Club dinner dance 1977 Brendan O Driscoll, John Arnold, Mick Barry, and Pat O Connor Championship Draw
At the first meeting of the East Cork Board the championship draws were made and Dungourney were drawn as the opponents for the 1st round of the Junior 'A' Hurling Championship. The clubs had met 3 times in the 1969 season and the Rovers won the two important games, in the championship second round and league semi-final. Dungourney were, however, regarded as tough opponents and there was little enough between the two clubs over the previous 5 years. The Junior Hurling League commenced in March and the club started with 3 great wins:
1st March at Watergrasshill, Bride Rovers 6-7 Watergrasshill 4-2.
8th March at Whites Cross, Bride Rovers 2-6 Whites Cross 2-3.
15th March at Rathcormac, Bride Rovers 5-14 Carrignavar 0-0.
Further league wins against Erin's Own, 6-8 to 5-10 and Owenacurra Rovers, 10-8 to 3-4, saw the 'A! grade team practically guaranteed a league semi-final spot. Results in the football league were mixed, Erin's Own were defeated by 2-6 to 3-2. After this a good win was recorded against Fr. O'Neill's by 3-2 to 2-0 before losing to Carrig Rovers by 3-5 to 1-10. These games were quickly followed by the first round of the Football Championship on July 5th against Russell Rovers in Carrigtwohill. This was a good game and with Sean Murphy, Patsy Kelleher and Connie Barry playing well the Rovers won by 2-5 to 0-5. Club vice-president Fr. Michael Ryan was transferred from the parish in the spring and the club helped with the collecting of subscriptions for a presentation. Paudie Murphy, Batty Hogan, treasurer Tom Barry and chairman David John Barry were appointed to take charge of this. A subscription of £10 was given to the Rathcormac Youth Club to purchase new table tennis equipment and it was also agreed to provide a site fora tennis court in the Hurling Field (Lettings) if a suitable site could be found.
In preparation for the 'A' grade championship game against Dungourney the team took part in the Watergrasshill Tournament but were defeated by Erin's Own. Two challenge games were played in Rathcormac on June 26th and June 28th against Bishopstown and the Garda respectively. The championship game was fixed for Midleton on Sunday July 5th . The match was played before a huge crowd. The Rovers scored some great points but Dungourney's ability to score goals proved decisive. With fifteen minutes to go Dungourney were ahead by 2 goals. Six points in a row from the Rovers saw the teams level at 2-7 to 0-13. Dungourney went a point ahead again and then got a goal with the last puck of the game and in the end they won by 4 points, 3-8 to 0-13. After the great wins of the previous seasons this game was a huge disappointment, especially as it was a game that many felt the Rovers should have won. Dungourney proved their worth however, and qualified for their first ever Junior 'A' Hurling Championship final which they lost to Killeagh, who were winning the East Cork 'A' grade title for the second time in four years. July proved a disastrous month. The Sunday after the 'A' game the 'B' grade team lost in the championship to Youghal by 5-7 to 2-5. On Saturday 25th July, Midleton repeated their 1969 performance in the under-21 Hurling Championship winning by 7-19 to 3-8. With nothing left except the football a big effort was made in training for the 'B' Football Championship. On the 1st of August at Riverstown, the Rovers were lucky to draw 1-6 to 2-3 with favourites Carrignavar. The replay was again at Riverstown, resulting in a great win for the Rovers by 2-5 to 0-9. One of the goals was scored by substitute Tommy O'Flynn after a great solo run. In the Castlelyons Hurling Tournament for the Fr. Smyth Cup, the Rovers had a 1-19 to 0-4 win over the home side before losing the final to St. Catherine's. The win over Castlelyons was repeated in the final of the Rathcormac Tournament in August. The good results in the early rounds of the leagues meant that for the first time ever the club qualified for the semi-finals of both the hurling and football leagues. The football semi-final against'A! Grade team, Glanmire, was played at Watergrasshill on August 29th and after a great game of football Bride Rovers qualified for the league final for the first time ever by 1-12 to 1-10. Midleton were the Rovers opponents in the Junior Football League final. Midleton had also qualified for the championship final against Glanmire. Midleton had a very strong football team at that time. In 1968 after drawing the East Cork final against Glanmire, they were nominated to represent Imokilly in the County Junior Football Championship where they beat Bantry Blues but lost the semifinal to Canovee. They later lost the East Cork Football final re-play to Glanmire, with whom Seanie Barry played. Winners of the East Cork Championship in 1969, Midleton, qualified for the County Final but the team was deemed to be illegal and was disqualified. They played the 1970 East Cork Championship final on Sunday September 13th in Carrig and as in 1968 drew with Glanmire. It was unfortunate for the Rovers that the Junior Football League final was played the following Sunday September 20th and Midleton with Galway Senior player Jack Cosgrave, won by 3-7 to 1-4. The Junior Hurling League semi-final was against championship conquerors, Dungourney and because of their championship involvement, the league semi-final wasn't played until October 4th. Dungourney were again sharper up front and won by 5-8 to 3-8.
After winning the re-play against Carrignavar in the 'B' football championship in August the Rovers had a seven week wait for the next round which was against Cloyne. Eventually the match was fixed for the Sunday after the hurling league semi-final. Midleton was the venue but Cloyne proved far too strong, winning by 3-11 to 1-5. For a period in the autumn Chairman, David John Barry, was ill in hospital and his duties were taken over by vice-chairman, Jimmy Meade.Second Senior All-Ireland Medal for Seanie Barry
After Cork's defeat in the 1969 All-Ireland Hurling Final against Kilkenny, Seanie Barry was recalled to the Cork panel for the league. He played in the Clare game in the 1970 Munster Championship but not in the Munster Final when Cork defeated Tipperary by 3-10 to 3-8. Seanie was on the team for the All-Ireland Semi-Final when London were defeated by 4-20 to 2-9. He was again a sub in the final when Cork defeated Wexford by 621 to 5-10 in the first ever 80 minute hurling final.
Despite the lack of success in 1970 an attendance in excess of 65 was at the Annual General Meeting in Rathcormac Hall on December 29th . In his Chairman's address David John Barry "deplored the lack of attention paid to training during 1970 and also the fall off in attendance at meetings as the year progressed". Fr. Michael Madden who had been appointed curate in the parish during the year presided over the election of officers and in his address he stressed the vital role of the GAA club in the parish.
The officers elected for 1971 were, Hurling Club Chairman David John
e Secretary Vice Chairman Jimmy Meade, Treasurer Tom Barry, Hon. ecretary John Meade, Assistant Secretary Tony Walsh, Juvenile Secretary Pat Barry (Knockadroleen). Football Club Chairman Dave Ryan, Hon. Secretary Tony Walsh, Treasurer Pat O'Connor.
David John Barry, Tom Barry, Johnny Gowen and John Meade were selected as delegates for the County Convention and they were given a mandate to support the deletion of Rules 26-29 which included Rule 27, "The Ban"!
The captains picked for 1971 were:
'A' Hurling Captain Seanie Barry, Vice Captain P. Murphy
'B' Football Captain Donie Murphy, Vice Captain Brian Kelly.
Under-21 Hurling Captain Davy Hogan, Vice Captain Gus O'Driscoll. Brian Kelly was a Garda based in Rathcormac and was very involved with both the football team and the juvenile teams.
Dave Ryan, a native of Kilworth, had come to Bartlemy working for O'Sullivans in Rathaneague in the 1950's. Initially he had little or no interest in Gaelic Games as he was more interested in greyhound racing. Gradually however, he became a supporter and then in the late 60's and early 70's Dave became very involved with the Rovers. He worked drawing chums of milk to Castlelyons Creamery from all around the parish. He took a special interest in the juvenile club, taking players in his various vehicles to training and games all over East Cork. As a supporter and mentor on the sideline, Dave always believed in getting 'involved' and this often led to 'confrontations' with the opposition! The various vehicles which he had were never of the luxury variety, but despite dodgy brakes and other minor defects he always got to the venue on time. Dave was a larger than life character and he contributed hugely to Gaelic Games in his adopted parish.
David John Barry and Henry Hazelwood made a presentation on behalf of the club to Sergt. John Ryan on his departure to Mitchelstown.
The Club chairman David John Barry was elected on to the GPC of the East Cork Board, the club's first representative on this body since Dave Cahill. At Easter there was great jubilation and rejoicing when Seanie Barry was ordained to the priesthood.
The championship draws for 1971 were:
Junior 'A' Hurling v Fr. O'Neills.
Junior 'B' Hurling v Castlelyons.
Junior 'B' Football v St. Catherines.
The hurling league started with 3 wins out of 4 games. The results of these games were:
Bride Rovers 1-11 Watergrasshill 1-6.
Bride Rovers 2-5 Erin's Own 4-9.
Bride Rovers 3-6 Whites Cross 3-2.
Bride Rovers 5-6 Owenacurra Rovers 2-3.
During late April and the month of May the Junior hurlers played 6 tournament games. The first of these was on April 25th against Whites Cross in the Whites Cross Tournament. The pitch, like most club pitches at the time, was a field rented from a local farmer and before the game began, a herd of cows and a bull were herded to the bottom of the field away from the playing pitch. The match was going ahead and was a close affair. Near the end Whites Cross were ahead by two points. The Rovers were attacking in search of a winning score. Dave Ryan was standing close to the Whites Cross goal and as the Rovers forwards attacked, Dave shouted "Hi, look at the bull, mind the bull!" (or words to that effect). Naturally the Whites Cross goalkeeper fearing for his safety looked around, neglecting his duties and in a flash, the shotar was in the net. Shortly afterwards the final whistle went and the Rovers were winners -mainly thanks to Dave Ryan's timely vocal intervention! It was a few years later before this tournament was finalised and for the final there was no bovine presence and Erin's Own won.
