Athenry All-Ireland Club Hurling Champions 2000
Front Row: (left to right) David Donoghue, John Feeney, Michael Crimmins, Brian Higgins, Pat Higgins, Brendan Keogh, Donal Moran, Cathal Moran. Back Row: (left to right) Eamonn Keogh, Eugene Cloonan, Joe Rabbitte, Gerry Keane, Paul Hardiman, Brian Feeney and Brian Hanley.
Athenry captain Joe Rabbitte raises the Tommy Moore Cup following the All-Ireland Club Hurling Final
Galway winning captain Joe Rabbitte lifts the Cup after the Galway v Tipperary National Hurling League Final at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
Galway captain Richard Murray lifts the Irish Press Cup after his side defeated Cork in the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Final
It wasn't easy for Athenry to pick up the pieces after their devastating defeat against Doora-Barefield in the 1999 All Ireland semi-final at Thurles. But, to everybody's credit they did not succumb to self pity and duly got on with engineering another shot at the All-Ireland Club Title. They duly clinched their third Galway title in four years and qualified for the All-Ireland semi-final. With the last three winners of the Tommy Moore Cup still in contention, it was clear that the team would have to produce its greatest ever displays if they were to lift the cup. They would first have to overcome Birr and the likely winners of the other semi-final Doora-Barefield. There was no doubting the desire of the team to make up for the previous year's controversial loss. The intensive training on the much publicised Kathleen Bane's hill, better known as 'Calvary', and preparations under Pat Nally surpassed what most county teams would endure. The Athenry camp was under no illusions about the task ahead as they headed for Thurles for the All Ireland semi-final against Birr.
Inspired by the Captain Joe Rabbitte and the unquestionable scoring power of Eugene Cloonan, they booked their place in the All- Ireland Final after a thrilling game that surpassed the pre-match expectations.
The pride and passion of both sides were evident in the hunger and aggression with which every ball was contested. Athenry's almost fanatical quest for another title took a huge leap forward when winning by 2-9 to 1-10. Their reservoir of experience stood them in good stead when Birr launched an all-out and gallant second half revival.
Ten minutes into the game Eugene Cloonan hit the net after a mistake by corner back Gary Cahill. He struck again six minutes later when he unexpectedly rifled a 20 metre free to the net to open a five point lead. Just before half-time the Leinster Champions got back into contention when Oisín O'Neill lashed home a goal to make it 2-4 to 1-4.
After the break Eugene Cloonan added a brace of points and Athenry had a winning look about them. Birr, to their enormous credit, picked up the tempo and sent over five inspirational points to level the scores. Driven on by their inspirational county star Brian Whelahan and his brother Barry, the game was in the melting pot with five minutes left to play. Birr must have thought that Athenry were gone and had nothing left to give. It was not the case and the Galway Champions dug deepest of all, best exemplified by the great hearted Pat Higgins. He disposed Barry Whelahan, cut through the Birr defence and sent over the most rallying score of the day. Cathal Moran set up brother Donal for another as the tension in the Thurles terraces reached breaking point.
Garry Hanniffy pointed for Birr and the match appeared tailor-made for a replay. This, however, was not part of the Athenry agenda and Joe Rabbitte's side had made their intentions known form the start. He won possession on the right flank, kept his composure before delivering crossfield to Brendan Keogh. The Athenry midfielder still had a lot of work to do but sent over a magnificent insurance point.
It was by any standard a great team performance by the Athenry and for most people the best club hurling game they had ever witnessed. The two teams gave it all in a wonderful display of courage, passion and an abundance of skill. Athenry had many individual heroes scattered throughout the field but pride of place must go to Joe Rabbitte, Pat Higgins, Eugene Cloonan and Brian Feeney. There were also sterling contributions from Michael Crimmins, Gerry Keane, John Feeney, Paul Hardiman and Brendan Keogh. In truth even the Athenry players who were less conspicuous lacked nothing in commitment or endeavour on the day that the hand of Rabbitte broke Birr hearts
Team: Michael Crimmins, Eamonn Keogh, Gerry Keane, John Feeney, Brian Higgins, Brian Feeney, Paul Hardiman, Brendan Keogh, Brian Hanley, Joe Rabbitte, Pat Higgins, Aidan Poniard, Cathal Moran, Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue. Sub Donal Moran.
