1898 - Carlow's Football Debut
Carlow made their first appearance on the inter-county scene when
travelling to Jones Road, Dublin (now Croke Park), on Sunday, July 11th,
to play Wexford in the opening round of the Leinster Senior Football
A special train left Kilkenny at 8.30 a.m., serving Bagenalstown,
9.00 a.m., Milford, 9.12 a.m. and Carlow 9.23 a.m., arriving in
Kingsbridge at 11 a.m. and the return train leaving at 7.00 p.m.
Carlow won the toss and played towards the Clonliffe goal having
the advantage of the sun and wind. At half-time the Barrowsiders led 0-5
to 0-3. Wexford had scored a goal in the first half but to this the
Carlowmen objected on the grounds that a Wexford player had thrown the
ball through the goal. Eventually, the Wexford team, with the
sportsmanship that is characteristic of their county, waived their claim
and the dispute being amicably settled both teams resumed play.
On the change-over Wexford took complete control and ran out easy
winners by a big score, 2-24 to 0-5. W. Allen captained the pioneering
Carlow team which read: W. Allen (captain), J. Croke (goal), P. Foley,
J. Geoghegan, M. Murray, M. Dwyer, T. Shelley, M. Kenny, P. Doyle, P.
Timmons, J. Kennedy, J. St. Ledger, L. Nolan, M. Clowry, J. Finn, J.F.
Reid, A. Dwyer.
1905 - Carlow's First Final
Carlow reached the inaugural Leinster Junior Football final in
1905 when beating Wicklow at the third attempt. As was the norm in that
era the championship ran behind time and all games were played in 1906.
March 18, 1906, saw Carlow gain their first inter-county 'result' when
by scoring 2-2 in the second-half against Wicklow in Jones Road they
forced a 2-3 to 9 points draw. The replay in Enniscorthy also ended
level, Carlow scoring 2-5 to Wicklow's 1-8. It was back to Jones Road on
May 20 where a first half performance laid the foundations for their
first ever inter-county victory by building a 1-8 to 0-2 half-time lead.
By the end Carlow's place in the final was secured on a 1-13 to 0-4
The final took place in Jones Road on July 22 where Westmeath
emerged narrow and controversial, 1-4 to 1-3 victors.
To D. Haughney fell the honour of scoring Carlow's first point in
a Provincial final and by half-time Carlow led 0-3 to 0-1. On the
changeover Carlow launched a series of attacks, eventually breaking
through for a goal, this historic first 'major' being registered by
Westmeath rallied with a brace of points before striking for a
controversial goal. The leather went over the side-line but the linesman
did not raise his flag. A Westmeath player kicked from across the line
to his centre-forward who scored a goal while the Carlow backs stood
waiting the referees decision. Westmeath then procured the point which
put them ahead for the first time and despite strong Carlow pressure
held out to become the inaugural Leinster No. 2 champions.
Carlow - P. Haughney (Captain), John Fennell (goal), D. Farrell,
B. Hennessy, William Mulhall, M. Murray, L. Nolan, P. Moran, John Hoare,
M. Haughney, M. Callanan, W. Ryan, J. Sleator, E. Webster, D. Haughney,
M. Byrne, James Hennessy.
1912 - Second Leinster Football Final
Carlow contested their second Leinster Junior Football
Championship final on October 27, 1912 but again narrow defeat was the
outcome, Louth winning by 3-1 to 2-2 in Jones Road.
The Wee County played to the Clonliffe end in opening half and
took an early 1-1 to no score advantage.
Michael Leo registered Carlow's opening score, a good point, being
his sides only first half 'flag-raiser'. Louth led 3-1 to 0-1 at the
break. Mulhall opened the second-half scoring with a Carlow point, his
shot hitting the cross-bar and going over. Another fierce Carlow attack
ended in a goal, the ball entering the net off a Louth player. Carlow,
captained by John Millet of Borris, continued to attack and were
rewarded with a William Murphy goal. Just two points separated the sides
and Carlow were in possession when the final whistle sounded.
Carlow's path to the final was an impressive one, beating Dublin
1-3 to 0-1 in Carlow-Graigue, Kildare 5-5 to 0-1 in Athy and Westmeath
2-7 to 0-2 in Jones Road.
The Carlow team that lined out in the final was: John Millet
(captain), William Kennedy, Michael Leo, William Quinn, Michael Cody,
Joseph Redmond, James Murphy, P. May (goal), A. Murphy, William Murphy,
P. Haughney, C. Haughney, Martin Hogan, William Cooney, Michael Lawler,
J. Mulhall, L. Shaw.
1913 - Carlow's First football Title
Carlow's first football title was won in brilliant fashion when on
November 30, 1913 at Jones Road the Barrowsiders hammered Meath 3-4 to
0-0 in the Leinster Junior Football Championship final.
