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Here are some of the reports from the Archive of the Nenagh Guardian from some historic periods in our clubs history

1931 - Third Rugby Cup for Nenagh - fitting end to successful season

1935 - Nenagh win Munster Junior Cup for a second time



Third Rugby Cup for Nenagh

Fitting End to Successful Season

By a singal victory on Sunday last in Limerick over Newcastlewest, the Nenagh rugby team brought a very successful season to a brillant close.  The winning of the three cups, the  Mansergh, Munster Junior nad Garryowen constitutes a proud and unprecedented record in Munster Rugby, all the more remarkable in view of the fact that the team is a comparatively short time in existance.  The result may be justly attributed to hard and unselfish training, strong determination and the unremitting attention of secretaries and committee.


Since October last the team took part in 23 games, winning 22, losing the opening game by 3 points.  The number of points scored now stands at 280 against 40 scored against them.

Congratulatory messages from all over Munster and from many clubs in Leinster were received by the club officials on the marked success of the team.  Nenagh has gained such recognition that fixtures have been arranged for the opening of next season from the important Leinster clubs.

Crowds visited Herriott's window during the week admiring the three valuable trophies and medals.  The window is draped with the club colours and honour cap, and photos of former teams are shown.  Particular interest is taken of the Nenagh team of firty-seven years ago.  The photo was loaned by the president.


The Garryowen Cup

After their gruelling match with Richmond the previous Sunday, the Nenagh fifteen turned out fresh and ready for the final match.  During the week it was expected that there would be more absentees from the team, but Nenagh turned out in full strength except for the loss - a serious one - of Igoe.  Igoe stood down owing to an injury received in the Richmond match.  M Ayres going into the three-quarter line and Hegarty being transferred to Igoe's usual position.

The Play

Mick O' Meara cleverly opened the scoring by getting around the blind side of the scrum, sending the ball to Joe O' Meara who got over.  The try was not converted.


Play was up and down for some time when Hegarty kicked a penalty for Nenagh, the score then standing at 6 points to nil, Newcastle replied with a three-point score from a penalty for and infringement.

Hard, clean football took place, Nenagh having the advantate until O' Meara set McKenna going, when he burst through to score.  Again McKenna got over, both scores being converted by the beautiful kicking of Hegarty, who later kicked a penalty.  Cussen for Newcastlewest, was always a danger to Nenagh when speeding with the ball eluding his opponents, only to be brought down by Reynolds, full back.  Reynolds played a spectacular game.  Culhane in the opening session was very nippy but was well looked after by M O' Meara, who countered his moves.  Several times Newcastlewest tried very hard to cross the Nenagh line, but were held up.  All the Nenagh team played exceptionally well, putting every ounce into the game so as to capture the third cup and create a record.

The success of the club is due in a great measure to Mr. Wm McCormack (hon secretary), who looked after it with a fatherly interest.  Unsparing in his efforts his endeavours were crowned with success when the final whistle proclaimed Nenagh winners of the cup.

At a meeting of delegates from the Munster junior clubs held after the match, Mr. J Reynolds, Nenagh presiding, congratulatory speeches were made on the success of Nenagh during the season.  Many other congratulations were received.

The team were accorded a wonderful reception on their arrival home.


Demand for Reform

At the meeting of the North Munster Junior Clubs held in Limerick on Sunday, Mr. J Reynolds, president, Nenagh FC presiding and the following clubs being represented - Abbey, Askeaton, Ennis, Thurles, Templemore, St. Munchins, Lansdowne (Limerick), nenagh, Shannon, St Michael's, Rathkeale, Pirates, Old Queens, Richmond and Presentation - the following resolution was unanimously passed, on the proposition of Mr. D Murphy (Abbey FC) :-

"That we, the representatives of the North Munster Junior Rugby Football Clubs, heartily endorse the action of the Dublin Senior Clubs, vis., Bective, University College and Blackrock, in their endeavour to bring about a change in the Constitution and the bye laws of the Irish Rugby Football Union and assuring them of our support in any action they may take to bring about this change."  Copies of this resolution were ordered to be sent to the I.R.F.U. Munster Branch and the Press.

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On Sunday last under a blazing sun and a pitch like iron, Nenagh Ormonds defeated Killorglin (Kerry) at Thomond Park, Limerick in the final of the Munster Junior Cup.  By their victory over Killorglin Nenagh now hold two records in Munster junior rugby circles.  They were the first provincial town team to win this cup and the first provincial town to win it a second time.  The trophy which is valued at £70 was presented by Mr J. Macauley, President of the Irish Rugby Football Union in 1909, for competition amongst junior clubs in Munster and Nenagh had its first victory in 1931 (22 years after the cup had been presented) when Richmond (Limerick) were defeated by 6 points to nil.  Tralee are the only other provincial town team to have captured this trophy, they had a short life in this season’s competition as Killorglin defeated them by 3 ponts to nil in the first round.


