempt and kept the Avenue to glory open for United.
Long time leaders relegated
Busy Greenmount retained the Premier League championship after a slow start which saw them draw their openers at home to Village and Springfield. The arrival of the long evenings meant three games a week and 13 straight wins left them needing just one point from the remaining 21 available to keep the trophy. They clinched it, without fanfares, when beating Kinsale 3-0 with goals from Greg Cooney (2) and Barry “Mizzer” O’Leary (a Beckham special). The real Premier League story then commenced, a relegation battle that some people mistakenly thought only concerned those in the bottom half of the table. Rockville, who had represented the League in the open stages of the FAI and Munster Junior Cups and had made the early running to lead in October, plunged through the trap door to the lower grade. There was a fair bit of head scratching, nail biting and candle lighting as half a dozen others battled for survival. Coachford, Springfield, Park Utd and Macroom, all looked in big trouble. Park Utd’s Eddie Walsh became “Pierpoint” the executioner when his 86th minute winner against Passage actuated the lever which sent Kinsale to their doom. This was a sensational ending to the Premier League and for Kinsale, who had led the race until overtaken by Greenmount on goal difference on April 6th, it was, unquestionably, a tale unparalleled in the history of this or any other league.
The intense rivalry between Passage and Coachford was again the key element that attracted fine crowds to the ‘Cross for their AOH Cup final meetings. “Passage skipper and keeper Kieran Cogan gave the kiss of life to his side’s ebbing hopes in the AOH Cup final replay”, reported Billy Lyons in the Star. “There was everything to play for in this dramatic Murphy’s Stout AOH replay shoot-out against Coachford”, continued Billy who went on to describe the event as follows. “The penalty shoot-out (the first in an AOH final) – which followed a scoreless draw had reached the fifth exchange when Coachford player-manager Aidan Hartnett (Coachford’s “Player of the Year”) stepped up. He knew a successful kick would give his side the coveted trophy but his blockbuster was stopped by Cogan. And then, Bryan Hennessy rattled in his spotter to bring it to sudden death. Nerves were now evident and there were more misses than scores until Mick McAuliffe finally converted to make it 4-3 for Passage and so give them their second Blue Riband.” Both defences played well throughout, especially the central pairings: Hartnett and Mick O’Connell for Coachford and John Fay and Paul Cronin for the winners. Goalkeeper’s Cogan and Denis Mulvihill, who was an emergency recruitment for the semi-final replay against Blarney, dealt capably with the little that came their way. The Murphy’s Stout Man of the Match award was won by Billy Stuart of Passage. “Hard fought and even” was how Lyons summed up the first encounter which ended in a 1-1 split. Passage were just four minutes away from losing it while Coachford would have lost it in extra time but for a great penalty save by Denis Mulvihill. Coachford took the lead in the 52nd minute when a hesitant Passage defence allowed young Paul Triggs to score from Paddy Martin‘s corner. Passage looked like paying the penalty for a below par performance until rescued by a looping Mick McAuliffe header in the 87th minute. Passage (replay team): Kieran Cogan, Bernard Murphy, Denis McAuliffe, John Fahy, Paul Cronin, Derek O’Brien, Thomas Hannon, Johnny Carroll, Mick McAuliffe, Bryan Hennessy and Billy Stuart. Subs: Aidan Whitty, John Gaffney and John Meighan. Absent were Tony Leahy (injured) and Johnny Flaherty (foreign holiday) Manager; Touche Murphy.
Kieran Cogan, captain of Passage, had a very special reason for celebrating his first AOH Cup medal. His performance in the penalty shoot-out would have made any keeper happy but Kieran had a family tradition to keep up – his father, Paddy, was a member of the Churchvilla side that beat Collins in the 1958 decider.
Defensive frailties cost Park Utd dearly when they went down to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of an efficient Macroom outfit in the Mossie Linnane Cup final at Turner’s Cross. Three nil down at the break, Park staged a mini revival in the third quarter and pulled one back. But Macroom broke away to score again, leaving Ned Finn’s outfit with an impossible task. Macroom’s scorers were Darra Deasy, Red Kerby, J J Murphy and Darren Ring. Park’s goals came courtesy of the outstanding John Piggott.
Glanworth’s day at last
Glanworth Utd were the first junior trophy winners of the season when they beat Dripsey 2-0 in the Saxone final to capture their first award in 16 years. Young strikers Fergal Fitzgibbon and sixteen year old Ger O’Neill were the aces in the Glanworth pack who downed gallant Dripsey. O’Neill, and especially Shoot Man of the Match Fitzgibbon, covered every blade of grass in Turner’s Cross as they helped their side make up for their lack of possession. Both teams were beautifully kitted out and two excellent sets of supporters contributed enormously to a smashing occasion. Veteran centre forward Pat Quirke gave Glanworth a 9th minute lead with a superb, swerving shot that left Dripsey keeper John Doherty helpless. Dripsey had most of the ball but, due to Glanworth’s energetic display, they found it near impossible to get beyond a solid defence marshalled by Ollie Pyne. As a result, keeper Joe Carey was not called on too often but when needed his handling was safe throughout. Dripsey’s deficit doubled in the 26th minute. Their defence was all at sea when O’Neill raced clear and hit a low cross that was met by Fitzgibbon who made no mistake from close in. Dripsey suffered a severe blow when the lively Tadgh Manley was forced out of the action with a suspected broken ankle. Dripsey player-manager Mattie Martin succeeded in rallying his troops for a second half assault but the pattern remained unchanged: Dripsey enjoying majority possession and Glanworth having the most chances.
