History - The Russian
In 1890 the leadership of the club changed signiﬁcantly. Fr Lynch left the parish, and according to county board records, Fr Barry was no longer president. Fr Barry’s standing down was almost certainly the result of a wider political dynamic. Early in 1889 the Fenians (IRB) regained control of the GAA’s executive and suddenly, from being active and energetic supporters of the association, the church became one of its most vocal critics.
It was the IRB’s tendency towards violence which caused the church’s opposition and, according to Marcus de Burca’s history of the GAA, the church feared that the new IRB control of the association “would exclude them from a voice in the councils.” Priests left the association in large numbers and a concerted verbal attack on the GAA, “designed to kill it”, was led by most of the bishops. The new Carrig club, however, was unperturbed. William McAuliffe took over as president, John Grey was the club’s board delegate and George Cotter continued as secretary.
In those times the police assumed a link between leading GAA ﬁgures and nationalism and in an interesting vignette a prominent Carrig club member E.P. Cotter had to endure police surveillance at Midleton Fair in August of 1890; it was noted by the Examiner.
“The surveillance of the police and detectives after the local nationalists at the Midleton Fair yesterday presented a marked improvement on the police shadowing at previous fairs,” said the report, “in as much as those who were shadowed were not prevented from transacting their legitimate business. Mr Edmund O’Brien of Killeagh and Edward Cotter of Carrigtwohill were throughout the day under the surveillance of the police, but they were apparently allowed some scope to transact their business without the efﬁcacious constables being close to their heels.”
On the field the club entered an indifferent period. The only record we have of tournament play from early in the year was a slightly rancorous meeting with Blackrock in the Queenstown tournament. Carrig had been originally awarded the match a few weeks previously when Blackrock failed to show up, but the tournament committee ordered a replay. The weather was perfect and the Examiner enthused about the “sward” which they described as “dry and elastic.” Carrig led by 2-1 to 0-4 at half time and went on to win by 3-8 to 3-5, but the match was marred by a needle and the Examiner climbed up on the pulpit.
“A word may be said as to a certain ill feeling exhibited against one another by a few members of both teams. Though such a charge cannot be alleged against the majority of the players, still it was painfully evident that anything but a wholesome feeling existed between them. It is sincerely to be hoped that those having true interest of the Gaelic Association at heart will endeavour to put down such conduct, and that Gaels themselves will see the folly of it, and that for the future such matches will be played in the broad spirit of friendly rivalry.”
The bad feeling, however, didn’t end with the ﬁnal whistle. Blackrock lodged an objection with the county board against the make-up of the Carrig team, which was rejected. Carrig, however, were beaten by St Finbarrs in the next round. Despite reaching the county ﬁnal in 1889 Carrig were easily beaten by Passage in the first round of the 1890 championship. The match was played in Cork Park on May 11th, and though Carrig started well they fell away badly: “Passage won the toss,“ reported the Examiner, “but there was no choice in the ground and as for wind and rain there was none. Ding dong play ensued for fully ﬁve minutes, hurleys ﬂying about and men falling like ninepins owing to the slippy ground, so that excitement raged high.
“Carrigtwohill men set to work in earnest and a ﬁerce attack was made on the Passage stronghold, but the repulse was as determined as the storming. Four times within as many minutes did Carrigtwohill rush the ball up to the Passage goalpost and four times was the goal saved in splendid style. A foul now occured but before the referee could decide, the Carrigtwohill men had rushed the ball between the goalposts. The referee disallowed the score, stating the ball was dead at the time it was struck into the goal, and after a lot of wrangling, the referee‘s decision was conformed to and the play proceeded.” It was the closest that Carrig came to a goal and in the end they were well beaten, 3-2 to 0-2.
Carrig: Denis Lenihan(c), John Barry(vc), Michael Kennedy, John Cotter, Dan Fitzgibbon, Edmund Howard, John O’Donovan, Michael Leahy, John Walsh, John Barry, Pats O’Keeffe, William Barry, John Lenihan, James Fitzgerald, John Manley, Thomas Twomey, Michael Cleary, James Mehigan, Owen Walsh, John Murphy, Denis Mehigan.
Goal Umpire: Patrick Murnane Field Umpires: Patrick Leahy and David Twomey.
