Newcastle County Intermediate Hurling Champions 1960
Front Row: (left to right) Thomas Murphy, Christy Glynn, Kevin Rohan, Kerill Burke, George Moran, Frank Burke, Eamonn Keogh, T. J. Jordan, Bertie Burns, Gerald Corbett. Back Row: (left to right) Mattie Healy, Padraic Keogh, Sean Glynn, Robbie Burke, Sean Connors, Bernie Rohan, Tommy Madden, Tony Morris, Paddy Joe Rabbitte and James Corbett.
In January Fr. Kearney again attempted to form a Parish team.The Newcastle Club gave his views very serious consideration at their AGM but, after a secret ballot, turned down his proposals.Newcastle continued as a separate Club and in their first game of the season were defeated by Athenry 3-10 to 4-5 in the league.
The North Board championship draws gave Newcastle a bye into the final where their opponents were Annaghdown who had defeated Cussane. Newcastle had an easier than expected win with eleven points to spare at the final whistle 3-8 to 1-3.Joe Burke had an outstanding game for Newcastle with several other players proving their worth.
In the County semi-final Newcastle defeated Ballindereen by 5-11 to 6-4 but acting on the referees report the County Board ordered a replay. Stephen Carty was one of the umpires and as he was suspended at the time the Board had no option but to order a replay according to the rules' Luckily however there were objections and counter objections following the other County semi-final between Carnmore and Killimor. Both teams were declared illegal and expelled from the competition. The Newcastle v Ballindereen replay would be the County intermediate Final and it was fixed for Athenry on the 27th November.
With almost continuous heavy rain during the week preceding the game Kenny Park was declared unplayable. County Board Secretary Jack Whelan phoned Newcastle officials on the Saturday before the game to inform them that, if they agreed the match would go ahead at Clarinbridge and, if not, it would be postponed until the following Spring. Newcastle agreed and, as a result of the change of venue the game got national news coverage. It was announced on Radio Eire's evening news and got coverage in the Sunday papers. The Club hurriedly ordered buses from CIE for players and supporters.
Fielding without star player Joe Burke who could not be contacted in Limerick the men in green and gold took the field totally committed to winning the Club's first County Championship Final. "So fast was the opening quarter" according to the Connacht Tribune "that the wise ones shrugged shoulders and predicted that some side must crack, but neither team wilted and the end was even faster than the beginning. Noteworthy as the game went on was that the Newcastle men were better first-time pullers. They lifted as little as possible and it was their first time tactics that gave them victory."
In the seventeenth minute of the first half T. J. Jordan scored a goal to give his side the lead, which they held for eight tough minutes of swaying fortunes. Then from an almost impossible angle Linnane netted for Ballindereen to put his side in front at halftime. On the resumption Eamonn Keogh equalised with a point from forty yards and almost immediately Tony Morris crashed in a goal. Newcastle's lead was wiped out when, after George Moran had saved well in their goal, John 0 Connor drove the ball past him to level the score.
Both sides redoubled their efforts and following some tremendous play Linnane and T. J. Jordan exchanged points- Jordan's after a long solo run by Tommy Madden. Michael Hallinan pointed for Ballindereen and the cheers of the crowd had scarcely died when Frank Burke made it all square again. As the time ticked away the excitement grew with the players trying all they knew to get ahead. In the last minute Frank Burke pointed a free to give his side victory by the narrowest of margins. The final whistle was greeted with scenes of jubilation by the Newcastle supporters whose numbers had increased considerably by the presence of many from other parts of the Parish. It was fitting that a solitary point should win such a tremendous struggle between two well-matched teams and that the result should be in a balance until the last minute.
George Moran had an outstanding game in goal with Bernie Rohon, Sean Connors and Bertie Burns in the full back line fighting hard until the end. Frank Rohan was an energetic halfback with good support coming from Paddy Joe Rabbitte and Kerrill Burke. Eamonn Keogh and Frank Burke were in command at midfield while the best line on the team was the half-forward line of Robbie Burke, Padraic Keogh and Christy Glynn. A hard pulling full forward line of T.J. Jordan, Tommy Madden and Tony Morris worked hard together and took their scores well. Unfortunately there was no member of the County Board to present the cup to team Captain Kerrill Burke who was an inspiration to all his teamates.
Team: George Moran, Bernie Rohan, Sean Connors, Bertie Burns, Kerrill Burke, Paddy J Rabbitte, Frank Rohan, Eamonn Keogh, Frank Burke, Robbie Burke, Padraic Keogh, Christy Glynn, T J Jordan, Tommy Madden, Tony Morris, Subs: Sean Glynn and Kevin Rohan.
M. 0'Brien and S. Welsh in the All-Ireland Junior Softball Doubles Handball semi-final at Loughrea defeated Christy 0 Grady and Tom Cleary. In the hardball semi-final Athenry players Gerry Cronnolly and Michael Kelly had no luck either losing to Tipperary's Cleere brothers.
For many western athletic fans the highlight of the year was the magnificent win by Willie Morris in the National Marathon championship. Many who had seen this lion-hearted runner win titles such as his triumphs at Athenry or Dunleer considered he had reached his peak but the Derrydonnell distance man had other ideas. Using his strategy like the shrewd judge of pace and opposition that he undoubtedly was, Willie selected the strength sapping 26 miles 385 yards marathon for his big effort of the year. He timed his training accordingly and on the big day over the Dublin roads he passed opponent after opponent and at the finish was well ahead of them all with a time of 2 hours 53 minutes 52 seconds.
Tom Cryan in the Irish Independent wrote "One of biggest ovations of the day was reserved for Galwayman Willie Morris. A cross country star down the years he tried his luck in the marathon yesterday and won on his own."
Playing with the wind Athenry hurlers conceded two goals in the first four minutes of their first round senior hurling championship game against Maree at Pearse Stadium. From then on it was an uphill struggle but they still managed to draw level and would almost certainly have gone ahead if their forwards took their points instead go trying for goals. Maree seemed to be coasting to an easy victory but two goals from twenty-one yard frees by Bobby Gardner kept Athenry in touch. However, a goal and a point by Brendan Hanniffy in the closing stages put his side back in control and they held on to win by 4-8 to 4-3.
Team: Dave Morris, Mick Rooney, Billy Conway, Christy Kelly, Anthony Freaney, Sean Dempsey, John A. Kelly, Leo Gardner, John Conway, Bobby Gardner, Tom Conway, Des Healy, Frank Kilkelly, Peter Greaney, Hubert Conway.
Victorious Derrydonnell Athletic Club Team Members with Club Officials
Front Row: Tom Dolphin, Willie Morris, Tommy Madden, Canon Heaney, Jimmy Kennedy, Christy Kelly, Middle Row: P. J. Caulfield, Mickey Freaney, Tom Joe Conneely, Jimmy Quinn, Padraic Cahill, Fr. Martin Gleeson , John J Ruane. Back Row: Anthony Freaney, Jackie Freaney, Jackie Freaney, Bernie Ruane, Billy Freaney, Bernie Feeney, J. J. Kelly, Tom Joe Kelly and P.J. Madden.