Since Athenry won their first National title on St Patrick's Day '97 they yearned to do so a second time. They seated their hunger with a superb, hard earned but thoroughly deserved victory by 0-16 to 0-12 against their conquerors of the previous year, Doora-Barefield. It took massive heart, commitment, composure and hurling skill to win the day.
Athenry's opponents started well but soon found themselves struggling to contain Athenry when they pulled back a five point lead to draw level at half-time at 0-9 each. The closing stages of the first half belonged to Athenry, Donal Moran fired over a point in the 22nd minute with Eugene Cloonan adding one from a free. Two massive points followed by Brian Hanley from midfield in stoppage time. The importance of those scores was incalculable as Doora-Barefield, having done most of the early running, found themselves without an interval advantage.
In the opening minute of the second half Eugene Cloonan pointed a free after a foul on Pat Higgins and the Galway champions never looked back. Despite their dominance and Joe Rabbitte playing at his inspirational best, the scoreboard with a quarter of an hour to go showed just a point advantage. Doora-Barefield switched out Seanie McMahon to wing-back to curb the Athenry captain, but it became apparent that it was not going to be their day when Jamsie O'Connor missed a forty yard free. At that stage Athenry were nursing a two point lead, Joe Rabbitte made another one of his powerful catches and put David Donohue through for the point of the match. Eugene Cloonan kicked another and wisely sent a penalty over with two minutes left.
Jamsie O'Connor reduced the lead to a goal with a pointed free but Eugene Cloonan ensured victory with an excellent point when effortlessly driving over from the left wing after Joe Rabbitte had again soared into the sky to pluck another puck-out. The Athenry captain was named man-of-the-match in what was regarded as his finest hour ever for Club or County. Eugene Cloonan scored nine points for the second time in a Club Final and others to shine were Donal Moran, David Donohue and the hardworking Pat Higgins. The Athenry backs as a unit were magnificent, especially Paul Hardiman who was assigned the task of marking Jamsie O'Connor early in the game.
The Connacht Tribune's Noel Carney wrote "Having witnessed Athenry's great sorrow after losing in a heartbreaking fashion in last year's semi-final, I was privileged to share their joy after beating the same opponents in this years final. What a difference a year makes or to be correct thirteen months. It was a time well spent and the agonising hours of toil on the training field paid off. Yet despite their great joy on achieving the Holy Grail of Club hurling they were, like true champions, as magnanimous in victory as they had been gracious in defeat."
Captain Joe Rabbitte said "This is a dream come true after the way we lost last year. It is a proud day for all of the Club". Brian Hanley whose three great first half points were a crucial part in the victory said "I honestly closed my eyes as l belted them and hoped for the best". Paul Hardiman, who had a magnificent game at wing-back, admitted he was worried early on "We weren't at our best early in the game but there was plenty of time to put that right. In the second half when David Donohue came out around the middle of the field it made a big difference".
For Pat Nally it was the greatest day in his sporting life and when asked about the secret of success he put it down to tremendous dedication and hard work "These lads deserve this day for the unbelievable sacrifices they made. It was all about our game and not about what the opposition would do".
Eugene Cloonan insisted that his colleagues didn't bear any ill feeling towards their opponents. "All week the press were building this up to be a revenge match. We have no crib with St Joseph's – we trained hard for that game but were unfortunate on the day. This first All-Ireland win was new to everyone, coming back to win a second is even sweeter".
Athenry great PJ Molloy summed up the general feeling of most supporters saying "It takes a good team to win one All-Ireland but it takes a great side to win two".
