There was no real dissension at the AGM about regrading to junior in 1978. After reaching the intermediate county final in 1971, Carrig won just one championship match in the following six seasons. It was time to regroup and replenish the team’s confidence.
Carrig found nothing soft in their new surroundings. They were pushed hard by both Carrignavar and Killeagh in the league and were driven to their wit’s end by Aghada in the first round of the championship. “We were supposed to beat them off the field,” remembers Michael John Roche, “but they came within a goal of us (0-16 to 2-7). We made hard work of it and I remember we were very down after that performance. We made hard work of beating Youghal too, in the next round.”
Youghal surged into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes. A goal by Michael John Roche helped to settle Carrig and, after going in two points down at half time, 0-9 to 1-4, they took the lead just after the break with a spectacularly doubled goal by Tom Browne. Carrig had to come from behind again later in the half and were only two points ahead when Youghal hit a post in the last minute; Roche added an insurance point immediately afterwards and Carrig held out by a goal, 2-12 to 1-12.
“For Carrig, Johnny O‘Riordan was rock solid at full back,” reported the Southern Star, “while the half back line of David and Pat Keane and Peter Hogan were in outstanding form. Finbar Rohan did well at centre field while in attack Pat O‘Connor, Michael John Roche and Tom Browne will remember the game with pleasure.”
In the semi-final Carrig‘s opponents were Erin’s Own, the reigning East Cork champions and the fancied team. It was another cliffhanger. Carrig trailed just once, when Erins Own sneaked a point ahead early in the second half, before a goal by Michael John Roche put Carrig back in front.
But Carrig’s lead was only a point, 2-8 to 0-13, when Martin Bowen stepped up to a last minute 70 for Erin’s Own; a year before he had clinched the East Cork final with a last gasp point from a 70, but this time he pulled it wide. In more ways than one Carrig’s luck was in: “Tom Browne got a point that was a foot wide,” remembers Pat O‘Connor. “If you like we won by that point.”
Going into the East Cork final against Cloyne the mood of the team was more buoyant. “Even though we struggled in a couple of matches,” says Michael John Roche, “the team got a new lease of life by going down junior. Instead of going out thinking we might win, we went out believing we would win. There was even more talk about the matches than there ever was at intermediate, there was local pride at stake.”
A huge crowd turned up in Midleton on the last Sunday of August to witness a clinical performance by Carrig. Despite playing against the wind Carrig led by two points at half time, 0-9 to 0-7; after that the result was a foregone conclusion. Seanie Cashman decorated the match with two second half goals; for the first he cut past Paddy Ring along the endline and smuggled the ball into the net by the near post; for the other he latched onto a delivery by Mick Rohan. His second goal killed the match stone dead and Carrig pulled away to win by 2-17 to 0-9.
Cashman finished the match with 2-4 and a week later won an All Ireland minor medal against Kilkenny, the first Carrig player to win a minor All Ireland on the field of play since Willie Cummins in 1939. John Collins was a selector and Davy Barry had also been on the Cork panel for the Munster championship and around the club there was a renewed sense of well being.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, John O’Riordan, Donie McCarthy, David Keane, Peter Hogan, Jimmy O’Rourke, Dermot Cashman, Finbar Rohan, Mick Rohan, Tom Browne, Pat O’Connor, Seanie Cashman, Michael John Roche, James Keane.
Granted a bye in the first round of the county, it was nearly two months before Carrig met Blarney in the semi-fìnal at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. In the end Carrig won by four points, 1-11 to 1-7, but Blarney were sticky. A Pat O’Connor free that sailed into the net put Carrig two points up approaching half time, but Blarney came back to draw level before the break, 1-3 to 0-6. Carrig seemed to be coasting with six unanswered points in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but then Blarney got a goal and Carrig had to come again to close the game out.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, John O’Riordan, Donie McCarthy, Jimmy O‘Rourke, Peter Hogan, David Keane 0-2, Finbar Rohan 0-2, Dermot Cashman, Mickey Rohan 0-1, Tom Browne, Pat O’Connor 1-3, Seanie Cashman 0-1, Michael John Roche 0-2, James Keane.
Sub: Jimmy O’Reilly.
Carrig were hot favourites to beat Mayfield in the county final two weeks later on the first Sunday of November, but it turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Before the match the selectors caused a huge stir by dropping Seanie Cashman with Mick Sheehan coming into the full forward line to take Cashman’s place. Sheehan was returning from a six months ban, which Carrig had challenged all the way to the Munster Council.
