Laune Rangers – 1900
Central Council sent a deputation from Cork to Tralee, in a successful effort to reorganise the Kerry Co. Board.
Laune Rangers, captained by John Phil Murphy, won the Co. Senior Football Championship for the fifth time, at the expense of Killarney Crokes. Laune Rangers had entered the Co. Championship for the first time since 1895.
Laune Rangers, captained by Ned Sheehan, represented Kerry in the Munster Championship but lost to Tipperary in the final, which was not played until 1902.
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Co. Senior Football Championship
21 teams competed for the Co. Senior Football Championship, Knockanure, Newtownsandes, Killarney, Ballymacelligott, Listowel, Tralee, Cahersiveen, Valentia, Kruger’s Own (Tralee), O Brennan, Clohane, Laune Rangers, Currans, Keel, Irish Brigade (Killorglin), Milltown, Cordal, Caherdaniel, Castleisland, Firies and Currow.
Rd. 1 on Sun. 1st July at Milltown: Killorglin (Laune Rangers) 1-9; Currans 2-5.
Both teams looked well but were in need of practice. No particular or individual excellence was exhibited on either side, but matters were so well contested and the result being so uncertain, excitement was maintained to the end.
Killorglin: John Phil Murphy (capt.), John O Sullivan, Pat O Reilly, Mike Joy, Danny O Lyons, Mike Walsh, Mick Murphy, Patrick J. Kelly, M. Shea, W. Sheehan, Michael O Sullivan, Thade Joy, J. Callaghan, Denis Mangan, John O Connor, Ned Sheehan, John Guerin.
Currans:P. Cronin, T. Collins, J. Cronin, Michael Collins, P. Leahy, D. Dennehy, Jerry Collins, M. O Rourke, J. Callaghan, J. Hussey, P. Hannafin, J. Donovan, C. O Sullivan, M. Reidy, E. Barry, L. Murphy, L. Fitzgerald.
Ref: Jeremiah Clifford (Ballymacelligott).
At a subsequent Co. Board meeting, Currans’ objection to the awarding of the game to Killorglin was rejected, the Board upholding the decision of the referee. However, the winning team, owing to the misconduct of one of its followers, had a narrow escape from suffering the penalty of disqualification. A proposition for the disqualification of the team was defeated on a division, but the motion would have been carried unanimously had it not been shown that the conduct of the offender did not meet with the sympathy of the players or of any of their supporters.
Rd. 1 on Sun. 5th Aug. at Firies: Keel 0-3; Killorglin 2nd (Old Brigade) 0-2.
In the first half hour of the match, the play was fast and exciting and very even. The only score in that half was a point made by Keel. In the second half, Killorglin scored 2 points but the Keel men added 2 additional points to their previous score and when the whistle blew, they were declared the winners. A goal scored by Killorglin was disallowed by the referee on the ground that a foul had been committed, but it was insisted on the field that an objection should be lodged against the referee’s decision. The play was characterised by the utmost dash and good humour, not a single altercation taking place from beginning to end.
Rd. 2 on Sun. 26th Aug. at Keel: Killorglin (Laune Rangers) beat Currow.
Semi-final on Sun. 14th Oct. at Tralee: Killorglin (Laune Rangers) 1-7; Keel 0-3.
From the beginning, play was of a give-and-take nature until Keel succeeded in scoring three points, which fact seemed to animate the Killorglin men to a proper sense of their duty, with the result that they were not long in doubling the score against them. No other score was recorded up to the call of halftime.
On the change of sides, Killorglin put the ball into the enemy’s territory, upholding the good fame and name of the ‘Rangers’ and added to their score with intermission, keeping Keel on the defensive.
Killorglin: John P. Murphy (capt.), John O Sullivan (goals), Danny O Lyons, Patrick J. Kelly, Mike Joy, Thade Joy, Michael Sheehy, Paddy O Regan, John J. O Connor, Pat O Reilly, Ned Sheehan, Mike Walsh, John Guerin, Michael O Sullivan, Moss Curtin, Mick Murphy, Flor Doherty.