Innishannon spot on
Innishannon, thanks to a last minute own goal and two shoot-out saves by keeper Gerard O’Sullivan, overcame favourites Maymount Celtic in the final of the President’s Cup at Turner’s Cross.The county side looked dead and buried as the game entered injury time, much to the disgust of their vociferous chanting supporters. Fate played a hand, or should I say head, when an innocuous cross from Raymond O’Sullivan was met by Maymount defender Derek O’Driscoll who headed into his own net. The game had started badly for the county side and they fell behind in the 8th minute when Niall O’Regan’s shot was parried by O’Sullivan, and Lloyd Leahy followed up to net the rebound. Maymount were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute when Jonathan Buckley was sent off for a second bookable offence, but did not look troubled until the injury time disaster. Cool headed penalty wizard, the veteran Ger Slyne settled Innishannon’s nerves with a gem of a spotter which reduced Maymount keeper Derek Barnes to a spectator’s role. Paul Lee did likewise for the city team and Brian Quinn’s strike was cancelled out by Niall O’Regan. Then the fun began in earnest as four in a row were missed. Shane Fitzgerald fired home for Innishannon and O’Sullivan saved from John McSweeney to take the President’s to the county village. O’Sullivan was engulfed by delirious supporters and was almost buried under the biggest human heap ever seen on the hallowed turf.
Troubled Hillington find Hill too tough
Hill Celtic turned on the power to score a well deserved 2-0 victory over Hillington in the St Michael’s Cup final at the Cross. Hillington never displayed the form that earned them their place in the decider and the hard fought contest turned Celtic’s way in the third quarter with a little involuntary help from the opposition. Things began to go wrong for Hillington in the 52nd minute when keeper O’Neill misjudged a low cross by Sean Hegarty, giving Donal O’Shea a tap-in goal. There was further trouble in store for Hillington a few minutes later when Richie Murphy was sent off, and more again on the hour when O’Neill was beaten by Broderick’s header from a corner by Dermot Johnson to seal the issue. Hillington’s ten men tried hard for the remainder of the game but could not find a way past a tough Celtic defence, well led by skipper Mick O’Leary.
Castleview stalwarts combine
Castleview and Evergreen upset the form book in qualifying for the City Challenge Cup final. Neither side showed the form that had created shocks in the city and produced a final played at a pace below that which one normally associates with cup final occasions. Evergreen, in particular, never raised their game and it was obvious that they were affected by the absence of striker Niall Corkery, the only one of a Nemo quartet who chose to miss the game. They were over dependent on Liam O’Sullivan who was like the Lone Ranger up front and, apart from the industrious Don Heaphy and Brian Murphy to a lesser extent, they failed to excite. One goal always looked likely to decide the tie and a couple of Castleview stalwarts combined to produce that match winning score. In the 28th minute, Evergreen’s offside trap misfired and Paul Murphy got clear on the right before supplying a perfect cross which gave Martin Meehan the simple task of shooting past the exposed Mark Maher in the Evergreen goal. Evergreen had a good third quarter but never really threatened to penetrate the solid Castleview back four, led by Brendan Mulcahy who received great support from Tony Hackett and keeper Martin Freyne. Castleview failed to make it a double when surprised by Mahon Utd who took the Corinthians’ Cup by virtue of a solitary Kevin Moloney goal. There were scoring chances aplenty, but Moloney’s was the only one taken, as Mahon won their first AUL knock-out competition. The winner came in the 77th minute when dead ball ace Moloney’s free kick took a deflection off the wall and flew past Freyne. It was a happy return to the Cross for Mahon who lost the 1992 Saxone Cup final to Brooklodge at the venue. John Naughton, Adrian O’Keeffe, skipper Paul O’Sullivan and sub Davy Ellis caught the eye for the winners while the View,handicapped by an injury to Mulcahy, had solid displays from Terry Furlong and Rodney Power.
Favourites Leeside had to depend on an injury time winner to end the brave challenge of their near neighbours 3rd Div Brooklodge, in the final of the County Cup at Turner’s Cross. The gallant outsiders had neutrals guessing as to who were the First Division champions. They made a mockery of the supposed gap in standards as they matched Leeside and looked like deservedly forcing extra time, that is until the 91st minute. Then, a neat move involving Frank Horgan, Conor O’Leary and John Corcoran provided Timmy Kelleher with a half chance which the hurling star took with style, drilling a low beauty past the diving Neil Barry. Kelleher looked wasted and unoccupied on the right and it was during his infield incursions that Leeside looked most threatening. Ray O’Connor, Conor O’Leary and Gerry Holland played well for the winners, while Steve McMahon, Dave McCarthy, Barry Lambe, Mark Hopkins and Bernard Kearney, all delighted the Brooklodge fans. Leeside had been crowned champions in 1B three weeks earlier as, while they were knocking Killowen out of the County Cup, news filtered through that Fourth Battalion had shocked Bandon to give the East Cork side the laurels. So the points which actually earned them the title were the three gained in the 7-0 demolition of third placed Ballinlough. In that game, the irrepressible Conor O’Leary notched a hat trick which was added to by scores from John Corcoran, Steve Walsh, Wayne Barrett and Frank Horgan as Mick Mooney and David Keohane did the orchestrating.