During the match the Carrig crowd began chanting “Seanie, Seanie” and in due course he was the first sub on, but so many Carrig players were playing so far beneath themselves that nobody could have rescued the match. In the end it was a crushing defeat, 2-8 to 0-3. David Keane was Carrig’s outstanding player before retiring injured early in the second half, while Pat Keane, Johnny O’Riordan and Peter Hogan were others reported by the Examiner to be above blame.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, John O’Riordan, Donie McCarthy, Jimmy O‘Rourke, Peter Hogan, David Keane, Pat O’Connor, Finbar Rohan, Mickey Rohan, Tom Browne, Dermot Cashman, Michael John Roche, Mick ‘Fox’ Sheehan 0-2, James Keane 0-1.
Subs: Seanie Cashman for Dermot Cashman, Denis O’Connor for Michael John Roche, Paddy Geaney for David Keane.
In 1978 Cork completed three in a row of All Ireland senior hurling titles. There was no Carrig player on the panel but there had been a Carrig influence nonetheless. Willie Cummins designed and crafted the sliotars that Cork used – and continue to use – but Mick McCarthy‘s input was even greater.
McCarthy had played senior for Carrig in the 1930s but by the 1970s he had achieved eminence as a hurley-maker and in 1976 Fr Bertie Troy, the Cork coach, commissioned a set of hurleys from Mick for the Cork team. Fr Troy – who had once been a curate in Carrig – wanted hurleys with a heavy bos and a thick heel to facilitate the ground hurling he intended Cork to play; a craftsman, Mick could tailor to any design.
Mick first made his name as the maker of Christy Ring’s hurleys. His reputation was in its first bloom when word of mouth reached Ring and their relationship lasted most of Ring’s career. “Ring would tell you how he wanted his hurleys,” said Mick in an interview a couple of years before he died, “and when you did your best he was quite happy.”
“But back then he was so far ahead of his time. One morning he came into me with a four iron golf club. He wanted the bos angled like the face of the four iron so he could get under the ball. That‘s how he could hit the ball over the bar from 50 yards, off the ground, no bother. He was always thinking.”
Ring liked his hurleys lighter as he got older and his bos shortened before it was fashionable, but he always liked the bos heavy so Mick would insert molten lead to give it weight. Mick wasn‘t averse to innovation. When he began making hurleys in his youth the enterprise was sired by necessity and borne of improvisation.
“You’d take a young tree out of a ditch and if there was a bow on the root you’d take the skin off it, flatten the side a small bit and you‘d play away with it. Or if you were out at night and you saw an ash root on someone‘s land that would make a couple of hurleys you’d steal it because the landowner wouldn’t give it to you. You’d cut it down with a handsaw and make four or five hurleys out of it. That was patience.”
Ring wasn’t the only great to darken Mick’s door; Jimmy Barry Murphy, Tony Wall, Frank Cummins, Charlie McCarthy, Brian Corcoran and more. It wasn’t just anybody that Mick would provide with his hurleys, if he didn‘t like you there was no chance. One Cork hurler with a violent bent in his nature called once and was asked by Mick what he wanted a hurley for, “sure you’ll only break it off somebody.”
Even for those who were regulars Mick sometimes made it feel like a compliment so that he was never taken for granted. Well into his 80s he fashioned hurleys with the same tools he always used, without even a passing concession to modernity. In the summer of 1995 a gifted craftsman passed away.
Emboldened by the junior campaign of 1978 it was decided at the AGM to return to intermediate in 1979. The county final performance was dismissed as an aberration: “The feeling was that we were twice as good as Mayfield,” says Michael John Roche; “nearly everybody played below par in the county final bar David Keane. The fact that we knew we were so much better than Mayfield made us go up. The following year (1979) we destroyed Mayfield in the intermediate league.”
The championship draw, however, was unkind, pitting Carrig against Newtownshandrum who had narrowly lost the intermediate county final to Midleton in 1978. Willie John Daly took charge after a long absence from preparing Carrig teams and, in Fermoy on the second Saturday of May, Carrig were flying. A one point defeat, 4-9 to 4-8, was heartbreaking.
“It can truthfully be said that only sheer bad luck cost Carrig victory” reported the Examiner. “The game provided a thrilling climax which saw Newtown hold on for victory by a point in the face of an all out effort from Carrig. In a game that swung around more than once, Carrig dominated the early exchanges with the help of a Seanie Cashman goal after 17 minutes and they led by 1-4 to 0-0 after twenty minutes.”
“At this stage the Carrig defence was in total control, but then, an injury to centre back Peter Hogan, necessitating his leaving the field, completely upset the Carrig rearguard and Newtown registered three goals in four minutes to lead at the interval by 3-3 to 1-5.”