It was, nonetheless, a signiﬁcant year in that Carrig had their ﬁrst representatives on a Cork team, John Linehan, John Barry and John Cotter, who were picked on the Cork Board team to play Limerick in August. The O’Brien Board also ﬁelded teams that year against Limerick which, like Cork, was a county administered by more than one board. In those days the club champions represented the county in the championship and in that year Cork won their first double with Midleton winning the football All Ireland and Aghabullogue taking the hurling. Both clubs won the championships run by the Cork County Board, which Carrig had quit a couple of years before.
After the championship defeat Carrig threw themselves into tournaments and had a good run in the Bride Valley tournament. They beat the host club, 5-5 to 1-1, in the ﬁrst round and in the next round were part of a double-header which brought several thousand to Killumney, a thousand of whom came on three special trains.
Carrig played William O’Briens in a contentious match, disrupted for over half an hour during the ﬁrst half when Carrig disputed an O’Briens’ goal. Carrig trailed by 1-3 to 0-1 at half time but came back strongly in the second half to lose by 1-6 to 0-8.
The goal turned out to be the critical score and Carrig lodged an objection to the county board, adding a plea that they had a legitimate goal disallowed. Early in September the board looked kindly on Carrig’s objection and six days later they played Blackrock in the semi-ﬁnal, but at that point their luck ran out. Carrig led at half time but couldn’t get a goal and in the second half Blackrock took a grip on the match to win handily by 1-9 to 0-5.
Carrig were now captained by John Barry of Woodstock and six players who didn’t play in the championship took part in this tournament: Joe Crowley, Michael Mackey, John O’Mahony, Pat Daly, Patrick Healy and Patrick Ahern. Carrig’s umpires were Patrick O’Connell, PJ Moore, JJ Kelleher and Edward Howard.
An RIC report of 26th February 1891 tells us that the club had 68 members and was perceived by the compiler of the report to be in the GAA’s clerical camp rather than that associated with PN Fitzgerald, the IRB organiser. Early in 1891, however, the breakaway Cork Board, to which Carrig had affiliated in 1888, became defunct, and its member clubs rejoined the county board. The senior championship was divided into four divisions, with four teams in East Cork. Carrig beat Aghada in their semi-ﬁnal, while Dungourney beat Cloyne on the other side.
The East Cork ﬁnal took place on May 3rd and according to the Cork Examiner, “Carrigtwohill looked to be by far the ﬁner team,” as they ran onto the pitch. Dungourney, however, were not distracted by Carrig’s remarkable good looks, nor were they put off by repeated incursions on to the pitch by supporters. They dominated the ﬁrst half and scored two goals before Carrig ﬁnally nicked one just before half time. Carrig could only add another point in the second half and lost by 2-3 to 1-5.
Carrig: John Barry (c), P O’Keeffe, M Cleary, P O’Mahony, J Fitzgerald, J Linehan, J O’Mahony, J Mehigan, R Murphy, T Finn, T Fitzgerald, J O’Donovan, J Barry, J Crowley, J Walsh, J Howard, J Cotter, D Leahy, G Howard, JJ Cotter, T Twomey.
Field Umpire: Patrick Murnane Goal Umpires: JJ Kelleher and W Lawton.
Dungourney, however, were unhappy with aspects of Carrig’s behaviour and their captain wrote to the county board; the Examiner reported their disquiet: “He (Dungourney captain) urged on the board the desirability of having the match between his team and the Blackrock team played in Midleton as by this means the necessity of the Dungourney team passing through Carrigtwohill would be obviated, as they feared friction might result otherwise. The Blackrock men would also have the advantage of the train.” The board granted Dungourney’s request and in broad daylight negotiated a safe passage to Midleton for a one o’clock throw-in on the following Sunday.
At the GAA’s annual congress in January of 1892 a number of important changes were enacted. Teams were reduced from 21 to 17 a side. A goal, which up to this was greater than any number of points, was made equal to ﬁve points. (Four years later the goal was reduced further to its current value of three points.) Also, county champions were allowed to pick players from other clubs for the All Ireland championships; two years later this new rule was to produce Carrig’s ﬁrst All Ireland medalist.
