SIGNIFICANT ANNIVERSARY: It was the Club’s greatest victory in our one hundred year history, and it happened in Croke Park, forty years ago today (13th March 1977), when we won our first and, so far, only All Ireland SF Club Championship title.
In that final on that Sunday afternoon we defeated the Derry Champions – Ballerin – with three points to spare (1-13 to 2-7).
The memories of that day, in brief, include Ballerin scoring two early goals, Paudie McCarthy’s fisted goal bringing us back into the game to leave us trailing by 2-5 to 1-4 at half time.
Then that whole-hearted display in the second half by everyone in a Rock jersey, Mikey Sheehy’s unerring free-taking, Fionán Ryna’s two great points, one in each half, and finallyTimmy Sheehan’s long-ranged point into the Railway end, the last score of the game , to clinch an historic victory.
Team: Teddy Brick (RIP), Garry Scollard (RIP), Noel Power, Paul Lucey, Fintan Lawlor, Tony O’Keeffe, Ger Power, John O’Keeffe (Capt) (0-1), Ger O’Keeffe (0-1), Timmy Sheehan (0-1), Denny Long, Fionán Ryan (0-2), Jackie Power, Paudie McCarthy (1-1), Mikey Sheehy (0-7 – 3 frees; one side-line). Sub used: Colm Mangan.
To get to that final we had two easy enough games and two really hard-fought ones. In Munster we overcame Croom (1-13 to 0-4) and St. Finbarrs (1-7 to 0-8). Then in the All Ireland quarter and semi we defeated London (2-16 to 0-7) and Portlaoise (1-14 to 2-6).
The following players also played in some of those earlier games: Billy Curtin, Aidan O’Connor, Mike Culloty, Paddy Whack Moriarty and John L. McElligott.
The legendry Joe Joe Barrett was team manager during that momentous season with Club Chairman, Jimmy Barry (RIP) also on the management team. I’m sure this will form part of our centenary celebrations later in the year.
CENTENARY MEMBERSHIP DEAL: We continue to ask existing members, players, former players, supporters, parents of juvenile players both boys & girls clubs, business owners and friends of Austin Stacks (living abroad or at home) to consider becoming a Member of the Club and also entry to the Austin Stacks Weekly lotto.
The total cost for this dual package is by direct debit €10 a month. 2017 Direct Debit Mandate membership/lotto forms are now available from all Executive Officers or can be posted out to anyone who wishes to join – email Secretary.firstname.lastname@example.org or text your name & address to Club Secretary on 086 1053300. Please sign up and play your part in guaranteeing the financial future of our great club.
GAELTACHT SCHOLARSHIPS: are funded by GAA Coistí (Munster, Kerry & District Boards) to give some financial help to young students who wish to spend time in Corcha Dhuibhne, West Kerry over the summer months.
If you wish your child to avail of the scoláireacht, apply immediately by texting your child’s name to Club Secretary on 086 1053300. All applicants must be registered members of Austin Stacks GAA or Austin Stacks Ladies Club. Closing date for receipt of applications March 31st.
SENIOR FOOTBALL: We have no competitive game on this week-end as our opening round against Dr. Crokes has been put back due to the Killarney boy’s involvement in the All Ireland Club final on St. Patrick’s Day. Let us take this opportunity to wishes Crokes the best of luck on Friday.
As neighbours across the Shannon we should also be wishing the Ballyea Hurlers (Clare) the best of luck in the SH Club final but we have a vested interest in this game as our own Club Rockie member, Seán McMahon (son of Tadgh, former Club Chairman, brother of Tim, current Juvenile Chairman and of Elma Nix, current Club Secretary) is also a member of the Cuala Club (Dublin). So we have to have a slight preference for Cuala on this occasion.
B FOOTBALL: Rathmore 1-8; Austin Stacks 1-6
On a bitterly cold Sunday afternoon (12th March) in Rathbeg our B team looked well set up at half time (we led by 1-5 to 0-3) to take all two points in this opening round of the Co. League, despite having played with the aid of a very strong wind in that first half.
We had a very good start and led by 1-4 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter with points from Cian O’Sullivan (the opener), Denis O’Neill and, team Captain, Dale Counihan (2) and a well-taken goal by Seamus Bastible in the 8th minute.
With the home side going defensive the second quarter only produced two more scores – a point for each side – with Fergal Ryan putting over following a well-taken Ciarán O’Connell free into the square.
The half time margin could have been a lot closed but for a wonderful save by Pa Fitzgibbon in the closing minutes.
Two minutes into the second half we were reduced to 14 men and we really struggled after that. Our only point in this half came from Dale Counihan in the 43rd minute and with ten minutes remaining in the game we were still ahead by two points (1-6 to 0-7) when we too easily gave away possession, which Rathmore capitalized on to break through for their only goal of the game – a score which turned out to be the match winner.
They added a further point late on to give them a two points cushion at the end.
So a little disappointing for Team Manager, Jonathan Magnier and his fellow mentors, Richie Conway, Eamon O’Reilly and Kieran Kelliher , ably assisted by Brían Mangan. But no doubt there will be better days to come with so much potential in this squad.
Team: Pa Fitzgibbon, John Murphy, Barry Walsh, Paul Galvin, Dylan Harnett, John Dennis, Brandon Patterson, Denis O’Neill (0-1), Ciarán O’Connell, Denis Costello, Shane Carroll, Seamus Bastible (1-0), Fergal Ryan (0-1), Cian O’Sullivan (0-1), Dale Counihan (Capt) (0-3).
