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16 Aug 2022

CLUB FOCUS: Moycarkey Borris

CLUB FOCUS: Moycarkey Borris

Club name: Moycarkey Borris
Eircode : E41W942
Hurling: Senior /Junior A/Junior B
Football: Senior
Club colors: Red and yellow
Main Sponsor:H&MV Engineering
Current Referees: Michael Heffernan, Ger O’Reilly

Moycarkey Borris GAA Club – Club Development

Moycarkey Borris GAA Club has been busy in recent years, the results of which are both visible and invisible. Much of the recent progress has been achieved by the coming together of their members to draw up their own plan and to keep that plan on the agenda every month for the five years of the Club Development Plan 2015:2020 which was the catalyst for the recent major improvements at the club.

A great many people have been working towards realizing the clubs strategic goals to enhance the Club. During a short intensive consultation phase in 2015 which involved hundreds of members, a Club Plan (2015:2020) was formulated which would address over one hundred goals of the Club in five key areas namely, 1. Administration, 2. Communications & Culture, 3. Coaching & Games Development, 4. Facilities, and 5. Finance & Fundraising. A chairperson was put in place for each of the five areas and sub-committees were established to address these goals.

The work did not stop in 2020, as the club have since added a gym and recently secured a large Sports Capital grant to add lighting to the 1km walking/running track and upgrade the track surface. Moycarkey Borris is a vibrant Club with its Senior, Juvenile, Camogie & Ladies Football clubs all enjoying success on and off the field, the highlight being the U21A County Hurling title recently secured.

The Beginning:

On Sunday November 1st, in 1885, exactly one-year after the foundation of the GAA in Thurles, a meeting was held to form a branch of the GAA in the parish. The following officers were elected: President Rev. J. Murphy CC, Vice President Mr William Fogarty, Hon. Secretary Mr. John Molumby.

The first Tipperary Hurling Championship began in 1887 and the parish claimed its first title when a Tom O Grady captained team defeated Toomevara in the 1889 County final.

All Ireland Hurling Titles for Horse and Jockey and Two Mile Borris:

At the end of the 19th. Century approached the Horse and Jockey had a strong team and reached the County finals of 1897 and 1898. But 1899 was a glorious year for the team led by Tim Condon as they defeated fellow parishioners Two Mile Borris in a replayed County Final. The team then represented Tipperary and won the 1899 All Ireland title for the county when they defeated Blackwater of Wexford in the final.

The turn of the century saw the emergence of Two Mile Borris as a powerhouse in Tipperary hurling. Winning the 1900 County championship the team captained by Ned Hayes then represented Tipperary to successfully defend the All-Ireland title in 1900 and secure back-to-back titles for the Premier County. In the final they defeated Desmond’s of London. (The centenaries of the All-Ireland Win’s in 1899 and 1900 were marked with the unveiling of memorial walls in Horse and Jockey and Two Mile Borris respectively in 1999 and 2000.)

In 1901 Watty Dunne captained Ballytarsna to keep the County championship title in the parish.
The Two Mile Borris team won further County titles in 1903 and 1905. The Mid Senior Hurling championships began in 1907 and Borris won it in 1910.

The Great War (1914 – 1918) and The Revolutionary Years (1913 – 1923) inevitably disrupted the parish teams and the various championships.

Moycarkey Borris players represent Tipperary in the America of the 1920’s:

In 1922 only one club was registered in the parish, and it was called Moycarkey\Two Mile Borris.
Mid Senior Champions in 1920, 1922, 1923 and 1924 the new alignment included several players who played regularly on the County team.

John Joe Hayes, Bill Ryan, Willie O Brien, Martin Mockler and Phil Purcell were members of the Tipperary team which toured America from May to July in 1926. The team were undefeated there, winning six games and the welcome home function was held in Pouldine.

Moycarkey Borris Captain John Joe Hayes was the first Tipperary man to play on the national team when he was selected to play in the 1924 Tailteann Games. The renowned artist Sean Keating used his sketch of John Joe for his painting ‘The Tipperary Hurler’ in 1928.

An excellent replica of the painting was recently unveiled in the new Moycarkey Borris meeting room.
Due to the tour of the USA the 1926 County championship was delayed but there were no ill effects of the tour for the Moycarkey players as Holycross, Clonoulty, Toomevara and Boherlahan in the final were defeated to win the Mid and County Senior Hurling Championships.

Three in a Row County Champions:

In the 1930’s Moycarkey Borris won six Mid Divisional Senior Hurling titles (5 in a row from 1930 to 1934 and also 1937).
The team lost the 1931 County Final to Toomevara but returned the following year to claim the title. On the 13th of September 1932 Phil Purcell became the first Moycarkey Captain to raise the Dan Breen Cup. The team defeated Thurles in the Mid Final, Toomevara in the County semi final and Killenaule in the County final.