The GAA, however, was in a dishevelled state. After the Parnellite split in the Home Rule Party of December 1890 the association continued to support Parnell through his crushing electoral defeats of 1891. Opposed by the clergy and rejected by a majority of his former parliamentary party, the GAA went against the current of nationalist opinion by backing Parnell up to his death in October 1891. Inevitably there was a fall out: “Members left the association in large numbers,” wrote de Burca, “clubs went out of existence; organised competitions and tournaments lapsed; in whole counties the GAA simply died.”
In Cork, though, the GAA was on a sound footing. In 1892 they were one of only four county boards to hold an annual meeting. The GAA in Carrig was strong too, with prominent members like Kelleher holding office at the county board. The team, however, had another short run in the championship.
The divisional championships were scrapped for that year and Carrig were drawn against Blackrock in the first round of the county. We have no account of the match, though we know it was a draw. Carrig, however, failed to appear for the replay which was to head the bill on a double header at Cork Park at the end of March.
“The Blackrock and Carrigtwohill teams were to have opened hostilities at one o’clock and an immense crowd assembled in anticipation of witnessing a good match between these two crack teams,” reported the Examiner, “but although Blackrock was on the ground long before the appointed time Carrigtwohill failed to show up. The non -appearance of Carrigtwohill was a great disappointment to many lovers of the manly game who left the ﬁeld when it was apparent that the game was off.”
Carrig, it seems, objected to the venue, but at the county board meeting their objection was dismissed. The match was unanimously awarded to Blackrock, reported the Examiner; “The (board) secretary read out a letter from Mr Kelleher, Carrigtwohill, asking to have the match postponed until next Sunday when they would be able to get a suitable field near Queenstown. Mr O’Connell (secretary and referee for the drawn match) said he could not grant the request contained in Mr Kelleher’s letter without the permission of the board.
“The chairman strongly objected to altering ﬁxtures once made. If they were to postpone matches as often as they were wished the business of the board would not be ﬁnished in the year. The board was unanimous in thinking that no more suitable place than Cork Park for a contest could be chosen, and accordingly upheld the decision of the referee granting the match for Sunday last to Blackrock.”
The year, though, ended on a high note with victory in the Castlemartyr tournament. In what was probably an early round of the tournament at the end of October Carrig beat Dungourney’s second team by 7-6 to 3-0.
“The Carrigtwohill team, which consisted of men much senior to those composing Dungourney, played with great judgement,” reported the Examiner, “although it must be said that they left their goal rather weak.”
We have no record of any other matches in the tournament involving Carrig until the final against Dungourney’s first team which was staged in the first week of December. “Notwithstanding the recent heavy and incessant rains the field was in a favourable condition for playing,” reported the Examiner. “The attendance was large, a great number having travelled by train from Carrigtwohill and Midleton, and the surrounding districts.” The match, however, was no contest and Carrig swept Dungourney aside by 11-5 to 1-0.
Carrig: John Barry(c), M Leary, John Linehan, John Finn, John Cotter, W Barry J Fitzgibbon, J Fouhy, D Leahy, John Donovan, P Keeffe, J Howard, D Keeffe, M Cleary, D Murphy, W Mulcahy, J Murphy.
Field Umpire: P Murnane. Goal Umpires; P Leahy and J Crowley.
On February 13th 1893 the club held what the Examiner reported as Carrig’s seventh AGM: “The president [Rev M O’Connor, CC) occupied the chair, and over ﬁfty members of the association were also present to witness the presentation of the (Castlemartyr tournament) medals. The Rev chairman, after having made some suitable observations, each member of the successful team in turn came forward and received from the hands of Rev Fr O’Connor a beautifully designed silver medal, with the member’s name inscribed on it, the presentation being accompanied by a word of encouragement from the Rev chairman to each member.”
John Joe Kelleher, a member of the county board, then addressed the meeting,” the report went on, “and congratulated the team on its decisive victory in the Castlemartyr tournament, and on the orderly and punctual manner in which the various practice matches of the club were conducted during the year. He announced that permission had been given by the county board for the holding of a tournament in Carrigtwohill during the past year, but owing to the lateness of the season for holding the tournament the committee had decided to postpone it for a future date.”
The officers elected were:
President: Rev M O’Connor. CC Vice-President: Patrick O’Connell. Treasurer: Patrick Leahy. Secretary: JJ Kelleher.
Committee: D Leahy, P O’Keeffe, J Barry, P Ahern, J Lenihan, P Murnane, J Grey, PJ Moore, D Twomey, D Buckley, D Bourke, M Kennedy.
