Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

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Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:31 pm

This is my first post so please go easy on me !!

The great win for the footballers today and the sound of the Offaly Rover being played after the match made me think back on a few of my personal memories (good and bad )of Offaly games I have attended in Croke Park.

1979 – my first Offaly game in Croker was the Leinster football final. I went home in tears ( I was only 12 !) after Bernard Brogan Snr scored a late goal for the Dubs . They played the second half with 14 men when Jimmy Keaveney was set off before half time. Saw the game again years later on TG4. Some of it was x rated. Not for the faint hearted !

1980 – fantastic memories of football and hurling Leinster wins. Hurling was special but because I was young the significance of the hurling win was lost on me. Older people near me who remembered the bad days and the near misses (1969 in particular) were in tears. I fully appreciate its significance now as our last Leinster is now 20 years ago. It was a pleasure to see Matt Connor in his pomp v Kerry in that years football semi-final. What a genius he was.

1981 – we seemed to be in Croker every summer Sunday between 1980 and 1982. What an achievement for such a small county to contest both finals in 1981. It was my first time to hear the Offaly Rover , sung by the mercurial Kinnitty man Pat Delaney. Who will forget the late Pat Carroll, the magician that was Joachim Kelly who played up to 1993, the impish Johnny Flaherty ( did he throw the ball in the net , who cares), the brilliant save by Damien Martin from PJ Molloy, the contribution of Brendan Keeshin as a sub and all the other great hurlers.

1982 – the terrible loss of the hurlers in the Leinster final v Kilkenny still causes annoyance. Was the ball over the endline ? Did Damien cost us two in a row ? We played great hurling that day and it felt like we were robbed. It was as painful as Clare in 95. The footballers more than made up for it. I was on the Hill in the teeming rain and nearly left early when we were 4 points down. We did get a few soft frees though when you look back at the game. Again we remember the brilliance of Martin Furlong’s save, the half back line of Fitzgerald Lowry and Currams who all scored points, the Connors , the sylish Johnny Mooney and Darby of course.

1985 – after the loss to Cork in Thurles in 84 the hurlers second title was brilliant. We were no longer a one hit wonder. Pat Cleary and Joe Dooley were the new kids on the block. Jim Troy got his chance to shine. What wonderful goal keepers we have produced. The Corrigans, Joachim again, the brilliant Eugene Coughlan, the man of steel Brendan Bermingham, our great captain Pat Fleury and Pauric Horan on the frees.


I could go on but I won’t. I haven’ t even talked about the 1990s. Maybe some other day. Apologies for the long first post. Please indulge an old man with his memories !

Slán
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Bord na Mona man » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:29 pm

Exiled in Connacht wrote:I could go on but I won’t.

Keep going to about the year 2000!
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby first_touch » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:16 am

Exiled in Connacht wrote:This is my first post so please go easy on me !!



Great first post! Like you I was gutted after the '79 Leinster Football Final. I sat rooted to my seat long after the final whistle. In reply to your question, Johnny Flaherty palmed the ball to the Galway net. The Midland Tribune photographer captured the moment just as the ball left his open hand!
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby bare biffo » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:36 am

Yea. Shared all those memories too. That football team should have had leinster from 79 to 83. I wss far more gutted about losing 83 than 79. In 83 as ai champs they were playing brilliant football and steamrolled through leinster. McGee has admitted he made s big mistake in their approach to dublin. 2 in a row was definitely in that team.
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:55 am

It didn't help us in 1983 when Cork beat Kerry in Munster final with late Tadhg Murphy goal before we played the Leinster final.

Everyone thought with Kerry gone we were a shoo in for the AI.

When you look at the desperate "dirty dozen" Dubs win that year it was one we definitely left behind.
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby townman » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:32 pm

yes we did leave the 1983 leinster football final behind us, but that was a good Dublin side and like us should have won more than 1 allireland , the game that stands out to me besides the 82 defeat to kilkenny was the leinster hurling final 1987 another one we left behind us.
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:18 pm

I can't remember much of 87 Leinster final to be honest.

Was that the year the Leinster final was delayed because the Croke Park pitch was damaged by U2 concert ?
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby ryot » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:58 pm

Palm Sunday 1959,,, in the brand new all concrete Hogan Stand for National League Semi Final Offaly v Kerry and Joeys Fairview v Nathy's in Colleges Final. Des Foley a man apart for Joeys & then Peter Nolan, my ultimate hero, taken out after 8 minutes,,,,,,,

There have been a few days since, like the first Leinster Football in ''60,,,,, the draw v Down, but no room in the car for the replay !!!!!

The great day in June 69, minor footballers v Louth, seniors v Wh & then the hurlers v All Ireland Champs Wx,,,,,,,,,, 3 WINS that day were worth 100/1 to some friends in New York !!!

and I was as happy yesterday as any of those days...........
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:44 pm

You go back a little bit further than me Royt !!

Have the bad days of the last 15 years or so been the worst in your memory ?

The hurlers had some horrendous championship defeats in the 1970s and the footballers also struggled between 84 and 97 but this millennium has been hard to take. Maybe we were spoiled in the 80s and 90s.
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby townman » Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:58 pm

Exiled in Connacht wrote:I can't remember much of 87 Leinster final to be honest.

Was that the year the Leinster final was delayed because the Croke Park pitch was damaged by U2 concert ?


1986 i think was the year the pitch was cut up and kilkenny hammer us in that years final .
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby ryot » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:05 pm

Exiled in Connacht »

The last few years have been bad but I go back to games around 1956 ( as an 8 year old !!) and saw some poor days in football and in hurling ( when some lads would as soon hit a team-mate as do something positive. Thankfully those wild mad times have vanished from Offaly hurling and club football was probably just as bad !!).

Having seen the bad old days and then the good times I feel we just dont have the numbers to be at the top all the time. We have to make-do at times but I will always admire the men who put on the jersey and do their best. They may not in the last few years have won much but they are Offaly so I am not going to bad-mouth them.

I was away from the scene for most of the naughties, other involvements, but what struck me around 2012/13 was the very poor fitness level of both our footballers & hurlers. This has improved immensely this year... That is progress and I hope Pat Flanagan and Sid can continue the progress, even if not yet Leinster winning standard.........
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:40 pm

Yes it was.
Exiled in Connacht wrote:I can't remember much of 87 Leinster final to be honest.

Was that the year the Leinster final was delayed because the Croke Park pitch was damaged by U2 concert ?
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Bord na Mona man » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:51 pm

Didn't Kilkenny get a crucial goal because Jim Troy struggled to rise a ball that got caught in a divot left behind by the concert?
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Bord na Mona man » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:00 pm

first_touch wrote:
Exiled in Connacht wrote:This is my first post so please go easy on me !!



Great first post! Like you I was gutted after the '79 Leinster Football Final. I sat rooted to my seat long after the final whistle. In reply to your question, Johnny Flaherty palmed the ball to the Galway net. The Midland Tribune photographer captured the moment just as the ball left his open hand!

There isn't any doubt about the legitimacy of Flaherty's handpass. Or at least there shouldn't be, ignoring the cries of a few dunces from Galway and folk who have a grudge against Offaly. In the modern day, if a player threw the ball up so high before executing the palming action, they'd probably get ticked off by a coach.
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Re: Memories of an Offaly man in Croke Park

Postby Exiled in Connacht » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:23 pm

Was there ever definitive proof as to whether the ball went over the end line in the 82 Leinster final ?

Matt Ruth couldn't believe his luck and nearly missed as I seem to remember.

Would we have handled Cork in an AI final that year ?

I think in 82 we played as well as any year we won an AI
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