First East Cork JAH Title 1930
The 1930 season started with a 3-2 to 1-2 win over Lisgoold followed by a draw with St. Colman's College. In April Tallow from Waterford were visitors to Bartlemy for a hurling challenge which the visitors won by 2-3 to 1-0. This game was on Sunday April 13th and the following Sunday the long awaited Canavan Cup Final was fixed for Glenville.
This game resulted in a great win on a scoreline of 4-5 to 1-2 and earned the club its first trophy - or so everyone thought ! Though Bride Rovers won the game decisively there was no trace of the Canavan Cup which subsequently became known as the "Mythical Canavan Cup".
The team that lined out in the final against Brooklodge was as follows: John Healy, Jack Leahy, Joe Healy, Ned Hoskins, Tom Barry, Connie O'Brien, Dave Hogan, Billy Barry, Billy Hanan, Dick Ryan, Ned Daly, John Kearney, Ned Barry, Tommy Condon, Denny O'Leary.
It appears that a set of medals were forthcoming but when a team photograph was taken in early 1932 a cup belonging to the Rathcormac Coursing Club 'stood in' instead of the Canavan Cup! Spirits were high in the club after the 'Cup' win but 7 days later at Bartlemy, Ballinacurra were visitors and handed out a hurling lesson to the home side winning by 5-4 to 2-2. Another defeat was registered the following Sunday at Riverstown when Sarsfields won 4-2 to 3-2.
At the East Cork Divisional meeting in May the first round of the Junior Hurling Championship v Killeagh was fixed, amazingly for Bartlemy, which could hardly be deemed a 'neutral pitch', but the Bride Rovers delegates didn't object and it is possible that no Killeagh delegate was present when the fixture was made. A final practice match was played on May 25th with the return match against Tallow which the West Waterford side won 4-3 to 3-0. This was the clubs 22nd hurling match since February 1929 and amazingly on only one occasion did the tally of points scored exceed six - this was in the 10-7 to 3-1 victory over Mogeely. Whether it was their style of play or the poorness of defenders but Bride Rovers seemed to have a great knack of goal-scoring. This was well demonstrated on the 8th of June when Killeagh were defeated by 8-4 to 2- 2.
The semi-final of the championship was against Cobh and this was played at Cobh Junction on June 22nd. It was a ding dong game with very little between the teams at any stage, but at the final whistle Cobh were ahead by the narrowest of margins, Cobh 5-1, Bride Rovers 4-3. All was not lost, however, as before the team and officials left the venue they received "certain information" about the legality of a member of the Cobh team. An objection was duly lodged outlining the case. The Divisional Committee heard the objection and after long deliberation Cobh were disqualified and the game awarded to the Rovers, thus qualifying the team for the East Cork Junior Hurling Championship Final. After being in existence just 18 months this was a great achievement for the club.
The team that played against Cobh was: John Healy, Jack Leahy, J. Kearney, Joe Healy, Connie O'Brien, Ned Hoskins, Dave Hogan, Tom Barry, Andy Scannell, Billy Hanan, Dick Ryan, Tommy Condon, Ned Daly, Denny O'Leary, Ned Barry.
It was to be a full 5 months before the East Cork Final was played against Leeside. During the summer the Rathcormac Tournament was progressing and by the end of the autumn Bride Rovers and Ballyhooley were in the final. While preparing for the East Cork Final the following games were played:
At Bartlemy: Bride Rovers 10-3, Conna 0-2.
At Rathcormac: Bride Rovers 3-3, St. Mary's 3-2.
At Bartlemy: Bride Rovers 4-6, Brooklodge 6-0. This latter game was reported in The Cork Examiner as follows:
Brooklodge v Bride Rovers
On Sunday last, at Bartlemy, the above teams met in a friendly encounter, and a keen and closely-fought struggle resulted in a draw. These teams are well-known rivals on the hurling field in East Cork, and have always -produced spirited and lively contests in whatever venue they met. Last Sunday, however, was looked upon in the light of a minor trial for both teams, who have important engagements in that grade in the near future. The match was played a short distance from the village, in a field kindly lent for the occasion by Mr. L. Cotter, to whose unfailing courtesy the local club has more than once been indebted. Brooklodge, playing with the wind, were the first to attack, but the ball returned to Rovers' forwards, where a tough struggle near the goal mouth resulted in a goal. This was almost immediately followed by a point from the return of the puck-out, but Brooklodge, from the second delivery, got down the wing for Delaney to send in a lightning shot for a goal. Play was restored once more to the Brooklodge defence lines, and a quick shot by Ryan went over the bar for a second point. From the puck-out Ronan sent down field, but Hoskins cleared, and a centre-field struggle gave little advantage for some time, until Brooklodge at last got away for another goal, thus getting the lead once more by a point. A further point for the Rovers close on half-time left both sides level at 6 points each.
On the resumption scores came rapidly, and the lead changed hands several times. Brooklodge maintained a stiff attack, but the defence proved reliable. Two goals in succession for the Rovers were followed by three' similar scores in as many minutes for the visitors. Close to the end Rovers again took the lead by a few points, but a well-earned goal in the closing stages of the match left the score;‑
Brooklodge 6 goals, Bride Rovers 4 goals, 6 points. Mr. D. J. Barry, Bride Rovers H.C., refereed.