The GAA was in disarray in many counties, reﬂected in the attendance of just three counties at the annual congress: Cork, Dublin and Kerry. The structures were strong in Cork, however, and the county convention took place in early April. John Joe Kelleher from Carrig was elected as one of only eight members of the board – members supplemented the officers – and in the draw for the senior championship Carrig were pitted against St Finbarrs.
The match was due to be played a week later but St Finbarrs had only recently come back into existence and claimed that if the game was played so soon they would be unable to ﬁeld a team. William O’Briens, who were enemies of the Barrs, objected to their request for a postponement, but the Carrig delegate, John Joe Kelleher, looked charitably on the Barrs’ plea and the favour was granted.
Seven weeks later the Barrs showed their gratitude by giving Carrig a hiding in Midleton, 7-1 to 3-4. Perhaps knowing what was coming Carrig made the short journey to the venue in outrageously bad time, and according to the Examiner, “caused the business of the day to be delayed by several hours.” There is no record of the journey home.
Carrig got the ﬁrst goal of the match but the Barrs added five without reply before the break. As the half progressed the play “hardly ever left the Carrig territory,” reported the Examiner. Carrig began the second half well, though mostly it seems due to their opponents’ complacency.
“For ten minutes the Carrig men gave the South Parish men all they knew to protect their posts. Time after time did they go straight to score, but beyond sending the ball half a dozen times over the end lines, they could do nothing. After ﬁfteen minutes hard play the Finbarrs seemed to freshen up a bit, and a spirited rush up the ﬁeld relieved the pressure.” With that went Carrig’s chances.
Carrig: John Barry(c), P O’Keeffe (vc), D O’Keeffe, J Howard, W Barry, W Mulcahy, D Finn, J Mehigan, J Fouhy, D Buckley, John Fitzgibbon, J Cotter, R Murphy, M Cleary, D Leahy, John Linehan, J O’Keeffe.
Field umpire: P Murnane.
The only other recorded Carrig games that year were a defeat for the seconds by Inniscarra’s seconds (5-3 to 1-2) in early September and a narrow victory for the firsts over Evergreen Nationals in the middle of October, 3-4 to 1-11 (goals were equal to five points until 1896). That match is described as “a hurling contest organised by the Cork County Board,” but given that Carrig were already out of the championship we don’t know what competition that game related to or where Carrig went next in the competition.
Carrig (firsts): M Kennedy (c), P O’Keeffe (vc), J Finn, H O’Keeffe, W Mulcahy, J Howard, N Mahony, W Coughlan, N Daly, N Barry, J Linehan, J Fouhy, P Murphy, J Fitzgibbon, M Butler, B Murphy, M Cleary.
Field Umpire: JJ Kelleher Goal Umpires: J Lambert, H Cotter.
Carrig (seconds): D O’Keeffe (c), J Lambert, J O’Sullivan, E Daly, D Twomey, D Lane, B Morey, W Fitzgerald, J Crowley, P Doolin, P Barry, J Manning, T O’Keeffe, W O’Flynn, (-) Lynch, D Horgan, M Murphy.
Field Umpire: John Joe Kelleher. Goal Umpires: M Cleary and J O’Shea.
It seems that the county board inaugurated a juvenile championship in 1893 and Carrig were one of only six clubs to enter a team. Blackrock entered two teams, St Finbarrs, Ramblers, Emeralds and Grattan Street were the others.
We have no account of any of their matches, but from county board ﬁxtures it is apparent that Carrig beat Grattan Street in the ﬁrst round to qualify for a semi-ﬁnal against Blackrock. Judging from the absence of Carrig from further juvenile ﬁxtures that year we must assume that they were beaten at that stage.
It was a monumental season for the club, however, as Patrick (Pats) O’Keeffe brought the first All Ireland medal to the parish. Pats, known locally as “The Russian”, was picked by representatives Blackrock as one of only six outside players and the only non-city player; two St Finbarrs players and three from Evergreen Nationals were the others. Cork got a walkover from the Kerry champions in the first round and destroyed Limerick by 5-3 to 0-0 in the Munster final which wasn’t played until November.
The All Ireland final against Confederation of Kilkenny wasn’t played for another seven months and was part of a double header with the football final, which also involved Cork, represented by Dromtariffe. In the GAA’s corporate age the chaos on the day of those finals is worth retelling.