Keel: Pat O Brien (capt.), J. Hanafin (goals), William O Brien, L. Walsh, D. Griffin, P. Cahillane, Dick Langford, J. Fitzgerald, R. Clifford, J. Long, Tom O Shea, J. O Brien, Jeremiah Foley, P. Murphy, T. O Connor, P. Knightley, N. Cournane.
Ref: John O Connell (Tralee).
Final on Sun. 2nd Dec. at Tralee: Killorglin (Laune Rangers) 3-4; Killarney (Dr. Crokes) 0-3.
The Football and Hurling (Kilmoyley v O Dorney) Championship Finals were played in the Sports-field, Tralee, in the presence of an enormous crowd. The chief interest centred on the football match, in which Killarney and Killorglin were the protagonists.
Killarney had choice of sides and, on the leather being thrown in. promptly rushed it towards their opponents’ goal-posts, some neat passing taking place. It was rushed back again by Killorglin and play, for over ten minutes, was of an even nature. Valkenberg then cleverly passed to Dr. O Sullivan and he kicked a point. On the kick-out, Paddy O Regan secured a free kick and used it to his advantage, placing the leather from midway in his ground to within 40 yards of the Killarney men’s goal-posts. Patrick Kelly got hold of it and cleverly secured a point. From the throw-in, Kissane passed to O Sullivan, who, in turn, found Con O Sullivan and the latter, with a far-reaching kick, scored a point. On the kick-out, Killorglin rushed and play remained for some little time in midfield and then close to the Killarney men’s posts when a free-kick given for a foul by Killarney resulted in a point being scored by Killorglin, which was quickly added to by a pass from M. Sweeney to Kelly, who kicked a point. From then until the call of halftime the play was in the Killorglin men’s territory, Killarney making some determined rushes to secure a goal but the defence was splendid and only a point was added. One the of the Killarney men during that tussle was accidentally kicked on the hip by one of the Killorglin men and had to be removed from the field. The score at halftime was 0-3 each.
On resuming, play was of an even nature for some five minutes. The Laune men then showed up and rushed the leather into the Killarney men’s ground and a point was scored, quickly followed by a goal. Killarney then made strenuous efforts to equalise matters, their captain doing two men’s work, but the Laune men withstood all their advances and, after some exciting play around their goal-posts, Patrick Kelly, getting hold of the leather, followed by M. Sweeney, rushed it into midway of the Killarney men’s ground. Play remained there for some time but a foul on the part of Killarney secured a free-kick for Killorglin. It was cleverly kicked by John P. Murphy to Paddy O Regan, who in turn did equal justice to it by kicking a goal. From that forward, Killarney appeared disheartened, although their plucky captain, backed up by Kissane, Dr. O Sullivan and Eugene O Sullivan, did all in their power to keep the spirits of the others up. That effort was unavailing and Killorglin, until the call of time, placed score after score to their credit and ran out easy winners.
One of the old Laune Rangers, Paddy O Regan, proved up to his old standard, doing yeoman work, well backed up by Patrick Kelly, M. Sweeney, John P. Murphy and Michael O Donoghue.
Killorglin: John P. Murphy (capt.), Mick Murphy (Bansha), John O Connor, Danny O Lyons (Iveragh Road), Mike Walsh (Langford Street), Flor Doherty (Ardmoniel), John Guerin (Mill Road), Ned Sheehan (The Square), Paddy O Regan (Lower Bridge Street), Mike Joy (Bansha), Moss Curtin (Clover Hill), Michael O Donoghue (Laharn) goals, Patrick J. Kelly, M. Sweeney, Jeremiah O Connor, John Foley and Thade Joy (Ardraw).
Killarney: Con O Sullivan (capt.), Tom ‘Crosstown’ Looney, Dr. Wm. O Sullivan, Eugene O Sullivan, Pat Valkenberg, Paddy Dillon (goals), Timothy Hurley, John Clifford, Dan O Meara, Michael Murray, P O Shea, Jeremiah Foley, Dinny Kissane, D. Moriarty, J. Horgan, J. Pierce, J. Healy.
