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Tipp’s Anguish During Hurling ‘Famine’ Years Revealed

Noel A new publication reveals Tipp’s anguish during hurling ‘Famine’ years.

Three times Tipperary All-Star Tadhg O’Connor, who captained Tipperary to win the 1971 All-Ireland, (the last before the ‘eighteen year famine’) has revealed, in a new book, that had the ‘back-door system’ been in place back then, Tipperary would have won more All-Ireland titles.

In a new book entitled ‘Captains of the Premier Ship,’ which was penned by local journalist Noel Dundon of The Tipperary Star and which is to be launched on Saturday November 15th in St Patrick’s College here in Thurles by Nicky English, the Roscrea man states that while Tipperary were just outside the standard in the straight knock-out system, a back-door would have given them vital extra games and, crucially, a chance to make amends.

Tipperary, having beaten Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Final of 1971; a game made famous by the appearance of Michael ‘Babs’ Keating in his bare feet, surrendered their Munster and All-Ireland titles in 1972. The team bounced back in 1973 to reach the Munster final again. Limerick were the opponents for the second time in three years, but on this occasion Tadhg ended up once more on the losing side.

“We were just outside the standard and losing those games meant that your season was over. We were beaten by the eventual Munster winners and they went on to at least contest the All-Ireland final. We were not too far off at all and I suppose if the current back-door system was in place back then, we would have been in the shake-up a lot more often. But it wasn’t and, when you lost in the championship, that was it for another year. The back-door came about forty years too late for us,” he said.

Tadgh played in three National Hurling League Finals, but won only one medal, when Tipperary beat Galway in 1979. However, he cited the importance of the league and said that players always made themselves available to play for Tipperary whenever they could, because, having been knocked out so early in the championship, it was the only show in town for regular games in the ‘blue and gold’ jersey.

Also contained in the book, which is a 320 page history of the twenty one All-Ireland winning senior hurling captains from the county and a record of the twenty six All-Ireland titles captured, the legendary Jimmy Doyle tells of how he cried the day1964 captain Michael Murphy was told he would have to retire from the game due to a recurring knee injury. Doyle, captain in 1962 and 1965 described his Thurles Sarsfields clubmate as ‘stylish and classy’ and added that he had a magnificent All-Ireland Final on the great Eddie Keher in 1964.
“I went to school with him and lived near him. He was always in and out of our house at home in Bohernanave, Thurles. When he was forced to retire I was so disappointed for him because he lived for hurling and loved it. I cried actually when he got the news,” Jimmy said. He added, “We nearly reared him and he was a brilliant sticks-man. He was as good a half back as there was and he was badly missed when he departed the scene. It was very hard on him. It was cartilage trouble – a problem which would be mended now in a few weeks – but it was the finishing of a hurler back then. I had a scare myself training for the club when one of the lads came down on my knee during football training. I was out for a good while and I realised how quickly it could all come to an end – as it did for Michael. I was lucky, I managed to get back but the knee was never the same.

“I was always very fond of Michael – himself and Sean McLoughlin are great club men and great Tipperary men. McLoughlin was so unlucky not to captain Tipperary to an All-Ireland title in 1963 – we spoke about it recently and I told him that along with Michael’s injury, one of my regrets would be that we didn’t win the All-Ireland when McLoughlin was captain,” Jimmy says.

The book ‘Captains of the Premier Ship,’ which will be available in local bookshops after the launch, is a real collectors item as well as being a very interesting insight into those unique ‘band of brothers’ – Tipperary’s All-Ireland winning senior hurling captains.

All profits from this most excellent publication will be donated to the mental health charity AWARE.

Thurles Squash Club Membership Costs Reduced

Hurling-leafletMr Gerry Connaughton, Thurles Squash Club, reports.

I write to bring to your attention to a unique new offer to help keep your team members and players fully trained and in tip-top shape, during the next six months off-season hurling.

Thurles Squash Club Offers Reduction in Team Player Membership

That wonderful sports facility known as Thurles Squash Club are offering all GAA members a significant price reduction in membership fees for the 2014/2015 winter Squash playing season.

This reduction will now allow all participating team players to immediately avail of a six months membership and an introduction to this exciting sport, for as little as €60.00 for the half year winter period.

It is a proven fact that playing Squash not only keeps players fully fit, but also greatly increases necessary ‘hand to eye’ co-ordination skills, while also boosting greater agility; it is surely the most perfect sport to keep any GAA player fully active during the long winter months.

Should you require any further information, please contact them on Mobile (087) 3922797 or contact them through their Facebook page.

(Click on the image above, left, to enlarge the poster.)

