The Avondhu - By The Fireside
GOLDEN OLDIES HONOURED BY SHANBALLYMORE GAA
Having suffered county intermediate hurling final defeats in both 1948 and 1950, Shanballymore achieved their second county title in 1951, when defeating Midleton by a five point margin, 2-6 to 1-4 in Fermoy.
This, after heartbreak in both 1948 when defeated by rivals Midleton (6-4 to 1-1) and in 1950 when Carrigtwohill narrowly took county honours on a scoreline of 6-4 to 5-3. The men of 1951 were honoured in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow 50 years after that momentous victory in April 2001 and here we recall some of the events and presentations on that memorable night.
Firstly however, we look briefly at the state of hurling in the Shanballymore club around that time.
In 1942 the club won the County Junior A Hurling Championship title. In 1943 they were upgraded to Intermediate level and they had a victory over Douglas at UCC Grounds by 7-9 to 3-2. In 1944 they lost out to Lough Rovers in the first round. Lough Rovers went on that year to reach the county final and beat Oldcastletown in the final by 2-4 to 0-1. In 1945 Shanballymore beat Mallow in the first round in Doneraile, however lost out to the 31st Battalion in the semi-final, a side that went on to beat Oldcastletown in the county final by 3-11 to 0-4.
Moving ahead to 1946, Shanballymore had a first round win over Oldcastletown, but were then beaten in the county semi-final by Cloughduv. The following year Shanballymore lost out to Midleton in the first round and in 1948, were again beaten by rivals Midleton, this time in the county final, 6-4 to 1-1.
In 1950, Shanballymore beat Douglas in the 1st round but lost out to Carrigtwohill in the county final by 6-4 to 5-3. Finally however, on October 1st, 1951, having defeated Ballincollig in the first round, Shanballymore claimed county glory when overcoming Midleton by 2-6 to 1-4.
The team lined out as follows: P Fahy, M O’Regan, P O’Keeffe, T Higgins, D Curtin, W Holton, J Mannix, W Fahy, W Griffin, O McAuliffe, T Vaughan, D Griffin, T Donovan, L Fahy, D Lehane.
The following year Shanballymore were up in Senior grade and lost out to St Finbarr’s by a point in the first round in Buttevant.
Willie Griffin, a member of the Shanballymore side, won an AllIreland medal in 1952 with Cork.
Hereunder, is the full report following the club function, as carried in The Avondhu on Thursday, April 26th, 2001:
‘The Shanballymore team that won the County Intermediate Hurling Championship in 1951 was honoured by the club at its annual social in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow last Friday night. This was reckoned to be the best panel ever assembled to wear the red and black and it was an honour to see them together again.
Two of these players, namely Billy Griffin and Billy Holton, won All-Ireland hurling medals with Cork. Also to wear the red and white were Vincent Falvey, Donie Griffin, Owenie McAuliffe and Pat O’Keeffe who also won two Harty Cup medals with St Colman’s, Fermoy. The captain was Vincent Fahy.
After a lovely meal, the proceedings were opened by an excellent MC, John Murphy, who introduced the speakers and gave a brief resúme of the team. Canon Casey, who was warmly congratulated on his elevation, was the first speaker. Our local curate Fr Mick Corkery and chairman of the North Cork Board Liam Hanley, praised the team and called on the present wearers of the famed red and black to be proud to be asked to wear the colours and to strive to keep up a great tradition. Fr Billy O’Donovan presented mementoes as each man came forward.
Those present were: Vincent Fahy, Myles O’Regan, Pat O’Keeffe, Donie Curtin, Jimmy Mannix, Tommy Donovan, Dan Griffin, Owenie McAuliffe, Jim Vaughan, Pat Lehane, Jim Baker, Jimmy Ryan, Fr Denis O’Connor. The late Billy Griffin, Billy Holton, Kevin Fahy, Denis Regan, Tom Higgins, Liam Fahy and Jimmy Lehane were represented by their families. Unable to attend were John McCarthy and Frank Fahy. The selectors were Reggie Nagle, Tom Brien, Mikey Reilly and Ned Ryall.
Fr Denis thanked the club on behalf of the team and wished the club all the best for the future. Pa Sheedy, who was captain for 2000, then presented the O’Leary Cup medals which were won on beating Ballyhooly in Ballygiblin, to the
HALL OF FAME
The winner of the Hall of Fame for 2000 was former star hurler Fr Denis O’Connor. He was a brilliant underage with St Colman’s winning the Harty Cup as well. He then graduated on the Shanballymore team and played all games up to the final which he unavoidably missed, having returned to Maynooth Seminary where he was studying for the priesthood.
His hurling career ended prematurely when he was ordained in 1955. He retained his love for Shanballymore throughout his life and was pleasantly surprised to be honoured with the Hall of Fame trophy. Our chairman, Mick Curry did the honours by presenting the trophy. He has joined an illustrious band who have been awarded the same down the years.
Last, but not least, we must thank a very hard-working committee of John Murphy, Noreen Burke, Jimmy Ryan, Mick Curry, Pat Flynn and Johnny Palmer who put together a very impressive social and again well done’.
The trophies for the occasion were kindly sponsored by Michael O’Donovan, Sherry and Co. Auctioneer’s, Mallow.