The game was refereed by John O Connell, Hon. Treasurer of the Kerry Co. Board, and he discharged his duty in such a manner as to excite keen admiration amongst the oldest patrons and exponents of Gaelic games on the field.
At a subsequent Co. Board meeting an objection by Killarney to the composition of the Killorglin team was discussed. Maurice Moynihan said that the objection was very vague. There appeared to be some complaint about the refereeing of the match. ‘As the Killarney men knew all the Killorglin men on the field, why did they not make the objection there and then? Why wait for a week? It appears to be done simply to annoy and addle the County Board,’ he said. J.P. O Sullivan said that nobody played on the Killorglin team except men belonging to the parish of Killorglin. However, as he had an interest, he would not take part as a member of the Board in connection with the matter. The objection was rejected by the Co. Board and the Laune Rangers Club was presented with its medals at the Co. Board meeting on Sat. 16th Match 1901.
Laune Rangers then went on to represent Kerry in the Munster Championship but unfortunately the semi-final was not played until the following year and the final the year after that!
Munster Senior Football Championship
Sun. 10th Nov. 1901 at Turners Cross, Cork; Kerry 1-3; Waterford 1-2.
There were to be two matches, but Waterford failed to bring a hurling team to represent them and the game was awarded to Kerry. There were special trains from both counties to convey the competing teams and their supporters. On arrival at Glanmire Station, the teams were met by the Blackpool National Band and a number of prominent local Gaelic men, who escorted them to the field of play. The day was ideal for a Gaelic match, as the wind was not too high and the weather salubrious, so that the onlookers were spared exposure to the bitter winds, which might have been expected at that time of the year. A great deal of delay occurred before the preliminaries were arranged, mainly due to the unpunctuality of the Kerrymen. When, however, the teams lined out, in the presence of a large gathering, it was evident that there was but little advantage on either side, and that was proved to the fullest extent as the match progressed. The Waterford men, who gained the advantage at the start, had the better of the play and, indeed throughout, they showed themselves more adept in the finer points of the game but, at all times, they were behind the Kerrymen in dash and spirit, the two elements which stood so well to the representatives of the Kingdom and which, without doubt, were powerful factors in their winning the game. Both teams played in a truly Gaelic spirit and not a single untoward incident occurred during the whole of the game.
Kerry: Ned Sheehan (capt.), John P. Murphy, Moss Curtin, Michael O Donoghue, John O Connor and Mike Joy (all Laune Rangers), James O Gorman, Thady O Gorman, E. Hannifin, James Connell (all Tralee), Dinny Kissane, Paddy Dillon (goal), Eugene O Sullivan, Pat Valkenburg (all Killarney), Dan McCarthy (Firies), T. Horgan (do.), Michael Brosnan (Castleisland).
Ref: Tom Dooley (Cork).
Final on Sun. 11th May 1902 at Limerick: Tipperary (Shamrocks) 1-13; Kerry (Laune Rangers) 1-4.
At the outset, the Kerry team played a splendid game and scored 1-2 in quick succession. At the conclusion of the first half, Kerry led by 1-4 to 0-6. The second half was played in a drenching downpour of rain. Tipperary totally dominated, scoring an additional 1-7, while Kerry failed to add to its tally. The ball burst five minutes before the time was up.
Kerry: Ned Sheehan (capt.), Michael O Donoghue, Moss Curtin, Mike Joy, Paddy Joy (Laune Rangers), Eugene O Sullivan, Tom Looney, Jack Myers, Pat Valkenburg (Dr. Crokes), Dan McCarthy (Firies), Michael Brosnan (Castleisland), James O Gorman, Thady O Gorman, James O Connell, Denny Curran (Tralee), Denny Kissane (Dr. Crokes), Con Ryan (Tralee). Danny O Lyons had been selected on the original team but did not travel. The selectors were J.P. O Sullivan (Chairman), Thomas F. O Sullivan (Co. Secretary), John O Connell (Co. Treasurer), E. Shanahan and the captain of the team. There was a practice match in preparation for the game in Firies on Sun. 4th May.