Disappointment For Tipperary As Kilkenny Win 2014 Hurling Replay

Tipp V KilkTipperary met Kilkenny in Croke Park today to decide the All-Ireland Hurling replay champions for 2014, playing in front of an official attendance of 81,753 loyal hurling fans. But it was not to be Tipperary’s day with Kilkenny claiming a 35th All-Ireland title by just three points, thus taking home the Liam MacCarthy Cup and granting manager Brian Cody his 10th career success.

All-Ireland Hurling Replay First Half

Tipperary opened the scoring, taking the lead for the first 8 minutes with points from Noel McGrath and Shane McGrath. First matching scores from Kilkenny came from two points from Richie Hogan in the 8th and 11th minute respectively, making it all square.

Kilkenny now moved into the lead with points from Kilkenny’s Eoin Larkin and TJ Reid answered by Tipperary’s O’Dwyer and Callanan making it all square for the second time. Michael Fennelly restores Kilkenny’s lead by the seventeenth minute and despite Tipperary manufacturing two excellent goal chances through Callanan and O’Dwyer; both just 10 yards out, Kilkenny managed to clear courtesy of J. J. Delaney.

T.J. Reid taped over another point following a foul on Colin Fennelly but same is soon answered by Shane McGrath, latter who runs 30 yards to find his target from 65 yards.

Then in the 28th minute Lar Corbett picks out Callanan in front of the Kilkenny goal and the latter taps past an out-rushing Murphy to rifle into the goal mouth, scoring the first and only goal of the first half.  The score now stands Tipperary 1-05 (8 pts) – Kilkenny 0-06 (6 pts).

A point from Reid conceded by a Woodlock free soon reduces Kilkenny’s deficit, but a point from Tipperary’s Callanan in the 33rd minute, following a Kieran Joyce charge, cancels this efforts.

Following points from both Michael Fennelly, and a beautiful over his shoulder point from Shane McGrath the half time whistle finds the scoreboard reading  Tipperary 1-07 (10 pts) – Kilkenny 0-08 (8 pts).

All-Ireland Hurling Replay Second Half

The second half saw both teams return to do battle with no changes to either of the sides made at half-time.

Kilkenny’s Richie Power opens the scoring with a point, followed quickly by two points from Reid and two points from Fennelly, making it five in a row for the ‘Cats’.

Tipperary had to wait over 13 minutes before Callanan registers their first score of the second half; a point from a free by Paul Murphy on Noel McGrath. Same is answered by John Power with 50 minutes on the clock, but Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer replies straight away. In the 56th minute Tipperary are granted a penalty and Callanan opted to put the ball over the bar for a point, 13 minutes from time.

Fate however was to deal a cruel blow to Tipp, when Kilkenny danger-man Richie Power wins the ball close in and rifles into Gleeson’s net in the 59th minute. Tipperary 1-11 (14 pts) to Kilkenny 1-15 (18 pts).

Despite another point from Callanan, worse was yet to come when Tipperary failed to clear their lines and Kilkenny’s John Power, taps home another goal from just 2 yards out, leaving Tipperary with a 6 point hill to climb; Tipperary 1-12 (15 pts) to Kilkenny 2-15 (21 pts).

But there was still fight in Tipperary and John O’Dwyer got on target with a point from a free with just 5 minutes of ordinary time remaining, but with 5 points behind.

Brendan Maher takes a further point in the 67th minute and two minutes later Callanan smashes the sliotar into Murphy’s and the Kilkenny net  just 1 minute from stoppage time. The game now had taken on all the appearance of a grandstand finish.

Regrettably with just 3 minutes of stoppage time left to play, Colin Fennelly gets a further point and Tipperary now needed a miracle goal. But it was not to be this time out, despite Tipperary battling valiantly all the way to the very end. Perhaps it was that 13 minute barren spell they endured on the scoreboard early in the second half, which finally was to seal their fate.

Alas, final result: Kilkenny 2-17 (23 pts) – Tipperary 2-14 (20 pts).

Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, C. Barrett, J. Barry, P. Stapleton, B. Maher, Pádraic Maher, K. Bergin, S.McGrath, J.Woodlock, G. Ryan, J. O’Dwyer,  L. Corbett; N. McGrath, S. Callanan  and P. Maher.

Subs: M. Cahill for S. McGrath, C. O’Mahony for Ryan, S. Bourke for L. Corbett, J. Forde for N. McGrath and J O’Brien for J. O’Dwyer.

Referee: B. Gavin, (Offaly).

Historic Hayes Hotel Sells For €650,000

Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Historic Hayes Hotel hotel, situated here in Thurles Co Tipperary, where the GAA was first founded, has been sold today at the Allsop Space auction for €650,000.

A solicitor, representing the new purchasers was present to conduct bidding at the auction, however afterwards refused to be drawn by media as to the new clients true identity; stating that the new owner wished to remain anonymous for the time being.

The Hotel in Thurles, went under the hammer initially with a reserve price of a mere €500,000.