Springers jump to glory
Springfield scored twice in the first half and then survived unrelenting second half pressure to surprise Greenmount Rangers 2-1 in a thrilling, incident packed AUL Shield final at Passage. This was not like the ordinary, run of the mill, end of season final at all as, besides the goals, there were numerous goal-mouth incidents – mainly in the Springfield area – and three sendings off. Uncharacteristic errors by Greenmount stand-in sweeper Davy Cooke gifted Springers with simple goals, finished with ease by Mark Leahy and Mark Murphy. It simply was not Cooke’s night and he was sent to the shower to cool down along with Murphy after a bout of fisticuffs in the 35th minute. The Cobh team almost went three up seconds later but Bertie Lane saved brilliantly from Tom Cronin. Springfield had their numbers reduced further, soon after the resumption, when Cronin was dismissed for a second bookable offence. From then to the final whistle, it was like the Alamo as Greenmount bombarded the Springfield goal but all they had to show for their efforts was a 66th minute Jimmy O’Connor score. They had dozens of chances (all squandered) to get the equaliser but the hectic exchanges produced many Springfield heroes and none shone brighter than the truly magnificent Conor McCarthy who was reminiscent of Kevin Moran at his best. Others to play out of their skins were skipper Martin Cusack, Mark Leahy, Mick O’Flaherty and “Blessed” Niall Chandler who almost kept a clean sheet.
Minty’s boys pepper Bowen’s Killumney
Killumney left an inviting breach for Togher Rovers at the top of Premier A when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Buttevant. Bobby Bornemann scored a peach for Killumney (after great work by Pat Bradley) but Buttevant’s second half equaliser put a smile on Minty’s face. The result put Togher a point ahead and they travelled the same road to Buttevant, needing a win to claim the title. Togher, too, looked in grave trouble themselves when, despite the tonic of an early Deccie O’Regan, goal they surrendered the advantage early in the second half when the numerically stronger Buttevant equalised. Togher had player-manager Richard “Minty” Fitzgerald red-carded in the seconds before the interval. The city boys rose to the occasion and regained the lead in the 65th minute when O’Regan volleyed home from a Gary Twomey cross, and they sweated no more after O’Regan completed his championship winning hat trick from the penalty spot, following a foul on Brian Linehan. Killumney were visitors to Togher two nights later and the home team won 3-2, confirming their superiority – having won the away game 3-1 earlier in the campaign. With the championship already decided, the game developed into exhibition fare with rival managers Minty and John Bowen utilising their bench to the maximum to provide an entertaining end to a hard fought race.
See-saw struggle as Villa Utd triumph
The outcome of the title race in AUL 1 was hard to call with Bandon, Passage Wanderers, Ballinhassig and Greenmount Celtic, all taking turns at the summit. Favourites Passage Wanderers would have taken the title in their concluding match by winning away to hopefuls Villa Utd. The Tony Kenny, Ovens based squad kept their own title chances alive with a crushing 4-0 defeat of the leaders. Villa’s scorers were William Singleton, Noel Rea and sub Jimmy Foley (2). Outstanding for the winners were Karl Rice, Terry Dalton and Paul Murray. Best for a very disappointing Passage were Adrian O’Connell and Sean Kind. The previous day, Greenmount Celtic, who had an outside chance, delivered a crushing blow to Ballinhassig’s prospects with a 3-0 victory, thanks to scores from Colm Lane, Liam Carter and Mick O’Shea and shotproof goalkeeping from Tom Corcoran. These results meant that Villa Utd were in control of their destiny, needing ten points from the remaining twelve to take the championship. Two points were dropped in a difficult away draw with Bandon, a game the county side had to win to stay in touch. Villa needed an injury time winning goal against College Corinthians to prevent Ballinhassig from becoming champions and Kenny’s boys wrapped up the title with a stylish 4-0 win over Knocknaheeny Celtic at Ovens. Celtic gave the champions elect a few nervous moments but Villa were super on the night and few could begrudge them the title. Villa’s tallymen were Liam Myers, Karl Rice, Noel Rea and Paul Murphy.
Sunshine Dazzle’s Hillington
“Sunshine’ on fire as Kanturk clinch title”, was the AUL Shoot banner headline which recorded Kanturk’s 4-2 title clinching victory over Hillington in 1A. Kanturk skipper Neally “Sunshine” Galvin scored a hat trick. His performance epitomised the Kanturk effort on a night when they eclipsed Hillington with a dazzling display of purposeful movement, backed up by a huge determination – and no little steel – in the exciting exchanges, much to the delight of the large travelling contingent at Hillington Park. With Kanturk leading 3-0, it was as good as over after 26 minutes by which time Galvin had completed his hat trick but, it might have been a different story, had Hillington not wasted a golden 9th minute opportunity. Hillington had a good spell when play resumed after the interval and Paul Crowley reduced the deficit from a penalty, awarded for a foul on Richie Murphy. Hillington’s hopes were dashed almost immediately when keeper Dessie O’Neill allowed a long range free from Alan Buckley slip through his hands to make it 4-1. The city side gave the scoreline a more respectable look when Murphy was again tumbled in the box after being freed by an Aidan Raggett pass and Crowley, once more, obliged from the spot. Waterloo claimed the other promotion place when defeating Hillington in a play-off.
Harp not strong enough for Pearse
Strand Utd led the chase in Murphy’s League 2 for much of the campaign but did not figure in the final three horse race which saw Hibernians Ath, Harp Utd and Pearse Celtic involved in the run-in. In an exciting climax, Pearse were crowned champions when one point from the local derby with Harp at sweltering Monard was enough to give them the edge over Hibs Ath, the team they pipped for AUL 3 the previous year. It was hectic stuff in Monard with both goals having miraculous escapes before Pearse got the breakthrough on the hour when Man of the Match Martin O’Donovan flicked on for Paddy Cremin to whack the leather past Wilson in the Harp goal. Harps equaliser in the 70th minute, by Greg O’Sullivan ensured a nail-biting finale and Pearse almost let it slip when a back pass fell short and Ray Ryan earned his Murphy’s with a great stop.
