Fethard GAA Club
MATCH REPORTS ETC.
Fethard GAA Park consists of about 412 acres. It was originally part of the Drill Ground used by the British Cavalry. The Military Barracks was set-up by the British Army back in 1797 and before the dispersal sale had stabling for about eighty horses and accommodation for a staff of about one hundred and sixty. It became part of the State property on the withdrawal of the British forces from the 26 Counties in February 1922.
The lands were let for grazing from the twenties and up to the early 1930's Fethard GAA Club only had the use of the field with permission. In 1931 Bro Leo Slattery arrived in Fethard and he is regarded as the first man to "set out on the thorny road of acquiring for the Fethard Club this most necessary and suitable ground".
Bro Leo enlisted the help of many prominent people and they got the use of the Barrack Field on a letting basis for the Fethard GAA Club. The first chapter of the acquisition was closed when Bro Leo was transferred from Fethard. It took another member of the Patrician Brothers Community, Bro Albert Small, to make any further significant impact on the purchase of the field.
Bro Albert organised further meetings and tackled the legal matters. Once the legal matters were sorted out, the next problem was the purchase money. The local people responded generously but the records show that financial assistance also came from as far a field as New York. By 1957 the purchase money had been collected and there were only a few matters regarding entrances and boundaries left to be sorted out.
In 1971 work started on the Sports Centre which was officially opened on Sunday 9th June 1974. Fr. Cunningham, who was a local curate, was the man behind this venture. The facilities were improved with the addition of dressing rooms, and out in the field, seating with a covered stand was installed. On the 11th May 1982, the Fethard GAA Club officially opened what is now known as Fethard GAA Park. Up to now it was commonly called the Barrack Field.
In 1986, four people were employed for a twelve month period under a 'FÁS Manpower Scheme' doing repairs and renovation work on the grounds. Around 1987/88 a Committee was formed with the view of improving "the field". It was decided to try and level the Park. The then elected chairman, Miceál McCormack, was quick to set the wheels in motion. Expert advice was sought and the final touches were put to the plans. The work involved levelling the field which was about 4 feet higher at the top end of the field. This meant removing the top soil, installing drains, levelling the sub soil and then replacing the top soil. The committee involved obtained the best advice available. An expert from Teagasc, John Mulqueen, visited the field and the work was overseen by an engineer. Very valuable assistance was also provided by GAA County Development Officer, John Ryan. The field was levelled and extend to near maximum width. An additional 10 metres at each end was gained leaving the playing area extended by 20 metres. Today, the field is back in full operation after being closed for almost four years.
It was only when the Fethard GAA Park was closed that people realised the amount of traffic on the ground. There are senior, junior, intermediate and minor grades in football and hurling. Then there are all the grades in juvenile for the boys and camogie to cater for the girls. Fethard players and officials were lucky to have an obliging land-owner like Dick Cummins. Dick provided facilities for all GAA enthusiasts on his own land on the Clonmel Road. The members of the Club will not forget his generosity.
Fethard GAA Club 1998
WILLIE IS FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to Fethard captain Willie Morrissey who was chosen as winner of 'The Nationalist' Footballer of the Year Award. There are few more popular or accomplished footballers in the Premier County than Willie Morrissey, for whom the past year set the seal on a marvellous career. Willie captained Fethard to their South and County successes, and in their magnificent Munster final performance.
Throughout a long campaign he was never found wanting, and his outstanding general play and leadership proved an inspiration to his team mates. A noted sportsman and an above-average hurler, his all-round performances in 1997 won him a Cidona Award. His latest accolade crowns a wonderful year for Willie, and he can expect tremendous support not alone from his Fethard colleagues but from all over the division when he goes forward to collect 'The Nationalist' Award.
Past winners from Fethard: Michael 'Buddy' Fitzgerald (1991); Michael O'Riordan (1984); Dinny Burke (1983); John Keane (1979) and A.B. Kennedy (1978).
