1931 Junior Hurling

No Tournament Final 

The hurling tournament final between Ballyhooley and Bride Rovers was fixed for Sunday February 15th at 2.30 pm. Writing in The Cork Examiner the previous week East Cork Secretary, Eamonn Fleming declared: "Rathcormac's Day" 

Sunday week is being looked forward to as a red letter day in the annals of  the GAA where Rathcormac as a Gaelic citadel is concerned. The energetic committee entrusted with the guidance and management of the Bride Rovers' Hurling and Football Clubs are to be congratulated upon the  signal success which has attended their efforts in the working of the Association during the past year. The first practical step lay in the  amalgamation of the two local clubs, Bartlemy and Rathcormac, under the appropriate name of Bride Rovers, who covered themselves with glory last  year. 

The presentation of medals will be made at the East Cork Divisional  meeting, to be held at Rathcormac on Sunday 15th February, subsequent  to the Final of the Bride Rovers' junior hurling tournament between Ballyhooley (North Cork) and Bride Rovers, East Cork champions. The contest is timed for 2.30, with Mr. John Barry, B.A.,N.T, Carrig in charge of the whistle. The game is expected to be one of the best played in the division during the year, and will be worth witnessing. All junior and minor hurling and football entries close on that date, when the draws for the division will take place and the opening dates arranged. No transfers can be entertained or considered after draws take place. One of the FermoyNational Bands will attend the match. 

The Club advertised the game in the Examiner on the Saturday: 

Bride Rovers Hurling Tournament - Great final at Rathcormac on Sunday, Feb. 15th - Ballyhooley (North Cork) v Bride Rovers (East Cork).

The greatest clash of the year; hour 2.30. Admission 6d. 

It was to be a gala occasion with match followed by the making of the 1931 draws. Unfortunately the match never took place. Ballyhooley contended that they - hadn't got enough notice of the game - couldn't field a team because of sickness, and they claimed they had sent a telegram to this effect on the Saturday. When the Ballyhooley team didn't  show up there was total confusion and annoyance amongst the large crowd. The Fermoy Band had to play for a lot longer than they had bargained for! 

The draws were made at the Divisional Meeting for the 1931 season as follows:

Junior Hurling 

Midleton v Mogeely, Ballymacoda v Youghal, 

Ballinacurra v Bride Rovers, Leeside v Cobh,

Aghada v Sarsfields, Cloyne v Dungoumey,

Killeagh v Lisgoold, Carrigtwohill a bye.

Junior Football 

Bride Rovers v Russell Rovers, Midleton v Youghal,

Carrigtwohill v Mogeely, Bride Valley v Sarsfields,

Cobh a bye.

Minor Hurling 

Aghada v Bride Rovers, Youghal v Carrigtwohill,

Midleton v Sarsfields, Cobh v Little Island.

Minor Football 

Youghal v Russell Rovers. 

In preparation for the Ballyhooley game, the hurling team travelled to Midleton for a game on Feb. 1st but lost to the home side by 3-5 to 5-3. A month later Tallow came to Rathcormac and won by 6-3 to 3-0. On St. Patrick's Day St. Colman's were winners in Fermoy by 5-2 to 4-3. The first round of the championship was fixed for Carrigtwohill on Sunday April 12th and the previous Sunday Bride Rovers recorded the first win of the year when defeating Fermoy by 3-0 to 1-0 at Fermoy.

Ballinacurra provided stiff opposition in the championship encounter at Carrigtwohill, in the end the defending East Cork champions were lucky to win by 4 points, 5-1 to 3-3. Mr. J. O'Keeffe, Carrigtwohill had charge of the whistle. The second round of the championship on May 24th against Ballymacoda was even tighter, Bride Rovers 3-1, Ballymacoda 3-0. 

 Report from Cork Examiner: 

There was a very large attendance at Cloyne on Sunday afternoon, when Bride Rovers and Ballymacoda figured in the second round of the East Cork Junior Hurling Championship. The high grass was the only factor which militated against the progress of what was a very fast game. A strong breeze, which favoured the team playing towards the village end, went to Bride Rovers in the initial period, who turned over with a lead of a single major and minor score. In the concluding moiety, which was a hard-fought tussle throughout, Bride Rovers snatched the honours by a point. Very Rev. P.M. Canon Lynch P.P. set the teams in motion. With the aid of the strong breeze, the Rovers led at half time by 2-1 to 1-0. The Rovers point and one goal had come from seventies. Ballymacoda actually scored a second goal in this half but it was disallowed for an infringement of the square. A goal early in the second half saw Bride Rovers lead by 3-1 to 1-0. For nearly 20 minutes Bride Rovers didn't score while Ballymacoda added two further goals. After the game the disallowed goal was hotly disputed with Ballymacoda expressing their intention of objecting to the Divisional Committee. 