Fairview and Dunbar promoted as champs
Fairview won the Team of the Month award for October in recognition of their exploits against higher ranked teams in the FAI Junior Cup. But, their exits from the knock-out competitions helped Sean Hennessy, Martin Conlon, Cal O’Leary and company concentrate on the league and they went on to take the title in 2A, just ahead of Buttevant Ath. They clinched it with a 2-0 win over Shandon Celtic; Eddie Kent being involved in both goals. In the 20th minute,he supplied Adrian Coleman, whose shot was blocked, and Pat O’Sullivan knocked in the rebound. Midway through the second half, Nicky Montgomery sealed the issue when he headed the second from a Kent free kick. Dunbar Celtic also figured prominently in cup competitions and they took the resultant backlog in 2B in their stride as they claimed the title by a comfortable margin over Leeside Utd. It was easy enough in the end for Dunbar who handed West End a 5-1 trouncing before heading off to Barrett’s in Douglas Street to dance the night away. West End showed they were not going to be a push over and put it up to Timmy Hewitt’s boys by taking a shock lead. The panic was of short duration and Dunbar hit back with scores from Derek O’Connell (2), Shane Forde, Emmet Horan and Sean Walsh as an emissary dashed away to tell Mrs Barrett to put the champagne on ice. Barry Greany, Micky Walsh,Jimmy Crowley and Trevor Cassidy excelled for the winners.
Away form swings it for Greenwood.
There was a terrific finish to AUL 3 as only three points separated the top four teams. Greenwood finally emerged as winners after noteworthy away performances against Macroom and Innishannon. They took a giant step towards the title with a hard earned, lone goal victory over leaders Macroom. The vital goal was whipped in from a free kick by Dave Curtin. Gene McCarthy and Tony O’Leary shone for Greenwood while Owen McCarthy, Mark O’Sullivan and Terence Sheehan played their hearts out for Macroom. Fittingly, the great race came down to a duel between Innishannon, who had to win, and Greenwood who only required a point. Barry O’Sullivan had the home crowd dancing on the sideline in Skevanish when he put them in front in the 15th minute. As the interval approached, the classy Ken Towler crossed for Mark Hennessy to head what was to be the championship clinching goal. Greenwood’s stars were Dave Curtin, Tony O’Leary and Sean Cummins, while Mike Hanley and Brian Quinn did well for Innishannon who later beat Macroom in the second place (promotion) play-off.
Lee Rangers give present to Springfield
There was a thrilling conclusion to 3B and loyal servants Lee Rangers played a key role in the destination of honours. Their shock defeat of leaders Brooklodge Ath eventually forced the Lodge into a play-off with Hugh O’Reilly’s Springfield Utd. The decider was played at Midleton’s complex in Knockgriffin where Brooklodge were out of sorts and understrength as they lost 5-0. John Blake and hat trick ace Paul Brophy were the Springfield heroes. Ian O’Halloran headed in the 25th minute opener from a long ball by Brian Lawton and Brophy made it two seven minutes later. Brophy was again on target a minute into the second half. Connie Keating got the fourth and Brophy completed his hat trick soon afterwards. Steve McMahon hit Brooklodge’s consolation from a late penalty.
Easy for Maymount
In Murphy’s AUL 3A, as April approached, it became simply a question of when, rather than if, Maymount Celtic would be crowned as by then they had seen off the challenges of strongest rivals Rylane Celtic and Fairhill Utd. For Rylane, it had been an encouraging debut season while Anthony Ryan’s boys of Fair Hill, who drew great crowds to North Mon, did have an opportunity to close the gap on runaway leaders Maymount when they met in a local derby towards the end of the campaign. Fairhill were delighted in holding the favourites to a scoreless draw but they only delayed the inevitable, and Chalkie’s boys were crowned a week later when Fairhill only drew with Killcastle Celtic as Maymount beat Newmarket 2-1. The champions scorers were Niall McCarthy and Ray Murphy. Tops for Maymount in the derby game were Paul Lee, Derek O’Driscoll and Niall McCarthy, while Fair Hill were well served by Martin Bullman, Martin Morrissey and Michael Geaney.
Maymount Celtic honoured
Maymount Celtic were the most successful team in AUL underage competitions, winning Barry’s Tea Youths 1 and the Under 17 Cup and League double. A special award was made to the club in recognition of their four trophy victories. Celtic went within one point of the youths title when defeating Blarney Utd 3-1 on the May bank holiday with goals from Gary Murphy, Barry Dennehy and Stephen McAuliffe. First class displays from Kenneth Murphy, Stephen Jones and McAuliffe helped to secure the points for Maymount who were crowned champions four days later when nearest rivals Passage lost 2-1 at home to Everton. The crack Under 17 squad won the first AUL trophy of the season with a merited 2-0 win over second division Bandon at Turner’s Cross. Well taken close range goals by Pearse Carmody and Alan O’Mahony earned Maymount the the Under -17 Cup. Herculean performances from Bandon keeper Donal Harrington (who included a penalty save from Garry O’Mahony in his afternoon’s work) and majestic centre half Stephen Daly kept the score down.
The turning point in the exciting Under 17 Div 1 League race came at the end of March when leaders Ballincollig were surprised by Mayfield Utd who beat them by the odd goal in seven. Steve Cronin and Colin Healy played superbly for the dejected losers whose scorers were James O’Connell (2) and Daniel O’Connell. Maymount took full advantage of Ballincollig’s slip by pipping Midleton 4-3 in another seven goal thriller. Maymount were inspired by Aidan O’Connell and Jonathan O’Callaghan and goals by Gary O’Mahony (2), Pearse Carmody and David Long gave them the points. They remained on course for the title with further wins over Wilton (4-1) and Everton (5-2) with the goals being shared by O’Connell (3), O’Callaghan (2), O’Keeffe (2), Timmy Murphy (1) and Carmody (1), while keeper Jonathan Lynch stopped bullets at the Maymount end. The crowning ceremony did not take place until after the last match when they beat Ballincollig 3-0 in a game the satellite’s team had to win to remain in the hunt. There was some consolation for Ballincollig when the Micky Collins managed side won the 2nd Div Youths title. Four goals from Gary O’Rio rdan was a feature of the 5-1 championship securing victory over gallant runners-up Macroom. Colin Healy was the champions other scorer and apart from O’Riordan they had outstanding performances from Alan Carey, Ian McNulty and Kieran Murphy. William O’Riordan netted Macroom’s first half equaliser and they had pleasing displays from Shane O’Sullivan, Anthony O’Donoughue and Brendan O’Mahony.
