Centenary County Minor Hurling Champions 1984
Turloughmore. Front row, left to right: Gerard Dunleavy, Paul Fahy, Paul Hession, John Duggan, Patsy Clarke (captain), Bosco Hurney, Seamus Qualter, Pat Forde and Thomas Garrett. Back row, left to right: Richard Burke, Patsy Burke, Pat Morris, Jimmy Burke, Willie Burke, Timmy Joyce, Sean Walsh, Paul Qualter and David Collins.
Minor Final 1984
By Paul Qualter
Centenary Year 1984 was a very successful one for Turloughmore minor team. It won the county Minor title for only the second time ever in the history of the club, the first being in 1981.
Because of the clubs great tradition everyone was anxious that Turloughmore should be represented in the Centenary Year honours at some grade. The path to glory began back in May when the minor squad got together for a trip to Kilruane Mac Donaghs Club in Tipperary, the club we had hosted for Féile na nGael, four years previously. There we had a convincing win which showed we still had the form which won us the County U-16 title two years previously.
We drew Loughrea in our quarter final hut had a long wait of about six weeks before it was played. We had heard how hard Loughrea were training and all the challenges they were playing to prepare themselves for our match. On a wet and windy evening in Ballinderreen we outplayed them in the first half to leave ourselves only two points down at half time. With wind advantage in the second half we could never go more than three points ahead.
Loughrea fought on and snatched a draw with a late goal from a twenty metre free. We won the replay by two points, simply because although only having 40% ofthe possession, we made the most of our chances, they didn’t. However we didn’t win without a fight. Loughrea cut a ten point second half lead to two. We felt as overjoyed after this match as we did after winning the final.
We faced Castlegar in the semi-final. They were determined to make it a senior and minor double for Castlegar the following Sunday in Pearse Stadium. The tension was at a high point for this match and although we started poorly and allied ot the fact that we incurred an unusually large number of injuries in the first halfwe led by four points at the interval. With the odds against us in the second half we produced a display of great determination and skill. With three seôond half goals which exemplified the spirit and teamwork of the side we left Castlegar stunned.
We met neighbours Athenry in the final and we knew that they did not possess the strength of Loughrea or Castlegar, but that after three hard matches in four weeks, we-could easily be caught on the hop. We had played with and against a lot of the Athenry team in Schools competitons and as a result there was not the same tension- filled atmosphere as in previous matches. Our most fears were realised when Athenry went into a four point lead. However three quick goals in succession meant we lead 3-3 to 0-7 at half time.
The dressing room reverberated with the anxious comments of our mentors, especially Johnny Shaughnessy, who underlined our predicament in that we had come too far to lose the final now. With the help of an early second half goal and with our superior fitness we began to assert our authority on the game and eventually ran out seven point winners 4-10 to 1-12.
We had won the Centenary Cup which we had set our sights on at the beginning of the year. The hard work had been done in training in Colaine (you knew you were in for a hard evening when M. J.
Hurnev arrived donned in his tracksuit). The spirit of the team was such that everyone played for everyone else and even the subs who never got a game were as much a part of the team as the fifteen players.
Tribute must be paid to P. J. Qualter. our manager, and the other selectors. M. J. Hurney, J. J. Kane and Johnny Shaughnessy . We would also like to thank others like “Doctor” Patrick Egan and others who helped in the smallest but most important of ways. Looking to the future I can see no reason why this team shouldn’t win the U-21 title in three years time and after that. Well who knows?
Centenary County Minor Hurling Champions 1984 — Turloughmore. Front row, left to right: Gerard Dunleavy, Paul Fahy, Paul Hession, John Duggan, Patsy Clarke (captain), Bosco Hurney, Seamus Qualter, Pat Forde and Thomas Garrett. Back row, left to right: Richard Burke, Patsy Burke, Pat Morris, Jimmy Burke, Willie Burke, Timmy Joyce, Sean Walsh, Paul Qualter and David Collins.