Laune Rangers – 1911
Killorglin reached the Co. Senior Football Championship Final for the seventh time, defeating Dingle and Valentia (after a replay) along the way. The final was played in Killarney and Killorglin, captained by Dan Hayes, defeated Tralee on the score of 1-3 to 1-1. That was Killorglin’s sixth title.
Dan Hayes was on the Kerry Senior team, which lost the Munster Semi-final to Waterford. Danny Clifford was a substitute.
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Tadhg Mangan was Chairman of Killorglin Football Club and John P. O Riordan was Secretary. Dan Hayes was the captain of the team.
Co. Senior Football Championship
12 teams entered for the Co. Senior Football Championship, Cahersiveen, Rathmore, Dingle St. Brendan’s, Annascaul, Tralee Parnell’s, Dromlought, Tralee Mitchel’s, Dr. Crokes, Laune Rangers, Dingle Gascons, Listowel and Valentia. Due to the fact that the 1909/1910 Co. Final was not played until 21st May, commencement of the 1911 Co. Championship was delayed.
Rd. 1 on Sun. 10th Sept. at Tralee: Killorglin w/o; Dingle Gascons scr.
The game had been previewed as follows: “This will prove the piece-de-resistance of the day, both teams having splendid records and standing prominently in the front rank of footballers in the county. Killorglin defeated Dingle last year in the semi-final but I understand that the Dingle team has been very much strengthened this season and intend making a big bid for championship honours. If such is the case, the Killorglin men will have their work cut out for them because, even with a poor team the boys from the West can be always depended on making a stubborn resistance.” Unfortunately, Dingle failed to appear for the game and Killorglin received a walkover.
Due to the very inclement weather, the championship was deferred to the following year.
Semi-final on Sun. 28th Jan. 1912 at Tralee: Killorglin defeated Valentia.
That was a good contest, both teams being about equal, and, although Killorglin won a disputed goal, the match was anyone’s up to the long whistle. The game had been originally scheduled for Sun. 5th Nov. but had to be postponed due to the inclement weather. Tadhg a’ Bhothair wrote in the Killorglin Notes in the Kerryman as follows: “Our boys beat Valentia on Sunday last, whether by instinct or training I don’t know. Some of them will tell you that a Killorglin man is always trained. Oh, yes, he is indeed, and that is the worst of it! This is the kind of feeling that seems to blight all chances of either training or organisation. We won, but did we deserve it – there is the rub. And still we have material able to compete with any team in Kerry if it could only be developed but, to tell the truth, the statue lies hidden in the block of marble and there it is bound to remain awaiting the sculptor’s hands but that sculptor must know how to kick a ball, handle a few men (in more senses than one), be able to discriminate between a footballer and a muff. He must also be in a position to get rid of those who are not worth their places (and there are a few), to command obedience on the field and show some traces of training by preventing the clashes amongst his own men, which we witnessed on Sunday last. Blues clashed against one another unnecessarily. I, therefore, suggest practice, organisation and combination as a remedy for all this. Then, go on boys, more power. No reason why you should not yet win the Co. Championship.”
Subsequently, Valentia’s objection to the disputed goal was upheld by the Co. Board and the game was declared ‘undecided’.
Co. Semi-final replay on Sun. 5th May 1912 at Killorglin: Killorglin defeated Valentia.
That game had been originally fixed for Sun. 14th April but had to be deferred as the Railway Company could not run the required trains owing to a coal strike.
The preview of the game in the Kerryman went as follows: “Playing at home should tell a little in favour of Killorglin, who are nothing if not robust in their methods. Valentia strikes me as being more scientific and a very promising team. This contest should be a rare one to look at and, I think, there will be very little difference at fulltime between the score of each side.”
As had been proved on more than one occasion, Killorglin had a combination that could fight all the way in a championship fixture. Even though, to the critical eye, their style of football might not have been as stylish as it could have been, they had the habit of getting there or thereabouts. What was the good of classy football, if you did not win matches? There was no doubt that the Valentia seventeen were a neat, scientific team, but they failed to make good against their strenuous opponents.
Tadhg a’ Bhothair mentioned the result in his Killorglin Notes: “There were no masterly expositions nor anything sensational in the results, namely, the Killorglin men proving their superiority over Valentia as Tralee did over Cahersiveen. At the same time, both games were very hardly contested and some good, all-round play was witnessed, though I cannot say it was masterly or brilliant on any side. Killorglin beat Valentia by a big score and, from the start, looked like holding the game in the hollow of their hands. Some of the boys played up to their usual standard and a few, whose names I will not mention, even excelled that standard, but, I am forced to say that, there a good deal of muffing and very poor play”.
