The Avondhu - By The Fireside
'Ode to Ballylanders'
The events from Sunday, September 5th, 1999 at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick will be etched on many a GAA followers’ mind for those in the South Limerick village of Ballylanders, being the day their team secured the club’s 2nd senior county football title at the grade.
Having waited some 82 years since their first title – champions in 1917 when defeating the famed Commercials side – they comfortably defeated a Hospital/Herbertstown outfit in 1999 on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-9. Captained by Danny Murphy, scorers in the final were: Ger Walsh (0-1), Michael O’Brien (0-1), Noel Frewen (1-2), Tom Fox (0-2), John Frewen (0-4), Danny Murphy (0-2) and Johnny Murphy (0-2).
Celebrations went on well into the night – and into the week no doubt - on their return home to their loyal supporters.
The following ‘Ode to Ballylanders’, was written and composed by L. Crawford from Rathurd, Ballysheedy, Co Limerick in September 1999, to mark the achievement. It should be sung to the air of ‘The Fair of Cappamore’.
ODE TO BALLYLANDERS - 1999 COUNTY SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS
We’d love to win the Co Football Senior Cup some day
Said the boys and girls from Ballylanders all along the way
In 1917 we played and won the first
And in ‘99 the cup came back to end that awful thirst.
Glenroe and Bally’ both combined to carry out the plan
Took on the might of Herbertstown and Hospital to a man
The flags and banners down the street were waving everywhere
Supporters thronged the Gaelic Grounds the young and old were there.
Selector, trainers, players and subs, relations everywhere
Two fathers with two sons, brothers there were four pair
John and Willy and Cyril, Kelly cousins in the squad
DJ Moloney, he’s a nephew of the chairman of the club.
On that final day in Limerick they played with style and skill
The scoring at half-time read 4 points to 1-10
With the Frewen brothers notching up a total of 1-6
And the Murphy boys with
Tom Fox, two each another six.
Noel O’Brien and Paddy Fox had sons among the fray
The Noonan brothers saved the day, there was Colm and DJ
The great Ger Walsh at No 8 put over two great scores
With another point from Damien Fitzgerald, you’ll never walk alone.
Mike Meade and Matthew Walsh were at numbers two and four
Their Grandads played in ‘17 so many years ago
Paul Lonergan and McSweeney were superb at half back
And the Frewen and Murphy brothers brilliant in attack.
Ger Walsh and Mike O’Brien took all at eight and nine
And when the final whistle sounded the board said 1-15 to 9
The English brothers Mike and Ed, at full and centre back
Their fielding, passing and striking was the backbone of the pack.
Two County Minors in the subs Willy Kelly and David Dineen
With Sheehan, Lane and Mansell, James Kirby, a dream team
Each and every one had a mighty part to play
In bringing home the County to Bally’ that Autumn day.
O’Brien and Fox and Davy Walsh and Donie Keating too
Were on the line to fine tune them, they were Ollie Coffey’s crew
Danny Murphy, son of Seamus, was captain of the team
When he took the cup and gave his speech we knew it was no dream.
The fifth day of September the prize was our’s we won
We headed out to Bally’ to celebrate as one
The band were there to greet us as in many a day gone by
And with the sun gone down and the cup raised high
We sang the Fields Of Athenry.