There was an early decision in 2A as Hibernians continued on their merry way when, unbeaten, they took the title with a 7-1 win over Donoughmore Athletic, their goals coming by way of Paul Williamson (2), Trevor Foran (2) and Kieran Hegarty (3). Noel Jordan, Paul O’Mahony and Paul McAleese were in great form for the winners. Bandon made it a boom year for county underage teams as they clinched the Under 17 Div 2 League in their penultimate tie when mastering Carrigtwohill 3-0 and completed their programme by coming from two down to draw with Coachford. Jonathan Hurley led the Bandon revival and their marksmen were George Waugh and Joe Murphy.
Commitment and sportsmanship were top class from both sides, and there were a multitude of goalmouth incidents, as Macroom reversed the league result when fighting back from two down to defeat Ballincollig 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the sides had finished level (2-2) in the 2nd Div Youths Cup final at Turner’s Cross. The action was fast and furious and it was surprising that it took 44 minutes before Ballincollig opened the scoring through Paul O’Donovan. They increased their lead immediately after the restart when Colin Healy hit the jackpot from 25 yards. A mistake in the 57th minute led to Macroom’s first, finished neatly by Cathal Prenderville. Macroom kept battling and were rewarded for their mighty effort when Anthony O’Donoughue struck a spectacular equaliser in injury time. Macroom’s Tommy Pittam got them off to a good start in the shoot-out and Jimmy Grace netted the fourth goal to end Ballincollig’s hopes.
First division Blarney Utd proved a little too strong for game underdogs Ballincollig in the Coca Cola Youths Cup final and the 2-0 victory margin was a fair reflection of the overall balance of play. Blarney opened brightly and made the breakthrough in the 10th minute as Mark Healy finished sweetly from a Dermot Hayes cross. Dave Healy was unlucky not to increase the tally twenty minutes later when his thunderous 25 yard drive crashed against the crossbar. He reaped the rewards for a magnificent performance in the 73rd minute when another of his powerful strikes gave Ballincollig keeper Mark McNulty no chance. It was a goal calculated to stimulate and excite, leaving no way back for Micky Collin’s charges.
Everton’s penalty heartbreak as Leeds celebrate
Everton had claims to being the unluckiest cup final losers of the season when suffering the heartbreak of a 7-6 penalty shoot-out defeat by Leeds in a dramatic Murphy Cup replay decider at Turner’s Cross. Everton stepped up a gear on their first match performance and would not have been flattered by a two goal interval lead. Instead, they went in a goal down as in the 44th minute Leeds, who were dangerous on the break, went ahead when Kenneth O’Shea lobbed Jason Luxford in the Everton goal. Leeds had difficulty in coping with the lively Anthony Speight who hit the bar and created chances for colleagues Anthony Hayes and David Crowley, both of whom who were similarly out of luck. Justice was done on the hour when Speight was tripped in the box and Joe Browne obliged from the spot. The losers wasted several, golden opportunities in the closing stages and paid the penalty by eventually losing the exciting shoot-out as Leeds’ keeper Damien Byrne emerged as the hero by saving twice. Luxford also made two great saves and got his hands to two others, typifying Everton’s luck on the day. A fortnight earlier, the sides had also shared two goals when David Keane put Leeds ahead and a Don Moran goal resulted in the replay. The general consensus of opinion, then, was that Leeds, who had majority possession on a night when Everton’s stars did not perform, had left it behind as the southsiders had more room for improvement. So much for that opinion!
Teams faced with relegation at the end of the season were as follows. Premier: Rockville and Kinsale. Premier A: Temple, Cobh Town and Northvilla. AUL 1: Kilreen Celtic and Douglas Hall Wanderers. AUL 1A: Doneraile and Boher Celtic. AUL 1B: Douglas Celtic and Brooklodge Utd. AUL 2: Ballincollig Ath and Evergreen. AUL 2A: Rathcoole Rovers and Whitethorn. AUL 2B: UCC and Bayside Celtic: AUL Youths 1: Leeside and Kilreen. AUL Under 17: Mayfield Utd and Rockmount.
Jamsie looked to the county
The Cork AUL youths bowed out of the inter league competition, beaten 2-1 after extra time by hosts Waterford. The visitors, managed by Jamsie Wilson, played well in a game that could have gone either way. Cork went a goal down but equalised before the break when James O’Leary netted, following a David Healy corner. Cork, who were handicapped in the second half through the loss of the injured Healy, gave as good as they got and were considered unlucky to go out to an extra time goal. Cork’s performance gave hope for the future and best of an excellent team were Trevor Irwin and Aidan McCarthy. Cork: Aidan McCarthy, Trevor Irwin, Sean O’Sullivan, Don Horan, Gerard Rice, James O’Leary, Vincent Ryan, David Healy, David Keeler, Colin Healy and Neil Cox. Subs: Derek Healy, Michael Coughlan. An interesting statistic was that the squad only included three city based players and the Under 17s, who travelled to Templemore, had just one more.