On their way to the final Carlow had given promise of their worth,
beating Kildare 1-3 to 0-1 in Athy, Dublin and Wicklow, 2-3 to 0-1 in
The Nationalist's final preview stated 'the latest news from the
training camp says Captain Mulhall and his men are as fit as fiddles.
Training was wound up on Thursday evening by a very fast practice on the
football grounds, it being continued for two hours without a stop, so
they ought not to lack stamina.
'Players are asked to be beware of their so called admirers during
the week-end. All players to be at the station at 9.45 a.m. sharp.
Travellers having GAA badges are requested to bring them for the
Jones Road was in good condition for the final and the weather
conditions all that could be desired.
From the very first it was realised that Carlow were the superior
fifteen, the Carlow players showing remarkable skill and knowledge of
the finesse of the game. Andrew Murphy opened the scoring with a clever
Carlow goal and following good combination play Willie Murphy tacked on
a point. A Hogan point and Donohue goal helped Carlow to a 2-2 to 0-0
A Willie Murphy point opened the second-half scoring and the same
player goaled when dashing in to finish the leather to the net after
Hogan had tipped over the goalkeeper's head. Hogan himself closed the
scoring with a point. News pf the victory was telephoned to Carlow after
the match, and was received with the utmost enthusiasm by the local
It was decided to organise a demonstration in honour of the
victory, and when the team and their followers arrived at Carlow that
night they were met at the station by an enormous crowd, accompanied by
the Graigue Temperance Band. A torchlight procession was then formed and
the captain, William Mulhall, was carried shoulder high amidst great
enthusiasm, the band playing national and popular airs.
The historic, Graigue powered, Carlow team was: William Mulhall
(captain), D. Fitzpatrick, M. Lawler, W. Cooney, J. Millet, James
Murphy, M. Hyland, P. Haughney, Andrew Murphy, Michael Haughney, C.
Callanan, L. Shaw, M. Hogan, William Murphy, P. Donohue.
1914 - First All Ireland Final
The All-Ireland Junior Football Championship was first introduced
in 1913 and Carlow's Leinster final triumph put them straight through to
the National decider.
That final, though, did not take place until July 19, 1914, when
Carlow faced Kerry in Cork. Carlow travelled overnight to Leeside and
their line-out was considerably strengthened by the arrival of the great
Barney Hennessy, who along with captain William Mulhall, were the side's
outstanding players in the All-Ireland final.
Carlow defended the City end in the opening half. Hogan's grand
drop-kick led to the Kerry goalman being bowled over, Hogan being
credited with Carlow goal.
Haughney and Hogan added Carlow points to help the Leinster
champions to a 1-2 to 0-3 interval lead.
Carlow failed to score in the second-half while Kerry registered
four crucial points, points which clinched for the Kingdom the inaugural
All-Ireland Junior Football Championship.
The first Carlow team to contest an All-Ireland final was: William
Mulhall (captain), Michael Lawler, D. Fitzpatrick (goal), J. Millet,
William Cooney, Barney Hennessy, J. Murphy, P. Haughney, A. Murphy, D.
Hogan, L. Shaw, M. Haughney, M. Hogan, F. Tobin, William Murphy. Subs:
M. Regan, C. Callinan, M. Hyland, M. Dawson.
1923 - Second Leinster Football Titles
Led by the inspirational Barney Hennessy of Graigue - rated as one
of the greatest footballers of the era - Carlow won their second
Leinster Junior Football Championship on November 25, 1923, when beating
Dublin 2-5 to 1-1 in Croke Park.
Carlow, who returned to junior ranks in 1922 after eight years at
senior level, saw off Kilkenny, Louth (2-4 to 2-2 in a replay) and
Offaly by 3-4 to 1-2 in Athy en route to the final.
The game got off to a sensational start. Doyle, within firing
range, was fouled badly. Up stepped the redoubtable Hennessy and a
beautiful centre into the square saw Martin 'Red' Hogan punch to the net
inside the first minute.
A great move led to Carlow's second goal. Barney Hennessy sold a
dummy to perfection. Instead of the usual skyscraper he short-kicked
straight into Willie Hogan's hands, who made no mistake in stretching
Hennessy (free), Rexie McDonnell, William Doyle and Martin Hogan
kicked good Carlow points to give the Barrowsiders a 2-4 to 0-0 interval
advantage. 'Red' Hogan added a further point in the second-half during
which Dublin scored 1-1 to leave a dashing Carlow outfit deserving seven
Apart from Hennessy, 'Red' Hogan and Benny Nolan came in for
special praise while the backs as a unit were considered 'a grand lot'.