The Eircell Personality of the Month award for March fittingly went to Joe Rabbitte for his wonderful display in the Club Final.
Team: Michael Crimmins, Eamonn Keogh, Gerry Keane, John Feeney, Brian Higgins, Brendan Keogh, Paul Hardiman, Shane Donohue, Brian Hanley, Joe Rabbitte, Pat Higgins, Donal Moran, Cathal Moran, Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue. Sub Aidan Poniard. Pascal Healy, Declan Higgins.
In his preview of the county hurling championship John McIntyre wrote "The outstanding team in the land shows no sign that they are getting tired of winning. They returned to training just two weeks after capturing the All-Ireland title and the prospect of achieving a unique three in a row will drive them on again this year". His predication "Athenry have the best hurlers with the best attitude in the county and look unstoppable".
Athenry's shadow certainly hung over the rest of the senior hurling clubs in the county. But long before a ball was struck in the championship the sending-off and suspension for three months of Eugene Cloonan in an under 21 game (1999 quarter-final) against Castlegar left a lot to be desired. It reflected badly on the referee Michael Bodkin's handling of the game when he seemed to be singled out for a minor offence, while others far more deserving of a red card, were overlooked. The subsequent handling of the case by the Hurling Board lacked credibility. The leaking to the media by a member of that committee the details and decision to suspend him before he was notified was disgraceful and not in accordance with the procedure set out in the Rule Book. In the circumstances the Club felt strongly that the County Board should have lifted his suspension, but for the second time inside a year, they failed to ensure that the rules were applied by the Hurling Board. It is still hard to explain why the County Chairman, when turning down his appeal, had to apologise to Eugene and his family for the way the matter was handled and still deprived him of playing in a National Hurling League Final and county championship group games.
"They are off and running again" wrote John Fallon in the Connacht Tribute "As Athenry commenced their county championship games. The long journey which they hope and as most people believe them capable of, will shatter all sorts of records – in the next ten months by retaining their county, provincial and national titles. It's a huge order but no obvious reason springs to mind why they cannot do it".
Athenry knew the minute they were crowned All-Ireland champions that there were plenty waiting in the long grass in their own county, on and off the field, to tumble them. On the field Clarinbridge, boosted by a victory over Kinvara and trained by former All-Ireland Offaly manager Michael Bond presented a formidable and genuine challenge.
Played at Duggan Park, each time the 'Bridge' looked like making an impression Athenry upped the ante and resumed control. Leading by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time, three brilliant points in the space of two minutes by Brian Hanley, Brian Higgins and David Donohue closed the door on any chance of a comeback for Clarinbridge.
Athenry it seemed took up where they left off the previous season and ran out comfortable winners by 1-13 to 0-11.
It there was a 'team of the week' award then Athenry's second opponents Killimordaly would walk away with it after their sensational victory over Turloughmore. The East Galway side staged a guard of honour as the All-Ireland Champions came onto the field and gained more respect with an honest and spirited challenge. In the second half Athenry took over and put an end to any notions of a shock, winning at the end by eleven points. Even without the services of the suspended Eugene Cloonan and Kiev based Brendan Keogh, Athenry were outstanding when it mattered most at Kenny Park.
The winners hit four points without reply to lead 0-8 to 0-4 after twenty three minutes. Cathal Moran was at the end of a fine move involving David Donohue and Diarmuid Burns to fire home a goal just before halftime. His brother Donal crowned a fine display with another goal eight minutes from the end as Athenry finished strongly for 2-17 to 1-9 victory.
Meeting fire with fire in the next round against Turloughmore, this game was not for the faint-hearted. The tackling was robust, the pulling hard and there were a few flare-ups but it was never mean. Knowing they would be tested in this one, Athenry relished the challenge and were not found wanting in any department. All through the field they met every challenge presented and ended up seventeen points ahead at the final whistle, 4-17 to 0-12.