“A further goal and two points early in the second half left Newtown leading comfortably by 4-5 to 1-5. A Carrig goal by Finbar Rohan from thirty yards reduced the lead and the next ten minutes saw the sides exchange three points each before Michael John Roche slammed in another Carrig goal. Newtown edged four points clear and then with three minutes remaining Tom Browne had another goal to leave Carrig in arrears by a solitary point. Despite all efforts Carrig failed to penetrate for the equaliser and the last chance was lost when a long-range Seanie Cashman free just failed to make the target.“
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, John O’Riordan, Donie McCarthy, Davie Barry, Peter Hogan, Denis O’Mahony, Finbar Rohan, Jimmy O‘Rourke, James Keane, Pat O’Connor, Mickey Rohan, Seanie Cashman, Michael John Roche, Tom Browne.
Subs used: James Horgan, Jimmy O’Reilly, Dermot Cashman.
Off the field it was a hugely significant year for the club. With the explosion of underage competition a total of 88 matches were played under the club’s auspices in 1978. That was too many for the adult club to handle properly so it was decided in January of 1979 to establish a juvenile sub committee which would look after teams from U-16 down. Five years later, in January of 1984, that sub committee would flower into the juvenile club.
An open meeting was held in O’Brien’s Castle Lounge on January 22nd 1979 to start the ball rolling. Con O’Mahony was elected as the chairman and Niall Barrett the first secretary. Also in attendance were: Peadar Seymour; Gerry Coleman, Mattie Fouhy, John (Bishop) O’Mahony, Patsy Spillane, John Kelleher, Con O’Mahony (junior), Donal Mulcahy, Billy Power, Charlie O‘Sullivan, Dan Scannell, Mick O‘Sullivan.
From the first time Carrig fielded a schools’ shield team in 1908 there had always been juvenile teams in the village, even if success was sporadic for the first few decades. The schools shield was the equivalent of an U-14 A county championship and Carrig were at an obvious disadvantage in numerical terms, but they won it in 1934 beating St Patricks from the city with a team captained by Willie Cummins. Later in the 1930s they reached the final again, but this time were beaten by Greenmount.
Towards the end of the 1940s juvenile competition was re-structured along the lines which are familiar to us today. In 1953 Carrig beat Midleton to win one of the first East Cork U-14 A hurling championships, before losing to Charleville in the county championship. A year later East Cork introduced grades and each of Carrig‘s U-14 East Cork titles in the 1960s were in B competition. Blarney heat Carrig in the 1960 B county final and when Carrig reached that stage again in 1971 and 1974 they fell to Bandon and Aghabullogue. The 1971 team had won East Cork titles in both football and hurling.
During the 1950s U-16 competitions were introduced and Carrig took the East Cork A title in 1961 and the B title 5 years later. There was no county championship in that age group at the time but, when Carrig were successful in East Cork again in 1975 and 1976, they went on to win B counties, the first against Ballinora, the second against Carrigaline.
Underage football also took off in Carrig during the 1970s and the U-14 team which won three hurling East Corks between 1974 and 1976 also won three football titles. None of those teams went on to win counties but in 1974 the footballers caused a huge upset by beating Beara with a last minute goal from Gerry Coleman.
The schools shield was discontinued in 1977 and Bord na nOg was established to streamline the administration of juvenile competition in the county. At its establishment Peadar Seymour was made life president. It was a fitting tribute to a man who had dedicated so much of his life to the promotion of underage games.
In Carrig, as in every other GAA village, the national school was a crucial breeding ground for young players and the club was blessed that there were always teachers with an enthusiasm for the games. In the early years of the century the school principal was D Daly who for a time represented the Club at the county board. In 1911 John Bowdren arrived from teacher training college. Although his father had built the parochial house in Carrig, Bowdren was a native of Rathcormac. He remained in the school until his retirement in 1959, and during that time marshaled the school league and school teams.
Ollie O‘Connor was a pupil in the school during Bowdren’s last decade as principal and he vividly remembers the excitement of being given a hurley and ball in school at Christmas time, a gift to every boy from Mrs TG Barry. “We’d be upstairs and there under the Christmas tree was a hurley and rubber ball for every boy in the school – 80 or 90 boys. It was some thrill for us in those times I can tell you, to be going home with a hurley and your own ball.” Neither Mrs TG Barry nor her husband had any connection with the club, which only heightened the gesture.
John Barry, the Carrig and Cork hurler, joined the school as a teacher in the 1930s, and made a significant contribution to the School Shield winning team of 1934, before moving on to the principal’s job in Castlemartyr. In more recent years Pat Delea and Ger Foley have made a huge contribution and though the school continued to be a vital academy for young players their work was complemented significantly by the Saturday morning training sessions started by the juvenile committee in 1979. Ever since kids from six years upwards have been coached and encouraged by dozens of volunteers, supplying the players for the most successful underage teams in the club‘s history.
But in Peadar Seymour’s time underage teams in Carrig took a quantum leap forward. He used the growing number of pupils to make Carrig school teams more consistently competitive than they ever had been before.
