Bride Rovers First Season 1929
On February 17th 1929 the Bride Rovers Club paid its Junior Hurling Championship fee of 2/6 for the season. The first game for the new club was on St. Patrick's Day, Sunday March 17th, at Bartlemy when Midleton were visitors for a challenge game. Midleton won 5-4 to 3-2 (Midleton later that year won the East Cork J.H.Q. In April the club organised a Senior Hurling Tournament. This was to raise funds for the club and also for Tim Cotter who had lost an eye as a result of a serious injury received in a hurling game. The Tournament teams were St. Finbarrs and Carrigtwohill and the game was played near Guineas Cross.
There was a large gathering at Rathcormac on Sunday to witness the hurling contest between St. Finbarrs and Carrigtwohill seniors, in connection with the tournament organised by the Bride Rovers Hurling Club in aid of an injured player. The arrangements were carried out by the local Gaels, under the efficient supervision of Mr. Eamonn Fleming, secretary of the East Cork Divisional Executive. The match was billed to commence at 3 o'clock, but, owing to a slight delay, occasioned by a breakdown on the road to the Barry, it was half-an-hour later. The Fermoy Confraternity Brass and Reed Band, which was in attendance, played the ,teams on to the pitch, which was an excellent one. It is interesting to note that no senior match had been played in this field for the last quarter of a century, and that then the Carrig men played on it.
St. Finbarrs - 5 goals 5 points,
Carrigtwohill - 5 goals 3 points.
Mr., M.J. Murphy, Mitchelstown refereed.
The reference to the senior match 25 years earlier was probably to Carrigtwohill v Dungourney.
Home and away league games were the norm at the time and at Rathcormac on March 31st Bride Rovers recorded their first victory with a 3-4 to 2-3 win over Killeagh. The return game in Killeagh on April 21st ended in a draw 3-1 apiece. There was little chance for any long period of serious training as the 1st round of the Junior Championship was on the following Sunday at Midleton. Youghal scored just 3 times while Bride Rovers had 6 scores but Youghal's '3' were goals in answer to 1-5 for the Rovers. The gate receipts for the game were £3.12.0.. The Rovers v Youghal game was played at 4.15. and was preceded by another game in the same competition, Sarsfields v Dungoumey. This was a very tight game with Sars winning by the minimum margin 5-3 to 5-2. The junior football team were also in championship action. Midleton the reigning East Cork Champions, agreed to come to Rathcormac for the game and they won by just 3 points, 2-4 to 2-1. Brooklodge proved too strong in the Minor Hurling Championship at Watergrasshill winning by 7-2 to 1-2. Strangely the gate receipts for this were bigger than for the junior game - E3.14.0..On Sunday 16th June a big sports meeting was held at Ballinterry under N.A. and C.A. rules.
This sports meeting went ahead and was very successful. Just 2 weeks later a further sports meeting was held, probably the 'original' Rathcormac Sports. On Saturday 29th June the following ads appeared on The Cork Examiner:
Rathcormac Annual Sports to-morrow (Sunday) June 30th. Marathon race will start in village at 12.45pm. Field events at 1.45pm. (old time)
Rathcormac Sports to-morrow. The 1928 men who attended Rathcormac Sports last year were so pleased with their visit that they have wired saying that the nineteen hundred and twenty nine men with their wives and families are leaving for Rathcormac this evening. ng.
Rathcormac Sports to-morrow. Come and hear the glorious music of the Cork Volunteer Prize Pipers Band floating over the grand old woodlands of Kilshannig and Lisnagar.
Rathcormac Sports to-morrow. The man who never laughed is coming there. Substantial reward to the first person who'll 'spot' him during the obstacle or wheelbarrow races.
Rathcormac Sports to-morrow. Don't bother about your dinner. Jack Barry's refreshment tent will be on the grounds.
Rathcormac Sports to-morrow. The following teams have already entered for tug-of-war, Mullintoura A and B, Chimneyfield, Crush and Ballindenisk.