Carlow - Barney Hennessy (captain), William Hogan, E. Wall, Matt
Hanley, M. Murray, P. Haughney, Benny Nolan, Tom Dillon, Joe Price,
Martin Hogan, William Doyle, John Moore, Rexie McDonnell, Willie
Quigley, Tom Dunne.
1924 - First All Ireland Semi Final
Carlow's first experience of an All-Ireland semi-final came in
Croke Park on October 19, 1924, when beating Ulster champions, Antrim,
2-3 to 0-3, a game played almost a full 12 months after Carlow were
crowned Leinster champions!
By the time the 1923 junior semi-final was played Carlow had
exited the Leinster Senior Championship, losing to Wexford 1-2 to 4-1 in
Barrett's Park, New Ross. That game took place on April 13 and Carlow
were forced to field seven substitutes as 'a heavy fall of snow put the
idea that there would be no match into some of the most wanted'!
There was no such problems for the Antrim game. Over 300 travelled
on the train from Carlow Railway Station and saw Carlow go into an early
0-2 to 0-1 lead, Dillon and Doyle the point scorers. The sides were
level 0-2 apiece at half-time and Moore and an Antrim player exchanged
points before Carlow struck for their two goals.
Willie Cooney set a Carlow attack in motion which ended with Mick
Tobin netting and from a Murray clearance, Haughney shot the
Barrowsiders second goal. Carlow were the clear masters at this stage
with the popular Barney Hennessy here, there and everywhere.
Carlow - B. Hennessy (captain), T. Bolger (goal), W. Hogan, J.
Moore, M. Tobin, P. Haughney, W. Cooney, W. Quigley, W. Doyle, W.
Murray, B. Nolan, T. Nolan, T. Dillon, M. Hanley, R. McDonnell. Subs: J.
Price, L. Hogan, L. Sweeney.
1924 - Second All Ireland Final
On November 9, 1924, Carlow took on Munster champions, Tipperary,
in the 1923 All-Ireland Junior Football Championship final at Croke
Park. But the Barrowsiders were outpaced and outweighed by the Premier
County who emerged 2-6 to 1-1 victors.
Tipperary shot over three points and then broke through for a goal
to establish a 1-3 to 0-0 advantage at the break. A very strong wind
favoured Carlow on the resumption but a Tipp point, a second goal, and
another point saw the Munster men into an unassailable 2-5 to 0-0 lead.
A Tipperary goal-kick was charged down and rebounded straight to
the net for a fortuitous Carlow goal and good play led to a Barney
Hennessy point for Carlow but Tipperary closed the scoring with a point
and condemned Carlow to their second All-Ireland final defeat.
The second Carlow team to pay in an All-Ireland final was: Barney
Hennessy (captain), William Hogan, Willie Cooney, William Quigley,
William Doyle, Mick Tobin, M. Murphy, John Moore, Patrick Haughney,
Benny Nolan, Tom Nolan, T. Bolger, Matt Hanley, Rexie McDonnell, Tom
1930 - Fifth Leinster Final
Tom 'Drakes' Walker was the star of the Carlow team which
contested the 1930 Leinster Junior Football Championship final, beating
Kilkenny 3-5 to 0-3 and Offaly 0-9 to 1-4 to reach the county's fifth
decider and the first since the departure of Graiguecullen.
That final took place in Athy on August 31 and a game of poor
football was the general verdict as Dublin ran out comfortable winners
3-3 to 0-2. Carlow trailed by the soccer-type scoreline of one goal to
nil at half-time, the Dublin goal coming early on and being of the
The Carlow panel was: P. Foley (captain), J. Cahill (goal), D.
Murphy, T. Moran, J. Byrne, J. Hendrick, L. Keeffe, W. Moran, T or J.
Neill, J. Foley, J. Moore, E. Murphy, T. Walker, W. Doyle, J. Finn, W.
Hughes, E. Lillis, P. Brien, M. Hayes, M. McDonnell.
1932 - Carlow's Sixth Leinster Final
The year famous for the Eucharistic Congress being held in Dublin
saw Carlow play some fine football to reach their sixth Leinster Junior
Football Championship final.
Wexford (4-3 to 2-4), Westmeath (1-7 to 1-5) and Offaly (3-7 to
0-3) all gave way to Carlow with 'Drakes' Walker scoring a goal in each
game and a classy 3-2 against Offaly.
He was Carlow's star in the final, too, which was played in Croke
Park on July 31. Louth proved that bit too strong for Carlow, winning
2-7 to 1-5, having led 1-6 to 1-0 at half-time.
Walker, who had scored Carlow's first half goal, kicked three
points early in the second-half. Louth's second goal made Carlow's task
a difficult one and although Lawler and Price managed further points and
the Barrowsiders were attacking at the final whistle, the title was
destined for the Wee County.
Quigley kept a fine goal, Mulhall, Moran and O'Brien were
outstanding in the Carlow defence, Lawler and Murphy formed a good
mid-field partnership while Walker was always a threat in attack.