One of the fund-raising methods employed during the year was the sale of race cards at Bartlemy Point-to-Points races in May. The weekly Ciste na Banban pools were also a great source of revenue and during 1971, 152 members joined.
The first round of the Junior 'A' hurling championship was fixed for Midleton on June 27th. Fr. O'Neills started well but once the Rovers forwards got going there was only going to be one result. At half time the Rovers were ahead by 4-6 to 1-1. In the end it was a very easy win by 5-15 to 2-3. The Rovers scorers were : Johnny Barry 2-1, Frank Meade 1-2, Seanie Barry 0-7, John Meade 1-2, Sean Murphy 1-1, Pat Sheehan 0-2. This win meant a second round encounter with East Cork Champions, Killeagh. There were just 2 weeks before the Killeagh tie but training was stepped up. An invitation to the Glenville Tournament was accepted but here Grenagh proved too strong. After a thrilling hour's hurling the championship game ended in a draw, Bride Rovers 2-8, Killeagh 3-5. This was a fair result as both teams enjoyed periods of dominance. The Rovers scorers were: Seanie Barry 2-4, Pat Sheehan 0-2, Frank Meade and Johnny Barry 0-1 each. On the Saturday night after the hurling game, the football team lined out in the junior football league semi-final but Cloyne proved too strong.
It was back to Midleton again on July 25th for the replay against Killeagh. There was little between the teams but the Killeagh goal proved to be a vital score. Corner back Tony Walsh recalls a ball hit in from the corner by a Killeagh forward, "a few yards from the goalpost the ball went over the end line and in through a hole in the side netting and ended up in the back of the net. The umpire put up the green flag!" Tony and his team-mates protested vehemently but all to no avail. It was a cruel way to lose a championship game that should have been won. The Rovers scorers in the re-play were: Seanie Barry 0-4, Frank Meade 1-0, Pat Sheehan 0-3, Sean Murphy and Pat Hoskins 0-1 each. Killeagh scored 1-10.
Killeagh went on to retain their title, defeating Dungourney in the East Cork Final for the second year in a row. After the heavy defeats of the under-21's in the two previous years a discussion took place at a club meeting as to whether under-21 or 'B' grade teams should be fielded. It was agreed to withdraw from the under-21 Hurling Championship but field a 'B' team. This proved a wise decision as the 'B' grade team had a good win over Castlelyons by 3-7 to 1-6 before defeating Killeagh by 5-15 to 3-7 in the second round. The team was beaten in the semi-final by eventual winners Owenacurra Rovers. One of the highlights of the year was the club presentation to Fr. Seanie Barry which was held in conjunction with a social in Bartlemy Hall on Tuesday August 10th. On the following Sunday night, August 15th the club won its only silverware for the season when the Castlelyons Tournament Trophy, the Fr. Smyth Cup, was won. Shamrocks from Knockanore in Waterford, were defeated in the semi-final and Delaney Rovers in the final. The Club Church Gate collection yielded a total of E129. On October 3rd a practice match against Whites Cross was played in Rathcormac. This was in preparation for the final of the Whites Cross Tournament against Erin's Own which was fixed for November, but later postponed.Fr. Seanie's last match with Cork
Fr. Seanie Barry was ordained at Easter and while he waited for his visa to Nigeria, he was stationed in Mallow. In the Autumn of 1971 he was asked to play with the Cork Senior Hurlers in a tournament game against Limerick at Buttevant. Having first played senior for Cork in 1966 this was his last game in the red and white of Cork. In a relatively short inter-county career, he won 2 All-Ireland Senior hurling medals, Intermediate All-Ireland Hurling medal, under-21 All-Ireland Hurling medal, National Hurling League medal, All-Ireland colleges medal and a Railway Cup medal with Munster.1972-1973 So Near And Yet So Far
The years 1972 and 1973 were years of great promise for the club with the 'A' Grade hurling championship final being reached in both years but defeat was the outcome in each year.
The 1972 club activities commenced in January when the East Cork Final of the GAA Talent Competition Scor '72 were hosted in Bartlemy Parish Hall. Unfortunately the club had no success in these competitions. The Annual Dinner Dance was held in Fermoy on January 21st, music being provided by the Coughlans and the invited guests were Derry Gowen, Tom Barry N.T. and Con Walsh. The Junior hurling league commenced on March 19th with an away game against Castlelyons.
This was followed by a second game in the Junior hurling league in Castlelyons v Carrignavar on April 2nd. First team into championship action was the 'B' grade football team who had a low scoring draw 0-6 apiece with Castlelyons at Riverstown on June 4th. The next ten days after this game were spent in preparation for the first round of the hurling championship against Sarsfields. This would be the club's first campaign without Seanie Barry who had been a key figure with the club since 1965. Though it was Sarsfields 'second string' they were expected to provide a tough game. This was just what happened, and in a very high scoring game the Rovers came out on top by 2 points 2-18 to 4-10. The venue for the 'B' grade football replay was decided by a toss of a coin with Rathcormac coming up trumps. The game was replayed on the Saturday night after the hurling game and despite the lack of attention to football, the Rovers had a great win by 2-7 to 1-7. The following Tuesday the minor hurlers, St.. Bartholomew's, defeated Erin's Own in the championship.
The championship games came thick and fast and the following Sunday at Midleton the hurlers had a very easy win over Cloyne's second team by 2-25 to 1-3. Gus O'Driscoll was top scorer with 0-13. Others who contributed to the final tally were Liam Parle 1-5, Pat Hoskins 1-3, Pat Sheehan 0-2, Sean Murphy and Connie Barry 0-1 each. At the end of July the footballers had another game in the championship, this time defeating Whites Cross by 1-8 to 1-6. It was back to hurling the following Sunday at Carrigtwohill with a narrow one point win, 2-10 to 2-9, over Aghada in the 'A' grade semi-final. For the third time in 5 years the hurling team was in the East Cork Final. Unfortunately for the club the second semi-final between the finalists of 1970 and 1971 Killeagh and Dungourney was abandoned. This led to a long drawn out sequence of investigations, appeals and counter appeals to the East Cork and County Boards. At one stage the East Cork title was awarded to the Bride Rovers club if they wished to take it. The club didn't want a walkover victory so the saga went on. It took over 2 months to resolve the matter and eventually Dungourney were declared winners of their semi-final. Meanwhile, the Rovers 'B' grade football team had lost the football league semi-final to Glenville but had qualified for the championship semi-final by defeating St. Catherine's by 2-11 to 0-9, having led by 1-3 to 0-4 at half time.
A practice hurling game was played on Sunday morning, October 1st, in Rathcormac. The oppostion were Shamrocks from Waterford. Some of the Shamrocks players came to Rathcormac en route home from a party, so the Rovers had an easy win!East Cork Final
The long awaited final eventually went ahead on October 8th in Midleton. In The Corkman, the previous Friday 'Round Tower' had previewed the game as follows:Big Day
Next Sunday is the big day for hurling fans with the junior hurling final down for decision between Bride Rovers and Dungourney at Midleton. Dungourney have contested the last two finals unsuccessfully against Killeagh and this year when they met at the semi-final stage Dungourney were leading when the game was abandoned. There was a subsequent objection and appeal and Dungourney were eventually declared winners and so appear in their third successive final.
Bride Rovers were lucky to beat Aghada by one point in the other semifinal. Both sides appear evenly matched but with Dungourney now having so much to lose they can be expected to rise to the occasion and perhaps carry home the Kelleher Cup.
Bride Rovers have been Divisional champions four times since the championship started while Dungourney have yet to get their name on the honours list. This in itself should prove an incentive to them on Sunday.
The game was played in very poor conditions. From early morning it had been raining and unfortunately the rain got heavier as the game progressed. Dungourney had the advantage of both wind and rain in the first half and scored a point within the first 3 minutes. After that, the Rovers levelled with a point from Sean Murphy. Dungourney went ahead by two points but again the scores were level after two minors from Gus O'Driscoll. A further point to each side left it 0-4 each at the break. With the advantage of the elements to come, the Rovers team was in a confident mood coming out for the second half. A quick goal and a point saw the Rovers ahead by 1-5 to 0-4. A point for each team left it 1-6 to 0-5 with ten minutes gone. Then Dungourney really came into the game. In a ten minute period they scored 4-1 without reply to go ahead by 4-6 to 16. The Rovers got a goal and a point back but Dungourney again goaled. A last minute point for the Rovers left the score at Dungourney 5-7, Bride Rovers 2-8. For Dungourney it was a joyous occasion, their first time winning the trophy called after the greatest hurler ever to come from Dungourney. It was a bitter disappointment for the Rovers and it must be said that they didn't adapt to the conditions as the stronger Dungourney side coped better. The long wait since the semi-final and the uncertainty of what was happening probably had an unsettling effect on the team. It must also be remembered that Dungourney had lost the previous two finals and had defeated the Rovers in the 1970 championship.
The Dungourney Team was: E. Colbert, T. Rigney, J. O'Mahony, D. Ahern, M. Cahill, P. Cronin Captain, J. Ahern, M. Rohan, M. O'Mahony, A. Kelleher, M. Ahern, D. Casey, M. Hayes, W. Ahem, R. Walsh. Subs: B. O'Meara, R. Cullinane.