Two of the regular Board delegates in the early years were Billy Barry and Patrick O'Riordan of Hollyhill, Bartlemy. Patrick O'Riordan had also represented different parish clubs at County Board level in the earlier years before the Divisional Committee was formed.Though out of all championships, league games kept the club busy for the remainder of the season.
Amongst the games played were:
7th June at Bartlemy, Bride Rovers 4-3, Lisgoold 3-1.
14th June at Lisgoold, Bride Rovers 3-4, Lisgoold 3-3.
21st June at Dungourney, Bride Rovers 1-3, Dungourney 3-2.
7th July at Rathcormac, Bride Rovers 4-6, Dungourney 3-1.
27th Oct. at Rathcormac, Bride Rovers 10-7, Mogeely 3-1.
10th Nov. at Mogeely, Bride Rovers 3-2, Mogeely 2-1.
Challenge games were also played against Leeside and Sarsfields.
Mr Denis Canavan of Riverstown put up a cup "The Canavan Cup" for a two-leg competition between Bride Rovers and Brooklodge. The first game was played at Riverstown on August 18th with Brooklodge winning by 5-0 to 3-1.
The following is The Cork Examiner report on the match: At the enclosure at Riverstown yesterday Bride Rovers and Brooklodge met in a hurling contest for a silver cup presented by Mr. Denis Canavan. There was a fairly large attendance and the game was followed with much interest. After a couple of good defences Brooklodge forced two goals, which the Rovers replied to with a minor, and play of an interesting character continued to the short whistle, when the register stood - Bride Rovers 2 goals 1 point to Brooklodge 2 goals.In the second half-hour Brooklodge assumed a strong offensive, and despite a series of stubborn defences by their opponents, they continued to increase their lead and to win on a very comfortable margin. Full-time score - Brooklodge 5 goals, Bride Rovers 3 goals 1 point.
The teams were:Brooklodge: J. Ronan, C. Ronan, J. Loftus, R. Power, W. McCarthy, McAuliffe, W. Sheehan, J. Dwyer, W. Mahony, M. Murphy, J. Long, D. Fenton, W, Lane, D. Murphy, J. Ryan.
Bride Rovers: Jack Leahy (captain), Joe Healy, Matt Walsh, Billy Barry, John Kearney, J. Bermingham, Ned Hoskins, Johnny Fitzgerald, Billy Hannon, Denny O'Leary, Ned Daly, Dave Hogan, Ned Barry, Dick Ryan, John Healy (goal).
Referee: Mr, Denis O'Leary.
The following Sunday at Bartlemy the series was level at one win each when Bride Rovers won by 4-6 to 3-2. The scorers for Bride Rovers were: Dick Ryan 2-1, Billy Hannon 0-4, John Kearney 1-0, Denny O'Leary 1-0, Dave Hogan 0-1. An account of the- game states that the Brooklodge forwards attacked repeatedly but "the home defence of Leahy, Hoskins and Walshe could not be penetrated".
As the Canavan Cup was a 'test series' and both Bride Rovers and Brooklodge now had a win each it was decided that to determine the destination of the cup a final would by played but this was left over until the following spring.
During the season East Cork Board records show that passes for games and gate tickets were sent to Tom Barry and Lar Foley. Amongst those notified as referees are W. Barry and Mr. Ahern, Bartlemy.
After a year in existence the signs were very promising for the new club. Most games had been closely contested and, with the exception of the minor hurling team, no heavy defeats were recorded. At the end of the year, to help with fund-raising the club decided to have a Dance in the Rathcormac school. This was arranged for New Year's Night January 1st 1930. The admission for ladies was 4/- while gents had to pay 5/- for the Dance which commenced at 8pm. Special tickets were printed for this Dance with the name "Bride Rovers National Hurling Club". Strangely there is no mention of the chairman or vice-chairman (Dan Barry and Pat Foley) on the tickets.