Carlow - W. Quigley, T. Mulhall, T. Moran, P. Brennan, J.
Hendrick, M. O'Brien, E. Murphy, L. O'Keeffe, J. Lawler, M. Price, K.
Maher, E. Haughney, P. Barron, M. Walsh, T. Walker. Subs: J. Geoghegan,
P. Brennan, E. Whittacker, J. Byrne, P. Lacey.
1933 - Third Leinster Title
Carlow's third Leinster Junior Football Championship title was won
in dramatic fashion, a great goal by Paddy Shine late in the final
giving the Barrowsiders a narrow 5-3 to 4-5 victory over Wicklow in
Enniscorthy on August 13, 1933.
On their way to the Provincial decider Carlow had given a number
of 'electric displays of full-blooded, dashing football.' Captained by
Tom 'Drakes' Walker Carlow overcame Laois (4-6 to 1-4 in Bagenalstown),
Offaly (18-16 in Portalington) and Dublin (2-9 to 1-2 in Portlaoise
after an 0-8 apiece draw in Athy).
A crowd of 3,000 witnessed one of the best junior finals in years.
Only in the last few minutes did Carlow clinch the issue. The opening
half produced delightful football, a tremendous pace maintained
Wicklow turned over 1-2 to 1-0 to the good, Walker having procured
the Carlow goal. In the second-half the lead changed hands four times
and with a couple of minutes to go Wicklow had two points to their
credit when Carlow launched a final rally which ended with Paddy Shine
dispatching the leather to the net for the winning goal.
Paddy Lyons kept a good goal while Jim Hendrick at full-back was
sound. Lar Keeffe was outstanding at mid-field well assisted by Paddy
Fennell with Paddy Barron and Brennan untiring workers in the half
'Drakes' Walker was superb in attack with Paddy Shine also playing
a big part, most notably the title winning goal.
The line-out that brought Carlow it's third Leinster football
title was: Paddy Lyons (goal); Jackie Geoghegan, Jim Hendrick, Billy
Nolan; Rexie McDonnell, Tom Mulhall, James Farrell; Lar Keeffe, Paddy
Fennell; Ned Butler, Paddy Barron, Mick Brennan; Tom Walker (captain),
Mick Price, Paddy Shine. Sub: Sylvester McGrath.
1933 - Second All Ireland Semi Final
Carlow contested their second All-Ireland Junior Football
Championship semi-final in Athlone on September 17, 1933 and it was a
case of their chances being "gone with the wind".
Carlow, on winning the toss, decided to play against the strong
wind and Mayo took full advantage racing into a 2-5 to 0-2 interval
On the change-over the Connacht champions played eight backs and
made Carlow's path to goal a difficult one, the Westerners eventually
running out 2-6 to 1-3 winners.
Owing to the similarity of colours - red and green - a change was
deemed necessary and Carlow, losing on a toss, which decided the matter,
were obliged to don blue jersies. It was because of this that Carlow
added yellow to the county's colours.
Paddy Barron gave Carlow the lead with the opening point of the
game but Mayo goals from H. O'Brien and J. Carney (a fisted effort)
helped the Connacht champions build up their healthy half-time lead.
Tom Walker scored Carlow's second point from a free, going for a
goal with his shot. Laffey extended Mayo's lead with an early
second-half point before Paddy Barron pointed a Carlow free awarded for
a foul on Mick Price.
Paddy Shine, after catching a high ball, shot a dazzling goal for
Carlow. Carlow squandered chances going for goals from frees while a
hard shot from Mick Price rebounded off the upright and flew across goal
with 'Drakes' Walker also in hard luck.
Paddy Fennell and Paddy Shine were Carlow's outstanding players. A
big Carlow crowd travelled to the 'centre of Ireland' availing of the
Great Southern Railway's Special Excursion train, the 3rd class return
fare being 6/-.
Those who remained at home thought the result incredible until
Sean O'Ceallachain gave the full particulars at 11 o'clock!
Carlow - Paddy Lyons (goal); Jackie Geoghegan, Billy Nolan, Jim
Hendrick; Dinny Nolan, Rexie McDonnell, Tom Mulhall; Lar Keeffe, Paddy
Fennell; Ned Butler, Mick Brennan, Paddy Barron, Paddy Shine.
1941 - First Leinster Senior Final
Carlow reached the Leinster Senior Football Championship final for
the first time in 1941 but due to the 'foot and mouth' epidemic of that
year the Minister for Agriculture declared that Carlow could not travel
until the scare had abated.
The Leinster Council nominated Dublin to represent Leinster in the
All-Ireland semi-final where the Metropolitans went under to Kerry in a
replayed in Tralee.