The Rovers Team was: J. O'Brien, T. Walsh, D. Murphy, D. Hogan, S. Collins, P. Murphy, T. O'Flynn, T. O'Riordan, J. Meade, C. Barry, S. Murphy, G. O'Driscoll, L. Parle, J. Barry, P. Sheehan.
Two weeks after the hurling final the football team lost the semi-final to eventual champions Aghada by 2-7 to 0-7.
The season ended on a higher note however, when the minor hurlers captured the Divisional title on October 29th in the final played at Castlelyons. St. Bartholomew's won by 3-5 to 1-5 from Carrigtwohill's Carrig View.
The Annual Church Gate Collection brought in a total of £144.75.
There was an attendance of 39 at the AGM in Rathcormac Hall on December 28th . Treasurer, Tom Barry, reported a profit of approximately £100 on the years workings and the balance on hands was £272.45.
Tony Walsh was returned as secretary and it was decided to have a separate juvenile secretary. Previous to this juvenile fixtures were dealt with by the adult club. Pat O'Connor of Ballyreidy, Bartlemy, was appointed Juvenile secretary and at a meeting in January the following were added to the New Juvenile Committee: Fr. Madden C.C., Dave Ryan, David John Barry, John Arnold and Gus O'Driscoll.Death of Dave Ryan
In February the club was plunged into sadness with the unexpected death of Dave Ryan. Since he got involved with the club Dave had been football vice-chairman and a football selector. It was however, his work for the juvenile club that will be most remembered. Night after night, week after week, year after year, Dave gave his time to take juvenile players to games all over East Cork. He was a great character and a friend to everyone in Bride Rovers. Dave was buried in Macroney Cemetry in his native Kilworth.Dan Carroll Appointed
Following a discussion at the AGM on training and team performances in general, Dan Carroll of Corrin was asked to train the team for 1973. A native of Kilmichael, Dan Carroll had retired from the army in Fermoy. He had been an outstanding footballer with Glanworth in his younger days and was a great advocate of physical fitness. The 'A' grade hurling team was afforded the chance of reversing the 1972 final result when Dungourney were drawn in the first round of the 'A' grade championship in 1973.
This first round tie was fixed for Castlelyons on June 24th . In the runup to the championship the hurling team had a good 4-6 to 3-7 win over old rivals St. Catherine's in the Watergrasshill Carnival Tournament. The championship tie was previewed in the 'East Cork News and Star' as follows:
Castlelyons next Sunday will see a replay of last year's Divisional Final when Dungourney meet Bride Rovers in the first round. On the last occasion Dungourney won and while Bride Rovers have not been very impressive in the league games they are a good championship team who could give a good account of themselves.
Dungourney are favourites but seeing what happened Sarsfields last Sunday, Dungourney would be foolish to take this game lightly. There have been some great clashes between these teams in recent years and whatever the outcome of Sunday's clash, it should be a good game.How right the writer was!
In a great game of hurling, scores were level on 3 occasions. The sides were level at 0-5 each at the break. With Sean and Paudie Murphy and Tony Walsh playing very well, the Rovers got on top in the last quarter and 4 unanswered points left them leading by 0-12 to 0-8 with less that 5 minutes to go. Dungourney however, fought back for a goal and a last minute point to leave it level 0-12 to 1-9.
After 3 weeks it was again back to Castlelyons for the replay on July 13th. This was again a ding dong struggle with the lead changing hands regularly. Dungourney led at the break by 4-1 to 2-6. With just 3 minutes left it looked as though extra time would be needed to separate the sides who were level again 4-5 to 2-11. Then in the last few minutes 2 Rovers points saw them win by 2-13 to 4-5, thus gaining some degree of compensation for the 1972 final defeat. There was little time for celebration and on the Tuesday night Dan Carroll had the team back in the training field for the second round against Killeagh the following Sunday. Killeagh the championship winners 'in 1970 and 1971 had been unimpressive in defeating St. Catherine's in their first round. For this game Fr. Seanie Barry, home on holidays from his missionary work in Africa, rejoined the team. Gus and Fachtna O'Driscoll, Fr. Seanie Barry, Pat Sheehan and Johnny Barry all contributed to a first half tally of 2-10. Killeagh scored just twice, points in the 5th and 12th minutes. In the second half the Rovers added 1-6 while Killeagh notched up 1-3 to leave the Rovers winning by 3-16 to 1-5. The club was now in the semi-final against Aghada who had defeated Castlelyons in their second round. The Saturday night after the 'A' grade game, the 'B' grade hurlers were in championship action against St. Catherine's in Castlelyons. The Conna/Ballynoe side proved too strong however, and won by 4-10 to 2-6. The Rovers line-out was Pat Hoskins (goal), Willie Cotter, Maurice Lane, Donie O'Connor, Pat O'Connor, John O'Connor, Moss Dooley, Jack Fitzgerald, Batty Hogan, Garry Meade, Tom Collins, Paudie Collins, D.K. (Mikesy) Barry, Tom (Bassy) Hogan, Brendan Cotter.No Game For Footballers
The 'B' grade footballers were fixed to play Ballinacurra in the first round of the 'B' football championship at Carrigtwohill on Saturday June 30th at 8 pm. That Saturday evening was marred by a severe thunderstorm which resulted in an ESB outage in much of the Rathcormac and Bartlemy area. By around 7.30 the worst of the storm had passed but it was still raining heavily. As was normal practice at the time the Bride Rovers team togged out at Conroy's Pub and then walked the short distance to the pitch. It was close to 7.45 when the team made its way to the pitch. On arrival they were met by the departing Ballinacurra players who said the referee had presumed Bride Rovers were not coming and he awarded the game to Ballinacurra. This was despite the fact that at 7.30 Sean Murphy had actually driven to the grounds so the referee was aware that the Rovers team was coming. Despite appeals to the East Cork Board the referee's decision was upheld and that ended the football campaign for 1973.
In Hurling Final Again
The hurling semi-final against Aghada was played in Midleton on August 5th . The previous year the Rovers were lucky to get through the semifinal by a single point. Aghada started well and were obviously hell-bent on reversing the 1972 result. With Finbarr Wall in top form the seasiders, with the aid of a breeze, were well on top in the first half and led by 2-6 to 1-4 at the break. Quick points from Gus and Fachtna O'Driscoll, Pat Sheehan and Sean Murphy early in the second half left the Rovers a point adrift, 2-6 to 1-8. After 10 minutes a goal from Seanie Barry put the Rovers ahead for the first time 2-8 to 2-6. After this the Rovers really took over. The Cork Examiner takes up the story : "Their defence rose to the occasion and held Aghada scoreless in this half and Bride Rovers went on to record a comfortable win by a margin of nine points." This win meant Bride Rovers were in the East Cork 'A' grade final for the eight time. The opposition for the final was a surprise packet, Erin's Own. They defeated Fr. O'Neills and Sarsfields in the early rounds. In the semi-final they caused a major shock by defeating Cloyne. Cloyne had been playing in the Senior hurling championship in 1972 and for 1973 they were regraded, not to intermediate, but to junior rank. Erin's Own beat them by 6-12 to 3-2.
The final was played in Midleton on the last Sunday in August, the traditional date for the East Cork Final. Conditions were sweltering and a huge crowd (gate receipts £753) made it a memorable occasion. The Bride Rovers team wore black armbands as a mark of respect to the late Donal O'Doherty of Main Street, Rathcormac, who had been drowned in Galway. The game was to be a classic, many say it was the best ever East Cork Final. Denny Buckley opened his team's tally with a goal in the first minute followed quickly by a pointed free. A clearance from corner back Tony Walsh found Gus O'Driscoll and after a fifty yards solo run he sent the ball to the net. Buckley added two points before Paul 'Bomber' O'Riordan got a goal with twelve minutes gone. Joseph O'Brien's puck out was collected by midfielder Pat Sheehan who sent in a great shot all the way to the net. The game was fast and furious with play going from end to end. Three points from frees by Gus O'Driscoll had the sides level at 2-3 each by the 20th minute. A Buckley free edged Erin's Own in front again. A movement involving Paudie Murphy and Matt Lehane ended with Seanie Barry passing to his namesake Johnny who rattled the net. With half time approaching Tony Hayes sent a low shot to the Rovers net before Paul O'Riordan and Gus O'Driscoll swapped points to leave the Knockraha/Glounthane side ahead at the break by 3-5 to 3-4. The pace of the game was breathtaking and both teams got a huge ovation at half time. A point from an acute angle by Seanie Barry quickly levelled the score in the second half. Erin's Own had gone 3 points ahead before sub John Meade scored two good points to leave the minimum between the sides. The Erin's Own team then hit a purple patch and scored 3-2 in a seven minute period to lead by 6-10 to 3-7. This left four clear goals between the teams and the Rovers position looked impossible. But as in 1968 when the pressure was really on the team responded. Points from Johnny Barry and John Meade were followed by two goals from Gus O'Driscoll and Pat Sheehan - both long range efforts. This scoring burst had cut the 12 point deficit to just 4. Erin's Own counter attacked with 3 points to again open up a gap of 7 points with 8 minutes left. Gus O'Driscoll goaled from a 21 yard free and when Seanie Barry pointed it was down to a goal again. Pat Sheehan and Denny Buckley swapped points as time ticked away. Then with just a minute left Gus O'Driscoll got a super pass from his brother Fachtna. He avoided two tackles and lashed the ball to the net for the equaliser. The final score was Bride Rovers 7-11, Erin's Own 6-14.