Tadhg a’ Bhothair was not very happy with the arrangements for the game and used his Killorglin Notes in the Kerryman to express his views as follows: “The manner in which last Sunday’s arrangements were conducted was simply scandalous. Just fancy a football club, in an important fixture of that description, not even coming together to appoint officers to take charge of field arrangements, throwing all the work on the shoulders of three or four men who, merely because they were connected with the Association, had to accept responsibility, which they were physically incapable of discharging. At ten minutes before the appointed time, there wasn’t a man from the football club to be had for any purpose and, even throughout the day, the lack of assistance was simply aggravating. A lot of duffers, who ought to show some interest in the team or the development of the business of the town, loafed around, simply laughing at the few parties who were making an effort to keep order. Another lot of soulless, sneaking, pipe-clay, would-be sportsmen sneaked around the fences seeking only a few yards of barbed wire, which they might devour to gain them admission. We ought really have a properly enclosed sports-field in Killorglin, if only to vex the duffer and the pipe-clay sportsmen, and the business people, to whose interest it is to secure permanency of our Gaelic fixtures, as well as getting others in addition, ought to throw themselves into a work that, apart from other things, is calculated to bring money into the town. We have a lot of noise and hubbub about a race meeting and the townspeople, on those occasions, subscribe £40 or £50 for the purpose. A football match costs nothing. Only a little energy on the part of a few men is required to organise it and, no matter how much money it realises, no publican, or business person of any description for that matter, seems to take any interest whatever in helping, developing or making permanent a fixture of the kind. This is a crying shame and I hope in future to find the business men more interested in the matter. And, now that the C.D. Board (Congested District Board) is amongst us, we ought to come together and ask them for a general recreation ground for the young men of the town and country, which could be properly enclosed and finished off at a very low rent, which would be a source of revenue to the securities, to the Association and to the town.”
The preview of the Co. Final went as follows: “The finalists are the Tralee Mitchels, holders, and the Killorglin Laune Rangers. From what I can learn, the latter have been training assiduously for some time, and are quite confident of bringing about the overthrow of the Mitchels and thus effecting the first break in the sequence of brilliant successes, which extend over eleven years. There is no doubt that Tralee, as a result of several of their players taking part in Sunday’s hard game against Cork, are somewhat handicapped. That Killorglin are tough nuts to crack in championship fixtures, has been proved long ago. They are hard, determined players without any weakness for scientific display. As footballers, pure and simple, they are far inferior to Tralee, but, as aspirants to championship honours, it is not easy to place them. There is no doubt that the Mitchels know full well the class of opponents they have to meet and, with this knowledge, and their skill and great experience, I anticipate that Tralee will manage to win out again on Sunday.”
Co. Final on Sun. 30th June 1912 at Killarney: Killorglin 1-3; Tralee Mitchels 1-1.
That game had been originally scheduled for 19th May but, due to the failure of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company to give travelling facilities, the game had to be postponed. Tadhg a’ Bhothair wrote in his Killorglin Notes at the time: “I am not one bit surprised at the conduct of the ‘Great Sour-face’ on this occasion, since it is only in keeping with the antics of an institution so deeply disinterested in the games of the country to its own detriment. Recently, this same institution lost over a thousand pounds by its intolerant attitude in connection with the Gaelic Football Championship of Ireland. A businesslike institution would not only give every possible facility to Gaelic Athletic fixtures, but would actually go out of its way to either encourage or subsidise them. Under our present railway system, a Golf Club can actually succeed in getting special trains to and from certain towns in Kerry that I know of. The Killarney dancing institution, known as the Cassino, is subsidised by special trains on certain occasions, although it only caters for a certain amount of German dancers. Still, when it comes to encouraging the games and pastimes of Ireland, no matter how many persons may travel, no matter what forces we have behind us, no matter business may accrue as the result, we are simply washed aside at the will of a few intolerant bureaucratic snobs. Good Heavens, what a railway system we are blessed with in Ireland!”
The weather was showery and the attendance was rather small. The match was timed for 2.30pm but did not start for fully an hour later. The ground was extremely heavy and the sod in a bad condition.
Michael Griffin, Chairman Co. Board, lined out the teams and, though Killorglin were by far the heavier team, Mitchels looked a well-trained, active lot. Killorglin won the toss and played with the aid of the wind. For the first five minutes, play was fast and even. Then, Killorglin got the leather into their opponents’ territory and, overcoming a strong resistance, made the first score, a point. Some well-sustained rushes were then observable on both sides and Killorglin, amidst the plaudits of the bystanders, scored a goal per John P O Riordan, with a well-directed kick. Tralee then put on a spurt and registered a goal and a point in quick succession, equalising matters. After some give-and-take play, Killorglin annexed a minor to leave them ahead at the interval by 1-2 to 1-1.