Turloughmore, in fairness never gave up, but only Francis Forde and Noel Hurney were making any progress up front, while at the other end Padraic Walsh stood out as the onslaught increased, Athenry went into overdrive in the second half and blitzed Turloughmore with a series of magnificent points which even their opponents' followers couldn't but appreciate. All six forwards again found the target for the second game in a row, with Brendan Keogh impressing at midfield.
Team: Michael Crimmins, Eamonn Keogh, Gerry Keane, John Feeney, Brian Higgins, Brian Feeney, Paul Hardiman, Shane Donohue, Brendan Keogh, Joe Rabbitte, Pat Higgins, Donal Moran, Cathal Moran, David Donohue, Diarmuid Burns.
Kinvara had no answer to a second half Athenry power show at Clarinbridge in their next game. Their one hundred per cent record after four games was hardly surprising, nor indeed was the size of their winning margins. The fact that they were only 1-9 to 1-7 ahead at half-time, of a team that struggled in all of their previous games, raised a few eyebrows. Suddenly Pat Nally's charges sprung to life and swept their opponents aside to record a 4-23 to 1-9 win.
If an almighty jolt was just what Athenry team management would have prescribed for their team, they certainly got their wish in the quarter final against Abbey-Duniry at Ballinasloe. When Mattie Kenny gave his side a one point lead a minute from the end, it looked as if his side had pulled off the biggest upset in years.
Athenry were a point ahead 2-8 to 2-7 at the interval and the sides were level 2-11 to 3-8 at the three quarter stage. Tempers were getting frayed as the intensity increased and the possibility of a shock result grew. With the dark clouds gathering overhead, it looked like the end of the road for Athenry.
But with time almost up they showed why they were County and All-Ireland Club Champions. First David Donohue shot high and between the posts from the right sideline for a splendid score and the game looked like ending in a draw. But Abbey-Duniry were denied even that when Eugene Cloonan, playing his first game of the year for Athenry, killed his opponents' aspirations in clinical fashion with a point from play from a far from easy angle and under pressure. As referee Michael Conway sounded the final whistle Athenry's relief was evident throughout the field – they has survived their stiffest test in the championship. Abbey-Duniry had put it up to Athenry for the third time in three years and were considered unlucky to not earn a draw at least. All of the games were fiercely contested but fair and sporting on and off the field. Most genuine Abbey-Duniry and Athenry supporters were shocked at the abuse that the Athenry players and officials were subjected to while leaving the field. A scoring blitz of fourteen points by the prolific Eugene Cloonan against Carnmore in the county semi-final at Kenny Park put Athenry into their third final in a row. Having flirted with disaster in the quarter-final, they went about their business on this occasion in a very positive and professional manner. Taking control as early as the first minute against a strong wind, they were never in any danger of slipping up at any stage.
John McIntyre wrote "This was more like the All-Ireland champions. Eager and forceful, Athenry's composure and teamwork made Carnmore look like second raters at times while in full forward Eugene Cloonan they possessed a player on fire".
Short of injured Donal Moran, Athenry's close call the previous weekend served to sharpen up their hurling considerably. Playing into a gale force wind in the opening half, they were in complete control and led by 0-9 to 0-3 at the break. Conceding only three scored from play over the hour Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue and Cathal Moran were all on the mark in the opening half.
Michael Crimmins was powerless to prevent Michael Killilea from kicking to the net in the thirty-fifth minute to reduce the deficit to 0-14 to 1-8, but almost from the puck out Eugene Cloonan drove over a great point from near the corner flag. From there to the end the title holders moved into cruise control with further points from Eugene Cloonan and Paul Hardiman completing a convincing victory.
There was hardly a weak link on the Athenry team. Their quality half back line of Brian Higgins, Brian Feeney and Paul Hardiman were again dominant, while Gerry Keane caught the eye at full-back. Brendan Keogh's use of possession was top class while up front Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue and Cathal Moran were the pick of a lively forward line.
