County and Connacht Camogie Champions 1975
Front Row: (left to right) Eileen Hynes, Josephine Coen, Noreen Teacy, Teresa Duane, Peggy Glavin, Madeline Coen. Back Row: (left to right) Gilbert McCarthy, Mary Daly, Olive Coady, Ann Duane, Bernie Poniard, Greta O'Brien, Midge Poniard, Ann Donohue, Christy Kelly.
Scenes of understandable joy marked Galway's triumph over Tipperary in the National League Final at Limerick. Virtually the entire Galway team was carried shoulder high off the field after they had won the County's first National League title in twenty-four years. A goal by P. J. Qualter in the closing stages saw Galway grab the title in a dramatic finish by 4-9 to 4-6. P. J. Molloy helped Galway on their way to victory, scoring three points in the final with Luke Glynn and Gerry Kelly also members of the victorious County panel.
After reaching the County semi-final the previous year Athenry were expected to do well in the senior hurling championship. Although it had the makings of a good game their first round tie against Gort at Pearse Stadium was spoiled by continuous rain and the absence of a number of Athenry regulars who were either injured or out of the Country.
Leading by one point at the interval Athenry failed to score in the second half with Gort's Sylvie Linnane at midfield inspiring his side, scoring seven points and setting up several more. Athenry failed to curb the red haired Gort man who popped up everywhere and never relented the pressure on the Athenry defence. At the end Gort had eight points to spare 0-1 3 to 0-5 on a disappointing day for Athenry.
Team: Pat Kilkelly, Noel Kelly, Anthony Freaney, Tony Kelly, John Donnellan, Tom Cloonan, Basil Holian, Gerry Holian, P. J. Molloy, Mark Donnellan, Michael Treacy, Michael Donnellan, Willie Cummins, Richie Williams, Jackie O'Shea.
A sensational scoring burst at the start of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final against Cork put Galway on their way to record their first ever championship victory over the Leesiders and a place in the final. Three magnificent goals in the first nine minutes of a classic game was enough to crack the Munster Champions and see Galway into their first final since Seamus Cullinane led his side seventeen years earlier. P. J. Molloy played his part in Galway's historic win scoring three points. The final score was 4-15 to 2-19.
Eddie Keher scored 2-7 as Kilkenny completely outclassed Galway in the All-Ireland Final winning by 2-22 to 2-10.
With impressive wins over Spiddal and Mervue Athenry Community Games hurling team qualified for the County Final against Gort. Played at Pearse Stadium, the final was a close affair with both sets of backs outstanding. A two-point win gave Athenry their first County title in this competition. At the end of a very exciting game Athenry could thank their goalkeeper Billy Caulfield for a brilliant save from a rasping shot by Pierce Piggot towards the end. Athenry had fine defenders in full back Pascal Healy, center back Tom Caulfield and wingback Sean Finn. James Farrell and Dermot Monaghan played well at midfield with Martin Donnellan, Seamus Kearns and Dermot Kennedy being the pick of the forwards.
Team: Billy Caulfield, Michael Waldron, Pascal Healy, Michael Burke, Sean Finn, Tom Caulfield, Adrian Ruane, James Farrell, Dermot Monaghan, Sean Moran, Michael Donnellan, Seamus Kearns, Dermot Kennedy, Sean Keane, Andrew Finn
After a draw in the Connacht Championship on a miserable evening at Athenry, Oran, Roscommon, defeated them in the replay.
The Clubs junior team made a promising start to the championship defeating Tuam Stars but failed to Ahascragh in the second round. The under 21s, after a great run of wins in the North Board, lost the their title by the narrowest of margins to Turloughmore 2-9 to 3-5.
During the early seventies Athenry failed to affiliate a football club and the Parish was without a team until 1974. Then a group of enthusiasts in the Cussane area started a club and affiliated under the name Cussane Football Club. The Club while being well organised could riot be accepted as representative of the whole Parish because of its name by some players who attempted to play with other clubs. If they did, according to the rules they could not play hurling with Athenry's St. Mary's. In an attempt to resolve the crux Athenry attempted to affiliate a senior football team and after a discussion on the issue at the North Board, a meeting was arranged between both parties and County Secretary P. J. Callanan. After a long discussion the County Secretary proposed that both clubs should agree on a neutral name. This was not acceptable to St. Mary's who argued that they already had a neutral name. The matter was resolved at another meeting chaired by Cannon James Gibbons, P.P., the President of both Clubs, with the changing of the name of the football Club to Wolfe Tones. This was widely accepted and welcomed by all concerned and the end of the debate on the subject.
After being awarded the first round of the junior championship, against Killererin the Tones had an easy win over Cortoon. Fielding without three top players and conceding a goal in the first minute against Annaghdown in the next game the team battled on to a record well deserved four points win. It was a victory that gave the Club's inexperienced players much needed confidence and spirit. However, it was riot enough to defeat a skillful Monivea outfit but because of the league system the Tones were still through to the quarterfinals. Again fielding without a number of key players proved costly and they were defeated by St. Brendan's.