“The contests were announced to take place in the Ashtown grounds, outside the Phoenix Park,” reported the Examiner, “where a ‘gate’ could be arranged – a very essential thing where such a heavy expenditure was involved. A week ago, the honorary secretary of the central council had to forward a five pound note for the use of the grounds. Those who recommended the grounds, if they had endeavoured to find out a place that would be utterly unsuitable for such a game, could not discover a worse place. The ground was covered with coarse, strong grass to the height of one foot. Besides this, it was full of irregularities – in the middle of it lay a lot of manure in heaps.”
“When the players saw the place they were ﬁlled with disgust, and would not agree to play there. The result of this was that members of the Cork County Board and the secretary of the central council had to leave the turnstiles — they had taken the admission charge of six pence from a few. With a good deal of difficulty they succeeded in bringing off the matches in the Phoenix Park.
“Cork had an easy win in the hurling, 6-8 to 0-2,” the report went on. “The match, however, was a splendid one, the utmost good feeling prevailing from start to ﬁnish amongst the players. Brilliant play was witnessed in the football match but, unfortunately, it was brought to an abrupt termination by the display of a very ugly spirit. ” (The Cork team walked off 16 minutes from the end after one of their players was attacked. Wexford were leading 1-1 to 0-2 at the time and were awarded the title despite a later appeal by Cork.)
“The Cork teams, accompanied by a number of followers amounting to close on 200, left the city by a special train run by Messrs Cooks, tourist agents, at 7 on Saturday evening. The excursion price to Dublin was ls and 3d.”
Twenty ﬁve years later Pat’s son, John, won an All Ireland with Cork at centre field making them the ﬁrst father and son to win All Irelands. Pats died in 1943.
The fortunes of the senior team picked up in 1894. Carrig beat Inniscarra easily in their ﬁrst round, by 5-9 to 1-3, and in an 18 team championship made it to the semi final against Blarney in late July.
The Examiner reported that “the game was interesting from start to ﬁnish, and more than that, proved a rattling exhibition of the ancient game. Blarney secured a decisive victory (6-1 to 2-3) but in the Carrigtwohill team they found very worthy opponents. Both teams played with commitment and skill but Blarney seemed to have the advantage in agility and swiftness.”
Carrig: John Barry(c), P O’Keeffe (vc), M Cleary, D Coughlan, J Linehan, J Fouhy, J Cummins, M Kennedy, E O’Mahony, J Fitzgibbon, J Mehigan, R Murphy, W Mulcahy, J O’Keeffe, J Morrissey, J Cotter.
Field umpire: John Joe Kelleher. Goal umpires: JJ Crowley and J O’Shea.
Others who played in the championship were: W O’Keeffe, J Twomey, J Howard, J Murphy, J Finn, E Daly.
The draw for the 1895 championship paired Carrig with Midleton for the ﬁrst time. The match was played on June 30th in Cork Park and Carrig won handily, 2-5 to 1-1. As it was the beginning of a rivalry which has endured a century and more there is merit in recording the Examiner’s account of this ﬁrst encounter in full.
“This was a well contested match,” said the Examiner, from start to ﬁnish. For the opening 10 minutes the play was of anything but a lively character, but the monotony was broken by Carrigtwohill scoring a point after a splendid defence by their opponents. The play that followed was mostly confined to the Midleton goalposts, and by means of well directed strokes, followed up by the forwards, Carrigtwohill sent the leather through the point posts at short intervals.”
“The Midleton men were now put on their mettle, and began to display a good deal of activity. Spirited play was carried on in neutral ground, but Carrig, again asserting themselves, swept the ball into their opponents’ ground, and amid great excitement scored a goal which was quickly followed by a point. For the rest of the play until the call of half time, Midleton showed up in good form and succeeded in registering their ﬁrst point. ”
“On change of sides the contest waxed warm and some good hurling was witnessed. Carrigtwohill, by well directed efforts, succeeded in scoring another point. Exciting play followed and both teams made desperate efforts to score until finally Carrig sent the leather between the goalposts. Midleton now rallied together and forced the ball into their opponents’ ground and succeeded in scoring a goal. At call of time Carrig were declared the winners by 2-5 to 1-1.”
Carrig, however, lost in the second round to Evergreen Nationals, 2-5 to 2-2. The team that day was unchanged from the one that beat Midleton.
