1892 Clonakilty Tournaments revive interest in games

1892 saw a definite upsurge in football in West Cork, especially in the eastern side of the division. At a meeting of the Clonakilty Club in early February we read :

'Great pleasure was expressed at the progress of the Gaelic Clubs being established so largely in West Cork.'

While teams were very slow to enter the county championship, they were prepared to play in tournaments and friendlies. In 1892 several clubs came into existence in West Cork, some expressly with the purpose of just playing in the local tournaments. Among these were Bandon, Timoleague, Ardfield, Bealad

In the Southern Star of 6th March we read :

'If the Gaelic Athletic Association is on the decline in other parts of the country, it is gratifying to note that throughout West Cork the interest in Gaelic matters seems to be growing keener every day.'

The tournaments that were responsible for reviving interest were run by Clonakilty and newcomers, Timoleague St. Mologa's. Besides Timoleague, new clubs sprang up in Bandon, known as Bandon Shamrock's, Barryroe, Ardfield and Bealad.
Clonakilty Tournament

The Clonakilty tournament began in March with nine teams involved. Clon, Bandon and Timoleague, the three teams which played in the county championship that year, entered two teams each while Dohenys, Rosscarbery and Kilmacabea revived their teams to take part. Ardfield and Bealad were the new clubs.

In the first round Clonakilty beat newcomers Timoleague, Rosscarbery beat newcomers Bandon, Dohenys beat Bealad, Clonakilty 2nds beat Bandon 2nds and experienced Kilmacabea just scraped over Ardfield by a point.

In the second round, Kilmacabea beat Timoleague 2nds, and in the semi finals there were two great games with Clonakilty 1sts beating Rosscarbery and Kilmacabea overcoming Dohenys. That led to a final between hosts, Clonakilty, and Kilmacabea. With a lot of bad feeling between the clubs, the final turned out to be a tempestuous affair with the pitch being invaded repeatedly. Fittingly, it ended in a draw, 0-2 each.

The replay was even more controversial, played on the 8th May, before a huge crowd, and lasted a mere ten minutes before a major flare-up saw Kilmacabea refusing to continue, with Clon leading by a goal to a point. The referee, Mr. Michael O'Keeffe of the County Board, awarded the game to Clonakilty.

The tournament was played in brilliant weather conditions all through and the final and replay were prefixed by outstanding sports meetings.

Clonakilty : Tom Sutton (captain), P. Santry (vice-captain), F. O'Sullivan, W. Santry, M. Santry, P. Burke, W. Deasy, J. Hayes, D. Fitzpatrick, J. Brosnan, P. O'Brien, P. Reilly, M. O'Sullivan, P. Driscoll, R. Perrott, J. Shea, J. Cash. Also J. Donovan, Dan Fitzpatrick.

Kilmacabea : C. Hurley(captain), C. McCarthy, W.Fortune, C. Connell, M. Collins, J. M. White, P. Collins, R. White, J. Callaghan, J. Donovan, D. McDonald, J. Nagle, P. Shanahan, T. Donovan, J. Beamish.
Timoleague Tournament

The Timoleague Tournament was run off in August/September and this time there were two separate competitions for First and Second teams. Barryroe formed a new club to take part in this tournament and, although both teams were beaten by Clonakilty's more experienced sides, they put up very creditable performances.

After a series of fine games, which were carefully monitored by the local constabulary who expected every game to end in a riot, hosts Timoleague and Clonakilty qualified for the Firsts' final while Bandon and Clonakilty qualified for the 2nds final. To the indignation of the organising committee, under the very effective new secretary, station-master, John Burke, the authorities ordered that all pubs should be closed on the day of the final, despite the fact that all the games had proceeded without a moment's trouble.

Referee for the Firsts' final was the well-known Michael Deering, president of the Co. Board, who expressed himself highly satisfied at the exemplary conduct of the players and spectators. During the summer Clonakilty had won the West Cork championship, beating Bandon and Timoleague, in the final, in the process, before losing the county quarter final to a very strong Kilmurry, and they again proved their ability with a clear-cut victory in this tournament final. Leading by 2-3 to 0-1, with the wind, at half time, they emerged winners of their third big title of the year by 3-3 to 0-3 for Timoleague.

Clonakilty : Tom Sutton (capt..), P. Santry, M. Santry, W. Santry, D. Fitzpatrick, Denis Fitzpatrick, D. Donovan, J. Brosnan, J. McCarthy, P. Burke, F. Sullivan, W. Deasy, J. Cash, M. Sullivan, P. Reilly, R. Perrott, P. O'Brien.

Timoleague St. Mologa's : W. Heazle (capt..), M. Foley, J. Hennessy, M. Kelly, J. Cleary, D. Cooney, B. Heazle, W. Desmond, J. Collins, D. Desmond, M. Dempsey, J. Cullinane, J. Desmond, D. Harrington, M. Cullinane, J. Leahy, P. Crowley.

Referee for the Seconds' final between Bandon and Clon was local secretary, John Burke and Clon looked well on the way to a win when leading by 2-4 to nil at half time. However, Bandon put in a storming second half and Clon were very relieved to hear the final whistle as they hung on to win by a goal, 2-4 to 1-4.

Clonakilty : B. Driscoll (capt..), J. Shea, J. Hayes, J. Hurley, J.C. Collins, P. Deasy, T. Deasy, P. Byrne, J. O'Mahony, P. Ryan, P. Keohane, J. Callaghan, M. Walsh, James Hurley, M. Collins, P. Driscoll, M. Connor. Field umpire, J. Sutton.

Bandon : D. Donoghue, J. Daly, J. Tobin, M. Lyons, D. Leahy, J. Hallinan, G. Waugh, M. McCarthy, J. Carroll, J. Roche, J. Buttimer, D. Buckley, C. Driscoll, J. Doyle, J. Carey, D. McCarthy, P. O'Brien. Field umpire, D. O'Brien.