In 1933 Moycarkey Borris retained the County title with victories over Thurles in the Mid final, Carrick Swans in the semi-final and Borrisokane – Ballingarry of North Tipperary in the county final
1933 was the debut season of the skillful Paddy Sweeper Ryan.

The three griffons on the Moycarkey Borris Crest symbolize the Ryan brothers of Ballybeg (Paddy, Johnny and Mutt) and are representative of the club’s great players

The GAA celebrated its golden jubilee in 1934 and amidst the celebrations every club wanted to win trophies in that special year. Moycakey Borris completed the three in a row of County titles with wins over Borrisoleigh in the first round, Thurles in the Mid final, Cashel in the semi final and Kilbarron\Kiladangan in the County final.

A couple of quiet years ensued after the three in a row before Moycarkey Borris returned to win the 1937 County senior Hurling Championship.. The team captained by Paddy Sweeper Ryan defeated Boherlahan in the first round, Kickhams in the Mid final, Fethard in the semi final and Cashel in the County Final.

Johnny and Paddy Ryan played on the All Ireland Winning Tipperary team of 1937. Tom Kennedy, Tommy Hayes, Paddy Maher, Mutt Ryan, Tom Hayes, Martin Maher, Phil Purcell and goalkeeper Tommy Kelly also featured with Tipperary in 1937 and 1938.

The 5th County Title, Foot and Mouth and leaner times:

Moycarkey began the decade of the 1940’s with another County title, the fifth title in a decade. The team captained by Tom Kennedy defeated Thurles Kickhams and Sarsfields in the Mid, Killenaule in the semi final and Cashel in the county final.
Johnny Ryan was nominated to Captain the Tipperary team in 1941. He led the team to victory in a delayed Munster final but by then a ‘Foot and Mouth epidemic’ had derailed Tipp’s All-Ireland ambitions.

In 1943 Moycarkey Borris won The Mid Senior Hurling Championship, the Number 1 Junior Championship, and the Number 2 Junior Championship. The Senior Hurlers defeated Kickhams and Thurles Sarsfields to win the Mid Championship. In the County semi final the Johnny Ryan captained team defeated Kildangan and were hot favorites to reclaim the Dan Breen Cup. But the concession of two late goals in the final gave victory to Eire Og Annacarty. The defeat in the County Final heralded the end of a glorious era. This group of players having won 5 County and 8 Mid Senior Hurling Titles set a high benchmark for future generations.

Leaner times ensued for the team in the remaining years of the 1940’s:

Five Moycarkey Borris players won Munster and All Ireland medals on the Tipperary team of 1945, Johnny Ryan, Paddy Ryan, Mutt Ryan, Tom Purcell and Thomas O Keeffe. Mutt Ryan got the late winning scores against Limerick in the Munster final.
John O Grady donned the number one jersey to win Munster and All Ireland medals with the Tipperary Minors in 1947 and 1949. A County Minor for three years he Captained the team in 1949, thus becoming the first Captain to receive the new Irish Press Cup.

3 Mid Junior A titles were won during the 1940’s (1943, 1945 and 1946) and 3 Mid Number 2 titles were won during the 1940’s (1940, 1941 and 1942).

The 1950’s was a challenging decade in Senior Hurling for Moycarkey Borris. A difficult beginning to the decade with first round defeats in 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953 prompted the club to withdraw from the Senior Championship in 1954. But the team bounced back immediately by winning the County Junior Championship and returned to the Senior ranks in 1955.

In 1956 Moycarkey Borris defeated Boherlahan to reach the Mid Final but lost the final to Sarsfields. In 1957 the team won the Mid league but lost to Holycross in the Mid championship. Some strong spirited displays in the 1958 Mid Championship raised morale as the decade elapsed.

Pat Ryan Captained the Tipperary Minor Hurling Munster and All Ireland Winning team in 1956. In subsequent years Pat featured regularly with the Tipperary Senior Team. John O Grady won Munster and All Ireland Senior Hurling medals with Tipperary in 1958.

Ní neart go cur le chéile:

As in other Tipperary parishes the Junior Hurling and Football teams in Moycarkey Borris operated as semi-autonomous clubs. Fr. O Meara the club chairman proposed a motion to the County Board Convention in 1961 that only one hurling club and only one football club be permitted in rural parishes in County Tipperary. This far-sighted unity motion was passed by a huge majority at the convention.

1962 was a turning point for the Moycarkey Borris Senior hurlers. Successive victories over Moyne Templetuohy, Holycross, Marlfield, and Toomevara saw the club return to the County Final for the first time since 1943. The County Final took place on Sunday October 14th and Moycarkey captained by Pat Ryan faced the star studded Sarsfields team of that era. A great contest and a great performance by the team resulted in a heartbreaking one-point defeat.

