Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

O’Hanrahans Football Team

Source: Michael Purcell. (2009)

O'Hanrahans County Champions.1937
Winners of the Haughney Memorial Trophy.

Brilliant display by youthful team. County Carlow Senior Football Final. Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow, was the mecca of all Gaelic enthusiasts in the county on Sunday where the Senior and Junior Football Finals were down for decision. For fully two hours before the games crowds began to pour into the town from all parts of the county. Motors, cycles and carts brought their quota and long before the Senior Final was due to start a record in receipts had been established.

The Junior game held very little interest for the majority of the crowd and the magnificent display by Ballon, who were easy winners, made the game uninteresting. Myshall their opponents must however, be congratulated for reaching the final in their first year.

After the long whistle in the Junior game the merits and demerits of the Senior teams were being discussed. Both teams were from the county town and keen rivalry existed between them.

On the Young Emmets side were many former O'Hanrahans players including Walker, Geoghegan, Haughney and others. Great things were expected of this team and it was seemingly a foregone conclusion that they would win. Their opponents composed chiefly on minors and juniors were the surprise team of the year.

After beating Tinryland , last year's champions, after a drawn game in the opening stages of the championship they went on to dispose of Leighlinbridge to reach the final stage. The game was robust, keen tackling marring good football. At times , there were brilliant passages. At centrefield  O' Hanrahans had the upper hand, O'Connell and Byrne were in great form and completely subdued Lawler and Kavanagh. Behan played a good sound game in the half-forward line.

The full back line took the honours of the day. Brien was outstanding , he gave Walker no scope at all and a tribute to his play is that Walker this former goal scoring forward could only manage to scrape a point during the whole game. He was ably assisted by Coughlan and Murray who cleared their line time and again when scores seemed certain. Brennan was prominent on the wing. J. Rea was the wonder player of the day. He gave a brilliant display in the forwards and great things are expected of this youth who is still only in his teens.

Rea was ably assisted by Comerford. In the Young Emmets side the liveliest forward was Geoghegan who was allowed to go unmarked several times. He is a fast player and hard to watch. The backs held up well. Shaw in goal played a sound game and the only goal scored gave him no chance. The teams were played on to the field by Graiguecullen Fife and Drum Band and the Carlow Pipers' Band. The latter rendered "Faith of Our Fathers" before the game.

THE PLAY. The "Rockies" opened well from the throw in and Walker looked dangerous but O'Brien cleared well to midfield where Quinlan was fouled. The free was returned by Carroll but Connell gathered and sent well in but a scramble in the square resulted in a foul and brought relief to the backs. Shaw was soon called on to save , Rea gathered the return and rounded his man but narrowly missed a point. The football was good hereabouts, and after Rea was fouled Hughes brought off a fine clearance from the free. An O'Hanrahan forward was hurt and Shaw brought off a fine save from point blank range.

The Emmets swept up the field per Geogeghan and Haughney but Murray broke up the movement and cleared well. O'Connell was fouled at centrefield and the free was returned by Maye but his kick was gathered by Murray who sent up a long one to Comeford who placed himself to register the first score after ten minutes, a point. O'Connell returned the goal kick and Doyle was fouled close in. Rae made no mistake with the kick and again raised the white flag. O'Hanrahans now seemed to settle down but the Emmet back line were clearing well. Shaw saved in goal but Byrne returned and a "50" resulted. Byrne sent the ball right into the square but it was boxed right out and Geoghegan gathered to raise the white flag to leave the score 3 points to nil. A tussle at midfield saw Behan hurt but resumed after attention. The free was centred well by Connell and Rae gathered a ground ball shot well and true for a point.

Young Emmets now forced the play and Geogeghan who was always dangerous secured a nice ball and from far out shot a nice point. They continued to force the pressure and Mulhall was called on to save in the O'Hanrahan goal. Brennan then brought relief to the O'Hanrahans back line by clearing well down the wing but a foul resulted in the ball being returned again and Walker securing possession sent wide. O'Connell gathered the kick out and sent to Comerford, the latter sent a nice pass to Rae who shot a good point from a difficult angle to leave the score 5 points to one at half time. On resuming O'Hanrahans pressed per Brennan and Doyle, but a great chance was missed by fouling. Carroll cleared his lines and frees now became frequent owing to keen tackling. Emmets pressed and Geoghegan was fouled but the free was strongly cleared by Coughlan who a minute later brought the ball off the goal line when they were hard pressed by a terrific onslaught. Whelan playing a strong game in the backline cleared several times when the Emmets looked like scoring.

A bout of play at midfield by Connell and Byrne saw the latter send a long ball into the square. Shaw saved but after a scramble on the five yards mark Behan fisted into the net leaving the score 1-5 to 0-1. This score brought new life into the O'Hanrahans who pressed strongly but Hughes and Co. saved well. The O'Hanrahans back line were now called on to save and Coughlan ran out to cover Walker when a score seemed certain. The "leather" was now at centrefield and Byrne getting possession sent to Doyle. The little forward rounded his man in clever fashion and settled himself nicely to score a lovely point 1-6 to 0-1. The ball sped down the field and McGrath was fouled . Brennan cleared a kick by Walker and Connell sent out to Comerford. The latter sent in a beauty of a shot to the goal mouth but again Shaw saved in goal. The ball went right down to the other goal but Murray, Coughlan, Whelan and Brien were sound backs and saved time and again. Byrne and Connell combined well at midfield to send to Behan.

The latter drove a long shot out to the wing which McKenna gathered and kicked into the square. From a scramble Rea emerged with the ball and sent over a beauty of a point. Time was now running out and the Emmets made a desperate attempt to pull the game out of the fire. Repeated attacks on the goal were of no avail. The stone like defence seemed almost impregnable. A foul near the goal saw Geoghegan register the last score of the match a point. The final whistle sounded leaving the O'Hanrahans worthy winners by 1 goal 7 points to 3 points.

Source From The Nationalist 1937. Transcribed by Mary Corcoran on genealogy course, November 2009


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