Subs used: Seán Dukes (ht), Cathal O’Reilly (44m), Calvin Foley (48m), Andrew Morrissey (56m).
We now welcome Moyvane to Connolly Park on next Friday afternoon (St. Patrick’s Day) for game number 2 in the League and they will be smarting after a rather heavy defeat by neighbours Ballylongford in the opening round (3-14 to 1-7). The throw-in on Lá ‘le Pádraigh is 2pm.
CONGRATS: to the Kerry U21 footballers (including our own Jack Morgan) on their victory over Clare in the opening round of the Munster Championship last week and we wish them every success as they travel to Dungarvan on this Wednesday evening (15th March) where they take on Waterford in the semi final at 7.30pm.. The Final is fixed for Wednesday fortnight (29th March).
MINOR FOOTBALL: Dr. Crokes 1-8; Austin Stacks 3-8.
It was like a summer’s day in Lewis Road on last Saturday afternoon (11th March) and with two attacking sides on display it was a little surprising that the first half was relatively low-scoring – Crokes ahead at the break by 0-6 to 0-4. The home side opened the scoring after just 18 seconds but didn’t score again until the 22nd minute, even though they were mounting attack after attack.
But such was the quality of our defence that those attacks were continually repulsed. Shane Kelliher was involved on many occasions and if Shane wasn’t there Dylan Casey stepped into the breach.
Likewise, Tomás Sheehy and Conor Lowe intervened many times as did Donagh McMahon and Odhran Liston. Our four points in this half came from Donagh McKivergan (2) and one each from Gearóid Fitzgerald and Michael Linnane.
As they did in the first half Ciarán O’Reilly and David Fitzmaurice dominated midfield with some beautiful fielding and inch-perfect distribution. And all this contributed to a super second half start.
In the second minute David’s long ball was gathered by Michael Slattery who burrowed his way through the Crokes defence and placed his shot low in the corner of the net.
Six minutes later Michael was on target again, this time putting over a free after Michael Linnane was fouled going through. Then a minute later Donagh McKivergan’s quickly-taken free found Michael Slattery again who blasted to the net to put us five clear.
By the 50th minute we had extended that lead to six after scoring three more points to two for the opposition.
Those three points came from a Donagh McKivergan free and one each from play by corner forwards Gearóid Fitzgerald and Michael Slattery with good support play from Gearóid Sheehan and Harry O’Callaghan.
Crokes got themselves back in the game in the 52nd minute when they converted a penalty (2-8 to 1-8) but then, a minute from time, good work from Seán Quilter (making his Minor debut) and Dylan Casey put Gearóid Fitzgerald through for our third goal and after this there was no way back for our black & amber cousins.
This was our first Minor win over Crokes since the 2013 season, the year in which we last won the Co. League.
Team: Robbie Murphy, Shane Kelliher, Dylan Casey, Tomás Sheehy, Conor Lowe, Donagh McMahon, Odhran Liston, Ciarán O’Reilly, David Fitzmaurice, Gearóid Sheehan, Harry O’Callaghan, Michael Linnane (0-1), Gearóid Fitzgerald (Capt) (1-2 – one free), Donagh McKivergan (0-3 – 2 frees), Michael Slattery (2-2 – one free).
Subs used: Seán Quilter (51m), James Quigley (54m) (0-1), Joe Looby (56m).
We are in action again on this Wednesday night (15th March) at 7pm when we travel to play John Mitchels, under lights, in the postponed R3 Town League game. We were due to play Kerins O’Rahillys on St. Patrick’s Day in round 5 of the Town League but this will not now go ahead as planned. Our next scheduled Co. League outing will be a home game against Na Gaeil on Saturday, 25th March.
WEDDINGS BELLS: There will be great celebrations this week when former Club footballer, Trevor Gazza Houlihan and Susan Roche get married on this coming Thursday (16th March), We all wish Susan and Gazza every health and happiness for the future.
CLUBHOUSE: As always the Clubhouse is available for all types of Parties. For Bookings, phone Maurice McNamara at 086 3747 642.
CARDS: The 45 Card Sessions continue in the Clubhouse on every Monday and Thursday nights, commencing at 9.30pm each night.
LOTTO: Last week’s (6th March) Jackpot, worth €5,200, was not won. The numbers drawn were 2, 3, 25, 31. The €20 winners were: Trevor Houlihan, c/o The Club; Jim O’Shea, c/o Rock St. Post Office; Ena Healy, c/o Richard Healy; Moss Leen, c/o Tom Leen; and Paschal Power, c/o Carmel O’Neill.
SYMPATHY: Sincere sympathy is offered to the families of the following who died recently – Anne Sugrue (nee Flahive), Killerisk; Eileen Johnston (nee Brennan), Tralee and late of Mallow; Maurice (Moss) Dillane, Muing West, Oakpark (grandfather of current Juvenile players – Aoife, Cian and Eimear); Tommy Buckley, Cluain Árd, Ballyvelly and late of Behins, Listowel; Simon Mason, Knockmoyle and late of Kiltallagh, Castlemaine (father of former Club footballer, John); Hanna Mai Kerins (nee Breen), Heatherville Farm, Blennerville; and Vincent Edwards-Murphy (Vinnie Murphy), Caherina Cross, Strand Street and late of Kanturk).