The Under 21 Hurlers defeated Sarsfields and Holycross to win the Mid title of 1962.

Mick Lonergan came onto the Tipperary Senior Hurling team in the All-Ireland final of 1964 and played his part in the defeat of Kilkenny.

Moycarkey Borris regained the Mid Senior Hurling Title in 1965 after a gap of 22 years. The team defeated Drom and Inch in the first round, Holycross in the semi final and Sarsfields in the Mid Final. Young County Minor John Flanagan scored 1-4 in his first Mid Final appearance. In the County series the team lost out to a Mick Roche inspired Carrick Davins.

After a disappointing Championship in 1966 the team rebounded to win another Mid Championship in 1967, defeating Moyne, Sarsfields and Drom in the Final. In the County championship the team defeated Moneygall in the quarter final but lost out to Roscrea in the semi final.

Seamus Ryan won a Munster medal with the Tipperary Under 21 team. John Flanagan broke onto the Tipperary Senior Team which reached the All Ireland Final and he was also on the county U.21 team.

The Minor Hurling team captained by John Ryan(M) won the clubs first County Minor A Title in 1968 defeating Golden in the semi final and Roscrea in the County final. In 1969 the Minors retained the Mid title by defeated Sarsfields in the Mid final, Carrick Swans in the county semi final but lost out to Nenagh in the County final.

The great work being done in these years with the juvenile players by great mentors like Frank Gooney, Paddy Cooney and Johnny Ryan were laying the foundations for future successes.

Another very significant progression at the end of the 1960’s was the purchase of the club's training field in Littleton from Mr. Joe Murphy. Further phases of development over the years have developed the Littleton facilities to a very high standard.

As more young players were breaking through in the early 1970’s the Moycarkey Senior Hurling team progressively improved.
Willie Ryan the fullback on the Tipperary U21 team in 1970 exemplified the spirit of the clubs' young players by taking on the role of Hon Secretary at the club’s annual convention later that year.

Moycarkey’s Senior Hurling performances in the 1970’s were inconsistent. In 1971 the team defeated the eventual County winners Moyne and recaptured the Mid Senior Title with further wins over Drom in the semi final and Sarsfields in the final. In the open draw County championship of 1975 the Senior team reached the County semi final. In 1979 the team defeated Holycross and Drom to reach the Mid final but lost heavily to Sarsfields in the final.

The Under 21 Hurling team won the 1971 Mid Championship and were County finalists with wins over Sarsfields, Holycross –Drom, Boherlahan in the Mid final, Clonoulty in the County semi final but lost to Burgess – Kiladangan in the county final. The team retained the Mid title in 1972,

John Flanagan won Munster and All Ireland Senior Hurling medals in 1971 on the Tipperary team, his legendary injury time Munster Final winning point in the Killarney downpour versus Limerick will never be forgotten.

Underage success continued as the Minors captained by Michael Clohessy won the 1972 Mid and County Titles with wins over Sarsfields in the Mid Final, Ballingarry in the county semi final and Kilruane in the county final. The Mid Minor Title was won again in 1975 by a team captained by goalkeeper Tom Doran.

In 1978 the Junior 2 Team won the Mid Championship with a team of seasoned veterans and much younger players including the Captain Liam Hackett.

Mid, County and Munster Hurling Titles:

The early 1980’s was a golden era for Moycarkey Borris. The team to begin this run of success was the Intermediate football team. Having won the Mid Junior Championship in 1979 the team captained by Harry Mulhaire which also included experienced Senior Hurlers adapted well to the higher grade and the County Intermediate Football title was secured with victories over Loughmore, Newcastle and Moneygall.

Jimmy Leahy and David Fogarty won All Ireland Minor Hurling medals with Tipperary in 1980.

In 1981 the Senior hurling team won the Mid title with victories over Clonmore, Drom Inch and Loughmore Castleiney in the final. In the county championships the team lost the semi final by the narrowest of margins to Borrisoleigh. The Minor Hurlers also won the Mid Title in 1981.

Moycarkey Borris bridged a 42 year gap in winning the 1982 County Senior Hurling title. The Mid title was first secured with wins over Drom, Sarsfields and Loughmore in the final. Former Tipperary great Len Gaynor boosted the training and wins over Nenagh after a replay, Knockavilla and Roscrea in the County final after another replay saw inspirational captain Jack Bergin raise the Dan Breen Cup aloft in Semple Stadium.

Further glory was achieved when the team defeated Ballyduff of Waterford and Patrickswell of Limerick to win the Munster Championship. Eamonn Darmody was selected as the Mid player of the year. The intense training also helped the Junior team as they too won the Mid Championship in 1982. The Minor hurlers again won the Mid title in 1982.

