The History of Midleton’s County Senior Football & Hurling Titles
The Club was first affiliated to the association by Jeremiah J Coffey in Thurles in January 1885.
But history records that in fact it was in Football that the Club first excelled in and in 1890 the Cork County Senior Football, Munster & All Ireland Championship titles were won. The successful route was as follows; victory’s over Cloyne, Lisgoold, Kilmurray & Dromtariffe in the County, in the Munster Championship they defeated Kinsalebeg of Waterford and then Laune Rangers of Kerry in the final and over a weekend in Dublin they defeated Armagh in the semi-final and later in the final when Blues & Whites of Wexford failed to show up the Magpies were awarded the title.
In 1914 Midleton Senior hurlers began their campaign with a victory over Cloughduv, and then they defeated St Marys and Collegians to reach the County final against Blackrock. Unfortunately the Rockies failed to show up in Mallow for the final and the match and championship was awarded to Midleton, a most unsatisfactory conclusion but a first senior hurling title was recorded.
Midleton – G O Shea (capt), Jack Grandon, Dan Twomey, William Twomey, Jim O Connell, Tom Deasy, Pats Cahill, Dick Gorman, Jimmy Ramsell, Willaim Donovan, Pat O Leary, Jeremiah Egan, Bertie Walsh, John Horgan & Willie Williams.
Having lost the semi final in 1915 to Redmonds the Midleton team despite the “Political conditions” of the times trained diligently to be ready for the 1916 campaign. In the first round they defeated Charleville, in the semi final they eventually got to play Blackrock and in the Cork Athletic grounds before a huge crowd Midleton avenged the defeats of previous years by winning comfortably on a score line of 5-02 to 2-03. In the County final they defeated Shamrocks after a very close encounter by a single point.
Midleton - Jim O Connell (capt), Jack Grandon, Pats Cahill, Dan Twomey, Tom Deasy, Michael Kearney, Jeremiah Egan, Gerald O Shea, Bertie Walsh, Jimmy Ramsell, Dave O Keeffe, Tom Twomey, Dick O Gorman, William Twomey & Johnny Desmond.
All of 67 years later in 1983 they had to wait for the next Senior Hurling title having defeated Duhallow, Muskerry & Youghal in the earlier rounds they reached the final on the 9th of October against the mighty St Finbarrs. After decades in the doldrums, all was forgotten in the golden moment of success when captain John Fenton proudly held the Sean Og Murphy Cup aloft having won on a scoreline of 1-18 to 2-09. It was a moment for all Midleton folk young and old to savour forever and tears of joy were shed unashamedly. Led by the local Holy Rosary Brass & Reed band the team was led on a victory parade through the town that evening before a huge crowd of over 8,000 people.
Midleton – Ger Power, Denis Mulcahy, Michael Boylan, Dave Crotty, Sylvie O Mahony, Sean O Brien, Pat Hartnett, John Fenton, Tadgh Mc Carthy, John Hartnett, Colm O Neill, Kevin Hennessy, David Boylan, Ger Fitzgerald & John Boylan. Subs Kevin Coakley, Edser Cleary, Jude O Keeffe, Ger Glavin, Malcom Adams, John Hennessy, Liam Williams, Jerry Smyth, Michael Hartnett & Des Hurley.
Three years later the 1986 Championship campaign began with a win over Muskerry in the Pairc, in the second round the team played brilliantly to defeat the Barrs by 4-16 to 2-13 and in the semi final after receiving a fright they defeated Carrigdhoun by 3-14 to 1-15 to reach the final against Blackrock. Having lost the previous years final to the Rockies the magpies showed great heart and conviction to win by 1-18 to 1-10 helped in no small way by their captain Kevin Hennessy who played a major role in this victory.
Midleton – Ger Power, Denis Mulcahy, Jerry Smyth, Michael Boylan, Edser Cleary, Sean O Brien, Pat Hartnett, Tadgh Mc Carthy, Michael Crotty, Ger Glavin, John Hartnett, John Boylan, David Boylan, Ger Fitzgerald & Kevin Hennessy (capt). Subs Sylvie O Mahony, Colm O Neill, Kevin Coakley, John Fenton, Donal Fenton, Liam Ryan, Coleman Quirke, & Michael O Mahony.