In the early 90's Athenry were perceived as the only team capable of challenging Sarsfield's dominance of Galway club hurling. At the start of a new Millennium the roles were reversed with the New Inn/Bullaun side through to contest a 'dream' final against their great rivals. In devastating form, led by the great Joe Cooney, they completely outclassed Killimordaly in their replayed semi-final clash, winning 4-12 to 0-9. A battle royal was in prospect against the resurgent Sarsfields and the local media gave the game the full treatment. The first Galway hurling final to be shown live on T.V. and the first time the championship was sponsored added even more interest. In a preview article in the Connacht Tribune, John McIntyre wrote "Duggan Park will be thronged with neutrals, but it's fair to say that over 90% of them will be on the side of Sarsfields as the animosity towards Athenry reaches an alarming level. The defending champions have become public enemy number one and nothing would please the county's hurling fraternity more than to see them fail to their great rivals in Sunday's Galway showdown... ... It is only natural that the same team winning all the time can jar the nerves of neutrals, but in Athenry's case the mood of hostility towards them has gone way beyond the normal pangs of hostility".
He went on about the unpopularity of certain players that was way over the top and was unnecessary and disturbing to those involved. He cited having so many players involved with the county team and having won so much as reasons for this attitude among so-called followers of the game. Even some of Athenry's greatest rivals including Sarsfields were dismayed at the content and tone of the article. It would be naïve to suggest that some of the claims made were inaccurate, but to imply that the vast majority of Galway hurling followers were begrudgers was wrong. It was the view of some members of the Club that McIntyre, who was involved with several clubs beaten over the years by Athenry was, despite his denials, expressing the views of a small minority of people, including some club officials, who had been anti-Athenry. It would be fair to say that they would be the same way towards any successful team of club.
Most Galway hurling followers respect and admire club and county hurlers and all of the Athenry team have represented their county and ten of them have won All-Ireland medals with count teams. The normal banter and slagging that goes on is harmless, but using words like hostile and calling a team 'public enemy number one' is going too far. The Tribune article used the good guy, bad guy scenario to make its point which was very shallow and in bad taste. Stating outrageous things in one part and lavishing praise in another is being a bit unjust.
In fairness to John McInytre he went on record in a personal way by writing "I admire Athenry, they are a magnificent team whose single minded pursuit of glory has them on the brink of dislodging Sarsfields as the greatest club side of modern times. Their players remain more dedicated and committed than many who have never won anything. Clearly Athenry are blessed with exceptional talent but they have the work ethic to embellish it and the hunger is still there".
The honours rested where they belong even if Athenry had to survive some crisis moments as gallant Sarsfields threw everything at their opponents in their pursuit of victory. In an invigorating and sporting final, the quality of hurling served up a high intensity second-half highlighted why Athenry and Sarsfields have been the two top teams in the county for so long. The winners underlined their greatness by becoming the first team to complete a hat-trick in thirty-four years, winning by 2-14 to 3-7 at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe.
A huge crowd turned out considering that the game was live on T.V. and the weather terrible. The game had everything as rival supporters spirits lifted and sagged regularly over the hour, but there was only one name on everyone's tongue when referee Michael Carroll blew the final whistle. "Eugene Cloonan produced a brilliant individual performance the likes of which has not been seen before in a modern day county final. Quite simply, he broke Sarsfield's hearts with a vintage exhibition of opportunism, accuracy and striking. The Athenry full-forward was uncontainable and his staggering tally of two goals and ten points, 2-5 of which came from play, must be a county final record. Cloonan's outstanding performance is all the more noteworthy given that it came in a tight and gripping match and on such a pressurised occasion. He was the critical difference between the teams and subjected his marker to a harrowing hour", wrote John McIntyre in the Connacht Tribune.