Peadar was born in Glanworth in 1909 and started his teaching career in Temple na Garriga. During the 1930s he was heavily involved in the Gaelic League and played on their hurling and football teams in business houses competition, first in Glanworth and then in Lisgoold. He taught for a couple of years in Carlow before he arrived in Carrig where he was made principal in 1959. That was the year too that he first became involved with the school teams.
With Peadar‘s involvement the school teams had an impetus which they hadn’t had since John Barry. Not just in hurling, but in football too. Around the time that Peadar took over as principal a young teacher from West Cork, Padraig O‘Neill, came into the school; he introduced football and the children took to it without prejudice.
In only Peadar‘s second year Carrig reached a county hurling final against Blarney but were beaten by a goal. Under his guidance they went on to win three more East Cork titles in the 1960s, but it was the teams of 1974 to 1976 which he regarded as the best to come out of the school in his time.
On his retirement in 1978 the GAA club searched for words to express its gratitude and framed them. The presentation hung in Peadar‘s living room. It ran: “On this occasion of his retirement as principal teacher of Carrigtwohill National School it is the expressed wish of the Carrigtwohill GAA to place on record its deep appreciation of Peadar Seymour NT for his immense contribution to Gaelic Games and in the field of education in the parish for 19 years.”
No words could adequately have captured his contribution.
Carrig met Blackrock in the first round of the 1980 intermediate championship. The performance was just as good as a year previously, but this time a storming last quarter was rewarded with victory, 3-15 to 3-8.
It was a really good match with the sides level seven times. Carrig led by a point at the break, 0-6 to 0-5, and a brilliant point from a 40 yard sideline cut by Pat O‘Connor kept their noses ahead early in the second half. Blackrock replied with a goal but within three minutes Carrig were level again and then they accelerated. Jimmy O’Reilly rattled in 1-3 to put Carrig six points clear with 12 minutes left.
The match was reaching its crescendo. Finbar Delaney sent a free to the net from 30 metres for Blackrock only for Seanie Cashman, the outstanding centre fielder on view, to respond with a goal for Carrig. The Rockies kicked one last time with a goal and a point, but Carrig had more in the tank and pulled away with 1-3 in the last eight minutes. O’Reilly, with 2-6, was Carrig’s outstanding player while Pat O‘Connor, Pat Keane, Davy Barry, Donie McCarthy and Dermot Cashman also sparkled.
Scorers: Jimmy O’Reilly 2-6, Seanie Cashman 1-1, Pat O’Connor 0-4, Finbar Rohan 0-3, James Keane 0-1.
The second round against Mallow was played at Blarney just a week later, Once again Carrig finished strongly but this time they had left too much to do and ended up losing by a goal, 3-7 to 2-7. “The North Corkmen just about deserved their win,” reported the Examiner, “because of their more controlled use of possession and because they seemed to have had that little bit extra in reserve.”
Carrig scored just once in the first quarter and only a goal from Finny Rohan kept Carrig in touch at half-time, 2-6 to 1-3. Early in the second half Mallow pulled ten points clear; then, at last, Carrig clicked into gear. Mallow failed to score for the last twenty minutes while Carrig chipped away at their lead.
With six minutes left Jimmy O‘Reilly pounced for a cracking goal and it seemed that Carrig might pull off an unlikely escape. When Bernard Fouhy found the net in the last minute it appeared that they had, but the score was disallowed for a square ball and Mallow stood firm under the onslaught. Mallow went on to lose the county final by two points.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, Johnny O’Riordan, Davy Barry, Jimmy O’Rourke, Donie McCarthy, Peter Hogan, Dermot Cashman 0-1, Seanie Cashman, James Horgan, Pat O’Connor 0-1, Mickey Rohan 0-2, Finbar Rohan 1-0, James Keane 0-1, Jimmy O’Reilly 1-2.
Subs used: Tommy Barry, Bernard Fouhy, Paddy Geaney.
Denis Mulcahy was picked at wing forward on the Cork minor hurling team beaten by Tipperary in the semi-final of the Munster championship and that was the highlight for hurling in a year which represented a watershed for football in the club. The junior Bs won an East Cork championship for the first time, the minor footballers retained their East Cork B championship and the U-21s reached the East Cork final as well.
The portents for football in the club had been positive for a few years. In 1978 an U-21 B football Championship was taken with a victory over Lisgoold in the final, having beaten Cloyne and Glenville along the way. The win over Glenville was particularly sweet. Trailing by five points with eight minutes to go a massive row seemed to energize Carrig and they won by a point with two late goals.
In 1979 they held their own in the U-21 A championship before reaching the final against Midleton a year later. Players from those successful teams formed the spine of the junior B team in 1980.
The Keanes, Pat, James and David, returned from Glanmire where they had experience of intermediate championship and strengthened the team further. Under the prompting of Con O’Mahony, Pat Horgan and Billy Power an adult Carrig football team was well prepared in the lead up to the championship for the first time in living memory.