On change of ends, Tralee made strenuous efforts to score but failed to do so. Give-and-take play was then the order and, finally, Killorglin worked down the field effectively and scored a point to win by 2 points. Mitchels had held the title of Champions of Kerry since 1902, until that day.
Killorglin: Dan Hayes (capt.), Ardmoniel, John P O Riordan (The Square), Danny Clifford (Market Road), Paddy Kennelly (Groyne), Eddie Kennelly (do.), Mick Moroney (Cromane), Mossy Counihan (Langford St.), John O Brien (Post-office), Nick Flynn (Upper Bridge St.) goal, Mossy Breen, Dan Teahan (Castlegregory), Tommy Corcoran (Milltown), John O Shea (The Square), Paddy Foley (Iveragh Road), John Foley (Reen), Jimmy O Leary (Lower Bridge St.), John Langford (Bansha). Subs: C. Counihan, J. Duffy, Paddy Clifford, Jim Begley, Denny Doyle.
Tralee Mitchels: Tom Costello (capt.), Jack Rice, Tom Rice, PJ Cahill, Con Clifford, John O Sullivan, D. Griffin, M. Tangney, Jack Lawlor, Johnny McCarthy, Tom Dunne, Bill Goodwin, Dan Mullins (goal), T. O Sullivan, P. Lynch, Jim Brennan, Pat Egan.
The account of the game in the Kerry People went as follows: “The play was anything but a clear exhibition of Gaelic Football. From start to finish there seemed to be no regard for rules, and rough and furious handling was the order of the day. The referee seemed to have no authority or else did not make a decent effort to wield it. There was no football and no attempt to play it and if there is a reoccurrence of such matches in the county, we may bid adieu to our hard-earned and well-merited reputation of high-class footballers.”
Tadhg Mangan in ‘Pars from Puck’ in the Kerryman wrote as follows, following the win: “The great fight for the Gaelic Championship of Kerry is fought and won. The Laune Rangers once more have made history repeat itself by bringing victory to the banks of the Laune for the first time in twelve years. In the early days of the Association, Killorglin held the proud position of champions of the Kingdom for so many years that we almost looked to it as our birthright as long as the interest in football was sustained amongst us. For years, our men were practically running the Association in Kerry and, in those days, they reflected honour and credit on that Association. They were an entity in the establishing of Gaelic football as the national football game in Ireland. But, like all human institutions, they could not last always. They held the championship of Kerry and of Munster. Their unbroken record as champions of the county lasted much longer than that of the Kerry team as champions of Ireland. But that has all gone and the scene has changed, so to speak. The men who so long held the honours of Kerry went underneath and when today, after about twenty years, their successors, many of whom are sons, nephews and cousins of the ‘old stock’, bring back to Killorglin the honours of the Kingdom, the junior reporter of some Kerry papers turns the white of his eyes out in holy horror at the barbarity of it all. The game was not only rough, but ‘there was no football or attempt to play it.’ I wonder does he mean that the nine Kerry champions who took part in that game entered the field for the purpose of participating in barbarism and savagery. He states that the referee seemed to have no authority and, if he had, no effort was made to use it. I wonder does he also mean to say that the authority of the referee was flouted by the teams. If so, I must protest against so gross a violation of the truth. The game was certainly not child’s play and there is no reason why it should be. No matter what junior reporters might say of such matches, one cannot expect to see them fought out with sugar-sticks. There certainly were a large number of fouls on both sides, and man met man in a desperate tussle for supremacy. It was one of those games where everybody had to rough it and both teams had to face the consequences.
Tralee-men apparently came into the field with the idea that, in order to beat Killorglin, they had to play a determined game, and they did it with a vengeance. Throughout the entire game, it seemed to be a question of ‘who began it?’ But to state that ‘there was no football or attempt to play it’ is, to say the least of it, a distortion of the facts of the case. Similarly, to say that the referee exercised no authority over the players is untrue, because his decision in all matters, from start to finish, was unquestioned. It was by no means a sugar-stick game between Cork and Kerry on the previous Sunday, and more men were knocked out during the progress of the play than on this occasion. No doubt, it is very galling to some of the gentlemen to think that our boys are champions of Kerry, although not one of them has ever got a show in the Kerry team. Why, therefore, should Cahersiveen get a look-in, although, I have a shrewd suspicion that a pick of both teams would give the present Munster Champions a pretty good run for their money.”
