A Cork soccer resource. This is an archive of mini club histories that I have published over the years. To find your club, check the label list on the left side or else use the "search the blog" box above. If you spot any errors (esp. in dates) contact

Friday, October 2, 2009

MALLOW UTD 1984-85


Mallow United’s Double Season

The season 1984/85 proved to be a magnificent one for Mallow United and exuberant PRO Greg Hickey described it at the time “as one of unprecedented success, culminating in a double triumph of First Division League title and County Cup.”

“Led by the clinically efficient John Redmond from centre-back, we created a playing record of awesome impressiveness, in all competitions that read: played 48, won 36, drew 7, lost 5, goals for 146, against 55”.

Writing in the 1985 AUL annual, Hickey had praise for the management of the team: “Guided through the testing early stages by the steadying hand of the vastly experienced Tony Allen, who instilled in them the necessary discipline and cohesiveness, their march to the league and cup honours continued unabated after his departure to Cork City”.

“Frank O'Neill, club servant supreme, was the reason for the continuity. An experienced player himself, O'Neill had functioned smoothly as Allen’s assistant and after Allen’s departure his good nature and canny tactical sense quickly won the players to his side.”

Hickey summed up the league campaign: “Mallow’s progress to the league title was as inexorable as it was ruthless. From the 7-0 pasting administered to Ringmahon Rangers on August 29th to the 5-0 championship clinching destruction of Villa Utd on May 14th, they lost just one of the twenty four games they played. They scored 92 and conceded a mere 28.”

But hot favourites Mallow got something of a fright from second division Ballincollig Athletic in the two-legged final of the County Cup. Mallow got something of a fright too when their first round opponents, cup specialiasts St John Bosco's, became known but they survived that hurdle and all others to face the Ballincollig third string in the final.

Mallow should have been forewarned as Ballincollig had already scored a shock semi-final win over AUL 1 champions Farnanes in the semi-final while Mallow’s victims were St Martin’s. It was the Youghal side’s last ever game in the AUL for at the end of the season all the Youghal clubs, including Martin’s and Sarsfields, amalgamated and formed Youghal Utd.

The first leg at Ballincollig ended scoreless. But the underdogs did have the better of exchanges and only some fine goal-keeping by Connie Buckley kept them at bay.

If Mallow thought the second leg would be a formality because of their home advantage they were mistaken. Ballincollig did concede a first half own goal but strikes from Neil O’Donovan and big John Fitzgerald and a five star show by Brian Coughlan had the visitors in front and looking good.

But Ballincollig tired in the closing ten minutes and Tom Scanlon struck a late equaliser. The tie went to spotters and here keeper Buckley emerged as the hero as Mallow took the title on a 4-2 shootout decision.

The Mallow team that did duty for the first leg was: C. Buckley, L. Sheehan, S. Powell, J. Redmond, T. O’Shea, T. Scanlon, M. O’Shea, K. O’Regan, R. Cosgrove, N. O’Connell and P. Barrett and the subs used were D. Finn and G. Buckley.

It wasn't all joy for Mallow. Over Christmas, the father figure of soccer in the town, Frank Clune, passed away at the grand old age of 91. Regarded as one of the great personalities of sport on the Blackwater, he was one of fifteen men who met in the local Central Hotel on November 11th, 1926, to form an association football club.

Frank would become a familiar figure at Mallow games, serving as a player, an administrator and supporter. He had also been instrumental in forming the Thomas Davis Pipe Band and his contribution to the band the club and the town were fittingly acknowledged.

With such a tradition behind them, a thriving juvenile section, and their enthusiasm now rekindled by the double and place in the AUL Premier League, Mallow eagerly looked ahead to the new season, their 60th.

Hickey again: “Voluntary labour has yielded a dressing room complex of which the club and town is justifiably proud. Relations with the local business community and other potential sponsors is at an all time peak.”

The hard working positive minded committee, led by Derry Blake, Ger Spillane (an AUL Distinguished Award Winner in 2002), Willie Mills, John O’Connell, Greg Hickey, Bert Gunning, Tim Kelly and Joe Neenan were all ready and willing to further develop the club.

The photograph was taken before Mallow’s County Cup quarter-final win over Carrigtwohill Utd. It was played n Carrig and the final score was 3-2.

Mallow’s first followed a 14th minute corner by Coakley. Redmond’s header was blocked on the line and O’Connell scored. Noel O’Reilly equalised in the 27th minute but Carrig fell 3-1 down in the early minutes of the second half. Scanlon scored first and then Mick O’Shea put Coakley in to make it 3-1.

Carrig soon got one back when Niall Sylvester converted a spotter after an O’Reilly shot had been handled but keeper Buckley and skipper Redmond led a Mallow shut-out after that in a game refereed by Liam Lewis, later to become AUL fixtures secretary.

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