They barely scraped a team together for the first round of the junior B championship against Bride Rovers, but after that the run took off. In the lead up to the final Con O’Mahony persuaded Donie O‘Donovan to take the team for a few sessions. O’Donovan had coached Cork to an All Ireland title in 1973 and his presence in the field was the most potent symbol yet of the changing attitude to football in the club.
Carrig went into the final as underdogs but played brilliantly and crushed Youghal by 3-8 to 1-5 . Brendan O’Reilly set the tone with a goal after two minutes and ten minutes later Carrig were 1-3 to 0-0 ahead. Youghal caught their breath in the second quarter and nipped in for a goal before half time, pouncing on the rebound from a saved penalty by Eddie Dunlea. That reduced their deficit to two points and with the wind to come in the second half Youghal would have fancied their chances.
Carrig, though, held tough; Seanie Cashman and Pat Keane continued to dominate centre field, David Keane kicked his frees and mid-way through the half, two goals from James Horgan sealed the issue. According to the Youghal history, “Carrig‘s superior ﬁtness was the decisive factor in the end.” It was the ﬁrst time that an adult Carrig football team was so acclaimed. Patsy Spillane lifted the cup and for football in the club there was no turning back.
Carrig: Eddie Dunlea, Patsy Spillane, Kieran Horgan, Mick Loftus, John Horgan, Paddy Geaney, Niall Barrett, Pat Keane, Seanie Cashman, Dermot Cashman, David Keane 0-4, James Horgan 2-1, Brendan O’Reilly 1-2, James Keane 0-1, Con O’Mahony.
Subs: James Leo Ronayne, John O‘Mahony, Anthony Barry, Jimmy O’Reilly, John Harte, John Ring.
Selectors: Pat Horgan, Con O’Mahony, Billy Power. Trainer/Coach: Donie O’Donovan.
For the minor championship Carrig were joined with Erins Own and their victims in the ﬁnal were St Laurences, an amalgam of Lisgoold and Dungourney; it was no contest, 4-12 to 2-4. “A slick moving Carrig Rovers had too many big guns for St Laurences,” reported the Southern Star.
“The opening quarter was evenly contested with the scores level at 1-1 each, but three excellent points from Con O‘Mahony followed by a great goal from Kieran Horgan put Carrig well in command.
“Further points from O‘Mahony, Horgan and Brendan O‘Reilly, followed by another great goal from David O‘Sullivan saw Carrig lead by 3-9 to 1-1 at the break and the game was over as a contest. Carrig took their foot off the pedal after this and yet had further scores from Tim O’Keeffe 1-1, Con O’Mahony 0-2 and David O’Sullivan 0-1 to record and easy victory.”
Carrig: Donal Scannell, Paul Geary, Mick Loftus, Anthony Barry, Declan Ahern, John Joe Harte, Noel Kidney, Matthew Nichol, Con O’Mahony, Tim O’Keeffe, David O’Sullivan, Brendan Walsh, Brendan O’Reilly, Kieran Horgan. Subs: Peter Manning and Noel O’Reilly
In the U-21 A ﬁnal at Rostellan Midleton were physically much bigger than Carrig and ran out ﬁve point winners, 1-7 to 0-5. Midleton played with the wind in the ﬁrst half and an eighth minute penalty put them ahead. They still led by that goal approaching half time when the woodwork twice saved Carrig. At 1-3 to 0-3 behind with the wind to come Carrig seemed to have a chance, but they never really made any in-roads and hit the crossbar themselves late in the game when they desperately needed a goal.
Carrig: Donal Scannell, John Harte, Kieran Horgan, Mick Loftus 0-1, John Ring 0-1, John Horgan, Liam Manning, Dermot Cashman, Con O’Mahony 0-1, James Horgan 0-1, John O’Mahony, James Keane, Brendan O’Reilly, Seanie Cashman 0-1.
Subs: Anthony Barry for John O’Mahony, James Leo Ronayne for Liam Manning.
Carrig drew Erin‘s Own in the 1981 intermediate hurling championship and Lisgoold was the venue on the last Sunday of May. It was a taut, stern match which Carrig finished with 14 men and losers by two points, 0-13 to 0-11. Carrig probably lost the match in the first half when they played with the aid of the wind but could only turn it into a two point advantage, 0-8 to 0-6.
Erin’s Own were level within 10 minutes of the second half and were three points clear with time nearly up when Pat O’Connor was brought down in the square. O’Connor took the penalty himself, but his shot was too high and that point was the last score of the match. O‘Connor, though, had been one of Carrig’s outstanding players, along with Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, David Keane, Davy Barry and Michael John Roche.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Paddy Geaney, Pat Keane, Donie McCarthy, Peter Hogan, John Horgan 0-1, Davy Barry, Billy Dineen 0-1, Jimmy O’Rourke, Finbar Rohan 0-1, Seanie Cashman, James Keane, Pat O’Connor 0-2, David Keane 0-2, Michael John Roche 0-2.