The Leinster final was finally played on November 9, 1941 and
while the original game was due to be played in Athy, Dublin agreed to
travel to Dr. Cullen Park for the delayed decider.
Carlow, who back in the Summer had played some powerful football,
had been idle for virtually three months, due to the 'foot and mouth',
proved no match for Dublin, losing 4-6 to 1-4. Carlow football followers
were strongly of the opinion that if the final had gone ahead in August
the Barrowsiders would have won their first title as the county had come
through a very tough campaign.
Having beaten Laois 3-4 to 3-1 in Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow then
faced Wexford in the semi-final and this tie entered GAA folklore for it
took the neighbours and unprecedented four games, plus one period of
extra-time, to decide the issue.
The first game took place in Dr. Cullen Park on June 8 when after
an exciting tussle Carlow scored 3-10 to Wexford's 4-7, the Model County
levelling with a point from a J. Murphy free.
A fortnight later the teams renewed rivalry in Wexford Park, both
scoring 2-7 in a dour contest, Wexford's J. Murphy again kicking the
equaliser from a placed ball. Croke Park housed the second replay on
July 20 and not even extra-time could separate the sides. At the end of
normal time Carlow had accumulated 1-9, Wexford 2-6, the purple and gold
again landing the leveller from a free, W. Howlin the scorer on this
An Underwood goal for Wexford was the only score in the first
period of extra-time.
The second period saw Carlow, through Jimma Rea, kick two points
to reduce the arrears to the minimum. Then, in one last glorious attack
John Doyle was fouled close-in but managed to pass to Rea, who levelled.
Final score: Carlow 1-12, Wexford 3-6.
A week later the teams returned to Croke Park for the fourth
meeting and Carlow recorded a convincing 2-8 to 0-3 victory to qualify
for their first Leinster final, Jimma Rea and Micky Byrne the Carlow
goal scorers while John Doyle was involved in the build up to both as
well as kicking half a dozen points.
The men who won Carlow their place in the senior final for the
first time by beating Wexford at the fourth attempt were: John Quinlan;
Johnny Darcy, Johnny Lawler, Jim Archbold; Peenie Whelan, Tom Donoghue,
Lar Moran; Jim Morris, Luke Kelly; John Moore, Micky Byrne, Jimma Rea;
Tom Walker, John Doyle, Ned Butler.
Unfortunately, an outbreak of 'foot and mouth' and a farm near
Carlow town denied Carlow of playing in a 'real' Leinster final. When
the delayed decider took place in Carlow a torrential downpour and high
winds proved a major spoilsport!
Dublin's close ground play was better suited to the conditions
than Carlow's 'open' game. Carlow mounted numerous early attacks but
shot seven wide. Fletcher scored for Dublin before Willie Hosey shot
Carlow's first point in a Leinster final, and walker and Doyle (2) also
scored in the opening half at the end of which Dublin led 3-3 to 0-4, G.
Fitzgerald and O'Connor securing Dublin goals.
McCann added Dublin's fourth goal early in the second-half.
Carlow's first goal in a Leinster final came about when Luke Kelly beat
his man and sent to mid-field partner, Jim Morris, whose powerful drive
was connected to by Rea. Kelly, the Dubs 'keeper, punched out, Tom
'Drakes' Walker snapped it up, rounded his man and slapped the leather
into the net!
John Quinlan in goal and Micky Byrne at centre-half-forward were
truly brilliant for Carlow while Jim Morris and Luke Kelly fared well at
The first Carlow team to play in a Leinster SFC was: John Quinlan;
Joe Brennan, Johnny Lawler, Jim Archbold; Peenie Whelan, Tom Donohue,
Lar Moran; Jim Morris, Luke Kelly; Ned Butler, Micky Byrne, Willie
Hosey; Tom Walker, John Doyle, Jimma Rea. Subs: Lar O'Neill, Charlie
1942 - Champions for 24 Hours
In late July 1942 Carlow were Leinster Senior Football champions
for 24 hours! Having lost 0-8 to 0-6 to Dublin in the Provincial final
in Athy on July 19, Carlow objected.
On Monday, July 27, 1942, the Leinster Council held a meeting to
deal with the Carlow objection to Dublin on the grounds that James Joy
was a constant rugby player.
Carlow called as a witness, Joseph Fox, a respected member of the
Kildare GAA, who stated he saw Joy enter Kilcock Rugby Grounds on April
Joy admitted being in Kilcock on that date but not playing rugby.
He had played rugby but was re-instated in 1941.
On a 6-3 vote, with 4 abstentions, Carlow were awarded the match.
An emergency meeting of the Central Council took place the following
night, Tuesday, July 28, commencing at 10 p.m. and not finishing until 1
The Leinster Council decision was over-ruled as the President of
the GAA, Seamus Gardiner (Tipperary), ruled that Mr. Fox's evidence was
inadmissible due to the fact that he was not a member of the Vigilance
Thus, Carlow were Leinster champions for 24 hours!