What a game and what a result. When the final whistle went the huge crowd again gave a standing ovation to two teams who had played a magnificent match. Club chairman, David John Barry, said "we were lucky but we deserved a draw with the performance in the last fifteen minutes." Trainer Dan Carroll was loud in his praise of his team, "they were just brilliant. Down 4 goals, most teams would have caved in but not the Rovers". Goal scoring hero Gus O'Driscoll when asked about the last goal said "I knew I had to score, I was fourteen yards out when I shot, and I was thrilled when it hit the net, though my best shot of the game came back off the cross-bar in the first half." The team and scorers were as follows:
Joseph O'Brien, Brendan O'Driscoll, Donie Murphy, Tony Walsh, Seamus Collins, Paudie Murphy, Matt Lehane, Pat Sheehan (2-1), Tommy O'Flynn (Capt.), Gus O'Driscoll (3-5), Sean Murphy, Fachtna O'Driscoll, Seanie Barry (0-2), Davy Hogan, Johnny Barry (1-0), Sub. John Meade (02).
It was hoped that the replay would go ahead on the following Sunday as Fr. Seanie Barry was due to return to Africa a few days later. As it turned out Seanie had to rearrange his travel plans as it was two weeks later before the replay went ahead, on Sunday September 9th. For this game Liam Parle started at full forward and in the, first few minutes Liam had scored two goals as the Rovers got off to a great start. After 10 minutes it was 2-3 to 0-1. The Rovers were on top in most areas in the first half but a Denny Buckley goal from a 21 yard free brought Erin's Own back into the game. At half time the Rovers led by 2-9 to 1-6. Three further points from Seanie Barry (2) and Sean Murphy gave the Rovers a 9 point lead 2-12 to 1-6 and in a reversal of roles from the drawn game it was Erin's Own who had to stage a comeback. They scored a point and then goals from Barry Murphy, Kevin Fitzgerald and Dave Motherway left just a point between the sides. With nine minutes left Fitzgerald tied up the game with a good point. Now it was the Rovers who were under pressure to hold out. Both sides looked fora lead point but there was no score for 5 minutes. Then points from Fitzgerald and Motherway gave Erin's Own a two point lead with just over 2 minutes left. The Rovers got possession and as Seanie Barry headed goalwards he was fouled. A twenty one yard free was awarded. Gussy O'Driscoll stepped up to take it with 7 Erin's Own defenders on the goal line. The Cork Examiner described his shot as "bullet-like" but it was stopped. The final whistle went and for the first time in their history Erin's Own were champions. The game was described as "a pulsating match fought out in a welter of excitement". For Bride Rovers it was a shattering defeat. It was little consolation that the team had played in two of the best games ever seen in the history of the East Cork hurling championship.
The Rovers team was: J. O'Brien, T. Walsh, B. O'Driscoll, T. O'Flynn, M. Lehane, P. Murphy, S. Collins, P. Sheehan, J. Meade, G. O'Driscoll, S. Barry, F. O'Driscoll, L. Parle, S. Murphy, J. Barry. Sub: P. Hoskins.
The Erin's Own Team was: M. O'Connor, T. Ahern, B. Finn, T. Buckley, K. Byrne, J. Murphy, T. O'Connor, T. Harris, B. Murphy, D. Motherway, J. Holland, B. Murphy, D. Buckley, P. O'Riordan, K. Fitzgerald.
There was further disappointment during the season when the minor hurlers got to the East Cork final again but lost their crown to St. Catherine's by 5-6 to 3-7. The under-21 hurlers drew with St. Ita's 2-2 apiece in the first round of the championship with Tommy O'Flynn scoring 1-2. In the replay the Rovers won by 4-9 to 4-2. The semi-final against Erin's Own was fixed just 6 days before the minor 'A' semi-final v Aghada. Erin's Own were approached to postpone the game as several of the Rovers team were on the under-21 side. Erin's Own were agreeable to a deferment to a later date but the East Cork Board would not agree so the Rovers were forced to give a walkover to Erin's Own who were later defeated in the East Cork under-21 final by Castlemartyr 3-10 to 2-9. The Bride Rovers share of the,gate for the drawn East Cork Final was £223.00 with a 'bonus' of £25 for the replay.1974 - Semi Final Again
Thirty five members attended the club's AGM in Rathcormac Hall on December 29th 1973. With the large gate receipts for the year, Treasurer Tom Barry reported a record credit balance of £469.20. The main club officers were re-elected for 1974. It was decided to have the same selection committee for hurling and football. A total of 7 people were nominated and after voting took place Tom Barry N.T., Willie Cotter and Willie Sheehan were appointed with Batt Dorgan and Henry Hazelwood as substitute selectors. It was also decided at the meeting to investigate the possibility of purchasing a hurling field . League activity commenced on March 3rd with a 2-5 to 1-6 victory over Erin's Own in the Junior football league. The opening game in the hurling league was a month later again at Rathcormac against Watergrasshill. The 'Hill won the game by 4-12 to 1-6 - a sign of things to come. The hurlers had two good wins after this, in the hurling league against Ballinacurra by 4-13 to 0-0 and against Cobh by 5-4 to 1-3. Killeagh sent an invitation to participate in their May Sunday Glenbower tournament. The opposition here was provided by city side Mayfield who proved too strong, winning by 6-4 to 4-2. John Byrnes played his first game with the Rovers in that game. A native of Cappataggle, Co. Galway, John had played hurling for over 20 years in Ireland and England. He had come to live at Mondaniel, Rathcormac. Another player who joined the club this year was veteran Sars player Niall Long who had purchased the public house at Rings Cross - now the Rathcormac Inn. In the game v Mayfield John Byrnes scored 2 goals while Tom O'Riordan and Tommy O'Flynn got the others. Another tournament defeat followed on the 5th of June in Midleton when St. Catherine's won by 2-8 to 3-1. The 'B' grade football team recorded some good wins in the football league, defeating St. Catherine's by 4-6 to 0-5 and Glenbower Rovers by 7-13 to 1-0.
The teams for these football games were:
v St. Catherine's; Pat Hoskins, Tony Walsh, Brendan O'Driscoll, Paudie Murphy, Sedn Murphy, Connie Barry, John Tansey, Fachtna O'Driscoll (0-1), Liam Parle (1-0), Gus O'Driscoll (1-4), Tom Collins, Sean Fitzgerald, Donal Kelleher, Pat O'Connor (1-0), Tommy O'Flynn (0-1).
v Glenbower Rovers; Pat Hoskins, Brendan O'Driscoll, Patsy Kelleher, Seamus Collins, Paudie Murphy, Paudie Collins, Connie Barry (1-0), Sedn Murphy (0-3), Liam Parle, Gus O'Driscoll (2-5), DK 'Mikesey' Barry, Sedn Fitzgerald (1-0), Donal Kelleher (0-4), Fachtna O'Driscoll (3-1), Pat O'Connor.
The game against Glenbower Rovers was a good omen, for the teams were to meet again in the second round of the 'B' grade football championship, as the Rovers defeated Dungourney by 3-10 to 0-1 in the opening round. When the sides met at Carrigtwohill the Rovers had an easy win by 3-8 to 0-0. The team for the championship was: Joseph O'Brien, P. Murphy, B. O'Driscoll, T. Walsh, M. Lehane, D. Hogan, S. Collins, T. O'Flynn (0-2), C. Barry (1-1), E O'Driscoll (2-3), Sedn Murphy, Pat Heskin (0-2), Eddie Barry, Johnny Barry, Moss Dooley. Subs: Philip Moynagh, Paudie Collins, Liam Parle. (Note: John Tansey & Philip Moynagh were farm apprentices locally).
For the opening round of the junior hurling championship v Midleton at Riverstown on June 30th, the two 'newcomers' Niall Long and John Byrnes were both included in the team: Long at corner back and Byrnes at full forward. Pat Sheehan had two points early in the game, one a great score from over 60 yards out. Five unanswered points from Gus O'Driscoll saw the Rovers ahead by 0-7 to 0-0 before Billy Cody got a point from a 21 yard free. As Midleton came more into the game the issue was thrown wide open when Pat Horgan goaled in the 28th minute. Gus pointed a free on the stroke of half time to see the Rovers lead by double score, 0-8 to 1-1. Early in the .second half Billy Cody added 2 points to leave just 2 between the sides. Then midfielder Seamus Collins surged forward and got a goal - which turned out to be the Rovers only score in this half. The goal left the score at 1-8 to 1-3 and though Billy Cody and Mick McCarthy added two more minors, the Rovers defence held out for a good 1-8 to 1-5 win.Team:
Pat Hoskins, Tony Walsh, B. O'Driscoll, N. Long, T. O'Flynn, P. Murphy, M. Lehane, S. Collins, S. Murphy, Gus O'Driscoll, Fachtna O'Driscoll, P. Sheehan, Eddy Barry, John Byrnes, C. Barry.
The fact that no score came from the full forward line was seen as a worry but for the second round game against St. Catherine's at Castlelyons, there was a general improvement in the team's play which led to a surprisingly easy win by 2-11 to 2-2. This win qualified the team for the semi-final once again - this time against Cloyne.
The under-21 hurling team were defeated by Ballinacurra in the first round at Carrigtwohill by 8-1 to 4-5. The under-21 team was Gerry O'Flynn, Moss Dooley, Declan Kearney, Brendan Cotter, Matt Lehane, Donal Kelleher, D.K. 'Mikesey' Barry, Harry Lettings, Tom Collins, Paudie Collins, Eamonn Cotter, Garry Meade, John Drinan, Jerry Martin, David Sheehan. Sub: Tom Kearney.