With the elements behind them in the opening half, Athenry knew that nothing was going to come soft. Cathal Murray after a dazzling run, pointed for Sarsfields before David Donohue and Eugene Cloonan replied for Athenry, who had only two points on the board after twelve minutes. A minute later Eugene Cloonan flicked a ball that seemed to be going wide, to the net. After five more minutes Tommy Kenny was picking the ball out of the net again when Eugene struck once more after a delivery by Brendan Keogh. A goal by Cathal Moran and three more points by Eugene Cloonan left it 2-7 to 1-4 at halftime.
Murray struck again three minutes into the second half with a goal and Athenry's backs were to the wall against a strong wind and rain. At the three quarter stage Joe Cooney's sideline cut went all the way to the net to leave the minimum between the sides. Donal Moran landed a hugely significant point from the puck out with the McGraths keeping Sarsfields in touch. Eugene Cloonan sent over a long range free before once again escaping the clutches of Brendan Cooney to strike a magnificent point, easily the score of the day. He was involved again when his pinpoint cross-field delivery to Pat Higgins was sent over for the insurance point by the centre forward. If Eugene Cloonan was the champions' undoubted hero, the quality of service from his colleagues out the field was often outstanding. Centre back Brian Feeney finished magnificently along with brother John and full back Gerry Keane, Brian Higgins, Paul Hardiman, Brian Hanley, David Donohue and Pat Higgins were central to Athenry's successful title defence.
The Connacht Tribune's sport editor concluded " of course, Athenry's fifth title in seven years will stick in the craw of some observers, but the lack of triumphalism among the players in the wake of their magnificent achievement, Joe Rabbitte's tribute to Sarsfields and Cloonan's sporting embrace of a clearly chastened Brendan Cooney, reflected admirably their respect for the vanquished. Athenry, great ambassadors for hurling, both on and off the field".
Team: Michael Crimmins, Eamonn Keogh, Gerry Keane John Feeney, Brian Higgins, Brian Feeney, Paul Hardiman, Brendan Keogh, Brian Hanley, Joe Rabbitte, Pat Higgins, Donal Moran, Cathal Moran, Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue. Sub: Shane Donohue, Declan Higgins.
While Athenry's passage to the All-Ireland semi-final may not have been as one-sided as generally expected, there was no doubt who was the boss at windswept Athleague against Four Roads. The All-Ireland champions always had enough in reserve to see off the challenge of a brave and willing Roscommon side. The introduction of Joe Rabbitte, fresh from the All-Star banquet, in the second half helped Athenry pull away and a Eugene Cloonan goal signaled the end of the Four Road's challenge. Team: Michael Crimmins, Eamonn Keogh, Gerry Keane John Feeney, Brian Higgins, Brian Feeney, Paul Hardiman, John Hardiman, Brian Hanley, Declan Higgins, Pat Higgins, Donal Moran, Cathal Moran, Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue. Sub Joe Rabbitte, Michael John Quinn, Derek Carroll.
It was an occasion of great pride for Athenry when the Club hosted their Annual Social in the Castlegate Hotel. Guest of honour Clare's Ger Loughnane presented the Galway and All-Ireland medals to the players and made a memorable and inspiring speech. He congratulated the team and officials on their outstanding success and paid a glowing tribute to Joe Rabbitte on being awarded a well deserved second All-Star Award.
Special presentations were made to Joe Rabbitte and John Hardiman for leading Galway minors to their second title in a row, team manager Pat Nally and his selectors Mattie Gannon, Jackie O'Shea and Martin T Kelly. In recognition of her wonderful service to the Club a presentation was made to Noreen Hanley and another to a great Clareman Colm Flynn for his inspiring contribution to Athenry's success story over the years. Also to Tommy Burke of St Gabriel's in London.
Athenry coasted to an impressive victory over St Thomas' in the county intermediate camógie final in Loughrea. From the throw-in the winners were quickly in their stride and the P.J. Molloy trained side seemed hungrier for success. They completely dominated the opening half and goals by Mary Keogh, Sarah Donohue and Regina Glynn gave them a commanding lead of 5-2 to 0-1 at the break. Athenry piled on the pressure to run out easy winners by 7-5 to 0-2.