Sat. 25th March at Killorglin: Killorglin Blue Waves v Cromane Shamrocks
Glenbeigh Invincibles v Callinfercy Fág a’ Ballaghs.
Those games were played in aid of local children who had been, by reason of a bereavement, left without a father or mother.
Sun. 11th June at Cahersiveen: Killorglin 1-2; Tralee 0-1.
That game was played in aid of the Iveragh Feis. The attendance was large, big crowds attending from Tralee and the districts surrounding Cahersiveen. With P.D. Mehigan in charge of the whistle, a good game was witnessed. The Rangers were in great heart and played well, so well that they succeeded in vanquishing the redoubtable Tralee team. In justice to the Tralee team, however, they were minus some of their best players (Tralee had beaten Killorglin in the 1909/1910 Co. Final in the previous month).
Munster Senior Football Championship
Rd. 1 on Sun. 2nd July at the Markets Field, Limerick: Limerick 1-1; Kerry 2-1.
Kerry: Tom Rice, Jack Rice, Tom Costello, P.J. Cahill, Jack Lawlor, Paddy Mullane, Pat O Shea, Con Clifford (all Tralee Mitchels), John O Sullivan (Tralee Parnells), Batt O Connor (Dingle), Tom Carroll, Matt Carroll, Paddy Landers (all Listowel), Dan Hayes (Laune Rangers), John P. O Riordan (do.), Danny Clifford (do.).
Semi-final on Sun. 27th Aug. at Mallow: Waterford 1-2; Kerry 1-0.
Kerry: Danny Mullins (Tralee Mitchels), Con Healy (do.), J. Casey (Valentia), Tom Costello (Tralee), Paddy Landers (Listowel), Dan Hayes (Laune Rangers), Bill Costello (Tralee), P. Horgan, Matt Carroll (Listowel), Batt O Connor (Dingle), Pat O Shea (Castlegregory), Jack Rice (Tralee Mitchels), Jack Lawlor (do.), John Moriarty (Ballydonoghue), John O Sullivan (Tralee Parnells), P.J. Cahill (Tralee Mitchels), Con Clifford (do.). Sub: Danny Clifford (Laune Rangers).
Inter-County Football Tournament
Sun. 4th June at Killarney: Kerry 2-2; Kildare 2-7.
Danny Clifford was injured during the game but, fortunately, was able to resume after treatment.
Kerry: Tom Costello (capt.), Tom Rice, Jack Rice, Johnny McCarthy (all Tralee), Batt O Connor (Dingle), Con Cifford, Bill Costello, Bill Goodwin, Pat O Shea, Paddy Mullane (all Tralee), Danny Clifford (Laune Rangers), Mossy Counihan (do.), Nick Flynn (do.) goal, Matt Carroll (Listowel), Paddy Foley (Laune Rangers), M. Tangney (Tralee), Tom Carroll (Listowel).
James Nolan, Cill Coinnigh, was Uachtarán CLG.
Munster Council Convention was held at Limerick on 5th March. The following officers were re-elected: Chairman – James Harrington (Corcaigh), Secretary – Pat McGrath (Tiobrad Árainn) and Treasurer – Dan Fraher (Port Láirge).
The Annual Convention of the Kerry Co. Board was held in the GAA Rooms, Hibernian Hotel, Tralee on Sun. 16th April. 18 clubs were represented. Laune Rangers was represented by William Joy and John P. O Riordan. The following officers were elected: President (Chairman) – Austin Stack (Tralee), Vice-Presidents – James McDonnell (Tralee) and Diarmuid Cronin (Rathmore), Secretary – Michael Griffin (Listowel) – he resigned at the May meeting of the Co. Board but his resignation was not accepted and an Assistant Secretary, Joe Harrington (Tralee), was appointed, Treasurer – John Moran (Listowel), Delegates to Munster Council – James McDonnell and Michael Griffin.
At the Co. Board meeting on Sat. 22nd April, Laune Rangers was represented by Tadhg Mangan, Tim O Riordan and Nick Flynn. Tadhg Mangan proposed that the 1910 Co. Final, Laune Rangers v Tralee, be played in Killorglin. He said that they had no match played in Killorglin all the year and that the last gate that they had made £22. He said that Killorglin would not go under any circumstances to Listowel because of the feelings existing between Listowel and themselves. They would play Tralee anywhere but in Listowel. It was unanimously agreed to play the final in Killorglin.