Subs introduced: Jimmy O’Reilly 0-2 and Mickey Rohan.
It was no help to the footballers that their first round match against Youghal in the junior A championship was fixed for the following week but they performed honourably and lost narrowly, 1-9 to 2-3. It was the first step on a long road. Youghal went on to reach the East Cork final. Carrig’s second team beat Midleton in the first round of the B championship, but went out in the next round.
Carrig’s hurlers picked up the pieces of their season to reach the final of the Liam Breathnach Cup against Nemo Rangers, who were then a senior team. Carrig had to do without David Keane, Pat Keane and Pat O’Connor and had to cope with a blitz by Nemo in the first quarter when they hit Carrig with 1-6.
The Examiner takes up the story: “An eight point (Nemo) advantage after 25 minutes was reduced to a single point thanks to the tireless work of centre forward Peter Hogan and the dynamic Seanie Cashman, who along with Kieran Horgan notched a brace of goals within a minute.”
“Following an exchange of points early in the second half a Nemo goal in the 36th minute rocked Carrig. Carrig played their best hurling in the next 10-12 minutes but were still two points in arrears when Noel Morgan notched his second goal for Nemo. Carrig fought on gallantly but a further goal and two points from Morgan ensured that Nemo carried home the laurels, 4-10 to 2-8.”
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Donie McCarthy 0-1, Johnny O’Riordan 0-1, Anthony Barry, John Joe Harte, John Horgan 0-1, Davy Barry, Billy Dineen, Dermot Cashman 0-1, Jim O’Rourke, Peter Hogan, Kieran Horgan 1-0, Jimmy O’Reilly 0-3, Michael John Roche, Seanie Cashman 1-1.
Subs: James Horgan and John O’Mahony.
At the 1982 county convention Denis Conroy moved closer to his lifelong ambition of chairing the board when he was elected vice-chairman ahead of Sean Crowley from Bandon by 138 votes to 105. He remained as Munster Council delegate but lost his position as Central Council delegate by 124 votes to 117 to Paddy O’Driscoll.
Denis Coughlan took over from Willie John Daly as coach of the intermediate hurlers and training that summer was lifted by the frequent presence of Kilkenny hurlers, Liam Fennelly and Richie Power, both of whom were working locally. The first round draw favoured Carrig and as expected they were too strong for a young St Vincent’s side on the third Saturday of May at Caherlag.
With Carrig leading by 3-6 to 0-1 at half time it looked as if they would win as they pleased, but the City side rallied in the second half and in the end the margin was just six points, 3-10 to 2-7.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane, Peter Hogan, Anthony Barry, John Joe Harte, John Horgan, David Keane, Dermot Cashman, Billy Dineen 0-1, Billy Landers 0-5, Mickey Rohan, Finbar Rohan 0-3, Seanie Cashman 2-0, Michael John Roche 1-0, Pat O’Connor 0-1.
Subs: James Keane.
Defeat to Rathluirc in the second round two weeks later was sickening. Carrig played well enough to win but all of Rathluirc’s three goals were soft in one way or another and that was Carrig‘s undoing. Carrig opened brilliantly, surged into a four point lead after ten minutes and according to the Examiner “it looked as if Carrig would run Rathluirc off their feet.”
Carrig recovered from Rathluirc‘s first goal to lead by two points at the break, 1-7 to 1-5, but Rathluirc’s second goal just after half time wiped out their advantage and during the next 15 minutes the sides were level five times. In the last ten minutes though Rathluirc pulled away and their third goal clinched the match, 3-15 to 1-12.
Carrig: Jim Cooney, Pat Keane 0-2, Peter Hogan, Anthony Barry, John Joe Harte, John Horgan, David Keane 1-0, Dermot Cashman, Billy Dineen, Mickey Rohan 0-1, James Horgan, Billy Landers 0-7, Seanie Cashman 0-1, Michael John Roche 0-1, Pat O’Connor.
Subs: Finbar Rohan and Jimmy O’Reilly.
Football in the club continued to make strides. The junior As came desperately close to winning their first championship match, but, having forced Glenville to a replay, they lost it in the most dramatic circumstances. From three points down Carrig mustered a storming last 10 minutes and took the lead with time ticking away, only to be undone by a goal straight from the kickout.
The match finished 1-5 to 1-3 and the Southern Star was quick to put it in context: “All the excitement was packed into the final eight minutes. As for what went before it was the poorest football I ever saw at junior level and it was left to the closeness of the scoring to provide a contest. Scores is right, we had only four in the opening half.”