While the juniors were going well, so too were the minors who defeated Sarsfields in the first round at Rathcormac by 5-3 to 4-1 on July 16th. In the semi-final in October, Youghal were well beaten by 6-1 to 0-1. This meant the club had qualified for two East Cork Championship finals for 1930.
It was November. 23rd before the East Cork Junior final was played. On Saturday 22nd the game was advertised in The Cork Examiner:
East Cork Junior Hurling Championships Great final at Midleton - on tomorrow Leeside v Bride Rovers 3.15pm.
Certainly the match of the season. Fast clean and scientific game assured Don't miss. Adm. 6d., schoolboys 2d. Eamonn Fleming
The game resulted in a very easy win for Bride Rovers on a scoreline of 52 to 0-1. "Bride Rovers fully deserved their victory, but their big margin does not do justice to Leeside. It was one of the hardest fought games for many years, and in addition, a fast pace was maintained throughout. The work of the inner custodian (J. Healy) was a treat for the spectators, who loudly applauded him."
The team that brought the first East Cork title to the Banks of the Bride was: Jack Leahy (Captain), John Healy (Goal) Rathcormac, Joe Healy,Rathcormac, Ned Hoskins, Bluebell, John Joe Burke, Kildorrery, Dinny O'Leary, Graigue, Glenville, Dave Hogan, Shanavougha, Kildinan, Billy Hanan, Ned Daly, Rathcormac, Dick Ryan, Ballinterry, Billy Barry, Mondaniel, Andy Scannell, Fermoy, John Kearney, Coolequane, Ned Barry, Rathcormac, Tommy Condon, Rathcormac .
For a club barely two years in existence, this was a fantastic win but the inclusion of John Joe Burke and Andy Scannell on the team meant the exclusion of the two 'locals' and Burkes selection had other repercussions. The status and legality of J.J. Burke to play was disputed by the Leeside Club. They lodged an official objection with the East Cork Divisional Committee. Billy Barry recalled the episode many years later "we won the objection in committee in East Cork and also won it narrowly at the full East Cork meeting but they (Leeside) took it to the County Board, where I was far from popular with the then ruling clique; I had been too critical of things they were doing - and that did not help. They threw us out. But we did in fact get the medals two years afterwards - a long story".
The fact that John Joe Burke was played in the final in his own and not an assumed name would seem to prove that as far as the Bride Rovers Club was concerned that he was perfectly legal. As Billy Barry said it was nearly two years later before the East Cork medals were presented - Billy and Ned Daly got theirs at a Board meeting in Midleton. Sadly by the time the medals came John Joe Burke was dead - he was killed tragically in a cycling accident. His East Cork medal was later presented to his sister by the officers of the Bride Rovers Club. It appears that because of the lateness of the East Cork Final, a team had been nominated to represent East Cork in the County Junior Hurling Championship. Ballyhea won the Cork Junior Hurling Championship beating Kinsale in the final 3-1 to 0-2. The total gate receipts for the East Cork Final were £9.15.0. and of this Bride Rovers got £2. 6. 3.
At the next meeting of the Divisional Committee, after the East Cork final, Bride Rovers delegate, Billy Barry, was selected to chair the meeting in the absence of the chairman. Mr. Eamonn Fleming, Hon. Sec., "congratulated both Bride Rovers and Leeside Clubs upon the very fine sportsmanlike game played on the previous Sunday at Midleton. The very best thanks of the Committee were due to the teams and to those in charge. All. patrons had spoken very highly of the remarkably clean and scientific game as played in connection with the East Cork Divisional final (1930). He availed of the opportunity in the absence of the chairman, to heartily congratulate Bride Rovers upon their great victory, and Leeside upon the splendid fight which they made (cheers)." Mr. Joe Foley, Hon. Treasurer, said the match was "an exceptionally good one, while the patronage extended to it was of a very generous nature." In reply Billy Barry said he "wished to thank the Hon. Secretary and other speakers for the kind references made to Bride Rovers Club. They certainly trained to win and their display on Sunday surpassed their expectations. He should say that in Leeside Club they met decent Gaels and good sportsmen, who were out to play the game as it should by played, and who proved themselves the same in defeat as they did in victory. He appreciated the kind references made to both clubs. While each did their best to win the divisional championship, yet only one could get there, and that one was the Bride Rovers. It was most satisfactory and encouraging to find young clubs coming forward and doing so well."
The hurling season for the club didn't end until December 14th at Lisgoold, when Midleton won the East Cork Minor Hurling title by 6-1 to 1-2, thus completing a three in a row of minor titles.
The Cork Examiner reported:- "Midleton and Bride Rovers contested the final of the East Cork Minor Hurling League at Lisgoold yesterday. After a very hard fought game Midleton ran out winners on the score Midleton 6-1, Bride Rovers 1-2."
Note:- In. The Cork Examiner ad. the previous day, the game was listed as the "League Championship Final."