Back to back County titles was secured in 1987 when the Magpies defeated Seandun, Avondhu, and St Finbarrs to reach the final when after an exhilarating hour they eventually defeated a gallant Na Piarsaigh side by 2-12 to 0-15. In the Munster Club campaign Clarecastle were defeated in Ennis and Ballyduff from Waterford were accounted for in Midleton to secure a Munster Club final place against Cappawhite from Tipperary. After a pulsating hour at Kilmallock Midleton emerged winners on a scoreline of 1.12 v 1.11 to qualify for the All Ireland semi final against Antrim and Ulster champions Cushendall. Creating another piece of history Midleton became the first club from the south to travel and stay with their hosts in the Glens of Antrim. Before a large crowd of 5, 000 people, Midleton dominated the game and ran out easy winners on a score line of 3.11 v 2.05 having led 2.05 v 0.03 at the interval. They now qualified to play Athenry in the Club final on St Patrick’s Day where history was made on that never to be forgotten day when they emerged victorious on a score line of 3.08 v 0.09, All Ireland Club Champions !
Midleton – Ger Power (capt), Denis Mulcahy, Michael Boylan, Sylvie O Mahony, Edser Cleary, Sean O Brien, Pat Hartnett, Tadgh Mc Carthy, Michael Crotty, John Fenton, John Hartnett, John Boylan, Ger Fitzgerald, Colm O Neill & Kevin Hennessy. Subs Ger Glavin, Vincent O Neill, Jerry Smyth, Kevin Coakley, Michael O Mahony, Coleman Quirke, David Quirke & Jerry O Farrell.
In 1991 Avondhu, Carbery, and Ballyhea were all defeated to secure a final place against Glen Rovers. This was the first championship meeting of the clubs in modern times and after a vigorous challenge Midleton deservedly clinched the title on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-08.
Midleton – Ger Power, Michael Boylan, Denis Mulcahy, Sean O Brien, Peter Smith, Pat Hartnett, David Quirke, John Fenton, John Hartnett, Vincent O Neill, Ger Fitzgerald (capt) , John Boylan, Padraig O Brien, Michael O Mahony & Kevin hennessy. Subs Cormac Quirke, Tom Abernethy, Robbie Fitzgerald, Coleman Quirke, Edser Cleary, Eamon Crotty, Kevin Roche & Willie Wallis.
A number of tough and frustrating years followed with much heartache and many defeats, however following tremendous work at street league level, juvenile and in the schools success begin to flow again. County titles at Fe 12, 16, Minor and U21 were annexed over the past number of years and their was great hope there that the Holy Grail of another Senior success was not far away.
There were huge celebrations at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2013 as Midleton claimed the County Senior Hurling title after a 22-year hiatus on a scoreline of Midleton 2-15 v Sarsfields 2-13.
Conor Lehane struck 2-10 to inspire Midleton to claim a first Cork senior hurling crown since 1991 in a brilliant decider this afternoon against Sarsfields. Cork senior Lehane was the main man as he produced a superb attacking display to help Midleton triumph in an all East Cork final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Reigning champions Sarsfields were chasing a fourth title in six years but they were defeated by Midleton who were appearing in their club’s first senior final since 1994.
Lehane, who grabbed 2-7 overall from play, and his inter-county colleague Luke O’Farrell both landed late points to edge Midleton in front after the teams had been tied at 2-13 apiece with eight minutes remaining. It was Lehane who caught the headlines in the first-half. His goal in the 5th minute cancelled out the green flag that had been raised for Sarsfields by Michael Cussen a minute earlier. Sarsfields took over from there with Cian McCarthy on the mark from frees and they were 1-7 to 1-4 clear in the 19th minute. Then Lehane pounced for his second goal of the game and Midleton went in at the break leading by 2-7 to 1-8. The winners started the second-half brightly but were then pegged back after Cian McCarthy fired home Sarsfields second goal after good work from Michael Cussen. Sarsfields briefly lead by 2-11 to 2-10 but Midleton drew level as the sides traded points. Yet Lehane and O’Farrell popped up with the vital scores and Midleton, who were reduced to 14 men when James Nagle was booked for the second time, defended stoutly to claim the honours. (report courtesy of the Score.ie)
MIDLETON: Tommy Wallace; Killian Burke, Patrick O’Mahony, Aylwin Kearney; Seamus O’Farrell, Finbarr O’Mahony, James Nagle; Paul Haughney, Peter Dowling; Padraig O’Shea (capt.), Conor Lehane, Aidan Ryan; Declan Ryan, Luke O’Farrell, Brian Hartnett. Subs Christopher Dunlea, Padraig O Keeffe, Cormac Walsh, Eoin Walsh, Elliot Mulcahy, Leslie Coughlan, Kieran Mulcahy, Padraig O’ Farrell, Darren Quirke, Eoin Ferriter, Oisin Cotter, Michael Abernethy, Ian O’ Brien, Padraig Nagle, Sean O’ Farrell, Gavin Bagnell , Patrick White & Ian Kennefick.