The under-14 hurlers, after a few good wins in the league, were defeated 7-3 to 2-3 by Carrigtwohill in the championship. The team lined out as follows: Liam Cahill, Tom Mulcahy, Larry Kearney, Martin Kearney, Noel Murphy, Peadar Scannell, John Joe Kearney, Denis Ahern, Jimmy Johnson, Eddie McCarthy, Kenty O'Riordan, Denis Mulcahy, Dermot Arnold, Ml. Drinan, Jim Hankard. Subs: Gerry Fitzgerald (used), Gerard Lane, Peter O'Toole.
Midleton on Sunday evening, August 18th was the venue and date for the 'A' grade semi-final against Cloyne. Neighbours Watergrasshill had shocked East Cork champions Erin's Own in the first semi-final so there was a great incentive to set up a 'local derby' final. The Cork Examiner reported that "The game provided hurling that would do credit to any senior clash with both sides displaying power and courage that lifted the standard of hurling in East Cork to a high pedestal." Yes indeed it was a great game but ended in a 5 point defeat for the Rovers 3-10 to 2-8. Gus O'Driscoll missed the game through injury and he was a huge loss.
After Tommy Canavan had the first point, Fachtna O'Driscoll had a point from a free to level in the 7th minute. A great passing movement involving 4 players was finished by Pat Sheehan when he scored a super goal. Former Cork minor Paddy'Ring had a Cloyne point before Tommy O'Flynn had another score from 65 yards out. The Rovers were playing great hurling at this stage and from over 80 yards Fachtna O'Driscoll shot the score of the game over the bar and a few minutes later he had another minor from a free near the sideline. This left the Rovers ahead 1-4 to 0-2 with 28 minutes gone. David Daly then got through for a Cloyne goal and the sides were level when D.D. Costive got two good points from play. On the stroke of half time Fachtna restored the Rover's lead, 1-5 to 1-4.
Cork Senior Donal Clifford had the sides level soon after the resumption. Tommy O'Flynn and SeAn Murphy for the Rovers and Tommy Canavan and Noel Cusack swapped points to leave scores tied 17 each after 10 minutes. Then the game went in Cloyne's favour in the space of five minutes. Goals from David Daly and Jimmy Ahern and a point from Ring put them 7 points ahead. The last ten minutes saw the Rovers go on an all out attack. Seamus Collins hit the cross bar with a rasper before Davy Hogan hit home a goal. The Rovers piled on the pressure but with Donal Clifford now starring in defence Cloyne held out fora 3-10 to 2-8 victory. Enjoying a huge amount of possession in the last 10 minutes the Rovers forwards should have gone for points instead of goals. It was little consolation to have taken part in such a memorable game. Team and scorers: Pat Hoskins, Niall Long, Brendan O'Driscoll, Tony Walsh, Matt Lehane, Paudie Murphy, Paudie Collins, Seamus Collins, Tommy O'Flynn 0-2, Fachtna O'Driscoll 0-4, Sean Murphy 0-1, Pat Sheehan 1-0, Davy Hogan 1-0, John Meade 0-1, Mossie Dooley. Sub. Johnny Barry. Cloyne had to wait ten weeks for the East Cork Final. Showing little regard for the reputation of their opponents, Watergrasshill, trained by Eamon Ryan and captained by Ger O'Herlihy, won their first ever East Cork 'A' grade hurling title, decisively defeating Cloyne. The 'Hill went on then and defeated Delaneys and Aghabullogue and in a great County final they defeated Charleville at Castletownroche. Full back on the Watergrasshill team was Batty Dorgan whose father Johnny was on the Rovers team that won the County Minor hurling championship in 1932. Dan Kearney, who scored 1-1 in the County Final was son of John Kearney who was on the Rovers Junior teams in the 1930's. The Watergrasshill team that won the County was: D. O'Brien, J. Linehan, B. Dorgan, P. McHugh, G. Herlihy Captain, E. Ryan, L. Cahill, S. Farrell, J. Norberg, J. Higgins, T. O'Riordan, H. Kennedy, A. Whooley, D. Farrell, D. Kearney.
Just a week after the 'A' grade defeat, the Rovers 'B' grade team met Cloyne again at Midleton. The Rovers had already won two games getting identical scores in both games, defeating St. Catherine's by 4-6 to 5-2 in Castlelyons and then accounting for Castlelyons by 4-6 to 2-8 in Rathcormac. For the Cloyne game however, the team was minus the Meade brothers John and Frank. John had been promoted to the 'A' team and Frank had returned to England. Cloyne led by 3-3 to 0-5 at the break and won in the end by 5-7 to 2-7.
The Bride Rovers team and scorers were as follows: Joseph O'Brien, Dick Shelley, Donie Murphy, Declan Kearney, Tom Kearney, Pat O'Connor, Brendan Cotter, Derry Cotter (0-1), Dan Dooley, Donie O'Connor, John O'Connor, Garry Meade, Tom 'Bassy' Hogan (1-3), Tom O'Riordan (1-3), Johnny Barry, Subs. Michael O'Doherty, Tom Cotter.
The only competition left for the club was the 'B' grade football quarter final against Castlelyons. As Castlelyons had come to Rathcormac for the 'B' grade hurling championship earlier in the year, as a result of the Rovers winning the toss of a coin, Castlelyons requested that the Rovers should play the football fixture in Castlelyons. A heated discussion took place on the matter at a club meeting on September 6th. It was eventually decided to go to Castlelyons for the game. After the massive scores totted up against Dungourney and Glenbower Rovers, the team was reasonably confident. The biggest problem was lack of football match practice. This was very evident on the day and Castlelyons ran out very easy winners by 2-14 to 0-6.
The Minor Hurlers, St. Bartholomew's, reached the East Cork Final but were defeated by O'Briens on a 5-8 to 2-6 scoreline, despite getting a tonic start with goals from John Halbert and David Sheehan in the first four minutes.
The 11th AGM of the re-formed club was held in Rathcormac Hall on Monday December 30th with an attendance of over 40. The chairman, David John Barry, thanked all those who helped the club in 1974 and said he hoped that the coming year would be more successful.The officers elected for 1975 were:
Chairman:..David John Barry, proposed by Jim Meade, seconded by Jim Murphy.
Vice Chairman:. Pat O'Connor, proposed by Jim Meade, seconded by Dan Dooley.
Secretary:..... John Arnold, proposed by John Meade, seconded by Fachtna O'Driscoll
Treasurer:..... Tom Barry, proposed by Hugh Martin, seconded by Willie Sheehan.
Membership fee for 1975 was fixed at 30p and on the proposition of John Meade it was unanimously agreed to appoint Dan Carroll as team trainer. This year for the first time the club's minor footballers lined out with Owenacurra Rovers while the partnership in hurling with Watergrasshill continued under the banner of St. Bartholomew's. After winning two games in the junior football league, one of the best games in the hurling league was against Dungourney in Castlelyons. This was a very high scoring game. At half time Dungourney led by 2-10 to 2-0, the Rovers goals coming from John Byrnes and Tom Hogan. In the second half Dungourney added 1-7 while the Rovers got a huge tally of 5-6. This was scored by Tommy O'Flynn 2-0, John Byrnes 1-0, Dan Dooley 1-1, Tom Hogan 1-0, Gus O'Driscoll 0-3, Frank Meade 0-1, Liam Parle 0-1.
After the under-21 defeat by Ballinacurra in 1974 things were. even worse at this level when, because of the unavailability of many players, the club conceded a walkover to Fr. O'Neills in May. The junior championship draw had pitted the Rovers against St. Catherine's for the second year in a row. The game was eagerly awaited and was fixed for Sunday June 22nd at Castlelyons. On the Friday week before the Junior hurling championship game, the club was plunged into grief.Death of Chairman
On Friday 13th June the Bride Rovers under-14 football team were playing Castlemartyr in the championship in Castlelyons. As with all juvenile games Club chairman, David John Barry, was in attendance as a team mentor. During the second half of the game he took ill on the sideline and collapsed. He died shortly afterwards. His sudden death and the circumstances of it had a profound effect on all involved with the club; Born in 1898 David John was involved with Gaelic Games in the parish since the early 1920's. It was he who proposed the name Bride Rovers for the new club in 1928 and for the next 47 years David John Barry was part and parcel of all Bride Rovers activities. In victory and defeat he was ever present and was indeed a proud man when the club won back to back East Cork titles in 1968 and 1969. With the late Dave Ryan, David John was completely involved in all juvenile teams in the parish. His call "Hi, tell 'em all" after matches and training sessions was well known. As a delegate and GPC member David John could always be relied upon to fight the cause of his beloved Bride Rovers at East Cork Board level. His death cast a pall of gloom not alone on the GAA club, but on the whole parish. David John was buried in Rathcormac Cemetery on Sunday June 15th. A special club meeting was held in Rathcormac on Tuesday 17th.
The following are the minutes of that meeting:
Rathcormac 17th June 1975
The meeting was presided over by Pat O'Connor, vice-chairman. Mr. Tom Barry proposed a vote of sympathy to the relatives of our late chairman, Mr. David John Barry. Mr. Dave Hogan said that the death of our chairman was a great loss to the youth of the parish. Pat O'Connor commented on the great work that David John Barry had done for the Bride Rovers club down through the years. Mr. Jim Meade said that. the death of our chairman broke a link which had been forged with the club many years ago. Mr. Tom Cotter seconded the vote of sympathy. It was decided that our Junior Hurling team should wear black armbands in their championship match on Sunday June 22nd . The meeting was then adjourned as a mark of respect.