Team: Sharon Quirke, Elaine Healy, Alice Poniard, Martina Molloy, Valerie Treacy, Martina McDonagh, Jenny Poniard, Darelle Coen, Sharon Fahy, Regina Glynn, Nicola Nally, Mary Kennedy, Sarah Donohue, Mary Keogh, Elaine Kelly: Sub Emma Costello.
They produced an even better display to defeat Oran (Roscommon) in the Connacht Final and were convincing winners by 4-9 to 1-1. Darrelle Coen and Sarah Donohue won All-Ireland minor medals with Galway wile Regina Glynn made the Galway senior panel. Stephanie Gannon won a gold medal in the long puck at the All-Ireland Community Games in Mosney.
Athenry County Senior Hurling Champions 2000
Front Row: (left to right) Pat Higgins, Eamonn Keogh, John Feeney, Joe Rabbitte, Brian Higgins, Donal Moran , Cathal Moran. Back Row: (left to right) Michael Crimmins, Eugene Cloonan, David Donohue, Brendan Keogh, Gerry Keane, Paul Hardiman, Brian Feeney and Brian Hanley.
Athenry Team that defeated Birr in the All-Ireland Club Semi-Final 2000
Front Row: (left to right) Cathal Moran, Pat Higgins, Michael Crimmins, John Feeney, Brian Higgins, Brendan Keogh, David Donohue. Back Row: (left to right) Eamonn Keogh, Eugene Cloonan, Gerry Keane, Joe Rabbitte, Aidan Poniard, Paul Hardiman,BrianFeeney and Brian Hanley.
Three Galway Eircell Sports Star Awards were presented to the Club - Paul Hardiman with the 'Team of the Year Award', Joe Rabbitte with the 'Hurling of the Year Award' and Pat Nally with the 'Manager of the Year Award' at the presentation in the Ardilaun Hotel Galway.
Club officials and players at the Galway Sports Star Awards Banquet
Front Row: (left to right) Dermot Monaghan, Paul Hardiman, Joe Rabbitte, Pat Nally, Fr. Tony King. Back Row: (left to right) Brian Feeney, Eugene Cloonan, Jarlath Cloonan, Tom Carr, Peader Monaghan, Michael Quinn and Jackie O'Shea.
Galway National Hurling League Champions 2000
Front Row: (left to right) Brian Feeney, Alan Kearns, Fergal Healy, Ollie Fahy, David Tierney, Vinny Maher, Ollie Canning, Cathal Moore. Back Row: (left to right) Liam Hodgins, Michael Crimmins, Joe Rabbitte, Rory Gantley, Finbar Gantley, Paul Hardiman and Mark Kearns.
GAA EIRCELL Hurling All-Stars 2000
Front Row: (left to right) Brendan Cummins, Tipperary, Noel Hickey, Kilkenny, Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Cork, Sean McCague, President of the GAA, Tara Delaney, Director of Communications, Eircell, Michael O'Muircheartaigh, RTE commentator, Willie O'Connor, Kilkenny, John Carroll, Tipperary, Eamonn Kennedy, Kilkenny, Back row: (left to right) Johnny Dooley, Offaly, Andy Comerford, Kilkenny, Denis Byrne, Kilkenny, Joe Rabbitte, Galway, Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny, Charlie Carter, Kilkenny, D.J Carey, Kilkenny and Joe Deane, Cork
Galway All-Ireland Minor Hurling Champions 2000
Front Row: (left to right) Shane Kavanagh, Adrian Cullinane, Trevor Kavanagh, Richard Murray, David Greene, Kevin Brady, Tony Og Regan. Back Row: (left to right) Brian Mahony, Damien Hayes, Niall Corcoran, Aidan Diviney, Adrian Diviney, Barry Coen Peter Garvey and Ger Farragher. (Team managed by John Hardiman)