Points by Mickey Rohan and James Horgan put Carrig in front, but five unanswered points had Carrig in trouble with ten minutes left. In a frantic late rally they struck the post and crossbar before Seanie Cashman eventually fisted the ball to the net. A free from Pa Keane put Carrig in front but Glenville had the last word. And still the Southern Star wasn‘t happy.
“Overall a very poor game, the excitement of the last few minutes didn‘t even compensate for what went before. The tackling at times was way too hard and the punch up at the end didn’t do either club proud. Credit must to go to referee Tim Geary for keeping his cool under some fierce intimidation in these final minutes.”
Carrig: Donal Scannell, Kieran Horgan, Peter Hogan, Mick Loftus, Dermot Cashman, John Horgan, Finbar Rohan, Pat Keane, John O’Mahony, Seanie Cashman, James Keane, Mick Rohan, Frank Morrissey, James Horgan, JJ Harte.
The minors, along with some Erin’s Own players, provided some consolation, picking up their third East Cork B title in four years. Castlelyons Rovers, who included St Catherine‘s players like Denis Walsh, a future Cork dual player, and Christy Clancy, were their victims in Lisgoold, 2-10 to 1-4. Con Warren and Donie Mulcahy were Carrig’s goalscorers in the first half and with Carrig leading by 2-6 to 0-1 at the break there was no question of the outcome. Castlelyons‘ goal didn‘t come until the last minute when Walsh converted a penalty.
At the AGM in January 1983 18 year old Caroline Kidney was elected as the club‘s first, and so far only, woman secretary. The eldest of Margaret and Neilus’ seven children, and sister of Noel, Philip, Robert, Kenneth and Niall, all of whom have played for Carrig in the last 30 years, she grew up immersed in the club: “I’ve been supporting Carrigtwohill since I was knee high,” she said in an Examiner interview at the time. “I wanted more involvement so I thought this was the best way to achieve that. I was surprised initially to be elected, but absolutely delighted.”
It was a mark of the club’s good health that teams were fielded in three adult hurling competitions in 1983: intermediate, junior A and junior B. The B team didn‘t play in the league but nonetheless a total of 64 players were used by the three teams.
For the intermediates it was a reasonably good year. They lost to Milford in the final of the 1982 league, which had been held over – Milford having already won the championship – but they won the Erin’s Own tournament and the first round of the championship against Mayfield on the third Sunday of May.
The margin of victory, 2-13 to 3-4, masked a shaky start when Carrig fell 2-1 to 0-1 behind in the first eleven minutes and could have conceded another two goals. Carrig had clawed their way back to level scores approaching half time when Mayfield struck for a goal and a point in quick succession. A goal from a penalty by James Horgan steadied Carrig again after the break, but it wasn‘t until the last seven minutes that Carrig really gripped the match and a goal from substitute Michael John Roche put the game beyond Mayfield’s reach.
Carrig: Jimmy O’Reilly, Anthony Barry, Peter Hogan, Davy Barry, Mick O’Mahony, John Horgan 0-4, John Joe Harte, Dermot Cashman, Mickey Rohan, Billy Dineen 0-1, James Horgan 1-5, Seanie Cashman 0-1, Liam Manning, Pat O’Connor 0-1, Finbar Rohan 0-1.
Sub: Michael John Roche 1-0.
Inniscarra were Carrig‘s opponents in the quarter final at Church Road on the second Saturday of June. It turned out to be a galling defeat, 3-9 to 0-16: “Inniscarra’s ability to grab important scores at crucial stages was the deciding factor,” reported the Examiner. “Carrigtwohill dominated for most of the game but they conceded soft goals which eventually cost them the match.”
Carrig led by 0-4 to 0-3 after 20 minutes but then Inniscarra got two goals in a minute, one from long range, and they went on to lead by 2-4 to 0-6 at half time.
With John Horgan inspirational at centre back, Carrig dragged themselves back to level terms at 0-12 to 2-6 with ten minutes left and then in the next five minutes they twice stretched into a two point lead.
But the game was decided by Inniscarra’s third goal two minutes from time. A fast Carrig puck out went over the sideline and the resultant cut started the attack which finished with the ball in the Carrig net.
Carrig: Jimmy O’Reilly, Davy Barry, Peter Hogan, Anthony Barry, John Joe Harte, John Horgan 0-3, Mick O’Mahony, Dermot Cashman 0-1, Mickey Rohan 0-2, Billy Dineen 0-1, Seanie Cashman 0-3, James Horgan 0-3, Michael John Roche, Finbar Rohan 0-2, Pat O’Connor 0-1.
Sub Noel Kidney.
The summer, however, was brightened by the Junior As. They beat White‘s Cross easily in the first round and then surprised Sars in the second round. St Catherine’s were their opponents in the semi-final in Midleton and Carrig were gallant in defeat.