Subsequently the vice-chairman, Pat O'Connor took over as Club chairman.
Earlier on that Tuesday evening the junior hurlers travelled to Kilworth for a practice match against the local team. A match had been arranged for the previous Saturday night but under the circumstances this was cancelled. Kilworth won the practice game but much worse than that, star forward Fachtna O'Driscoll got a broken jaw in the game. This ruled him out of the 'A' grade game the following Sunday. The death of the club chairman and the loss of Fachtna O'Driscoll didn't help the junior hurling team and in one of the poorest performances in years, St. Catherine's won by 2-10 to 2-2.
It could certainly be said that at the end of June 1975 the Bride Rovers club was a low ebb. The under 21 football team also suffered a heavy defeat by 2-10 to 0-1 at the hands of Castlemartyr side, St. Theresa's . The 'B' grade football team did, however, win their first round in July when they beat Russell Rovers by 2-10 to 0-2.'B' Grade Glory
Fr. Seanie Barry was home on holidays for the summer and he was available to play 'B' grade hurling. Niall Long, Connie Barry, Eddy Barry and John Byrnes had all played 'A' grade hurling in 1974 and were also eligible to play. The 'B' team had reached the semi-final in the previous year so it was hoped to have a good campaign this year. The first round against Carrigtwohill was fixed for Castlelyons on August 5th and club chairman Pat O'Connor was elected as team captain. Having led by 0-8 to 1-1 at half time, the Rovers had to withstand fierce pressure in the second half. A 'penalty' shot was saved by Derry Cotter in the second half at a crucial stage. Seanie Barry's contribution of 0-8 was vital in an 0-14 to 1-7 win. The team in the first round was: J. O'Brien, Derry Cotter, Donie Murphy (Coola), Declan Kearney, Tom Kearney, Eddy Barry, Pat O'Connor, Connie Barry, Frank Meade, Seanie Barry, Niall Long, Garry Meade, Harry Lettings, John Byrnes, Tom Hogan. Subs: Donal Murphy (Lackendarra), Anthony Kearney.
The second round was again in Castlelyons against Dungourney and the Rovers had a good win here by 3-12 to 0-9. For the third round game against St. Catherine's, in Castlelyons, Fachtna O'Driscoll, now recovered from his injury and Johnny Barry came on to the team, strengthening the side even further. Eddy Barry had a great game in defence and the 'Cats' were defeated by 3-9 to 1-4. After three games in August there was a three week break until the semi-final against Cobh in Riverstown on Sunday September 14th. Cobh had defeated Midleton and Erin's Own and were regarded as a very strong side. This was borne out by their first half display, ahead by 5 points after 20 minutes and leading by 3 points at the break. Tom Hogan got a hat trick of goals while Seanie Barry contributed 1-6. In the end a strong finish saw the Rovers win by 4-10 to 3-9. The team against Cobh lined out as follows: J. O'Brien, Derry Cotter, D. Murphy, D. Kearney, T. Kearney, E. Barry, P. O'Connor, C. Barry E O'Driscoll, D.K. 'Mikesy', Barry N. Long, S. Barry, Johnny Barry, J. Byrnes, T. Hogan. Subs: F. Meade, G. Meade.
The club was through to its second 'B' grade final. There was a long wait for the final however. St. Ita's of Gortroe beat Castlelyons and then met Russell Rovers in the second semi-final. This game wasn't played until October 19th at Castlemartyr. St. Ita's defeated Russell Rovers and played very well. Many of the Rovers team and supporters were at the game and didn't come away in a very confident mood for the final the following Sunday. Carrigtwohill was the venue for the final and after mist and rain all morning, conditions for hurling were poor. There was a record attendance present for a 'B' grade final and they were well rewarded with a thrilling game. The first 15 minutes were very evenly contested with both teams getting three points - the Rovers scores coming from Seanie Barry 0-2 and Niall Long. A goal from Gerry Geary put St. Ita's ahead. Points from Seanie Barry and Niall Long left just a point in it. Just before half time John Sloane pointed to give the Gortroe side a 2 point lead, 1-4 to 0-5.
Just after half time Fachtna O'Driscoll had a penalty saved and then Sloane put three points between the sides when he pointed a long distance free. Eleven minutes into the half a delivery by Seanie Barry was collected by his namesake Johnny who lashed in a great goal to level the scores. Now the Rovers really got going and urged on by captain Pat O'Connor they came looking fora lead score. This came in the form of a met Russell Rovers in the second semi-final. This game wasn't played until October 19th at Castlemartyr. St. Ita's defeated Russell Rovers and played very well. Many of the Rovers team and supporters were at the game and didn't come away in a very confident mood for the final the following Sunday. Carrigtwohill was the venue for the final and after mist and rain all morning, conditions for hurling were poor. There was a record attendance present for a 'B' grade final and they were well rewarded with a thrilling game. The first 15 minutes were very evenly contested with both teams getting three points - the Rovers scores coming from Seanie Barry 0-2 and Niall Long. A goal from Gerry Geary put St. Ita's ahead. Points from Seanie Barry and Niall Long left just a point in it. Just before half time John Sloane pointed to give the Gortroe side a 2 point lead, 1-4 to 0-5.
Just after half time Fachtna O'Driscoll had a penalty saved and then Sloane put three points between the sides when he pointed a long distance free. Eleven minutes into the half a delivery by Seanie Barry was collected by his namesake Johnny who lashed in a great goal to level the scores. Now the Rovers really got going and urged on by captain Pat O'Connor they came looking fora lead score. This came in the form of a O'Connor to trigger off great celebrations in the parish. An amazing statistic from the campaign was that for the five games which were played, the team's defence never changed. For selectors Willie Cotter, Tom Cotter, Dan Carroll and Tom Barry it was a wonderful triumph coming at the end of a traumatic year for the club.
The line out for the final was: J. O'Brien, D. Cotter, D. Murphy, D. Kearney, T. Kearney, E. Barry, P. O'Connor Captain, F. O'Driscoll, C. Barry, H. Lettings, N. Long, F. Meade, J. Barry, S. Barry, T. Hogan. Sub: John Byrnes.
Besides the 16 players who played in the final the following eight players were also on the selection: Donal Murphy, Garry Meade, Mikesy Barry, Anthony Kearney, Donal Kelleher, Tommy O'Flynn, Jerry Martin, Pat Quirke.
A victory parade was held in Rathcormac on the Monday night led by the Castlelyons Pipe Band. On Wednesday night November 19th a Victory Social was held in Rathcormac Hall with music by the Coughlan Trio. The Social was sponsored by Mick Barry, Supermarket, Main St., Rathcormac and was a great success, making a profit of £120. Before Christmas a souvenir 8 page booklet was produced by the club to celebrate the victory.
The playing season was not over, for just a week after the hurling final, the football semi-final against Cloyne was down for decision in Castlelyons. This was a very close and tight game with the Rovers leading close to the end by a point, 0-4 to 0-3. In the last few minutes Cloyne were awarded a free which they pointed to leave the game a draw. The Rovers had by far the greater share of possession but failed to get the scores to go ahead. Two weeks later at the same venue Cloyne were a different team and won easily by 4-10 to 1-5.
During 1975 a total of 14 club meetings were held but the attendance of members was very poor. One meeting had 12 present - all other meetings had an attendance of less than 10 - even after the winning of the 'B' grade title.
At the club's AGM on December 29th Tom Barry N.T. made reference to the fact that improvements were needed in club structures. It was agreed to elect a General Purposes Committee consisting of two members from Bartlemy, Rathcormac and Kildinan to act with the club officers. It was decided to revert back to three selection committees each with 3 members plus the captain and vice-captain of the team.
Those elected to the club's GPC for 1976 were:
Rathcormac: Eddy Barry, Pat Hoskins
Bartlemy: Moss Dooley, Tony Walsh
Kildinan: Batt Dorgan, Paudie Collins
The selectors picked were:
'A' Grade hurling Tom Barry, Henry Hazelwood, Dan Carroll
'B' Grade hurling Ned Barry (Snr.) Willie Cotter, Tom Cotter.
'B' Grade football Dan Carroll, Willie Cotter, Pat O'Connor.
Ned Barry who was elected as a 'B' grade hurling selector was brother of TomBarry N.T. and the late David John. He was a playing member of the club in the 1930's and before that with Rathcormac. He had worked in Dublin for many years but had now returned and was living in Rathcormac again.
Gettings's Field was again rented for 1976 at £110 and it was decided to get some form of temporary dressing-room if possible.
At a club meeting in Bartlemy on February 20th 1976 it was decided to write to CIE about getting an old railway carriage for a dressing-room similar to what was in use in Conna for years. On March 8th the secretary was instructed to write to the bus station about getting an old bus. Things rested so for the remainder of 1976. At the next AGM on Sunday January 2nd 1977, Fr. Seanie Barry stressed that some form of dressing-room was vital. A sub committee of Tony Walsh, Pat Hoskins and trainer Tom Barry was appointed with power to spend £100. At the first meeting of the year on January 20th it was reported that a bus had been purchased for £80 and John Meade said he had arranged for the bus to be brought to the pitch at a cost of £15. It was agreed to commence work on the bus on April 22nd. This was later deferred to Saturday 19th May at 1.30 when chipboard supplied by Mick Barry was to be bolted on the sides. This work was done and the roof was also made waterproof. This bus served as a dressing-room for the next 6 years until playing activities moved to Pairc Na Bride. When the old pitch was being vacated the bus had to be disposed of and this proved another major problem as by now it was little more than, a shell and could not be towed. Eventually it went for scrap - but it cost more to get rid of it than it did to purchase it in 1977!