The teams were:-

Bride Rovers:- Jack Leahy (Capt.), John Healy (goal), Ned Hoskins, Joe Healy, Tommy Walker, Dinny O'Leary, Jimmy Ryan, Billy Hannan, Ned Daly, Dave Hogan, Andy Scannell, Tommy Condon, Billy Barry, John Kearney, Ned Barry. 

Ballymacoda:- B. Donnelly (Capt.), J. Donnelly (goal), W. Daunt, B. Daunt, M. Cotter, M. O'Keeffe, G. Cashell, E. McLoughlin, W. O'Connell, F. Hayes, M. Millerick, J. Cashman, D. Ahern, M. O'Connell, D. Shaughnessy.

Referee:- Mr. E. Veale, Russell Rovers Football Club. 

Note:- Tommy Walker was from Fermoy. 

Ballymacoda did lodge an official objection claiming that their second goal in the first half was a perfectly legitimate score. The objection was overruled and so Bride Rovers were through to the semi final. By now the junior hurling team had become a well known and much sought after side for challenge games. As well as training 3 nights a week in preparation for the semi final clash with Midleton, 3 'friendly' games were played; 

July 19th  at Shanballymore, Bride Rovers 3-3,Shanballymore 5-6

Aug. 9th   at Fermoy, Bride Rovers 4-0,  Fermoy 0-3

Aug. 16th  at Rathcormac,  Bride Rovers 3-1,  Shanballymore 1-4. 

Midleton had defeated Mogeely and were thought to be a very strong team. On the day, however, there was only one team in it. The game was  played at Killeagh on August 30th and Bride Rovers had a convincing win by 9-2 to 4-2 to qualify for the East Cork final for the second year in a row.    

The Cork County Board put pressure on the various Divisional  Committees to complete their junior championships as early as possible. The first round of the County Junior Hurling Championship, East Cork winner v Passage, was fixed for the Cork Athletic Grounds on Sunday  September 13th. 

As the East Cork competition was not yet finished, Bride Rovers (as outgoing champions) were nominated to represent East Cork in the County Championship.They played the South East Cork champions, Passage as part of a double-header at the Athletic Grounds. Russell Rovers defeated Shamrocks in Junior Football by 0-5 to 1-1 in the first game. 

Just one score was recorded in the first half of the hurling game, a goal for Passage after 20 minutes. "Passage resumed strongly and after a time improved their lead by a second goal to which Bride Rovers replied with a major". Passage got well on top and added a further 4-1 to leave them clear winners by 6-1 to 2-0. 

Passage:- P. Connor (capt.), J. O'Shea, D. Walsh, McNamara, C. Hayes, J. Beale, T. O'Mahony, P. Healy, T. Healy, D. Canty, F. Fahy, D. O'Sullivan, S. O'Connell, V. Dunne, C. O'Sullivan.

Bride Rovers:- John Healy, Micheal Cranitch, Ned Hoskins (capt.), Joe Healy, Jimmy Ryan, Tommy Walker, Jim Heskin, Billy Hannan, Ned Daly, Billy Barry, Dave Hogan, Dinny O'Leary, Tommy Condon, Ned Barry,  John Kearney.

Referee:- Mr. J. Desmond (Redmonds). 

The 'J. O'Shea' on the Passage team was their goalkeeper Jack O'Shea. A native of County Kildare, Jack had taken to the roads as a young man and travelled all over the country. He was a well known figure in the Bartlemy and Rathcormac areas from the 1950's, up until the early 1980's. He stayed a day or two at different houses and then moved on - relying on the hospitality of different households. Jack died as a result of injuries he received when hit by a car.    

There was little time to recover from the County defeat as just seven days later the East Cork final was scheduled for Midleton against Aghada. A huge crowd of over 1,200 was present with gate receipts of £30.1.6.

Unfortunately there is no record of the actual team line out, but it is presumed to be more or less the same as the previous week. Bride Rovers' hopes of retaining the title were dashed as Aghada won by 3-2 to 1-4. As in the Ballymacoda game earlier in the year, there was a dispute. Bride Rovers players claimed a point was not given and that an Aghada point was given as a goal. If their opinions were correct, the final score should have been Aghada 2-2, Bride Rovers 1-5. No official objection was lodged. Micheal Cranitch travelled back from Teacher Training college in Waterford for the game and recalled the defeat as a terrible blow to the team.

Though naturally disappointed at the East Cork final loss, the hurling team kept on training and two further games were played. On October 18th at Fermoy St. Colman's College were winners 3-4 to 3-2.

The season ended on a high note with a 3-7 to 1-0 win over U.C.C. at Rathcormac on Nov. 8th. With 3 playing seasons now completed, the hurling team had played a total of forty three games. There was a great spirit amongst the players and when- ever and where- ever they played, there was a great following of supporters from all areas of the parish. Many of the people over 60 in the parish had vivid memories of Fr. Barry's teams and were delighted with the success of the new club. Two men who took particular pride in the activities of the new club were the two 'old captains', Patrick Murphy of Raheen (football) and Wm. O'Connell of Ballinakilla. (hurling).


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