Sam Maguire bids farewell to Galway
Mayo ended Galway footballers All-Ireland aspirations and their glorious reign as champions. For one it meant a one-way journey 'they call me Sam Maguire and any day now John Dunne will put me in the back seat of his car and we will head for Dublin. I won't be coming back. It will be a sad occasion-such journeys always are-sitting there alone in the back of the car. It is all so impersonal, no formal farewells what a contrast with the great arrivals.
"Galway I will particularly miss. Three years is a long time-an exceptionably long stay for me. I had come to feel at home in Galway and last year I had a hunch I would be coming down again ... but now no more.
I am fond of Kerry too. I have spent a total of thirteen years there. I can even forgive Mick O'Connell for leaving me behind. I have, of course, been to Meath and Cork before, but it has been a long time and I am naturally, somewhat uneasy about going back.
Yes I will miss you Galway. I'll miss Dunmore, Ballinasloe, Tuam, Ballygar, Athenry, and of course Mountbellew. They were great days-and great nights too and I loved every minute of it. But an era has finally come to an end and I must leave you. I don't know when I'll be coming back or who will bring me back to a place I love to stay.
I wonder if any of you will come to see me off, any of you countless thousands who three times cheered my arrival. I hope so for, most of all with you sweet Galway, I want to make it a fond farewell."
Reeves Cup win marks first major success at Senior Hurling level
In a gale-swept Reeves Cup Final Athenry shocked Fohenagh to win the Clubs first major title at senior level. With victories over Moycullen and Gort Athenry had qualified for the final, which was played at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe.
They won deservedly and were it not for a sterling display by the Fohenagh goalie, Des Devine, they would certainly have been much further ahead at the call of time. Both sides tried hard to overcome the difficult conditions. Against the wind in the first half goals by Ignatius Madden and Michael Treacy kept Athenry in touch and they trailed by 3-5 to 2-0 at the break.
Exploiting the wind advantage in the second half Athenry piled on the pressure and in the eighth minute Noel Keogh lashed in a goal. Another goal by Eamonn King near the end decided the issue in favour of Athenry with the final score 5-2 to 3-5.
Team: Gerry Burke, Billy Conway, Anthony Freaney, Frank Brody, T.J. Jordan (Capt.), Richie Williams, Tom Burke, Ray Glynn, Anthony Poniard, Noel Keogh, Michael Treacy, Hubert Conway, lgnatius Madden, Martin Rooney, Jack 0 Shea, Sub: Eamonn King
Norman Farragher Chairman of the East Board presented the Reeves Cup to Athenry Captain T.J. Jordan after the game.
An experienced Killimordaly fifteen accounted for Athenry in the first game in the Senior Championship at Loughrea. Athenry got off to a great start with a fine goal by Mick Rooney but Killimordaly gradually took control and stayed on top until the end winning by 6-11 to 5-1.
Athenry had a most promising corner back in Tom Long who put his side into a series of attacking positions with massive pucks out. In the other corner veteran Bill Conway put plenty of, starch' into Athenry's resistance with Richie Williams, Anthony Poniard and Mick Rooney also trying hard.
It was a case of the 'old dog for the hard road' and the more experienced East Galway side served notice that they would be Turloughmores toughest challengers for honours. Paddy Mitchell, was, as usual, on a non-stop roving commission at midfield with the winners halfback line and half-forward line being their match winners.
Team: Tom Howley, Bill Conway, Anthony Freaney, Tom Long, Jim Lardner, T. J. Jordan, Pat Madden, Frank Rohan, Richie Williams, Jack O'Shea, Anthony Poniard, J. J. Kelly, Noel Keogh, Mick Rooney, Eamonn King.
Under 21 Hurling Team miss trio in County Semi-Final
A very fit Athenry under 21 team completely outclassed Turloughmore in the first round of the under 21 championship. Fielding a team consisting of most of the previous years successful minor team and led by a rampant county minor captain Ray Glynn at midfield they had twelve points to spare at the end.
There was little between Athenry and Abbeyknockmoy in the North Board Final. In an inglorious encounter Athenry emerged winners by 3-5 to 2-5 after a game that saw the best hurling in the final quarter. Unsportsmanlike tactics, by word and action, on the part of a small minority spoiled the game until near the end. With concentration then directed on the ball where it should have been from the start Athenry put in a storming finish and were well worth their win.
The winners who led by 1-2 to 0-1 at the interval had a sturdy halfback line in Christy Coffey, Anthony Poniard and Willie Cummins, the last named making some splendid clearances particularly in the closing stages. Tom Long and Ray Glynn at midfield both contributed to the scoring while Martin Maloney, Juno Barrett, Michael Coffey and lgnatius Madden were diligent attackers.