Team Management: Manager - Peter Smith & Selectors - David Hogan, Pat Walsh & Muiris Quirke Physical Trainer: Diarmuid Geary, Logisitics: Donie Keohane & Gavin Power, Doctor – Dr. Michael Thompson
Presently the club is in good hands and under the watchful eye’s of Hurling & Football Chairman Liam Ryan, Juvenile Chairman Cormac Quirke and Pavilion Chairman Alan Donegan the future is bright both on and off the field. While the expanding population around the area will bring its own opportunities and problems the members of Midleton GAA club are determined to keep the flag of the association flying proudly within the town and wherever the games of hurling and football will take them.
Midleton G.A.A. - The Story.
The concept of a Gaelic Athletic Association was first mooted in 1883 when a sub committee of the Irish Republican Brotherhood was formed with the ideal of creating a National Athletic body. Midleton man, P.N Fitzgerald was one of the committee members who eventually set up the Gaelic Athletic Association and thus Midleton’s love affair and commitment to the G.A.A. was established.
The club was formally affiliated to the association, when at the third meeting of the fledgling organisation, held in Thurles on the 17th January 1885; Jeremiah J Coffey formally registered the club as Midleton Football club.
The club blossomed in the early years and in 1890 brought the first senior football All Ireland title to Cork under the captaincy of Jim Power. This was an historic year in the annals of Cork G.A.A. as the hurlers, under the Aghabullogue banner also brought the hurling title to the Leeside.
Exactly 100 years later their modern day counterparts repeated this historic feat of winning the two All Ireland senior titles in the one year. Two Midleton players, Kevin Hennessy and Ger Fitzgerald, were instrumental in guiding the hurlers to their victory in 1990.
In 1914 and the historic year of 1916, Midleton Senior hurlers came to the fore winning two senior hurling counties. It was to be 67 long years before that feat was repeated. In the intervening years the clubs fortunes waned and even though there were some sporadic successes, the club failed to find a consistency in winning county titles. All the while the club continued to supply the county team with star players with Christy Ring being a club member when he played with the Cork minors in 1937.
In 1927 Cork proposed the setting up of a minor championship and in the first year of the competition in 1928 Midleton man Larry Horgan had the honour of captaining the first ever team to win an All Ireland minor hurling championship. Following him Willie Campbell played a major part in Cork’s winning four in a row team of the early 1940’s Gerald Murphy was the clubs most prominent player in the 50’s, while one of the greatest clubmen in its history, Paddy Fitzgerald, played a starring role for the county team throughout the 60’s.
The club purchased its present location from Lord Midleton in 1958 and has continuously upgraded its facilities in the meantime to make it the capital of sporting venues in East Cork and one of the finest arenas in the country.
In 1975 the clubs pavilion was opened and since its completion has played a vital role for the GAA and other sporting and cultural organisations within the greater East Cork area.
Following this, the club entered its’ greatest period in its history on the playing fields. When the intermediate hurling county was annexed in 1978 the club went from strength to strength culminating in winning the All Ireland Senior hurling title in 1987. Along the way, every county hurling title was won from underage to senior with the 1983 victory over St.Finbarrs being the most treasured. This was beyond the wildest dreams of anyone within the club, but the players proved it was not a one off wonder when they fulfilled their potential by winning three other county titles in 1986, 87 and 91 beating the cream of Cork hurling along the way.
By winning the title in 1983 the club were rewarded with the captaincy of the Cork team for 1984, the centenary year of the Association. In that year the club became only the second club in the history of the G.A.A. to provide All Ireland winning senior captains in both hurling and football when John Fenton captained Cork to All Ireland victory over Offaly in Thurles. There were five other Midleton players on the Cork panel that year with Joe Desmond being chairman of the selection committee.
The 1980’s and early 90’s were great years for the club but after the feast came some lean years. However, following tremendous work at street league level and in the schools success is starting to flow again. While the expanding population around the area will bring its own opportunities and problems the members of Midleton G.A.A. club are determined to keep the flag of the association flying proudly within the town and where ever the games of hurling and football will take them.