A last quarter collapse, during which they conceded five goals, saw the Cork U-17s make their exit to a sharp shooting North Tipperary outfit who cruised into the semi-finals of the Munster Youths Inter League with an 8-3 victory. Cork’s scorers were Kenneth O’Sullivan, Alan O’Mahony and an own goal. Cork AUL: Brendan Crowley, Jonathan Hall, Colm Hanlon, Gerard Rice, Kenneth O”Sullivan, Trevor Irwin, Colin Healy, Ger O’Neill, Anthony Lynch, Martin O’Leary and Alan O’Mahony. Subs: David Walsh, David Keeler and Colin Dorney.
The omens were not good for the AUL’s Oscar Traynor Cup chances after the heavy 5-1 defeat by their Dublin counterparts in the annual Tayto Cup match played at Clonshaugh. Derek Long netted Cork’s consolation score from the penalty spot and they lined out as follows: K Cogan, S McSweeney, D Long, A O’Brien, F Shaw, D McAuliffe, P Jones, D Browne, B Dennehy, A Whitty and T Bevan. Subs: D Sheehan, J Foley, P Fitton, T McCarthy and K O’Riordan. Two goals from striker Mick McAuliffe saved the AUL’s blushes as they struggled to overcome the MSL in the opening round of the Oscar Traynor. On paper, it looked a non-contest as most of the small band of spectators at a bitterly cold St Colman’s Park predicted an easy AUL victory. However, it was only through the penalty shoot-out route that they booked their second round ticket to Kerry as the MSL came from behind twice to grab equalisers with not unexpected goals from Daniel Quinlan and Karl Browne, although the latter’s came from a suspiciously offside position. AUL manager Martin Heffernan gambled by replacing keeper Wesley Bateman with Kevin O’Riordan for the penalty shoot-out. A week earlier, O’Riordan saved four spotters in Villa United’s FAI Cup victory over Springfield. You could say the gamble did not backfire as he stopped the second spotter which helped to ease Cork through on a 4-1 verdict as the MSL’s first attempt had hit the upright. One month later, John “Bubbles” Hegarty – the former junior international – punished the AUL in Tralee as his Kerry side advanced to the third round with a flattering 4-0 win. Cork opened brightly and, indeed, had the edge for the first 40 minutes. But, disaster struck and Kerry scored from a corner just before the break. Cork lost dependable full back Eddie Cotter through injury after the resumption and the disrupted defence leaked a soft second. Cotter’s replacement, Barry Dennehy, then limped from the fray and “Bubbles” added two more to end Cork’s inter league involvement for another year. AUL: Kieran Cogan, Shane McSweeney, Eddie Cotter, Frankie Shaw, Anthony O’Brien, Peter Jones, David Moynihan, Deccie Sheehan, Jinty O’Sullivan, Jer Flaherty and Mick McAuliffe. Subs: Barry Dennehy, Tony McCarthy and Dougie Browne. AUL players Shane McSweeney (Greenmount) and David Moynihan (Blarney) later travelled to Dublin for the junior international trials.
The third annual Cork Soccer Honours were again presented at a reception hosted by Murphy’s Brewery at the Kiln. Those honoured in recognition of outstanding contributions to Leeside soccer were as follows. Hall of Fame: Donie Wallace (Cork Ath and Limerick) who, as an AUL player with Glasheen, was capped by Ireland at youths level and won FAI Minor Cup and AOH Cup medals in 1954. Legends Award: Johnny McGowan the former Cork Utd great. Distinguished Service Awards: Peter Browne (Everton, member of winning Oscar Traynor squad in 1966); John Murphy (Springfield manager of Irish Schools international team), Owen McCarthy (international referee and Mortonville AFC, first winners of AUL championship); and Christy Ahern (Blackrock, junior international).
At the close of an enjoyable season, the AUL confirmed that Greenmount Rangers had taken the Murphy’s Stout Team of the Year award with their manager, John Lyne, (not surprisingly) taking the managers award. Completing a great year for Greenmount was Darren Gubbins who shared the Golden Boot award with Mark Duggan (John Bosco’s). The popular former Tower Rovers star Eddie Fitzgerald received the referee’s award. In early June, the AUL Management Committee extended sincere condolences to the Cantillon family on the death of AUL Vice-President Fr Sean Cantillon, SMA. Fr Sean had played with AUL champions Mortonville in 1947. In the early fifties he swopped the soccer fields of Cork for the missionary fields of West Africa where he still found time to organise a little soccer league in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The AUL AGM, held at the end of the season, featured a number of very significant amendments to rules. Hundreds of teenagers were given the bonus of an additional year’s apprenticeship in youths football when the eligibility birthday was changed from August 1st to January 1st of the year a season commences. An amendment allowing greater flexibility to clubs with more than one team resulted from the acceptance of a change permitting the use of one team name, the only distinction required being that they had to nominate their sides A, B, C etc. Also in conjunction with the introduction of that rule, a player who played more than five games with a club’s first team would not be eligible to line out with its second team. It is important to remember that an A player would still require a transfer to play with a B team. An additional new rule stated that “A registered Youth player in the league shall be eligible to play with all teams in the club.” The practice of players playing in different leagues in the same grade without being transferred was addressed with the introduction of rule 32 which read: “No player can be registered in different leagues in the same grade at the one time.”
Vince Cummins moved from the position of registrar to the committee and was replaced by Noel Cahill, while Martin Conlon and Teddy O’Mahony were welcome additions to management.
The committee chosen to organise the League’s golden jubilee celebrations was as follows: John O’Sullivan (AUL), Dave Brady (Evergreen), Dan Cullinane (Hibernians), Denis Cambridge (Leeside) and John Stout (Mayfield).
