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Junior Title for Ballycommon

Chapter 14

Ballycommon captured the North Tipperary junior hurling title in 1941. They opened their campaign on 11 May with a victory over Kilruane MacDonaghs at Starr's field in Loughourna. Loughourna also played there that Sunday afternoon against their parishioners, Cloghprior. (Cloghprior was a short lived junior team formed by a break away group from Carney). Ballycommon and Loughourna met in the next round at Kilruane on 29 June. Ballycommon won by 4-5 to 2-2. The Nenagh Guardian reported that Paddy and Timmy Devaney did most of the scoring for the winners, with Jim Joe Grace also helping to add to the total. The Loughourna goals came from jack and John Harty of Ballinware and the points from Dinny Griffin of Ballyvillane, who was afterwards prominent on the Kildangan senior team. Ballycommon went onto defeat MacDonagh by 7-3 to 2-0 at Carney, and Redwood by 10-2 to 2-4 at Ballinderry. Victory over Templederry at Dolla on 2 November ensured them a place in the North Tipperary junior final.

The final against Boher at the Showgrounds, Nenagh, on Sunday 15 November 1941 was played in terrible conditions. Rain pelted down all the forenoon, the field was sodden, and the darkening sky made it almost impossible to see the ball. Yet despite the conditions there was a fine display of fast and vigorous hurling, reported the Nenagh Guardian on 21 November 1941. Boher led by 2-0 to 1-1 at half time despite playing against a stiff breeze. The Ballycommon goal came from John Gleeson and the point from Joe Cleary.

Both teams were evenly matched for the first quarter of the second half; then the Boher defence collapsed and Ballycommon began scoring at will. Goals from Edmund Devaney, Dave Morrissey and Joe Cleary put the issue beyond doubt and Ballycommon won comfortably by 6-3 to 2-3. The stars were in the sky when Mr. Dinny O'Brien sounded the whistle for full time, remarked the Nenagh Guardian wryly. It was a unique achievement: the only championship success for a club, which had first fielded a team almost half a century previously.

One Ballycommon player, Paddy Joe Collins of Ballyartella, recalls an incident that happened during the match. He and his Boher opponent were niggling and swearing loudly at each other when referee Dinny O'Brien of Grange dramatically stopped the match and ordered them both before him. Dinny threatened in language even louder and stronger that he would send them both to the line if heard any more of that bad language. The tension between the two evaporated amid the general outburst of laughter.


Ballycommon Hurling Team 1925
ballycommon.team.1925.jpg

Ballycommon, 1941:
John Gleeson (Ballycommon),Capt. Matt Gleeson (Ballydrennan),Ned Gleeson (Ballydrennan),Bill Gleeson (Ballycommon),Paddy Devaney (Crannagh),Edmund Devaney (Crannagh),Jim Joe Grace (Carhue),Willie Moloney (Crannagh),Tim Moloney (Crannagh),Timmy Devaney (Ballycommon),Paddy Joe Collins (Ballyartella),Joe Cleary (Kildangan),Dave Morrissey (Prospect),Mick Egan (Johnstown),Martin Hogan (Urra),Paddy Flannery (Castlesheela),Bart Flannery (Castelsheela).

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