Despite the great win in the B Grade Championship in 1975, interest amongst players at the start of 1976 was very poor. The first two games of the year were practice games against Russell Rovers in Shanagarry in hurling on February 22nd and a football game against Glenbower Rovers in Killeagh on February 29th. The turnout of players for both games left a lot to be desired. Proof of this is the fact that this author actually played in both games, the first and only time that I played two games in a row for the Club. Bride Rovers actually won the hurling game but the football game was lost. A defensive mix up in the second half of the football game resulted in Willie Cotter receiving a serious injury to his nose inflicted by the Rovers player wearing the No. 2 jersey - John Arnold. Fr Seanie Barry agreed to act as hurling coach whenever he was available and a players' meeting with the coach and trainer Dan Carroll was held on April 3rd to try and get things going in a better way for the season. The first win of the year was in the Hurling League v Carrignavar on March 14th, but on St Patricks Day Erins Own proved far too strong in the Football League. The B Grade Football Championship draw had pitted the Rovers against Dungourney who were visitors to Rathcormac fora Football League game on March 21st. With Michael Ahern, who had played football with Midleton for many years back in their ranks, Dungoumey were reported to be making a big effort to improve football in their Club. This was amply seen in the league game when the Rovers finished on level terms with the visitors, Bride Rovers 1-2 Dungourney 0-5. The Rovers scores were got by Tom O'Riordan who got a goal and two points from Pat Hoskins. The Rovers line out was:‑
Joseph O'Brien, Seamus Collins, Sedn Murphy, Liam Parle, Pat Hoskins, Pat Hogan, Mossie Dooley, Paudie Collins, Paudie Murphy, Donal Kelleher, Eddie Barry, D.K. 'Mikesy' Barry, Eamonn Cotter, Tom O'Riordan and Tony Walsh.
Gus and Fachtna O'Driscoll who were clerical students in Maynooth had won Fitzgibbon Cup medals in 1973 and 1974 but were foiled in their attempts to win three in a row by UCC, who defeated them in the final.
The first team in championship action for the year was the under-21 Hurling side who had a good win over Carrignavar but in the second round they were decisively beaten by Watergrasshill on a score line of 610 to 1-3 when several players who played against Carrignavar failed to turn up. After what happened in 1975, there was a lot of apprehension in the run up to the first round of the Junior Hurling Championship against St Catherines fixed for Castlelyons on June 27th. The game was previewed in
There was an attendance of just 26 at the AGM. The club income for the year was £1,279.05 and expenditure £1,103.06 leaving a balance of £176.22.
The income for the Field Development Fund was £27,750.50 which included Bank Loan, Fund-raising and GAA Grants. Total outgoings were £26,118.08 which left a balance of £1,632.48. The GAA loan of £9,000 had also to be paid back over the coming years so the actual debt on the field purchase was £7,400.
For 1979, as well as the regular club officer ships it was decided to create new positions which were filled as follows:
Festival Chairman Brendan O'Driscoll.
Festival Secretary Eileen Drinan.
Field Secretary Tom Kearney.
Football Secretary and Assistant Club Secretary Paudie Collins. Minor Hurling Secretary Richard Lynch.
The following were elected captains and vice captains:
'A' grade hurling Brendan O'Driscoll and Moss Dooley
'B' grade football Paudie Collins and Dan Dooley
Under-21 hurling Richard Lynch and Liam Cahill
Under-21 football Tom Kearney and Tom Mulcahy
Sean Murphy was again appointed as trainer.
The dates for the 1979 festival were fixed, from 13th to 22nd July.
When the championship draws for the season were made Bride Rovers were drawn to play Carrignavar in the Junior hurling. The draws for the other teams were:
'B' Grade Hurling v Erin's Own. 'B' Grade Football v Fr. O'Neills. Under-21 Hurling v Erin's Own Under-21 Football v Lisgoold.
In March Pat Hoskins, Brendan O'Driscoll, Paudie Collins, Matt Lehane and Tommy O'Flynn were all asked to go fora trial with the Imokilly senior hurling team but no Rovers player was on the Imokilly team which was beaten in the first round of the championship by Muskerry 1-12 to 012. Both junior teams got off to losing starts, the football team lost the first game in the football league-to Erin's Own by 2-6 to 1-1 and the hurlers lost the first two games, to Youghal by 3-5 to 1-7, and Cloyne 2-6 to 2-5.
The attendance at club meetings was again very poor - 12 members being the biggest attendance in the first six months.
The first championship fixture was the under-21 hurlers game against Erin's Own. This was played in Watergrasshill on Saturday 19th May and ended in a narrow defeat 3-9 to 3-6.
The first round of the Junior 'A' hurling championship was fixed for Watergrasshill on Sunday June 24th at 2.45 followed by Erin's Own and Glanmire in the Junior 'A' football championship. Carrignavar, having been heavily defeated by Cloyne in 1978, weren't expected to be too, strong. On the day however, Carrig played very well with Sean Walsh and Sean O'Riordan causing the Rovers fierce problems. In the end a draw, Bride Rovers 0-11 to Carrignavar 1-8, was the result. At the East Cork Board meeting on the following Wednesday night, the replay of the game was fixed for the following Saturday week July 7th, at Watergrasshill again. While the Board meeting was in session in Midleton, the Bride Rovers hurling team was playing Kilworth in a tournament game in Ballyduff, Co. Waterford. The Rovers won the game but the referee ordered a Bride Rovers player off the field. On Thursday morning when the replay date was made known, there was consternation. Even if the-player sent off received the minimum two week suspension, he would miss the replay. The club officers had a consultation and it was decided to contact the referee in question and ask him to "forget" about sending the player off. In fairness, the referee agreed to this strategy. Then all the Rovers supporters who had been at the game - about 15 in all - had to be spoken to and the situation explained to them. This was done and it was expected no one would ever know the player had been sent off and he would be available for the replay. The whole plan came unstuck however, as within a few days the word came back from the Carrignavar camp that they knew exactly what had happened. The player in question couldn't take part in the replay which Carrignavar won. In the 'B' grade hurling championship Erin's Own were winners by 0-13 to 1-5, so by the end of July the under-21, 'A' grade and 'B' grade hurling teams were gone out of the championship. Only the football teams and minor hurlers were left. The under-21 footballers lost heavily to Lisgoold by 2-14 to 1-5. The 'B' grade football team had a very easy win over Fr. O'Neill's by 3-14 to 0-2 in the first round and then defeated St. Catherine's by 2-7 to 0-6, but Lisgoold were winners in the quarter final by 2-12 to 0-2. Liam O'Brien from Midleton transferred to the Rovers for football and played with the team during the year and in 1980. Liam afterwards achieved fame as coach and trainer of various under-age Irish National Soccer teams.
Minor Hurlers Win
St. Bartholomew's won the Minor hurling championship for the first time since 1972. St. Catherine's were defeated by 2-9 to 1-4 at Castlelyons on June 28th. In the semi-final Castle Rovers were beaten by 4-8 to 1-10. The final was played at Carrigtwohill on August 2nd with Riverstown (Sarsfields) as opponents. After a great game St. Bartholomew's emerged as winners .
The Rovers players on the selection were Denis Ahern, captain, Tom Mulcahy, Larry Kearney, Cyril Johnson, Maurice Kearney, Seamus Buckley, Peter Mannix, James Maye, Jerome Maye, Gerard Lane, Martin O'Flynn.
Progress with Field
In May applications were sought for contractors to level the new pitch. In June a crop of hay was sold from the field. At a club meeting on July 2nd the quotation from Dick Shelly for levelling the field was accepted and the work commenced in mid July. A legal contract for this work was drawn up and read out at a meeting on July 9th which was attended by over 40 members - the big attendance was due to the fact. that all members were notified to attend as final arrangements for the festival were made.
Dick Shelly did a wonderful job on the leveling of the pitch area and the picking of stones in preparation for seeding commenced on September 30th. It was originally hoped that club members would erect posts and wire around the playing area but in November George Fallon from Cork was awarded the contract for £500. The concrete stakes were got from Noel Twohig in Rathpeacon.
The Annual Festival was again a great success with a profit of £1,250 being made. The bands which played in the marquee included The Cotton Mill Boys, San Bernadino, Donal Ring, The Magic Band and Brendan Shine. At a meeting after the festival it was pointed out that the hurling tournaments had actually made more profit than the dancing - with a lot less work. The Festival, as well as being a financial success was also good for the working of the club as it brought all the club members together and there was a great buzz around during the festival. Eileen Drinan was a very hard working secretary and others who put in a huge amount of work at festival time were Liam Collins, Brendan O'Driscoll and Jim Scannell. Another very successful fund-raising venture was a Chicken Supper Dance held in the Grand Hotel on September 21st organised by Eileen Drinan. This yielded a profit of £800 which for just one night was a huge sum.
Fachtna O'Driscoll was ordained to the priesthood in June and a social in his honour was held in Rathcormac Hall on Thursday October 11th at which the GAA Club made a presentation to Fachtna.