Whistling with Frank
In 1948, Sylvie Groeger refereed the 1st AUL Cup final between Prospect Rovers and Ballinlough at Turner’s Cross and in that season a referees’ panel of just three was adequate to cover week-end fixtures. Nowadays, the 50 plus panel is hardly sufficient. The ref listings for games in the infancy of the AUL contained the following names: Messrs Duggan, Fehilly, Lodenburg, O’Callaghan, Screenan and Allen. Other popular officials included Messrs Buckley, Kiely, O’Driscoll and McKenna while Rory O’Connor, Nedser Cotter and company came just a little later. Strict refereeing guidelines were introduced by the Referees Committee of the MFA in 1951 and one very prominent official was removed indefinitely while another was suspended for a fortnight. Whistling in the AUL then were Tim O’Brien, Tom O’Brien and Messrs J Buckley, S McCarthy, D Delea, J Sheehan, T Noonan, M O’Keeffe, J J Ryan, Messrs Healy and Higgins. It would be an almost impossible task to recall the hundreds of respected officials who refereed over the time period covered by this history. So instead, Frank Casey – a long serving official with AUL links – was enlisted to turn back the clock and share his own personal reminiscences. As I contemplated this article, I was reminded of just how difficult a job it would prove to be while attending Mass at Christ the King when the offertory collection was taken up by a familiar referees trio, – Joe O’Riordan in the centre with assistance from Jim Warren and Eddie Mullins on the wings.
Frank, in commencing his brief review, outlined the role of the referee which was to enforce the laws of the game with firmness and justice to both teams. Refs, he said, came from all walks of life – white collar, blue collar, dockers, engineers, milkmen, teachers, etc. You know what, I can never recall a priest or a garda officiating in Cork! Does anyone? Neither, do I recall very many foreign nationals. Jack Lodenburg was Dutch and Keith Spoonley was a Taffy but I don’t remember any others!
Frank speaks almost reverently of the father figures of the game and included in that listing are Charlie Duggan (40’s-50’s), Charlie Fehilly (a scout for Wolves) and Sammy Allen (an Alderman in the Corporation) who came from a family steeped in soccer history. Others he recalled were Joe Bray (founder member of ISRS0, Alex Manning (father of Manning Brothers Musical duo), Sylvie Groeger whom he praised for his great charitable work, John Baldray (groundsman at Flower Lodge), Paddy Horgan and Dan Horgan (unrelated), John Screenan (Mr Typewriter), Larry Condon, Miah Mullins, Mick Ahern, Eddie McGeough, Bertie Mullins, Freddie Kendellen and Seanie Connell.
Ref took penalty
Recalling the characters, Frank pointed out that some of the stories concerning them stretch credulity to the limits. Nothing unusual, I suppose, about Tommy Noonan refereeing games using an alarm clock as a timepiece. But, his story of referee Larry O’Driscoll taking a penalty kick himself after the team who were awarded the spotter had eschewed the opportunity, stating that the decision was incorrect, seems far-fetched. You will not believe it when I tell you that the player deemed to have been brought down in the box was a lad named Mike Fowler (now that name rings a bell)! Hard to believe the story of the former goalkeeping great Denis ‘Tol Ol’ Daly (pigeon enthusiast) suspending a game while a flock of pigeons flew over. I have no difficulty, however, with the story that Jerry O’Donoghue who, took refuge in the dugout while running the line in a League of Ireland game on a wet day in Turner’s Cross. That is not so strange, as I remember an Examiner match report detailing how a ref in a league game at the Mardyke ran around with an open umbrella on another wet Wednesday afternoon. Recently, a former Cork FIFA official, restricted by injury, agreed to continue a game by refereeing from a standing position on the sideline.
Keeping it in the Family
Pat Kelly is the son of the late Timmy, a very popular official of the sixties, and Pat’s son Alan is one of the the present day contingent of promising referees. A recently retired great, Derry Barrett, has three nephews – Kevin O’Sullivan, Barry Kearney and Noel Kearney – also as members of the fraternity and there was a unique occasion in the early seventies when Derry refereed a Texaco Cup final (All-Ireland competition) with nephews Kevin and Noel running the lines.
The O’Keeffe family from Evergreen Street hold the record for family involvement, claimed Frank, who informed me that the four brothers, Mick (ex-Cork Celtic), Frank, John and Joe, all were members of the association. Others who spring to mind include Nedser Cotter and son Eddie, Brendan Sisk and son Brian, brothers Paddy and Tommy Noonan, Jack and Denis Murphy, Owen and Bobby McCarthy, Connie and Willie Long, Frank and Nicky Hayes, and another father and son duo Paddy and Tom Tully.
Owen McCarthy was another of the refereeing greats who officiated at international level and took charge of FAI Cup finals. Others in this category include Billy O’Neill, Derry Barrett, Sammy Spillane (three FAI Cup finals), Kevin O’Sullivan, John Spillane and Pat Kelly. Sammy and Derry were in their sixties when they retired as was Rory O’Connor who also gave a lifetime to the service.
Frank referred to the high number of goalkeepers who later took up the whistle and lists them as follows: “Tol OL” Daly, Derry Barrett, Kevin O’Sullivan, Tony O’Sullivan and Eddie Mullins. Obviously, he did not rate Christy Byrnes, Paddy Tully, Finbarr O’Sullivan, Aidan O’Regan, John Spillane, Bobby Duggan and Brian Sisk as he omitted them and, presumably, others from the list.