In minor Mountbellew were victorious in the first round while in juvenile only one victory was recorded and that was against Caltra.
Rod Guiney presents the Galway Camogie Sports Star Award to Athenry's Midge Poniard
The Athenry Senior Camogie team had a comprehensive 3-3 to 2-1 victory over Oranmore in the County Final at Tuam. It was sweet revenge for a team that was outclassed the previous year by the same opposition. This time there was no doubting the superiority of the winners and it was a victory for courage, determination and youth-the oldest player on the Athenry team was just 21.
The early exchanges were dominated by a well-drilled Oranmore team that for a time appeared as if they would win. In a glorious five minutes before halftime Athenry scored 3-1 and therein laid the foundation for victory. These goals came from Mary Daly, Breda Coady and Midge Poniard to give Athenry a 3-2 to 1-0 lead at the halftime stage. Oranmore tried hard to come back into the game in the second half aided by the breeze but the hard tackling Athenry backs withstood every assault. They managed 1-1 but the issue was put beyond doubt when Midge Poniard pointed from a free in the closing stages.
Athenry showed all the qualities that go to make up a great team, and the victory was truly a magnificent achievement for such a young side. Their outstanding players were Olive and Greta Coady, Noreen Treacy, Midge Poniard, Mary Daly and team Captain Teresa Duane.
Athenry gave an impressive display on first time striking to score a narrow but deserved win over Suffers Alley by 0-5 to 0-3 in the All-Ireland Camogie semi-final at Monamolin (Co. Wexford). Favourites Buffers Alley never settled down in the first half while Athenry with a strong defence and a competent midfield, made most of their chances and led by 0-4 to nil at the interval.
There was tremendous excitement in the second half as Buffers Alley fought back to cut the arrears to one point. The winners, however, defied their best efforts and came back to score a point in the last minute.
'Margaret Poniard and Anne Donoghue were outstanding for Athenry at midfield. Ann Duane and Josephine Coen starred in defence while Olive Coady and Teresa Duane excelled in attack' reported the Irish Independent.
A point in 'extra time' gave Croagh-Kilfinny (Limerick) a one point victory over Athenry in the All-lreland Final at Kenny Park. Played in difficult conditions, Athenry failed to score in the second half while their opponents got the necessary scores to pull back Athenry's lead of six points.
Athenry's fitness lasted until the interval and their dashing style of play became more and more ineffective in the mud and rain as the game progressed. The Munster Champions got away to a dream start with a goal and a point and it seemed as if Athenry were in for a trouncing. But aided by the breeze they burst back into the game with four goals by Midge Poniard and Teresa Duane to leave the halftime score 4-5 to 3-2.
In a dramatic finish the Limerick side held on to win the title despite the best efforts of Midge Poniard to snatch a draw in the fast seconds.
Team: Breda Coady, Josephine Coen, Madaline Coen, Ann Duane, Noreen Treacy, Midge Poniard, Sarita Coady,Ann Donoghue, Mary Daly, Olive Coady, Bernie Poniard, Teresa Duane (Capt.)
There was an international flavour at the obsequies of Stephen Jordan who died, with mourners from all parts of the Country, Britain and the U.S.A. The coffin draped in the Tricolour was carried by members of various organisations including the G.A.A. to the church.
After concelebrated Mass the cortege which took the route past the Liam Mellowes Memorial and Kenny Memorial Park, paused for a minutes silence there. Flanked by a guard of honour and led by a piper, who played the Dead March, it proceeded to the New Cemetery where a military firing party fired a volley over the grave.
Stephen Jordan was one of the best known veterans of the 1916 rising and a personal friend of Liam Mellowes. During the Rising he took part in the occupation of Moyode Castle. A member of Dail Eireann from 1927 to 1937 he was a member of Galway County G.A.A. Board for several years and held different positions. Including those of Chairman and Secretary. A well-known referee, he took charge of three All-Ireland Senior Hurling Finals and the 1935 All-Ireland Football Final.
In 1923 after Galway had qualified for the All-Ireland Hurling Final against Limerick Jordan proposed that all fixtures be abandoned until such time as certain prisoners were released. As a result the 1923 final was not played until 1924.
Club Officials and guests at the Club's Annual Social
Seated: (left to right) Gerald Corbett, Secretary; Fr. Willie Cummins, Chairmna; Miss Midge Poniard; Patrick Ruane, Treasurer; and James Corbett, Vice-President. Standing: (left to right) Christy Kelly, Jackie O'Shea, Gus Feeney, Leo Coffey, Luke Glynn and Noel Kelly.
Galway National Hurling League Champions 1975
Front Row: (left to right) Sean Murphy, Padraic Fahy, Gerry Coone, John Connolly (Capt.), Pat Lally, Sean Silke, Marty Barrett, P. J. Molloy. Back Row, (left to right) Iggy Clarke, P. J. Qualter, Frank Burke, Michael Connolly, Nial McInerney, Joe Clarke and Joe McDonagh.
John Connolly leads the Galway team in the Parade before the 1975 All-Ireland Hurling Final.