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Tuesday, September 29, 2009




Just three days after the founding meeting of the Cork City and

County Athletic Union Junior League on Wednesday, September 10th

1947, the Munster Football Association advertised for entries, at

ten shillings a time, for the Cork City Junior Challenge Cup.

Eight AUL teams entered and the first round draw was: Morton

Ville v Blackrock; Prospect Rovers v Clapton Celtic;

Grattan Utd v Maymount; and Green Rovers v Ballinlough Rovers.

The first match, on October 19th 1947, saw Morton Ville (who

would be the AUL's first league champions) hammer Blackrock 5 -


A week later, P. Harris scored in the second half to put Clapton

one up against Prospect. They struck back with scores by O'Leary

and Kenny only to see J. Stark equalise. The game ended at 2 - 2

and, in mid December, Prospect won the replay 4 - 2.

The Grattan Utd v Maymount contest on November 2nd was under the

control of Dutch referee Jac. H. Lodenburg who, having recently

registered with the MFA, was making his debut in local football

at this Turner's Cross encounter which goes Maymount's way.

E. Bullman scored all three for Grattan who were outgunned by

Maymount's five supplied by C. Murphy (3), F. Murphy, and E.


The Dutchman seems to be followed by goals galore. A week later,

he took charge of the Ballinlough Rovers v Green Rovers tie and

that ended 5 - 4 in favour of Ballinlough.

Ballinlough, who led 2 - 0 at the interval, had their scoring

hero in J. McCarthy who netted four. C. Daly also tallied for

the winners. The Green sharpshooters were J. McCullough (3) and

D. O'Brien.

On November 16th, the clubs of the new AUL league clashed with

clubs from the Munster Junior League in the FAI Junior Cup and,

generally, the MJL clubs come off best.

In an all AUL clash, Clapton Celtic scored their first win of the

season by beating Ballinlough. Early in December, Morton Ville's

unbeaten record is cracked 5 - 2 by Ladyswell Brewery (another

AUL team) in the FAI Junior Cup.

In the third round, J. Fenton gets the Ladyswell winner against

scoreless Brideville and the Brewery follow that up by beating

North End 3 - 2 in the area semi-final.

In the final, Warner puts Ladyswell ahead against Western Rovers

who snatch a late equaliser from a corner awarded after Brewery

keeper Williamson had deflected a penalty shot over the bar. The

replay sees the end of the great run by Ladyswell as Western

advance on a 5 - 2 scoreline.

Meanwhile, another AUL club is making its mark in the Munster

Junior Cup. In a third round tie in April 11th 1948, Maymount

hammer St Paul's, the previous season's runners up, by nine goals

to two. The Maymount marksmen were C. Murphy (3), Kenneally (2),

T. Murphy (2), Jacob, and Cummins.

Maymount's glory was shortlived. In the next round, they were

beaten 4 - 1 by Rock Rangers (the eventual champions).

The first semi-final of the Cork City cup straddled the old and

new years. The first game, on December 28th, between Ballinlough

Rovers and Morton Ville, was "a thrilling encounter, well above


After 15 minutes, Ballinlough went one up through P. Cremin.

Morton were on top in the second half but had to wait until the

80th minute for their equaliser which comes from a low free by

Owen McCarthy. Morton piled forward for the winner but the

'Lough's excellent defence held out.

The hero of ballinlough's 4 - 2 replay win in early January was

keeper S. Burke who, we are told in the Echo, "played a big role.

He was sound all through and, at a crucial period, saved a

penalty". Morton led 2 - 1 at the interval but second half goals

by J. McCarthy, C. Daly, and P. Cremin, gave Ballinlough the

ticket to the first ever AUL final.

Ballinlough's opposition in the April decider was provided by

Prospect Rovers who had disposed of Maymount in the other semi-


Corcoran (off a pass by O'Leary) put Prospect ahead in the second

half of the final. M. Morley saved Ballinlough when he equalised

with a late penalty kick.

The replay was on May 29th 1948 and was a thriller. The

exchanges were fierce, particularly in the second period when

referee Groeger sent off a player from each side. Nevertheless

the tussles were as keen as ever until the final whistle. The

crowd obviously enjoyed the proceedings which proved a far better

duel that the first meeting.

Corcoran, the outside right, scored the only goal of the game in

the very last minute and sent the Prospect supporters home to

Barrack Street in great form.

Prospect just about deserved the victory, being more dangerous in

front of goal where Corcoran and Hardy were best. Flaherty was a

good pivot while fulls, Forde and Lester, were sound. Motherway

gave a sound display of goal-keeping.

We don't have the prospect line-up but the Ballinlough team that

played in the first game was: Sean Burke, Con O'Sullivan, Dave

Dunlea, Charlie Daly, Willie Cremin, Mattie Morley, Nicholas

Murray, Jackie Christie, Pakie Cremin, Billy Morrisson, and Tom

Murray. Morrison, a centre forward, missed the replay because of

injury and was replaced by Tadgh Farnan. The Cremins were

brothers and so too were the Murrays.