The Game Described

The game in itself was a desperate struggle in which neither side succeeded in crossing their opponents’ lines; however, Nenagh came out victorious by a dropped goal to nil.  In the set scrums matters were fairly even until the opening of the second half, when Nenagh seemed to dominate play in every department.  O’ Callaghan, at the base of the scurm out-classed his vis-à-vis, J. Magan, who was slow to get the ball away.  O’ Callaghan, therefore, smothered several movements before they had time to develop.  The Nenagh backs did not look quite so good as their opponents, but they possessed a finer knowledge of the game and played more as a combination than the Kerry men who were spectacular in their movements, but this had little effect.  Had the Killorglin backs more experience they would be unlucky to have lost, for in the final minutes of the game it seemed that only a miracle could have kept the Nenagh line intact.

McMahon, at full, played as usual, a sound game, while the length and accuracy of his opposites kicking was a feature of the game.  Graham played a very brilliant game and was easily the most polished footballer on the field, and his defence by way of touch kicking gained rounds of applause whenever he was forced to do so.  The remainder of the backs played a sound game, while M O’ Meara was outstanding in the three-quarter line. In the pack W Gleeson was most conspicuous, while Delaney and D Quigley also played a good game.  The remainder of the pack played with their usual vigour and their scrimmaging was a factor which made it possible for the cup to come once more to Nenagh.  In ther Kilorglin back division, C. McCarthy and C. O’ Connor played brilliantly, and their fast pace will enable them to go far in the game.  In the forwards, T Mangan and J. Taylor were the best of a hard working pack, and on the whole Killorglin have great prospects and it is sure they will be prominent in the Junior Cup next year.


Nenagh’s Successful Season

Nenagh had a very successful season: out of the 23 games played, (of which 17 were played at home) 19 were won, 1 drawn and 3 lost.  The total points scored amount to 236: and 75 against.


Cup Presented

Dr. Graham on behalf of the Munster Branch presented the cup to E. Graham, the Nenagh captain and amidst a scene of great enthusiasm each member of the victorious team was presented with a medal.  The Nenagh supporters who travelled about 300 strong “chaired” the captain from the field and at the hotel the “flowing bowl” was passed around without restriction.



Groups gathered around the town before the result of the match became known discussing the prospects of the home team, as it was fairly well established that Killorglin was out to win the coveted trophy, valued at £70, having gone right through the season without defeat, and were favourites.  When the result came through it was passed on right through the town, with the result that the opportunity was not to be lost in giving the victors a right rousing reception, not alone by those connected with the team, but from the town in general.

Young and old of all classes wended their way towards Annbrook as the evening advanced, but as no hour was fixed or could be, for the home-coming, many waited long and patiently until the team arrived, and did not the kiddies, the boys and girls of the town proclaim their presence as the bus came in sight, gaily decorated with the club colours of red and white.  The excitement and enthusiasm was not confined to the youth as men and women, some of whom probably never saw a Rugby match, heartily joined in the welcome, proud of the team and the town which had turned out such fine athletic and strapping young fellows in every form of sport, no matter of what particular type they specialise in.  Immediately on stepping off the bus the captain, E. J. Graham and Mick O’ Meara (who scored the winning points) were lifted shoulder high, and headed by the Pipers Band, started towards the town followed by the large crowd, which had assembled.  Pound street has shown on many occasion, how it can decorate the old street, and give a reception, but as on this occasion, the inhabitants had not time to decorate it they made it up in whole-hearted welcome.

When the crowd reached Banba Square a halt was made, and Graham and O’ Meara released from the shoulders of supporters, speeches were called for and responded to by Mr M O’ Meara, Mr Percy Delaney, and Mr K Bernal, who thanked the people for the reception.

One well known supporter not satisfied with the cup coming to Nenagh brought with him the mascot of Killorglin team – “a puck goat”, cut out of 3-ply wood.  The forecast in last Saturday’s paper that Nenagh would win, even if by a small margin was quite correct.  Killorglin was very hard to beat, and the issure was in doubt up to the last moment.

Many telegrams were received during the week congratulating the team – one from Swinford was from J.J. Mulcahy, who was such a popular member of the team when in Nenagh a year or two ago.

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