The town of Mallow produced its quota of top officials, included among whom are John Spillane, Sean Ware, Tom Bradley and Tony Gunning. Still whistling away to their hearts content at present(not a reference to whistle happy referees) are Jim McGrath, Billy Killackey, Sean Manley, Michael O’Farrell, Robbie Gregan, Eamonn Fitzgerald, Barry Kearney, Frank Hourigan, Eddie Foley, Mark O’Flynn, Tom Clancy, Denis Morley and Michael Murphy. In recent years, the premature retirements of Sean Ware, Keith Spoonley, Tom Cannon, Tom Bradley, Cyril Morley, Denis Collins, Billy Falvey and Jack Murphy has deprived the game of outstanding officials. However, Keith and Billy have joined Eddie McGeough, Seamus O’Donoghue and Frank Casey on the inspectorate. It is worth noting, too, that former AUL Management Committee members John Bird and Liam Lewis were whistlers of old. Retirements, though unwelcome, create more rapid advancement for the new recruits and those blossoming after not very lengthy apprenticeships are lads like Brian O’Regan and Martin Dorrity who have already sampled the big time. Space prevents me from even mentioning the dozens of other dedicated officials who love the game and are fulfiling what for them, was a natural progression from playing the beautiful game to enforcing its laws. I feel sure that referees like Freddie Murray, Frank Murphy, Martin O’Leary, Finbarr Buckley, Denis O’Donovan, Kevin Coughlan and Miksey Lyons et al enjoyed the transition.
Golden Boy v Mullins
One of the great characters of modern times is Eddie Mullins who many recall from the “Up Cork” variety show productions which were the forerunners of Summer Revels. Eddie has become a very popular after dinner speaker and never fails to amuse the punters at these events. I was fortunate enough to be present on the occasion when he reminisced on two verbal exchanges which he had had with the “Golden Boy” Paul O’Donovan. The first meeting referred to was a Flower Lodge match when Paul appeared to have been upended in the penalty box and made demonic claims for a penalty. Eddie was not convinced and waved play on. After the final whistle, Eddie found that he had Paul for company as he made his way to the dressing room and the “Golden Boy”, aware of Eddie’s interest in the stage, asked the innocent question as to what panto was on in the Opera House at the time? “It’s a great production Paul and well worth a visit – it’s Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves”, replied Eddie. “39 thieves, auld stock, one of them is masquerading as a referee”, snapped Paul before jogging away. “Mullinsie” owed Paul for that one and grabbed the opportunity a few weeks later in Turner’s Cross prior to a Munster Cup game. The teams were about to go onto the pitch when they were asked to wait for a few minutes as there was crowd congestion at the turnstiles. In the brief interlude, Eddie raised a cheer when he threw a ball to Paul saying “Paul, we’ve decided you can hold on to that one while we play with the match ball.” Paul appeared caught for words, but when MFA secretary Donie Forde gave the go ahead for the teams to march out, he roared “hold it, hang on a minute Fordie”. “What’s wrong now Paul?” asked Forde. “The referee’s guide dog is locked inside the dressing room”, roared Paul, leaving Eddie and the players in a hysterical condition as they ran on to the pitch. He who laughs last laughs loudest.
Cork AUL Sports Quiz
The AUL quiz which is run annually by Thos Warren, John Coleman and Noel Mullins (members of the John A Wood Ltd Sports and Social Club), began in the 1983-84 season. It started out as a knock-out event with teams of four competing against each other and attracted an entry of 16 teams in the first year. These teams would have been from AUL clubs but, as the quiz grew in popularity, it attracted teams from all the other sporting organisations.
At the beginning of the 90’s, the format of the quiz was changed to incorporate a table quiz which was used as a qualifying round for the knock-out competition. With the growth in interest at this time (68 teams entered in 1990) it was decided to introduce a Plate competition for those teams who failed to qualify for the knock-out stages. This proved a very popular innovation and a lot of fun is still enjoyed by those contestants who do not take the competition as seriously as those striving for honours in the knock-out stages.
As can be seen from the list of winners, College Corinthians have dominated the event in recent years, capturing their third title in a row in 1997, their fifth in total. The members of this successful team are Kevin O’Driscoll, Ger O’Driscoll, Terry Donovan and Tim Collins. A unique feature of the quiz is that, in the first twelve years of its existence, no team had succeeded in winning the event in successive years.
Some well known names in the sporting world have been members of teams down through the years. Frank O’Neill, Cork Celtic’s leading goal scorer when they won the League of Ireland championship in 1974, was on the Cobh Ramblers’ team that won in the 1985/86 season. When Nemo Rangers were victorious in ’87-88 and ’90-91, Billy Morgan was a member of the winning teams. Michael Slocum and Shay Fahy, both All-Ireland medal winners with Cork, have also assisted Nemo Rangers on different occasions. David McHugh, the Irish international rugby referee who officiated at the 1995 World Cup, has been a member of the Rugby Referees team for many years.
The venue for the quiz each year is The Ardmanning Bar, Togher. This has proven to be a very popular location due mainly to the assistance received from the staff who provide the organisers and the participants with excellent facilities. The quiz has provided a social outlet for the various team members from different codes and many new acquaintances and friends have been made as a result.
1983/84 Rockmount Lakewood Athletic
1984/85 Cork Road Runners Plunkett Rovers
1985/86 Cobh Ramblers Shandon View
1986/87 Lakewood Athletic Rugby Referees
1987/88 Nemo Rangers Lakewood Athletic
1988/89 Cork Co Council Nemo Rangers
1989/90 College Corinthians Lakewood Athletic
1990/91 Nemo Rangers Albert Rovers
1991/92 Ballinlough Nemo Rangers
1992/93 College Corinthians Rover’s Return
1993/94 Garda Westbury
1994/95 College Corinthians Albert Rovers
1995/96 College Corinthians Garda
1996/97 College Corinthians Lakewood Pitch and Putt
Youth Football (2005/06)
A new league, The Cork Youths League, was set up for the 2005/06 season to administer Under-17, Youth and Under-19 grades in the Cork area in conjunction with the MSL and our Under-17 and Youth grades transferred to this league.
The Cork AUL nominate four members from the management committee to over see the running of the Cork Youths League each season.