Two opportunist goals from Kieran Horgan had Carrig in the lead at half time, 2-1 to 0-5. Catherines took ten minutes to gain the lead in the second half and with Johnny O’Riordan and Donie McCarthy outstanding in the full hack line Carrig were still only two points behind with eight minutes left despite incessant Catherines pressure. Catherines though finally got the goal they’d been threatening and won by 1-11 by 2-3 on their march to a county title.
Carrig: Bernard Fouhy, Paddy Geaney, Johnny O’Riordan, Donie McCarthy, Richie McSweeney, Denis O’Mahony, John Ring, Tommy Mulcahy, Frank Morrissey, Jimmy McCarthy, Anthony Barry, Philip Kidney, Kieran Horgan, Pat Keane.
Sub: JJ O’Mahony for Richie McSweeney (injured)
The junior A footballers lost to Glenville again, though the junior Bs took some measure of revenge against the same opposition in their first round – Midleton beat the Bs in the next round. The U-21s competed in the A championship and did exceptionally well, beating Glenville in the semi-final and losing by just two points to Cobh in the final.
John Horgan played for Cork in a drawnout U-21 championship; they beat Waterford in a replayed first round then lost a semi-final replay to Clare. Maurice O’Donoghue, who was an Inniscarra player at the time but later to play with Carrig and coach the county winning minors of 1998, was also on that U-21 team. A year later Horgan played on the Cork junior team which won the Munster championship with victories over Clare and Tipperary, before they lost to Kilkenny in the All Ireland semi-final
The only juvenile success of the year was by the B footballers who took the East Cork title, conclusively in the end. Castlemartyr were brushed aside in the first round, 2-8 to 0-3 before Carrig were held by Erin’s Own in the next round, 0-8 apiece. Carrig, though, crushed them in the replay 3-15 to 1-0 and Aghada weren’t spared in the semi-final either, 2-11 to 0-5
Castlelyons were Carrig‘s opponents in the final and it was close until half time. Carrig led through an early penalty from Philip Kidney and were 1-1 to 0-2 in front at the break. Early in the second half a 45 from Kidney sailed all the way to the net and from there Carrig took a grip on the match. Denis Dennehy added a third goal with 12 minutes left and that sealed the issue, 3-6 to 1-3, in Carrig’s favour. Carrig played Clondrohid in the first round of the county but were beaten by a point, 1-5 to 1-4.
A year later many of that team backboned the minors who won the East Cork B title with a victory over Glenville in the final. At that time there was no county championship for minor B competitions. The U-12 hurlers were the only other underage team to come close to winning an East Cork title in 1984. They engaged Erin’s Own in a brilliant final in Watergrasshill on a night when Eoin O’Mahony got all of Carrig’s scores and Brian Corcoran got all of Erin’s Own’s. In the replay, however, Erin’s Own shackled Eoin and won easily.
Cloughduv represented a really tough draw for Carrig’s intermediates in 1984. They had won the 1983 intermediate title but had decided against going senior and they had also contested the U-21 county final, losing to Midleton. The match took place at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on the second Sunday of May and Carrig were hammered, 2-13 to 0-6.
Bad goals had become a recurring motif of Carrig defeats, but this time it was a flukey goal. Carrig had fought back from three points down at half time to be only a point behind mid-way through the third quarter when calamity struck. A long delivery from Cloughduv centre fielder Con Barry-Murphy seemed to be sailing over the bar until it struck the upright and landed in the Carrig square; Cloughduv full forward Johnny Dunlea pounced and flicked the ball to the net.
Carrig capitulated and in the remaining time could only manage a point to Cloughduv‘s 1-6. Cloughduv went on to the county final where they lost to Erin’s Own. Carrig could see no immediate future at intermediate and returned to junior for the following season.
Carrig: Jimmy O’Reilly, Davy Barry 0-1, Peter Hogan, Anthony Barry, Denis O’Mahony, John Horgan, Mick Loftus, John Joe Harte, Frank Morrissey, Dermot Cashman, Billy Dineen, Mickey Rohan, Michael John Roche, James Horgan 0-5, Pat O’Connor.
Subs: Seanie Cashman and Kieran Horgan
It was a fractured and disappointing year for the footballers too. Attendance at training was poor in the lead up to the first round of the championship against Cobh and Carrig were duly hammered. Later in the year Imokilly beat St Finbarrs to win the senior football county championship for the first time and Frank Morrissey from Carrig made it on to the bench.
The junior Bs got over Erin’s Own in the first round of their championship but had trouble fielding a team for the next round against Cobh and lost by two points. Despite reaching the U-21 A football final the year before, single figure crowds turned up for training before the first round against Castlemartyr and once again Carrig paid the price, losing by a goal.
In Carrig, the GAA’s centenary year passed without distinction.