There has been something of a long standing confusion as to how

many teams were in the AUL that first season and many say there

were eight and the fact that eight entered the City Cup may have

had something to do with that. But I have always maintained that

there were fourteen teams that first season.

And the source for that is a report of the first Annual General

Meeting of the League which was held on Saturday, June 19th 1948.

In his report, secretary Mr. J. Mullins said that the league had

started with 14 clubs but three of those had dropped out.

A shortage of grounds had inconvenienced the clubs a number of

times but everybody had risen to the occasion. He concluded by

congratulating Morton on winning the league.


The AUL league campaign of 1948/49 ended with a thrilling final

between Maymount Rovers (qualifiers from Section "A") and Green

Rovers (winners of Section "B").

The final was played in Turner's Cross in April 1949 and provided

one of the most exciting first halves ever at the venue. But

despite the thrills, there were no goals; they all came after

the break.

Maymount started with the fall of ground and most expected them

to have had a goal or two in the bag before the interval. But

the Green defence rose magnificently to the occasion and centre

half L. Mannix gave J. Kenneally (Maymount's star centre forward)

little chance to display his finishing. Left half P. Flynn and

right full M. Sheedy also played well for the Greens.

But the second half belonged to Maymount. C. Murphy put them

ahead early on and soon Kenneally struck with a hard ground shot

to make it 2 - 0.

Green Rovers, with a weak forward line, were never in the hunt

after this and Maymount had further goals by Murphy and

Kenneally. C. Meade got one back with the score at 3 - 0. The

scorers, along with P. O'Callaghan, R. Harris, and D. O'Donovan,

starred for the 4 - 1 victors.

The cup, not Maymount's last for that fantastic season, was

presented to captain J. Twohig by Mr O'Keeffe, Chairman of the

Athletic Union League.

Maymount's path to April glory was a long and a hard one. The

AUL, in its second season, started with 19 teams, 10 in Section

"A", 9 in "B". A month later, Mallow (who had left the North

Cork and South Tipperary League) joined the AUL where their first

game was against Collins, then undefeated in "B".

By November, Green Rovers were edging ahead of champions Morton

Ville in "A" while Maymount were threatening Collins in "B".

Earlier, Steampacket had replaced St Vincent's in "A".

At the end of the year, Green were confirmed as tops but Collins

and Maymount, both undefeated, were level on points and still had

to play each other.

That match finished at two each and a play-off was necessary.

Admission was a tanner (2.5 pence) to the Cross. It was well

worth it for the Maymount followers who saw their side win 5 - 1.

Final tables 1948/49

Section "A"

team p w d l pts

Green Rovers 9 8 1 0 17

Morton ville 9 7 2 0 16

Celtic 9 7 0 2 14

Ladyswell Brew. 9 4 1 4 9

Fair Villa 9 4 1 4 9

St finbarr's C. 9 3 1 5 7

Lansdowne 9 3 1 5 7

Albert Rvrs 9 2 2 5 6

Blackrock 9 2 1 6 5

Steampacket 9 0 0 0 0

Section "B"

team p w d l pts

Collins 9 7 2 0 16

Maymount Rvrs 9 7 2 0 16

Prospect Rvrs 9 5 3 1 13

Mallow utd 9 5 2 2 12

Beaumont Utd 9 4 2 3 10

Grattan utd 9 3 2 4 8

Magazine Rvrs 9 0 5 4 5

College rvrs 9 2 1 6 5

Dundannion Rgrs 9 1 2 6 4

Mount View 9 0 1 8 1

Top players:

In march 1949, a junior trail, for the benefit of the FAI

selectors, was held at Turner's Cross and the following were

picked to take part. The panels included players from both the

AUL and Munster Junior Leagues.

Blues: T. Healy (Western Rovers); J. N. Jones (do.); L.

McCarthy (Evergreen); O. McCarthy (Morton Ville); P.

O'Callaghan (Maymount); H. O'Neill (Western Rvrs); V. Mannion

(Evergreen); D. O'Mahony (Western Rovers); J. Kenneally

(Western Rovers); D. O'Donovan (do.); and J. Slattery


Reds: J. O'Sullivan (North End), C. Forde (Prospect Rovers); T.

McEnery (Morton Ville); J. Bowe (Collins); D. Woods (Western

Rovers); J. Leahy (College Rovers); P. Higgins (Morton Ville);

S. Rea (Evergreen); M. Broderick (Crusaders): P. Keating

(Evergreen); W. O'Neill (Rock Rangers).

Subs: P. O'Sullivan (Blackrock); P. Mullen (Collins); M.

Downey (St Finbarr's Celtic); M. Creedon (St Christophers); D.

Meaney (Collins); J. Scanlan (Evergreen); W. Moloney

(Crusaders); Daly (Evergreen); Desmond (Beaumont); McCull

(Evergreen); Marshall (North End); D. Collins (Blackrock); and

A. Bradley (Western Rovers).

The trial was a personal triumph for Kenneally who scored all

four goals as the Blues won 3 - 1, three for the Blues in the

first half and one for the Reds in the second (having changed

teams during the break at the request of the selectors).