Senior Football Championship 1st Round (Sunday 26th April)
Result: Fethard 1-13, Ardfinnan 0-8 (in Clonmel)
MATCH REPORT (taken from The Nationalist)
Champs open in style
Fethard turned on the style in the final minutes notching four points without reply to score a decisive win over a disappointing Ardfinnan in an entertaining South Tipp SFC tie that drew a good attendance to Marlfield on Sunday evening.
On the evidence of this good all round display ‘The Blues’ are in no mood to surrender their South and County titles and they will certainly take a lot of beating. Their defence gave little away, they were well on top in midfield and their forward line combined well with some poor finishing being the only black mark on an otherwise impressive performance.
Ardfinnan generally proved a disappointment to their supporters with their leading players failing to display their top form They did battle on well however and they are certainly capable of improving on this performance.
Fethard opened in sparkling fashion and three early points from play followed by a well taken goal from John Paul Looby. Damien Byrne added another point before Brendan Cummins finally broke the duck for Ardfinnan with a 15th minute point. Earlier Peter Lambert had been unlucky with a goal chance as the ball came back off the upright with the defence well beaten. Ardfinnan continued to improve as the game went on and trailed by only four points at the break 1-5 to 0-4.
A purple patch for Ardfinnan at the start of the second half yielded points from Brendan Cummins and Peter Lambert and an exciting climax looked in store. However, Fethard responded with fine points from Brian Burke and Damien Byrne. Ardfinnan continued to battle well but Fethard now had a definite edge and a good last quarter from them put the issue well out of the reach of Ardfinnan. On the night we saw solid displays on the Fethard side from Stephen O’Donnell, Willie O’Meara and Willie Morrissey in defence, Michael Spillane and Michael Quinlan in midfield and John Paul Looby, Damien Byrne, Brian Burke, Eugene Walsh and Martin Coen in attack. Goalie Eamon Ryan, Alan John Lonergan, Albert Keating, Sean Maher, Brendan Cummins, Gerry Ryan and Peter Lambert had their moments for Ardfinnan.
Scores for Fethard: John Paul Looby 1-3; Martin Coen 0-4; Damien Byrne 0- 3; Brian Burke 0-3. Scores for Ardfinnan - Brendan Cummins 0-4; Peter Lambert 0-2; Kenneth O’Shea 0.1; Gavin O'Mahoney 0-1.
FETHARD: Paul Fitzgerald, Stephen O’Donnell, Ml. Ryan, Phil Blake, Ml. Carroll, Willie O’Meara, Willie Morrissey, Ml. Spillane, Ml. Quinlan, Eugene Walsh, Brian Burke, Damien Byrne, Martin Coen, Terry 0’ Sullivan, J. P. Looby. Sub: Tommy Sheehan for O’Sullivan.
ARDFINNAN: Eamon Ryan, Gerry Ryan, A. J. Lonergan, P. J. Lonergan, Eugene O'Mahoney, Albert Keating, Ml. English, Tristram Browne, Sean Maher, Gavin O'Mahoney, Brendan Cummins, Paul Lonergan, Peter Lambert, Joe Lambert, Ken O’Shea. Sub: Eamon Ryan for P. J. Lonergan.
Referee - Donie Cahill (Ballyporeen).
Minor Football Championship 'A' (Sunday 19th April)
Result: Fethard 2-18, Wild Rovers 3-5
National Hurling League (Sunday 19th April)
Result: Wexford 2-13, Tipperary 0-10
Junior Football League (Tuesday 21st April)
Awaiting Result: Fethard v St. Patricks
Minor Football Championship 'A' (Saturday 4th April)
Fethard v Moyle Rovers (postponed)
Clonmel Oil Cup Semi-Final replay (Sunday 5th April)
Fethard v Ardfinnan (postponed due to waterlogged pitch)
U21 Football 'A'
Result: Fethard 2-6, Cahir 2-10 (Sunday 29th March)
Junior Football League Final replay
Result: Ardfinnan 1-10, Fethard 2-11 (Sunday 22nd March)
Match Report (The Nationalist)
FETHARD RECOVER WELL TO LIFT TITLE
Whilst this South Tipperary JFL final replay played under ideal conditions at Marlfield on Sunday last never really lived up to the standard of the drawn game, it nonetheless produced a very entertaining tussle punctuated with some fine scores.