So to the action on the field of play during 1942. Carlow beat
Wexford at the first time of asking in the opening round, winning 0-10
to 0-7 in Kilkenny.
Offaly provided the semi-final opposition in Athy on June 14 and
the game ended level, Carlow scoring 0-13 to the Faithful County's 1-10,
John Doyle kicking Carlow's last point from a free following a great
Jimma Rea run.
In the replay at Portlaoise on June 28 Carlow were leading 1-9 to
0-6 when the game came to a premature finish, the referee blowing the
final whistle with minutes remaining.
Confusion ensued as the crowd came on the field. At a Leinster
Council meeting in Kilkenny the following Sunday, Carlow were awarded
the game as Offaly refused to continue after the referee realised his
Offaly also received a 6 months suspension. Offaly appealed the
result of the game to Central Council but on Friday, July 3, it was
ruled out by P. McNamee, though the suspension was lifted.
The Leinster Senior Football Championship final took place in Athy
on July 19 and Carlow's gallant effort just failed, going down 0-8 to
0-6. Jim Morris gave a great display at mid-field with Peenie Whelan
outstanding in the half back line.
Carlow trailed 0-2 to 0-0 at half-time but points from John Doyle
and Jimma Rea had the Barrowsiders level early in the second-half. Quinn
and Rea bartered points to leave matters all square after 41 minutes
The Metropolitans, through P. O'Connor and T. Banks (2 frees),
went 0-6 to 0-3 up by the 47th minute. Carlow rallied strongly and shot
three points in a four minute burst from the 50th to the 53rd minutes,
Tom 'Drakes' Walker hoisting over two, John Doyle levelling from a free,
Unfortunately, that was to prove Carlow's last score and in the
closing seven minutes Banks (his fifth free of the hour) and the one and
only Jimmy Joy kicked the title clinching points.
Dublin went on to win the All-Ireland SFC, beating Cavan 1-6 to
1-3 on August 2 in Croke Park in the semi-final before ousting Galway
1-10 to 1-8 in the final.
The Carlow team that came so close to glory was - John Quinlan;
Johnny Darcy, Johnny Lawler, Paddy Farrell; Peenie Whelan, Tom Donohue,
Lar Moran; Jim Morris, Luke Kelly; John Moore, Tom Walker, Willie Hosey;
Micky Byrne, John Doyle, Jimma Rea.
1944 - First Railway Cup Medal
On St. Patrick's Day 1944 Carlow won their first Railway Cup
medals when Jim Archbold lined out at right full back and Jimma Rea at
left half forward on the Leinster team that beat Ulster 1-10 to 1-3
having earlier beaten Connacht 2-11 to 1-8 in the semi-final.
1944 - Carlow Crowned Leinster Champions
- "What a change in the last half did the minutes unroll,
- The boys from the Barrow were swarming the goal,
- It was blue in and odd spot, but red, gold an green,
- Were the colours that rallied the Carlow fifteen".
That verse from the "Carlow Fifteen", the county's victory song,
captures the magnificent rally staged by Carlow in the Leinster SFC
final of 1944.
Housed in Athy on July 30 in front of an enormous crowd, the final
proved a thrill-packed encounter, played at tremendous speed. Carlow
trailed 0-5 to 0-1 at half-time, Jimma Rea having scored their lone
point in the 8th minute.
However Carlow produced a terrific second-half performance. Early
in the period a well flighted Jim Morris '50' was punched out by the
Dublin goalman, Fagan, only to be sent crashing to the net by the
Counihan replied with a Dublin goal, John Doyle registered an
excellent Carlow point from a placed ball and then, in the 45th minute,
Carlow launched an attack, Paddy O'Sullivan and John 'Buller' Moore
being prominent, before John Doyle hammered the ball to the net, 2-2 to
A minute later Doyle points a free to give Carlow the lead for the
first time and in the 50th minute the full-forward converts a free from
an extremely difficult angle. Two up, 2-4 to 1-5.
Dublin's McGuire narrowed the gap to the minimum before Jimma Rea,
who minutes earlier was denied a goal by the woodwork, restores Carlow's
two point lead. In the 55th minute John Doyle, following a foul on
Willie Hosey, flights over another free, the closing score of a
memorable game, declaring Carlow Leinster champions for the first time
ever on a 2-6 to 1-6 scoreline.
'Pim' Quinlan was a most capable goal-man. Johnny Lawler, Jim
Archbold, Paddy Farrell constituted a very solid full-back line. Johnny
Darcy came on at left full back early in the second half, with Farrell
moving to the half back line to allow the injured Ted Joyce go off.