Carrig: John Barry(c), M Kennedy (vc), P O’Keeffe, W Barry, J O’Keeffe, W Mulcahy, M Cleary, J Mehigan, J Cummins, R Murphy, J Twohig, J Howard, D O’Mahony, J Fouhy, J Murphy, D O’Keeffe, D Fitzgibbon.
That match, however, had an interesting prequel with a letter from the Carrig president, JJ Kelleher, to the Examiner, complaining about having to play the game in Cork Park and alleging favouritism towards city teams in the choosing of venues.
“From the action and treatment meted out to country teams by the majority of the Cork County Board, we feel it the duty of the Carrigtwohill hurling club to follow the example of the Blarney hurling club and communicate with the central council,” Kelleher wrote. “The policy of favouritism I allude to is well shown by the treatment given to our club, who, when drawn to play Evergreen Nationals, would gladly meet them in the neutral ground of Blarney, Queenstown (Cobh), Queenstown Junction (Glounthane) or Aghada (in each place suitable ground secure), but were compelled to meet them in Cork Park. ”
“This was the decision arrived at by the majority of the so-called county board. Whatever team they mean to win the county championship with in hurling I, on behalf of the Carrigtwohill hurling club, challenge to play on neutral ground, for medals, same as championship ones, date and all necessary arrangements, re same, I will he happy to assist.”
At a county board meeting three days later, the chairman Michael Deering responded to Kelleher’s charges, although he expressed his distaste for Kelleher’s use of the Examiner’s letters columns to conduct his business. He accepted in principle Carrig’s objection to the venue “because there was a tacit understanding at the last convention that all championship matches between city and country teams should be played at neutral venues.”
He rejected outright, however, Kelleher’s outrageous assertion that the county board sought to inﬂuence the outcome of the championship. Kelleher was unable to attend the county board meeting but another of the delegates had been speaking to him and said that “he regretted the first part of the letter, and had been in a white heat when he wrote it and he seemed to feel what he had done very keenly because he had always approved of Mr Deering’s actions.” In the end the match was switched from Cork Park to Passage West, but, as it turned out, that diplomatic victory was Carrig’s only success; on the ﬁeld they were well beaten.
In the inaugural championship for second teams – which county board records later recognised as the first intermediate championship – Carrig played Evergreen Nationals on the same day that the firsts played Midleton. “Play was very even for the ﬁrst ten minutes,” reported the Examiner, “and was distributed through the ﬁeld. After a series of lively attacks on the one side and retaliations on the other, Evergreen Nationals scored a point. ”
“Carrig followed the puck out with a splendid piece of play into the ground of their adversaries. They persisted in their aggressive play until they scored a point. Both sides were greatly stimulated after this and now played with all their might. After some exciting play and in spite of an admirable Carrig defence, Evergreen were rewarded with a point to which after some further exciting play they added a goal to leave the score, 1-2 to 0-1, at half time.“ That was as good as it got for Carrig. Evergreen got a goal just after the break and went on to win by 3-2 to 0-4.
Carrig: J Crowley (c), P Power, P Manning, D Horgan, P Fitzgibbon, J Twomey, M Mulcahy, T O’Keeffe, M Falvey, J O’Donovan, T O’Keeffe, H Gilman, M Twomey, J Ahern, M Butler, W Daly, W Kiely, J O’Riordan.
Carrig’s firsts took a measure of revenge on Evergreen Nationals in the Aghada tournament later in the year, beating them by 6-2 to 0-5. Carrig eventually went out of the tournament nine days before Christmas, defeated 1-10 to 2-3 by a Midleton team they had beaten well in the championship. “The match was expected to result in favour of Carrigtwohill,“ reported the Examiner, “but from the outset it was seen that a close match would take place. Midleton won the match by the play of their backs, which was certainly superior to that of their opponents. There was also throughout a better spirit of combination. For Carrigtwohill, Keeffe and Murphy did very good work.”
Midleton went on to win the tournament three months later. The seconds went through to the second round as well with an 8-3 to 4-1 victory over United Nationals, but there they lost to Evergreen, 3-4 to 2-2.
The following players who did not play in the championship played in this tournament: T Murphy, W Leahy, W Fitzgibbon, P Barry and W O’Keeffe who played for the firsts and D Twomey, D Coughlan, D McCarthy, E Daly, T Ahern, J Manning, T Barry and J Twohig, who played for the second team.