One of the selectors, Mr. J. Younger, was not over impressed. He

said that P. O'Callaghan was the player that impressed them most

though they did also like Kenneally and the Western Rovers pair

of Jones and keeper Healy.

In the event, Healy and Kenneally were picked to play in the

international against Scotland and so Kenneally became the first

Cork AUL player to be capped for the Republic of Ireland on the

very day that the republic was proclaimed. Scotland didn't help

the celebrations as they beat the Irish 3 - 1.


Maymount's AUL league championship win was just one highlight in

a very busy 1948/49 season for the team. They enjoyed great runs

in the FAI Junior Cup, the Munster Junior Cup, and the Cork City

Junior Challenge Cup.

FAI Junior Cup: In the area final of this competition, before

the largest crowd of the season, Maymount took the lead in extra

time but were pipped 4 - 3 by Evergreen in a thriller.

Centre half P. O'Callaghan, fulls D. Fennell and M. Finney, along

with keeper J. Carroll, played well for the losers whose top

forwards were J. Kenneally, D. Harris, and T. Mintern.

In the 18th minute, P. Daly put Evergreen ahead and then V.

Manahan who, with S. Rea and P. Keating, played well for the

winners, made it 2 -.0.

Maymount came back strongly and, in the 55th and 56th minutes,

Harris and J. Kenneally scored and made it 2 - 2. Evergreen's

fulls W. McCarthy and J. Delea kept the Maymount forwards at bay

and, just before the end, Maymount had a defender sent off.

In extra time, a hard shot by Kenneally put Maymount in front but

S. Rea doubled in a high ball to send it to the top of the net

for the Evergreen equaliser and that was followed by P. Keating's

headed winner.

Munster Junior Cup: Maymount came good in this competition,

beating Caledonians of Limerick 2 - 0 in the replayed final at

Turner's Cross. The first game, also at the Cross, ended at 1 -

1, M. Synan netting first for Cals and C. Murphy equalising

within five minutes.

This game drew "one of the biggest crowds for some years" and

proved to be "one fo the hardest fought and most exciting finals

on record". All this, even though the day was hot, without a

puff of wind, the pitch bone dry, like concrete with the action

throwing up "clouds of dust".

In the replay, Maymount got a goal in each half. But this match,

which also drew a bumper crowd (gate œ155), was "not up to the

standard of the drawn game". Young Munster and Irish Rugby

International forward Tom Clifford played with Cals and forced a

penalty which was saved by Horgan, Maymount's excellent keeper.

Horgan was unbeatable and benefitted from the play of M. Buckley

and M. Finney, his two splendid full backs. The winners'

forwards were fast and clever, particularly C. Cronin (left

wing), T. O'Connell (inside right) and the tireless J. Kenneally

in the centre.

Maymount went in front midway through the first half, though they

were playing against the wind and hill. "A pretty passing

movement saw R. Harris place Cronin who made no mistake". In the

second half, D. O'Donovan shot home following a corner.

Maymount: J. Horgan, M. Buckley, M. Finney, J. Twohig (captain),

P. O'Callaghan, D. O'Donovan, C. Murphy, T. O'Connell, J.

Kenneally, R. Harris, and C. Cronin.

By the way, on their way to this triumph, Maymount got a 1 - 0

revenge win over Evergreen (their FAI conquerors), Kenneally

getting the goal with "a class effort".

City Cup: Competition for this cup was divided into two league

sections and Maymount met Prospect Rovers (the holders) in the


But first Maymount had to dispose of Beaumont and that took three

meetings, victory finally going to the Gonkers on a 2 - 1

scoreline. It was 1 - 1 at the interval, with Frank Culligan

scoring for the losers and Kenneally for Maymount. A "smart

header" seven minutes from the end by that man Kenneally put

Maymount through.

Four days later, on Friday June 10th 1949, the thrilling final

ended in a 4 - 3 extra time win for Maymount, Kenneally again

scoring twice, including the winner. Harris also hit two for

Maymount while the Prospect sharpshooters were Murphy (2) and

Ramsell. Prospect led 3 - 2 until three minutes from the end when

Harris equalised in a great rally.

Just two days later, a tired Maymount were beaten by Western

Rovers (scorer D. Woods, a penalty) in the final of the Foley

Cup, a Munster Football Association competition.

From a record thirty entries, Mortonville won the 5th Saxone Cup

by beating Crusaders 3 - 2 in the final. On their way to the

decider, Morton beat busy Maymount 4 - 3 in the quarter-finals.



1st division: Mortonville (Cobh Ramblers);

City Challenge Cup : Prospect Rvrs (Ballinlough Rvrs)

Saxone Cup: Western Rovers

Miniature Cup: Maymount Rvrs

FAI Area Final: Western Rvrs


1st division: Maymount Rvrs (Green Rvrs)

City Challenge Cup: Maymount Rvrs (Prospect Rvrs)

Saxone Cup: Mortonville (Crusaders)

MFA Foley Cup: Western Rvrs (Maymount Rvrs)

FAI Area Final: Evergreen (Maymount Rvrs)

Munster Junior Cup: Maymount Rvrs (Caledonians)

end of story

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