The County winning rostrum in 1983 belonged to the Minor hurlers who won the club.s third County title in the grade. Captained by County minor Michael McKenna the team defeated Sarsfields after a replay in the Mid final, Carrick Swans in the semi final and Roscrea in the County final.

Having won the golden jubilee County Senior Hurling final of 1934, Moycarkey were determined to win the 1984 centenary championship. Sarsfields Paddy Doyle took over the training and the team hit top form. In the Centenary County Final Moycarkey again captained by Jack Bergin defeated Lorrha to reclaim the Dan Breen Cup and achieve a historic double of GAA jubilee wins in 1934 and 1984. The Under 21 team also won the Mid Championship in 1984.

The Intermediate Hurling team took the limelight in 1985 by winning the County Championship with the club’s second team. Captained by John Hackett the team defeated Killenaule in the County Final to register a unique achievement. Jack Bergin captained the Tipperary Senior Hurlers in the 1985 Munster Final.

The Minor Hurlers regained the Mid title in 1986. More Mid Football titles were annexed at Intermediate level (1985, 1986 and 1988) and Junior A (1981 and 1986).

The late 1980’s and the decade of the 1990’s were very lean years by comparison to the trophy-laden years of the early 1980’s. The Senior team reached the Mid final in 1991 when a late Liam Hackett equalizer forced a replay with Holycross but the team lost out in the replay.

History and Tradition alone doesn’t win Championships:

Emigration, retirements and transfers weakened the team and by the late 1990’s the challenge of avoiding relegation from the Senior ranks became a worrying reality. In 1999 several of that year's promising Minor team were called on to play in the Senior team. Later in 1999 the U21 team won the Mid and County U21B Hurling title.(Captain Michéal Hassett)

Relegation worries seemed greatly exaggerated when a late Willie Dempsey goal from a free in 2002 against Sarsfields brought Moycarkey back to the Mid final for the first time since 1991. In the final the team lost out to Loughmore-Castleiney.

But the following year in 2003 disappointing results propelled Moycarkey Borris into the relegation playoffs for the second time in three years and this time the team lost out in the playoffs.

In the same year of 2003 the club’s very young Minor Hurling team raised the spirits of everybody in the club by winning the Mid and County A Title. Victories over Gortnahoe in the Mid final, Roscrea in the county semi final and Carrick Swans after a replay made David Sheppard the fourth Moycarkey captain to receive the trophy.

Many of these players won the Mid A Minor championship again in 2005 by defeating Sarsfields in the final. In 2007 the Minor Hurlers won the Mid and County B Hurling title (Captain James Doran).

The club made strenuous efforts to win the Intermediate Championship and return to Senior Hurling. Losses in successive County Intermediate finals were difficult but ultimately made everybody realize the scale of club development that was needed to rebuild and rekindle the club’s great tradition. Moycarkey Borris returned to the Senior Hurling championship in 2008 with three wins in that year's Mid Championship.

On a memorable Saturday afternoon on the day preceding the 2009 All Ireland Hurling Final the glory fleetingly returned, and the tradition was embellished. The Senior Hurling team captained by Patrick Carey won the All Ireland Kilmacud Sevens for the first time in the club’s history with victories over UCC, Toomevara, Cloyne, Nenagh and Kilruane MacDonaghs.

The Junior Hurling team captained by Phil Kelly won the Mid and County championship in 2013 with victories over Sarsfields in the Mid Final and Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams in the County Final.

Senior Hurling successes since 2008 in Leagues, the Cahill Cup and the O Riain Cup have boosted the team's morale but the promotion to the Dan Breen Senior Hurling grouping in 2018 was the most significant advancement.

The Juvenile club has been vibrant, progressive and successful. In 2017 the Minor Hurlers won the Mid A Championship defeating Holycross in the Final.

In 2018 the Minor team captained by Max Hackett went a step further to win the Mid and County Championship with wins over Holycross in the Mid Final and Cappawhite in the County Final. Several of these players played on the Tipperary County Minor and Under 20 teams in both Hurling and Football.

In 2021 this group of players created their own unique history when Rhys Shelly became the first Moycarkey captain to raise the County Under 21 A Championship Cup. The team defeated Drom in the Mid final, Kiladangan in the county semi final and Mullinahone in the county final.

Joe Egan, Jack Hayes and Bill Flanagan won Munster and All Ireland Medals with the Tipperary Minor Hurling team this year, while Kyle Shelly played on the U20 County Hurling team.

Football standards in the club have also progressed with two more County Intermediate Championships won in 2012 and 2019 but the optimum balance between Senior football and hurling has yet to be achieved.

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