Liam McSweeney represented Laune Rangers at the Co. Board meeting in Tralee on Sat. 29th April, which was called to consider Dingle’s objection to Killorglin in the 1910 Co. Championship match between Dingle and Laune Rangers, which was played on Sun. 16th April. The objection read, “The St. Brendan’s Football Club decided to object to Killorglin being awarded the match on the ground that Duffy played against Lispole in the present championship at Dingle.” St. Brendan’s Club, Dingle, was not represented and, in the absence of evidence to substantiate the objection, the game was awarded to Killorglin. The acting Chairman, James McDonnell, said that it was unfair to be bringing people from Killorglin and other parts of the county to hear an objection, when the objecting club was not present. Liam McSweeney asked if anything had been done to get a train from Valentia or Cahersiveen to Killorglin for the 1910 Co. Final, as he thought a big crowd would come from those places if a train was running. He was advised to interview the railway authorities on the matter.
Tadhg Mangan represented Laune Rangers at the Co. Board meeting on Sun. 21st May at the Carnegie Hall, Killorglin (on the day of the 1909/1910 Co. Football Final). The draws for the 1911 Co. Senior Football Championship were made – Laune Rangers were drawn against Dingle Gascons.
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The Killorglin Sports (under GAA rules) were held on Sun. 16th July in glorious summer weather before a large crowd in the Killorglin Sports-field (Foley’s Field). The arrangements were carefully looked after by a select committee of which Rev. Thomas Lawlor P.P. was President, Rev. D. Lenihan C.C. was Vice-President, Rev. M. O Flynn C.C. was Chairman, and Messrs. John Fitzpatrick and Liam McSweeney were Hon. Secretaries. Athletes competed from Killarney, Tralee, Castleisland, Cork, Brosna, Knocknagoshel, Killorglin and Farranfore. The Killorglin athletes fared as follows: 220 yards open handicap – 1st T. McGillycuddy; 440 yards (open) – 1st T. McGillycuddy; 440 yards (confined) – 1st T. McGillycuddy, 2nd J. Dodd; 880 yards (open) – 1st D. O Sullivan, 2nd P. Dodd.
‘Pars from Puck’ carried the following sad account in the Kerryman on Sat. 12th Aug: “What was undoubtedly the saddest and most touching sight since its opening was that seen at the railway station here on Monday last when about eighty of the most stalwart and best of our young men left to found their homes in the land of the stranger, to seek for what was denied them at home, to go and exert themselves on behalf of their kindred and country, to eke out a livelihood in far off Australia. What a sad spectacle surely and how anybody with a heart must feel this great national loss! The scene is something which should not be dwelt on as it is one which would rather make one shudder and deplore the state of affairs which encourages this dread drain on our poor deserted country.
There on Monday last were collected some of the best of the men on whom rested our hopes for the future, and taking their departure from the place of their birth and all about to leave Ireland in the greatest enemy she ever had – the emigrant ship – to ‘seek for their home in afar foreign strand.’ There also was a crowd of friends all waiting to take their leave, each of his own friend or neighbour, and everyone of them wearing a face of utter dejection and gloom – the look of sincere sorrow and well meant sadness. In this waiting group it would be easy to notice the parents of those who were about to take their leave, their mournful tears and expressions would suffice to indicate that they felt the pang the keenest and that the departure struck and affected them most. With this material, dear reader, picture if you can the scene, and it may be some indication of the crowd when the members of the R.I.C. found it necessary to be present.
As the train steamed from the attain, it was most sad to see these emigrants bidding their last ‘Good-bye’ to their parents and friends, whilst the strains of the band were heard with ‘Come back to Erin’ and the wailing of those left behind was touching. This is the departing scene, and to think that we are shortly to have a repetition! Yes, at a very early date, quite as large a number is expected to leave. Well, dear Erin, what art thou coming to? What, I wonder, are they to do who chose not to leave it? The question is a deep one and needs most careful study before answering. Has Ireland nothing to do for these? Has she no work to be done? Nothing which would give employment to those who are leaving? This state is painful to dwell on, as both the parents and the country need good men. I join with the many in wishing the emigrants every success, and trust they will be, in the land of their adoption, a credit to themselves, their religion, their country and their friends.”
The population of Killorglin town in 1911 was 1,087.
On Mon. 11th Sept. Liam McSweeney, who had written under the pseudonym, ‘Pars from Puck’ by Laune Ranger 11, departed for St. Patrick’s Training College, Drumcondra, Dublin. Tadhg Mangan (Tadhg ‘a Bhothair) volunteered to write the Killorglin Notes, in his place.