In the end Fethard proved worthy and deserving winners but this was an outcome that looked highly unlikely after twenty minutes of the opening half when a rampant Ardfinnan led by 1-6 to 0-1.
At this stage Derek, Shane and Aidan O’Mahony were giving the Fethard rearguard a torrid time and after Shane O’Mahony had goaled from a penalty to open up that eight points gap, things looked bleak for Fethard.
However ‘The Blues’ grabbed a lifeline in the 23rd minute when Colin Allen first-timed a John Hurley centre to the net and they enjoyed the better of the exchanges up to the break by which times the deficit had been reduced to four points 1-8 to 1-4.
Fethard then got a tonic second-half start when Eugene Walsh goaled within a minute and they signs were now ominous for Ardfinnan. However a fine point from Derek O’Mahony gave them a breather and with both sides introducing substitutes, the standard improved and excitement mounted. Johnny Neville and Conor O’Donnell put ‘The Blues’ on level terms with well taken points before O’Donnell edged his side in front in the 43rd minute.
Ardfinnan fought back to equalise with a Shane O’Mahony point but Fethard were now playing fine first-time football which paid off with points from Conor O’Donnell and Brendan Brett.
Five minutes from the end the outstanding O’Donnell put three points between the sides and a minute later substitute Jason Nevin added the insurance point. Ardfinnan battled back valiantly in an effort to gain the goal they so badly needed but two good scoring chances went abegging and Fethard emerged with a well- deserved success.
The winners introduced all five permitted subs and in general made very good use of the talent at their disposal. We saw outstanding contributions from Ken Hackett, Ken Sheehan and sub. Joe Keane in defence, Eugene Walsh and Thomas Bourke were always to the fore in midfield whilst Conor O’Donnell was the star of the attack which was also well served by John Hurley, Colin Allen and Johnny Neville.
Injuries to Declan and Marcus Ryan did not help Ardfinnan’s cause but they gave one hundred per cent and over the hour were best served by goalie Trevor O’Leary, Derek, Shane and Aidan O’Mahony, Dave Ryan and Michael O’Sullivan.
Scorers: Fethard: Conor O’Donnell 0-6, Colin Allen I-I, Eugene Walsh 1-0, Tomás Burke, Johnny Neville, Brendan Brett, Jason Nevin 0-I each. Ardfinnan: Derek O’Mahony 0-5, Shane O’Mahony 1-1, Liam Myles, Leslie Boyle, Aidan O’Mahoney, Cathal Hennessy 0-I each.
Fethard: Miceál S. McCormack, Billy Prout, Miceál Burke, John Kelly, Kenny Hackett, Aidan Fitzgerald, Ken Sheehan, Eugene Walsh, ‘Tomás Burke, Brendan Brett, John Hurley, Colin Allen, Johnny Neville, Brian Higgins, Conor O’Donnell. Subs: Joe Keane for B. Prout, Jason Nevin for A. Fitzgerald, Shane Kenny for B. Higgins, Roibeárd Broderick for C. Allen, Gerry Horan for B. Brett.
Ardfinnan: Trevor O’Leary, Eamonn Norris, Michael O’Sullivan, Bobby Corrigan, Declan Ryan, Marcus Ryan, John Kinehan, Aidan O’Mahony, Dave Ryan, Shane O’Mahony, Cathal Hennessy, Colin White, Derek O’Mahony, Leslie Boyle, Liam Myles. Subs: Kevin White for D. Ryan, Colin Quinn for B. Corrigan, Stan Barlow for M. Ryan.