Michael Deering, Corcaigh, was Uachtarán CLG.
The 14th Annual Congress was held in Thurles on 9th Sept. Tom Dooley, Cork, proposed that Provincial Councils be established. Even though provincial championships had been held since 1888, no special attention had been focussed on them, except as a stage in the competition of the championships. At Central Council meetings, a Munster delegate had to sit through much business concerning counties in other provinces, in which he had little or no interest. Equally, Munster delegates, on occasions, took exception to people, remote from the southern scene, participating in deciding their affairs. The Cork motion was passed by 19 votes to 16.
Letters, such as that of Patrick J. Kelly, Killorglin and one from M. O Sullivan, Main St. Cahersiveen, urging the reformation of the County Board, appeared in the Kerry Sentinel. The Central Council, having been informed of the number of active clubs in the county, deputed Tom Dooley and William Ahearne, Cork, to organise Kerry in the interests of the GAA. A meeting was held in Tralee on Sun. 29th April, which was thoroughly representative of the athletic community of the county. Many of the old Gaels, who had set the ball rolling and the camán circling under the auspices of the GAA sixteen years previously, were present and there was a good deal of ‘young blood’ also. It was unanimously decided to re-establish a County Board, as “the necessity of safeguarding our national pastimes was never greater than at the present moment, when the more ‘fashionable’ imported sports are making such headway.” An interesting suggestion was made with a view to ensuring the success for the revival movement – the appointment of an organiser for the county. Thomas F. O Sullivan was recommended for the position but the suggestion was unfortunately rejected on financial grounds. The date for the Convention was set for Sat. 26th May.
On Sat. 26th May, a Convention of the leading Gaels in Kerry was held in the rooms of the Tralee Gaelic League Society. 14 clubs were represented, the Killorglin delegate being Denis Mangan and the Firies delegate being J.P. O Sullivan. The following officers were elected: President – James Moynihan (Tralee), Vice-President – J.P. O Sullivan (Firies), Hon. Secretary – Thomas F. O Sullivan (Listowel), Treasurer – John O Connell (Tralee). Committee – T.J. McQuinn (Gortatlea), J. Murphy (Killarney), William O Connell (Causeway), B. O Connor (Knockanure), Thomas Slattery (Tralee), Maurice Moynihan (do.), John Corcoran (Ballymac), Pat McGillycuddy (Cahersiveen), Denis W. Clifford (Castleisland).
At the Co. Board meeting on Sat. 7th July, the following were co-opted onto the committee: Michael O Sullivan (Keel), T.T. O Connor (Cordal) and J.A. Hannifin (Milltown). At the Co. Board meeting on Sat. 21st July on the proposal of J.P. O Sullivan, J.J. Shanahan, Abbeydorney, and James M. McDonnell, Ballyduff, were co-opted onto the Board, despite the fact that the number then on the committee was 14, 2 more than the maximum number permitted.
At the Co. Board meeting on Sat. 13th Oct, arising out of a discussion as to the medals to be presented to the winning teams in the Co. Championships, Maurice Moynihan suggested that the presentation should take the form of a certain number of books on National subjects. Those books would form the nucleus of a library in each locality, and that would be carrying out one of Thomas Davis’s most cherished ideas. For the price of the medals to be awarded to a single winning team, 50 good books could be purchased and they could be kept together for the use of the Gaels of the locality. The motion was discussed at a subsequent Board meeting, to which Patrick J. Kelly, Killorglin, wrote protesting against the suggestion, which, if carried, would, he thought, be detrimental to the interests of football. The motion was defeated in favour of an amendment by the Chairman that it be left to the decision of the winning team to decide whether they would accept books, medals or jerseys.
Co. Senior Football Championship semi-final on Sun. 4th Nov. at Killorglin: Killarney 3-3; Firies 0-5.