Carrig began 1896 with a good victory over Blarney in the Gaelic League tournament, 3-2 to 0-5, while on the same day the seconds lost to Ballincollig’s seconds, 0-5 to 0-1. At the end of April Carrig’s firsts carried that good form into their meeting with Dungourney at Midleton in the first round of the championship.
Dungourney had the breeze in the ﬁrst half, but Carrig got a goal in the ﬁrst minute and added another to lead by 2-0 to 1-0 at the break. “On resuming, play was for the first ten minutes in favour of Carrigtwohill who, despite a splendid defence from their opponents, scored in quick succession a goal and a point,“ reported the Examiner. “Though Dungourney occasionally made pretty stiff incursions on the lines of their opponents, the latter kept the play to themselves, and at the call of time they were declared the victors, 5-2 to 1-0.”
A week later Carrig were beaten in the Gaelic League tournament by Doneraile, 4-4 to 2-2, though the Examiner was generous about their performance; “They have no reason to be ashamed for they certainly deserved victory.”
The same, however, couldn’t be said at the end of June when Carrig played Midleton at Cloyne in the second round of the championship and Midleton took revenge for their defeat of the year before. Carrig made good use of the wind in the ﬁrst half to lead by 2-4 to 0-2 at the break but Carrig could only manage a point against the wind while Midleton‘s relentless pressure brought their tally to 4-4.
Carrig: D Keeffe(c), John Barry, Dan Fitzgibbon, John Howard, John Keeffe, Michael Kennedy, Michael Cleary, D McCarthy, S Linehan, D Horgan, E Mahony, J Fouhy, W Mulcahy, J Murphy, R Murphy, J Meighan, W Barry.
Field Umpire: JJ Kelleher. Goal Umpire: Joe Crowley.
The year, however, was far from over. On the day that the firsts lost, the seconds beat Aghada by 5-3 to 1-3 in the first round of their championship, which was now expanded to 11 teams since its inception the year before. Midleton were Carrig’s opponents in the semi-ﬁnal and the game was ﬁrst arranged for July 19th at Cork Park, but Midleton failed to show and Carrig were awarded the match. Midleton, naturally, contested the award and the match was re-fixed for August 23rd.
This game ended in a draw and half an hour’s extra time was played before Carrig won by 7-1 to 5-0. Midleton objected again, however, this time accusing Carrig of ﬁelding illegal players, and the match was re-fixed for September 6th. Carrig made eight changes from the ﬁrst match and this time annihilated their opponents, 8-1 to 2-1.
“The admirers of the rivals assembled in large numbers,” reported the Examiner, “the Carrigtwohill men being accompanied by the local ﬁfe and drum band. The contest, however, did not come up to the genera] expectation for the Carrigtwohill men scored heavily over their opponents. The latter played hard and well, but to no avail for the Carrig men proved superior in every emergency.”
The county ﬁnal against Redmonds, at Queenstown Junction (Glounthane) three weeks later, was an anti-climax. The weather was wretched (“a cold westerly wind accompanied by long heavy showers of rain,” said the Examiner) and a suggestion was made to both teams to postpone the match.
The game went ahead, however, and according to the Examiner “the state of the ground rendered the game rather slow, and the contest did not at all compensate the onlookers for what they were obliged to bear from the elements: “As might be expected the attendance was not very large, this, of course, being due to the disturbed state of things atmospheric. Carrigtwohill won the toss and took advantage of the wind which was blowing rather strongly from the west.”
Redmonds scored ﬁrst, but once Carrig took the lead they were never headed and won easily in the end, 7-2 to 0-4. The ﬁrst county title had been won.
Carrig: Joe Crowley (c), D Buckley, T Murphy, J Fitzgibbon, D Rooney, M Lawton, D Horgan, J O’Donovan, N Murphy, P O’Keeffe, W Fitzgibbon, J Barry, J Butler, T Barry, M Mulcahy, T O’Keeffe, J Cotter.
The following also played during the championship: J Fouhy, W Leahy, D Coughlan, J Ahern, D Kidney, E Murphy, D Twomey, T Buckley, P Fitzgibbon, D Murphy, D Forrest, E Mehigan, W Mulcahy.