Joyce had done well as had Brian O'Rourke, at centre-back, but the
star of the line was the mighty 'Peenie' Whelan, the team captain.
The deciding factors in Carlow's triumph were the high catching
and long kicking of mid-fielders, Jim Morris and Luke Kelly.
John Doyle and Jimma Rea were the Carlow scoring heroes. The fast
moving right wing of 'Buller' Moore and Paddy O'Sullivan always posed a
threat while Micky Byrne and Willie Hosey were also vital to the Carlow
Carlow: John 'Pim' Quinlan; Johnny Lawler, Jim Archbold, Paddy
Farrell; Peter 'Peenie' Whelan (captain), Brian O'Rourke, Ted Joyce; Jim
Morris, Luke Kelly; John Moore, Micky Byrne, Willie Hosey; Paddy
O'Sullivan, John Doyle, Jimma Rea. Sub: Johnny Darcy.
That historic 1944 Carlow championship campaign would never have
been but for a late, late reprieve against Kildare in the first round at
Athy on May 14. Kildare led by three points nearing the finish, then
Carlow, as the Nationalist reported "staged a grand revival. Kelly and
Morris led an attack that reached close quarters, and the whistle goes
for a close-in free and from the melee the leather is put asleep in the
net by Byrne".
Carlow missed late free for victory, the 1-10 (C) to 2-7 scoreline
ensuring a replay in Dr. Cullen Park a fortnight later when Carlow,
having sprinted into an early 2-4 to 0-0 advantage, emerged convincing
3-11 to 2-5 victors, their fielding an combination being superior to the
Lily-whites. Carlow forward, Army man Paddy O'Sullivan had cycled the 37
miles from New Ross to play the game!
On June 18th Carlow wer back in Athy to play neighbours, Laois, in
the quarter-final and first half goals from Jimma Rea (penalty) and
Willie Hosey helped set up a 2-8 to 2-3 triumph after a game brimful of
exciting football. In Kilkenny on July 9 Carlow qualified for their
third Leinster SFC final in three years with a convincing 5-7 to 3-6
victory over old adversaries Wexford, right full forward Paddy
O'Sullivan scoring a high quality 3-2.
Then came that oft talked about Leinster final victory over Dublin
in Athy which capitulated Carlow into National prominence and an
All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Kerry.
1944 - First All Ireland SFC Semi Final
A record 40,727, paying gate receipts of £2,515, thronged Croke
Park for Carlow's first appearance in an All-Ireland SFC semi-final and
after a thrilling performance the Barrowsiders were unlucky 3-3 to 0-10
Carlow dominated territorially but found persistent Kerry fouling
difficult to overcome. Luke Kelly, until forced to retire through
injury, Jim Morris, 'Peenie' Whelan and Micky Byrne sparkled but it was
a glorious team effort.
Kerry defended Railway goal and Carlow were backed by breeze in
first half at the end of which the Munster champions led 2-1 to 0-6, the
Kerry goals coming from Dillon and Kelly (24th minute penalty) while
Rea, Doyle, Moore and Whelan shared the Carlow points.
A third Kerry goal from Brosnan, deflected in by a Carlow
defender, put them 3-2 to 0-7 up but Doyle and Moore pointed for Carlow
before, in the 55th minute, the referee, Brendan Nestor of Galway, after
consultation, awarded Carlow a free, for a foul on Willie Hosey,
although Carlow had strong claims for a penalty. The free yielded a
point, just a point in it!
Unfortunately, Carlow were not to score again, Kelly closing the
scoring with a Kerry point and the supporters high hopes of their heroes
contesting the All-Ireland final were shattered but not without an epic
Carlow: John 'Pim' Quinlan; Johnny Lawler, Jim Archbold Ted Joyce;
Peter 'Peenie' Whelan (captain), Brian O'Rourke, Paddy Farrell; Jim
Morris, Luke Kelly; John Moore, Micky Byrne, Willie Hosey; Paddy
O'Sullivan, John Doyle, Jimma Rea. Subs: Seamus Corcoran (for Kelly
injured). Kelly returned to a big cheer in the second-half, replacing
1945 - Carlow Man Captains Leinster to Railway Cup
In 1945, Carlow's status as Leinster champions bestowed on them
the honour of the captaincy of the Leinster Railway Cup team.
The 'scallion-eaters' three players - and the jersies! - to the
Leinster team that beat Connacht 2-5 to 0-6 in Croke Park on St.
Patrick's Day, right half back Peenie Whelan, centre-fielder, Jim Morris
and left half forward, Jimma Rea.
To Tinryland's Peenie Whelan went the honour of accepting the
Railway Cup on behalf of the province of Leinster, who had beaten Ulster
4-9 to 2-6 in a semi-final replay following a 4-3 to 2-9 draw. Due to a
shortage of wool Leinster actually lined out in Carlow's red, yellow and
1954 - Carlow in National League Football Final
Carlow qualified for their only NFL final in 1954 and the Billy
McGuill skippered team beat the 1953 All-Ireland finalists, Kerry and
Armagh, en route.