The Seventies in Retrospect
From being reigning two in a row East Cork Hurling Champions in 1970 to losing the first round in 1979 was a big comedown. The decade had started brightly with the two Junior final appearances and then the 'B' win in 1975 with the club's second string was a great boost. The junior hurling team, throughout the decade had the potential to win out in East Cork but never made it. As well as the two final appearances the semi final was reached on 3 other occasions. The success of the minors in 1979 at least gave some cause for optimism.
The purchase of the club's own grounds in 1977 was a major breakthrough as well as a huge financial outlay for the club. As the 1980's came, the Field Development project was still far from complete and a lot of effort was still needed to give the club top class facilities.
Pairc na Bride
Down through the years various different fields were used as hurling pitches in Bartlemy, Rathcormac and Kildinan. Very few Clubs actually owned fields until the 1960s when there was a big increase in the purchase and development of grounds. The Bride Rovers Club was lucky as fields always seemed to be readily available and most were very suitable. During the years when the Club rented fields from various farmers throughout the parish many important matches were hosted by the Club including the 1933 County Minor Football Final between Fermoy and St Nicholas'. The idea of a permanent "home" became more important in the early 1970s as with a huge increase in the number of games, proper pitches and facilities became a necessity. At the Club Annual General Meeting on Saturday December 29th 1973 in Rathcormac Hall, a discussion took place on the issue of a permanent pitch. In the minutes the following was recorded:
It was decided to investigate the possibility of purchasing a hurling field. Gus O'Driscoll, Tom Barry (Treasurer) and Henry Hazelwood were appointed tofind.out if there were any suitable sites available and a rough estimate of the cost of same and the cost of development.
This Sub-Committee made extensive enquiries but no suitable property was available. At a Club Meeting in Rathcormac on January 20th 1976, a special meeting of the Club Committee was fixed for January 29th to discuss the question of buying a field. No progress was made at this meeting.
In August of that year, the field question was again raised but as the Club at the time as £160 in debt, the matter was left over. In May 1977 a special Club Meeting was held and after a long discussion, it was decided to select a field committee of five members who would try and find some suitable field which could be purchased. The five selectors were Tom Barry (Garrynacole), Mick Barry, Pat Hoskins, Pat O'Connor and Tom Kearney. This Committee were to report back to the Club within a month.
They actually reported back in eight days. At the Club Meeting of May 24th, Mick Barry reported back from the Field"Committee that an 8Y4acre field was for sale. Club Chairman, Pat O'Connor. and Mick Barry were appointed to visit the owner of the field and make an offer for it and then report back to the next meeting and if necessary that a special Club Meeting would be called.
As the cost of the 8Y4acre site was regarded as too high, the negotiators went back to the owner of the field and the owners of the field, the Scannell family, re-negotiated the purchase of a smaller amount of land, 7 acres. The special Club Meeting referred to was held on Monday 20th June 1977 and the minutes of this meeting are recorded as follows in the Club Minute Book:
A Special General Meeting of the Bride Rovers Hurling Club was held in Rathcormac Hall on Monday 20th June 1977, 22 members attended. The Chairman, Pat O'Connor presided. The Field Committee reported that they had successfully negotiated the purchase of a 7 acre field. Tom Barry B.E. spoke on the importance of having a field of our own and he formally proposed that we purchase the field for the price agreed - £21,000. This was seconded by Liam Collins. Tom Barry also proposed a vote of confidence in the Bride Rovers Club on buying the field. The Chairman said that this was a milestone in the history of our Club and was a major challenge for the future. Tom Barry proposed that a separate Treasurer or Treasurers be appointed for the fundraising activities. Dr O'Toole proposed that Mick Barry and Tom Barry N.T. be appointed joint treasurers. This was seconded by Tom Barry B.E. It was decided to contact the County Board re grants and loans and attend the meeting of the GPC of the County Board, if necessary. Tom Barry N.T. proposed that a Circular relating to the field purchase and fundraising be sent to every household in the parish. Tom Barry B.E. and the Secretary were appointed to draw this up as soon as possible. Since the deposit of £2,000 had to be paid within a week, it was decided to seek a Bridging Loan from the Bank. Mick Barry agreed to contact the Bank and if guarantors were necessary, he would contact Club Members. It was agreed that we would set £15,000 as our target for the first year in fundraising and that a house to house collection be undertaken as soon as possible. Everybody present at the meeting agreed to collect house to house when the Circulars had been sent out. Tom Barry N.T. reminded the meeting that 1978 would be the golden jubilee of the Bride Rovers Club and that when collecting money, people should be told this. In the Circular, it was agreed to state that the collectors would call to each house "in the near future". A Co-ordinating Committee of three members was appointed to see the work of the collectors. The three appointed were Dr O'Toole, Jim Murphy and Tom Cotter. The Secretary was instructed to get the electoral registers for the parish as a guideline for the collectors and also five duplicate cash books for receipts. Mick Barry proposed the collectors should first approach all the business premises in Rathcormac and this was agreed to. The six collectors appointed were Henry Hazelwood, Tom Barry, Mick Barry, Gerry O'Flynn, Tom Barry B.E. and Liam Collins and they were to collect on Friday 24th June at 7.30 from the business'. It was decided that all monies should be made payable to Bride Rovers Development Fund. Mick Barry proposed that we ask Mr Baylor to attend a Club Meeting to explain about the trustees etc. Tom Barry proposed that we draw up a list of people from the parish now living elsewhere and Mick Barry said he would ask outside business firms for subscriptions. It was decided that a meeting would be held every Monday night at 9.30 and that all monies collected to be given to Treasurers on that night. Tom Barry N.T. proposed that a letter of congratulations from the Club be sent to Fr Gus O'Driscoll on the occasion of his ordination to the priesthood. A meeting of the Junior Hurling Players and Selectors was fixed for Friday night and the Chairman wished the team the best of luck in their championship game against Castlemartyr on Saturday 26th June in Midleton.
The next meeting of the Club was fixed for Monday June 27th. Once this historic decision to purchase the field was made, Club members really got behind the project. In July, Mick Barry, Dave Hogan and Pat O'Connor were appointed as trustees for the field. By the time of the next AGM on 1st January 1978, a total of £9,215 was collected and this had risen to E12,2.15.78 by March 13th. A low interest loan was obtained from the GAA and this was to be paid over 5 years. A monthly draw was also started in March 1978, the first festival was held from July 14th to 23rd and this yielded a profit of £1,500. During 1979, Tom Barry BE, completed all the necessary engineering specifications for the actual playing pitch and the field was levelled by Dick Shelley, fenced in and seeded. Over the next three years fundraising activities continued and in 1983 the playing pitch itself was wired off and goal posts erected. In the spring of 1983 various committees were elected to do various tasks such as planting trees, erecting concrete posts, seating etc and all these sub-committees were under the direction of Tom Barry N.T.
The first games were played in the field in the autumn of 1983 and these included two County Board games, Kilworth v St Catherines in a Junior Hurling Championship and Doneraile v Aghada in the County Junior Football League. The first actual match played in the field was a match between Bride Rovers and Aghada and the honour of being the first person to score on the pitch fell to Denis Mulcahy with his opening point in that game. It had been hoped to officially open the field in 1984 during Centenary year but this did not matierialise. At the AGM of 1983, a decision was made to build dressing rooms and during 1984 four dressing rooms, a referees room and storeroom were build. Sadly, Tom Barry N.T, the Master died on March 7th 1985 just a few months before the official opening of the pitch. This took place on a glorious sunny day, Sunday June 2nd 1985 at 6.30 p.m. During that afternoon, a team juvenile team from St Marys of Saggart in Dublin played a practice match against Bride Rovers under-14's in the pitch. The Saggart team were brought to Rathcormac by Gerard Barry, a son of the late Tom Barry N.T. and a brother of Fr. Seanie. Con Murphy, Chairman of the Cork County Board and former G..A.A. President performed the official opening. A special plaque was unveiled on the Dressing Room block which was dedicated as Aras de Barra in memory of the man who had done so much for the Club and played a huge part in making the pitch a reality. On the night of the Official Opening, Cork defeated Offaly in a Senior Hurling Tournament game before a huge crowd. The game was refereed by Jim Joe Landers of Waterford. A special 56 page Souvenir Programme was produced for the official opening.
Pat O'Connor who had taken over as Chairman in 1975 on the death of David John Barry, served as Club Chairman for 11 years and he was the guiding light behind the field development. As a player and administrator, Pat O'Connor had been an inspiration to the Club and more than any other man, the development of Pairc na Bride was due to him. Over the years various other development work has taken place in the grounds. Showers were installed, Scoreboard erected and in 1997 modem dugouts for players were erected. The playing surface has turned out to be one of the best in Cork and the pitch is highly regarded by all. Tribute must be paid to the late Mike Gubbins, Denis Spillane, Johnny Canning, Tom Cullinane and Billy Foley who have worked on the facilities under the auspices of FAS. The appointment in the early 1990s of Pat O'Connell as Grounds Officer has had a major beneficial effect on the pitch, dressing rooms and grounds in general as Pat has given a huge amount of time to make Pdirc na Bride venue one of the best in Co. Cork.
Since the official opening, the pitch has hosted many games at East Cork, County, Inter-Firm and Colleges level. In 1987, both Cork Intermediate Finals, Erins Own v Mallow in hurling and Glanmire v Fermoy in football were played in Rathcormac. The blue riband of East Cork Hurling was also played at Pairc na Bride in 1995 when Killeagh defeated Watergrasshill in the final for the Jamesy Kelleher Cup. The A Grade Football Final between Carrigtwohill and Erins Own was also hosted.
Training lights have also been installed and it is planned to have an indoor hurling facility erected within the grounds in the near future.