Team: Tom Howley, Paddy Gannon, Gerry Donoghue, Jim Jordan, Christy Coffey, Anthony Poniard, Willie Cummins, Ray Glynn, Tom Long, John Crosby, Martin Maloney, Juno Barrett, Michael Treacy, lgnatius Madden, Michael Coffey. Sub: Kevin Connolly
Castlegar contained the tough challenge of Athenry in the County semi-final, but had to call on all of their ability to qualify for the final. Athenry did not have the services of Gerry Donoghue, Willie Cummins or Michael Mullins and there was no doubt but had this trio been available the score would be much closer. Ted Murphy and John Connolly were outstanding for Castlegar who won by 5-6 to 4-2.
Impressive Minor Hurling Team win second County Title
The minor hurlers began the defence of their County title with a victory over Abbeyknockmoy 4-7 to 1-5 in the North Board championship. There was a state of panic among the Clubs under age players when Abbeyknockmoy lodged an objection. The Board ordered a replay at Mountbellew but the 'Abbey' team failed to field and Athenry were awarded the game. They recorded a good win over Turloughmore in the next game winning by 6-6 to 3-2 and had a runaway win over Skehana in the North Board Final. With the final score 6-11 to 0-4 and with six of the previous years championship winning side in their lineout, Athenry were always in control and certainly gave notice that they intended to hold on to the title.
Team: Luke Glynn, Stephen Cloonan, Gerry Donoghue Gerry Kelly, Patsy Kelly, Ray Glynn, Tom Burke, Paddy Gannon, Christy Coffey, John Crosby, Anthony Poniard, Noel 0'Grady, Noel Kelly, Johnny Mullins, Vincent Madden
It was one way traffic too in the County semi-final against Liam Mellows at Kenny Park. The home venue had little effect on the outcome as Athenry were in control in all sections through out the hour winning by 10-5 to 1-6.
Impeccable displays by midfielder Christy Coffey, fullback Gerry Donoghue, halfback Tom Burke and opportunist corner forward Vincent Madden gave Athenry a comfortable victory.
The County Final was played at Pearse Stadium and Athenry retained their title defeating Mullagh by 5-2 to 3-3. The winners were well on top in the opening half and led at the interval by 2-2 to 0-2.
The second half was far more competitive as Mullagh fought back into contention but a goal by Vincent Madden clinched the title for Athenry near the end. The stars of the game for Athenry were fullback Gerry Donoghue who was as solid as a rock. Ray Glynn and Tom Burke were outstanding in the halfback line, as was John Crosby at midfield who gave an excellent display. Team Captain Anthony Poniard was man-of-the match and played a powerful game at centre forward well supported by Noel Kelly, Johnny Mullins and Vincent Madden.
Team: Luke Glynn, Patsy Kelly, Gerry Donoghue, Gerry Kelly, Ray Glynn, Paddy Gannon, Tom Burke, John Crosby, Christy Coffey, Joe Glynn, Anthony Poniard, Noel 0' Grady, Noel Kelly, Johnny Mullins, Vincent Madden.
North Hurling & Football Titles for Under 16's
The under 16 hurlers won the North Board championship without even conceding a score easily defeating Ballygar and Abbeyknockmoy. In a closely contested County semi-final they defeated a strong Castlegar side at Craughwell by 3-3 to 1-3. They went down to Ballinakill in the County Final also at Craughwell losing by 5-2 to 3-3.
Team: Luke Glynn, Johnny Gannon, Gerry Kelly, Pakie Flannery, Pat Kilkelly, Stephen Cloonan, Kieran Barrett, Tom Burke, Sean Hynes, Tom Coffey, Gerry Corley, Eugene Glynn, Tony Kelly, Gabriel Coffey and P.J. Molloy.
In under 16 football the Club also won the North Board championship defeating Mountbellew in the final by 1-5 to 0-6. Played during a thunderstorm and downpour Mountbellew led by four points at halftime. A brilliant goal by Pakie Flannery put Athenry back into the game early in the second half and from then until the end they took control and held onto record a historic first North Board victory in juvenile football. St. Michael's defeated Athenry in the County semi-final.
Team: Pat Kilkelly, Stephen Cloonan, Gerry Kelly, Kevin Donoghue, Johnny Gannon, Tom Burke, Kieran Barrett, Pakie Flannery Sean Hynes, Tommy Kelly, Gerry Corley, Luke Glynn, Frank Joyce, Eugene Glynn, P. J. Molloy.