That match was witnessed by thousands of people and it was counted to the credit of both teams, their followers and to the large, sport-loving Killorglin crowd who stood along the lines that not a single sign of disorder was visible on or off the field throughout the day. James Moynihan, Chairman Co. Board, and John O Connell, Treasurer and referee, were early on the field, which was well arranged by the Laune Rangers, all of whose men kept order along the lines and creditably maintained the traditions of their fine old club. The field was kindly given for the day by James Teahan, R.D.C. (Rural District Councillor) and Chairman Killorglin U.I.L. (United Irish League).
At a subsequent meeting of Killarney (Dr. Crokes) Branch on Thurs. 15th Nov. in the Commercial Club, on the motion of Pat Valkenburg, second by Tom Looney, the following resolution was adopted: “That we wish to express our utter satisfaction with the arrangements made in Killorglin for our match on Sunday last. It was a credit to even the representatives of the Laune Rangers.”
J.P. O Sullivan refereed the following games for the Kerry Co. Board:
Co. Senior Hurling Championship on Sun. 22nd July at Tralee: O Dorney 3-3; Ballyduff 1-0.
Co. Senior Hurling Championship on Sun. 19th Aug. at Tralee: Kilmoyley 1-7; Lixnaw 1-6.
Co. Senior Hurling Championship on Sun. 9th Sept. at Tralee: O Dorney 2nd beat Kilmoyley 2nd.
Co. Senior Hurling Championship semi-final on Sun. 7th Oct. at Tralee: Kilmoyley 1-4; O Dorney 2nd 0-1.
In Nov/Dec., The Shamrock’s Club, of Worcester, Massachusetts won the inter-state final by 0-5 to 0-0, at the expense of the Shamrock’s Club, New Jersey in Ridgewood Park, Brooklyn, New York. Fullback on the winning team was Tom Curran, who had been one of the redoubtable backs in the days when, with his celebrated brother-players, Tim and Jim, he formed a fullback line, which kept the Laune Rangers’ posts unassailable on many a Kerry field and helped to make the brothers’ combination-play the wonder and despair of the competing Kerry teams. Also on the winning team were Mick Flynn, Steelroe and Pat O Shea, Langford Street.
The football rules of play at the time included:
- Any player threatening or insulting the referee shall be suspended for not less than twelve months, and his whole team shall be liable to disqualification at the discretion of the County Committee or Central Council.
- A team, leaving the ground before the termination of the contest, in which it is engaged, without the sanction of the referee, shall forfeit the match.
- Every club shall be held responsible for the conduct of its players, officials and spectators, and clubs shall take all possible precautions to prevent spectators threatening or assaulting referees, officials or players during or after matches.
- The ball may be struck with the hand. It may be caught when off the ground. Carrying shall be taking more than four paces while holding the ball, which must not be held longer than is necessary to kick or fist it away. The ball may be kicked by letting it drop from the hands and kicking it either before it touches the ground (punting) or immediately after it touches the ground (drop-kicking). No player shall be caught or held under any circumstances. The ball, on being caught, must be either kicked or struck by the hand, or hopped once with either one or both hands against the ground, but not more than once, and must not be thrown. The penalty for all breaches of this rule shall be a free-kick. (There was nothing in that rule to prevent a player making a run by striking a hopping ball many times in succession, but, when caught, the ball could not be thrown).
- The referee shall have, during the match, the full power to disqualify any player or order him to leave the ground and discontinue play. No player, once ordered off, shall again join in the game and the referee shall report him for suspension to his County Committee in Co. Championship matches, or the Central Council in All-Ireland matches.
J.P. O Sullivan acted as handicapper at the following Sports Meetings under GAA and ICA rules:
Wed. 20th Jan. – Tralee Athletic & Cycling Sports; end of June – Castleisland Sports; Mid-July – Listowel Sports; Wed. 15th Aug. – Milltown Athletic and Cycling Sports; Mon. 3rd Sept. – Waterville Sports; Sun. 16th Sept. – Kilgarvan Sports; Sun. 23rd Sept. – GAA Sports in Tralee.