Ref: Seamus Mullins, Commercials. )
SUN. MARCH 15th Minor Football Championship 'A' at Monroe:|
Result: Swans 0-05, Fethard 1-16.
Bishopstown Invitation Senior Football Tournament (Sunday March 15th) The senior football team travelled to Bishopstown, Cork, to oppose the home team in the semifinal of the Bishopstown Invitation Senior Football Tournament. Fethard, who travelled somewhat under strength, were beaten 3-11 to 0-11 by the Cork team.
GAA U/21 FOOTBALL CHALLENGE
Killenaule 4-11 , Fethard 2-12. (Saturday 28th February)
GAA SENIOR FOOTBALL
1997 Clonmel Oil League Semifinal (Sunday 22nd February)
Final score: Fethard 1-12 , Ardfinnan 2-9.
MATCH REPORT (from The Nationalist)
Bright Start to South Board's Year
South Board's 1998 activity got off to a splendid start at Ardfinnan on Sunday where Fethard and Ardfinnan served up an outstanding hour's football in the Clonmel Oil Cup senior football semifinal. At the end of the hour a draw proved an equitable result after a game that has whetted the appetite for the coming season. Fethard played with the wind advantage in a first-half and a goal from late arrival Brian Burke enabled them lead by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time. Goals in the 41st and 43rd minute from Joe and Peter Lambert put Ardfinnan in the driving seat but Fethard fought back gallantly for a succession of points that put them on level terms.
With time ticking away P.J. Ahearne edged 'The Blues' ahead with a fine point but Ardfinnan got the draw they well deserved when Ken Ryan scored in injury time. Stephen O'Donnell, Michael Quinlan, Brian Burke, Michael Spillane, Tommy Sheehan and Damien Byrne were in outstanding form for Fethard whilst Ardfinnan who lined out without Brendan Cummins were very well served by Peter Lambert, Allen John Lonergan, Albert Keating, Sean Maher, Alan O'Gorman and Gavin O'Mahoney. The replay will be staged in Fethard on a date to be arranged and the other semifinal will be contested by Moyle Rovers and Grangemockler.
Fethard: Brian Burke 1-2, Martin Coen, Damien Byrne, Tommy Sheehan 0-2 each, Jimmy O'Meara, Brendan Brett, Michael Quinlan, P.J. Ahearne 0-1 each.
Team: Miceál S. McCormack, Stephen O'Donnell, Michael Ryan, Kevin O'Donnell, Philly Blake, Michael Quinlan, Willie Morrissey, Michael Spillane, Damien Byrne, Kenneth O'Donnell, Martin Coen, Jimmy O'Meara, Brendan Brett, P.J. Ahearne, Tommy Sheehan. Sub: Brian Burke.
FETHARD FOOTBALLERS BEATEN
Fethard Senior Football team beaten by Moyle Rovers in the south semi-final, Sunday 9th August.
Fethard lost their South and County senior football titles when beaten by 0-16 to 1-10 by Moyle Rovers at Cahir, Sunday, 9th August. In the other semifinal Ardfinnan beat Commercials at the same venue.
Rovers were deserving winners in a game they could have won by ten or twelve points but just as easily could have lost. A few first-class stops by Paul Fitzgerald in the first half and a brilliant tip-over in the second half when goals for the Rovers seemed certain kept Fethard in the hunt. Paul, however, is just as much a part of Fethard team as Declan Brown, their chief scorer, is of Moyle Rovers.
A ball that came back off the top of the goal-post that would have given Fethard a one point lead in the second half was the turning point of the game. Rovers came down the field from the rebound and Fethard conceded a needless free-kick which was moved forward ten meters for dissent. Declan said "thanks very much" by kicking the free over no problem and Rovers were on their way. Brian Burke, Tommy Sheehan and Michael Quinlan were most impressive for Fethard.
Results South Senior Football Championship Semi-Finals (9/8/98)
Ardfinnan 2-8; Commercials 0-10.
Fethard 1-10; Moyle Rovers 0-16.