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GAA in Glanmire is doing just fine!

Thursday, 8th September, 2016 1:00am

Mention the Cork County Championships and Sarsfields have been synonymous recently. Four county titles in six years sets a precedent, and although they were beaten by Glen Rovers in last year’s final, Sarsfields can still claim a dominance and success in Cork in the last decade that no other club can.

One of the oldest clubs in the county after being formed in 1896, Sarsfields currently boasts one of the best GAA facilities in Cork. Visitors to the club, which houses many county fixtures, can enjoy a top of the range clubhouse, adorned by photos of players past and present, as well as two playing pitches, a hurling wall, an all-weather pitch, four dressing rooms and a club gym.

With facilities like that at hand, it’s no wonder that Sarfields players have regularly been featured on the teamsheets of Cork sides. The current crop of Cork senior hurlers includes Daniel Kearney and Conor O’Sullivan.

Although the club was formed at the latter stages of the 19th century, senior success would not reach the club until 1951, the year Sarsfields won its first Cork Senior Hurling County Championship. One more followed in 1957 before the club suffered something of a barron period, 51 years.

County titles may not have been flying freely for the club throughout the last century but that did not stop Sarsfields producing some of the best hurlers to have donned the blood and bandage of Cork. Teddy McCarthy remains the only dual player in history to have won a senior hurling and football title in the same year when Cork won the double in 1990; Teddy’s son Cian has also played for Cork and was a member of the panel that reached the All-Ireland Final in 2013.

Centre back Alan Lotty was the first Sarsfields club man to enjoy All-Ireland success and won five All-Ireland titles with the county from 1941-1946. He was joined on the 1942 team by clubmate and dual player Derry Beckett, one of only 18 players to have ever won All-Irelands in both codes at senior level.

Three time All-Ireland winner Paddy Barry played corner forward for Cork from 1946-1968, captained Cork to All-Ireland success in 1952 and went on to win the three in a row with further wins in 1953 and 1954. Barry was named on the Munster team of the Millenium as well as the Cork team of the century in his corner forward berth at number 15.

Bertie Óg Murphy was a two time All-Ireland winner with Cork, in 1976 and 1984, while he has enjoyed much success as a manager, guiding Cork to back to back All-Ireland wins at Under 21 level in 1997 and 1998 while he was the manager of the Sarsfields side who win the county title in 2008. Dual player Tadhg Murphy was an All-Ireland winner in 1977 when he was used as a substitute, while current Cork selector Pat Ryan was a substitute on the Cork team that was crowned winners in 1999.

John Considine holds the distinct honour of being the only Cork manager to have tasted a 100 per cent success rate with the county. Considine was appointed caretaker manager of the side in 2009 and steered the county to two succesive victories before Denis Walsh was appointed as the fulltime manager. Before this, Considine was a member of the 1990 All-Ireland winning Cork side and was named at corner back on the All-Star team for that year.

Kieran ‘Fraggy’ Murphy is the most recent Sarsfields player to have enjoyed All-Ireland success; he was a member of the team that won titles in 2004 and 2005.

Sarsfields’ hopes for county success this year are at an end after suffering a 2-21 to 1-15 defeat to rivals and neighbours Midleton in Round 4 of the championships.

It’s the first year since 2011 the County Final won’t features Sarsfields, so it’s an early summer exit for the Glanmire club.

Although they share the same town, Sarsfields GAA club and its football counterpart, Glanmire GAA club, are two very seperate entities.

Hurling is played in Sarsfields while football is played in Glanmire, with the two clubs boasting their own facilities in the town. The football club, much like the hurling club, had its beginnings in the 1890s.

However, in the early 1920s, the club went out of existence. Sarsfields entered football teams and won six divisional A grade championships from 1929 to 1937, winning the oounty title that year. Sarsfields also captured four ‘A’ grade minor football championship titles from 1930 to 1938, including two county titles in 1936 and 1937.

Glanmire GAA club was re-formed in 1945 and since, has won many divisional and county championship titles at both adult and underage levels. A county Intermediate title was won in 1987 while the club leads the roll of honour in East Cork Under 21 Championship titles winning the competition 13 times between 1972 and 2010.

Glanmire has had a number of its players represent Cork at senior level. These include the aforementioned Derry Beckett, Bertie Óg Murphy, Tadhg Murphy and Teddy McCarthy while Michael Cussen, another dual player, was Glanmire GAA’s last player to represent Cork at senior level, winning Munster titles in 2008 and 2009.

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