Hayes Hotel

Hayes Hotel traded under the name ‘The Star and Garter’ in the 18th Century. The hotel was purchased in the 1830’s by Mr William Boyton and became known as ‘Boyton’s Hotel’. In the 1870’s the hotel was then purchased by Miss Eliza J. Hayes and became known as ‘Hayes’ Commercial and Family Hotel’.

On November 1st, 1884, a group of Irishmen, Michael Cusack, Maurice Davin, John K. Bracken, George McCarthy, P.J. Ryan, John Wise-Power and John McKay gathered in the then hotel’s billiard room, later to be known as the ‘Red Room’ to formulate a plan to establish an organisation to foster and preserve Ireland’s unique games and athletic pastimes. The end result was the foundation one of the world’s greatest amateur associations, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Despite going into receivership in April 2013, Hayes’ Hotel today still remains a popular venue for sportsmen, local people and tourists alike.

Kilkenny Delay Return Of Liam McCarthy Cup To Tipperary

Tipp V KilkFirst Half:  2014 All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

Scoring started in the first minute with a point from Kilkenny’s Colin Fennelly immediately cancelled by Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer. The game was on between the two giants of hurling Tipperary and Kilkenny with Tipperary playing into the Hill in the first half.

And what an enthralling game of skill it turned out to be, with Noel McGrath and Lar Corbett truly outstanding and on top in most sectors of the field for Tipperary.

For the first 20 minutes it was a classic game of ‘tit for tat’ hurling with the scoreboard registering Kilkenny 0-06 pts to Tipperary’s 0-08 pts; same points coming courtesy of  Tipperary’s Shane McGrath, Seamus Callanan, Noel McGrath, Lar Corbett and James Woodlock and Kilkenny’s Conor Fogarty, TJ Reid and Colin Fennelly.

Then in the 21 minute, to the delight of blue and gold supporters, Tipperary’s Patrick Maher fielded a Gleeson puck-out, to beat his marker and rifles past Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy, for the first goal of the match.

Tipperary were 5 points in the lead; 1-08 (11 pts) to Kilkenny’s 0-06.

One minute later Tipp’s Patrick Maker is brought down in rugby tackle style by Cats Paul Murphy and Callanan steps up to take the resulting penalty. Alas it’s saved by Murphy and two minutes later a briefly unmarked Richie Power, despite the best efforts of Gleeson, taps the ball in the back of Tipperary’s net.

Tipperary are now 1-09 (12 pts) to Kilkenny 1-07 (10 pts).

Right up to the last seconds of the first half the game moved backwards and forwards, with both teams displaying the ultimate in skill, with points coming from Tipp’s Callanan and McGrath quickly cancelled by Kilkenny’s Reid, Fogarty and Fennelly thus registering a first half  score of Tipperary1-13 (16 pts) – Kilkenny 1-11 (14 pts).

First half saw the issue of two yellow cards; one for Tipp’s John O’Dwyer and one for Kilkenny’s Conor Fogarty.

Second Half: 2014 All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

In front of 82,179 supporters and with 36 minutes of play under their belt, both teams returned to do battle with no changes made on either side from the first half selection.

Kilkenny start the scoring immediately with TJ Reid turning on a sixpence to blast home a goal; Kilkenny 2-11 (17 pts) Tipperary 1-13 (16 pts), but Tipp’s Shane McGrath immediately levelled it up for the seventh time in the game with yet another superb point.

The battle for All Ireland hurling supremacy now began in earnest with both teams winning and losing advantage.

Then in the 49th minute Kilkenny’s Richie Power gathered again, rifling a goal past Gleeson, followed by a quick point from Richie Hogan and with the scoreboard reading Kilkenny 3-16 (25 pts)  to Tipperary’s 1-18 (21 points) Tipperary had uphill work on hand. And climb that hill Tipperary did; aided by substitutes Mickey Cahill (on for Gearoid Ryan), Eoin Kelly (on for James Woodlock) and despite Kilkenny’s Henry Shefflin (on for Colin Fennelly).

As both teams traded points; (Tipperary: Noel McGrath, Lar Corbett, Mickey Cahill, Gearoid Ryan, John O’Dwyer, Patrick Maher and Seamus Callanan. Kilkenny: TJ Reid, Walter Walsh and Richie Hogan), by the 69th minute and with 4 minutes, including injury time, left to play, Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer, from the tightest of angle, recorded a brilliant point leaving both teams level pegging once again; Kilkenny 3-22 (31 pts) Tipperary 1-28 (31 pts).

In the dying moments of full-time Kilkenny’s Brian Hogan was found guilty of charging; resulting in a free for Tipperary some 97 metres out. Hawk-Eye was brought into play for the third time during this match confirming a near miss wide right of the Kilkenny goal post.

Full Time Score: Kilkenny 3-22 (31 pts) Tipperary 1-28 (31 pts). Both teams must now return to do battle once again in 3 weeks time.

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