1953-54 NFL Divisional Section: October 11, Dr. Cullen Park, beat
Cork 1-7 to 0-4; November 1, Dr. Cullen Park, drew with Wexford 0-6 to
0-6; November 8, Dr. Cullen Park, beat Tipperary 2-3 to 0-2, November
22, Dr. Cullen Park, beat Kerry 3-4 to 1-8; February 7, Dr. Cullen Park,
beat Kildare 1-7 to 1-6; March 28, Lismore, beat Waterford 1-10 to 1-3.
An unusual aspect of Carlow's divisional campaign was the fact
that they had only one away game as Kerry agreed to forfeit home venue
and travel to Dr. Cullen Park.
SEMI-FINAL: April 11, Croke Park, beat Armagh 1-10 to 1-7.
May 9, Croke Park, lost to Mayo 2-10 to 0-3.
Carlow raced into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead against Armagh in the
semi-final, Ned Doogue goaling after a good pass from Jim Hayes. In the
27th minute the Northerners were awarded a disputed penalty which Mal
McEvoy converted, leaving it 1-5 to 1-1 at half-time. In a tensely
fought second-half Carlow held out for a three point victory.
The final was played on May 9th in Croke Park, a date on which
Carlow were originally scheduled to play Kildare in the Leinster
Carlow opened well against Mayo, who were something of league
specialists, and led 0-2 to 0-1 after 10 minutes. Then the 'flying
doctor' Padraig Carney, who came home from America for the game,
levelled before Tom Langan punched a goal from a Carney centre in the
Mayo's second goal from M. Flanagan in the 10th minute of the
second-half ended Carlow's dreams of National League glory. Ned Doogue
scored all Carlow's points from frees.
The men who made history by playing in Carlow's only National
Football League final were: Aidan Magee; Liam Murphy, Billy Canavan,
Paks Connolly; Martin Molloy, Andy Murphy, Paddy Delaney; Jim Fogarty,
Eamon Kehoe; Billy McGuill (captain), Ned Doogue, Micky Whelan; 'Fair'
Willie Walsh, Jim Hayes, Liam Quigley. Sub: Paddy Metcalfe (for
1994 All Ireland 'B' Football Champions
The All-Ireland 'B' SFC, inaugurated in 1990, had been used by
Clare and Leitrim as stepping stones to Provincial success, so when
Carlow won the title in 1994 after a high standard final against
Westmeath in Tullamore it rejuvenated faith in the red, yellow and
Clare (4-6 to 1-9 in Dr. Cullen Park), Waterford (1-14 to 2-10 in
Dungarvan) and Tipperary (3-11 to 3-5 in Tullamore) were disposed of by
an Eire Og powered team before Westmeath went down 2-10 to 1-11 in the
A crowd of 8,000 thronged to O'Connor Park and at the end of a
thrill-packed hour it was Carlow captain, Hughie Brennan, who collected
the All-Ireland 'B' SFC cup. Most in the huge attendance must have felt
that cup was destined for Mullingar when the sides retired level at the
0-6 to 1-3 read the scoreboard at that stage, Westmeath having
struck for their goal right on the call of half-time, Rory O'Connell
netting. Carlow had opened brightly, flashing over three good points,
but that late Westmeath goal looked a killer blow, as the Barrowsiders
would have to play into the strong wind on the change-over. Carlow's two
second-half goals will live long in the memory of the county's GAA
faithful present. In a scintillating 120 seconds of all-action football
the men in red, yellow and green struck for two cracking goals.
Firstly, Garvan Ware pumped a high ball towards the Westmeath
posts and Colm Hayed rose to punch to the net from close range. Shortly
afterwards a frenzied Carlow attack ended with Johnny Nevin releasing to
a bunch of raiders, one of whom flashed the leather to the roof of the
It later transpired that the goal-scoring hero was super-sub Jody
Morrissey. Indeed Morrissey's name will be forever linked with this
game, as upon his introduction his exceptional mid-field play turned the
game in Carlow's favour. Joe Murphy, Willie Quinlan and Johnny Nevin
vied for the honour of man of the match.
Carlow: John Kearns; John Wynne, Tom Hanafin, Joe Murphy; Noel
Fallon, Sean Kavanagh, Alan Callinan; Garvan Ware, Hughie Brennan
(captain); Willie Quinlan, Johnny Nevin, Anthony Keating; Noel Doyle,
Colm Hayden, Joe Hayden. Sub: Jody Morrissey.
Source: Carlow GAA Website.
The Carlow 1944 All-Ireland Semi-finalists
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